ADMINISTRATORS' SALARIES INCREASE BY UP TO 75 PERCENT

by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

Some high-level administrators' salaries at the University of Houston increased by as much as 75 percent over the past nine years while salaries of some lower-level administrators increased as little as 11 percent.

The Daily Cougar recently examined the salaries of nine administration officials over the past nine years. The specific positions were chosen arbitrarily, and the salary figures were taken from the university budget.

Overall, the salaries of the nine officials generally increased at a higher rate than the 3 percent cost-of-living raises the faculty received during the same period.

The highest administrative salary increase went to Wendy Adair, associate vice president for University Relations.

Adair's job title did not change, but her job responsibilities did expand. Her annual salary increased 75 percent, to $78,778 from $45,000.

The lowest overall increase was an 11 percent increase, to $140,000 from $126,454, for the position of senior vice president for Academic Affairs/provost.

The UH president's salary rose 28 percent, an increase to $156,046 from $122,004, not including perks.

During the same period, the position of director of admissions increased to $62,831 from $54,590, an increase of only 15 percent.

The salary of Skip Szilagyi, associate vice president for planning and executive assistant to the president, rose to $104,889 from $89,861, an increase of 17 percent, between 1990 and 1994.

Salary figures are as follows:

President

86-87 Richard Van Horn $122,004

87-88 " $130,545

88-89 " $133,156

89-90 George Magner $137,000

89-90 Marguerite Barnett "

90-91 " $152,000

91-92 " $155,040

91-92 James Pickering $150,500

92-93 " $151,500

93-94 " $156,046

94-95 " "

(increase: $34,042)

(salary does not include perks)

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost

86-87 Neal Amundson $126,454

87-88 " $132,000

88-89 Robert Lineberry $105,941

89-90 " $120,000

90-91 James Pickering $127,500

91-92 " $130,050

92-93 Glenn Aumann $130,038

93-94 " "

94-95 Henry Trueba $140,000

(increase: $13,546)

Associate Vice President for University Relations

86-87 Wendy Adair $45,000

87-88 " $50,000

88-89 " $55,000

89-90 " $60,000

90-91 " $60,000

91-92 " $70,000

92-93 " $72,114

93-94 " $74,278

94-95 " $78,778

(increase: $33,778)

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

86-87 Shirley Ezell $65,000

87-88 " $68,800

88-89 " $75,680

89-90 " $79,465

90-91 " "

91-92 " $81,055

92-93 " $81,866

93-94 " $84,323

94-95 " $92,324

(increase: $27,324)

Vice President for Student Affairs

86-87 Paul Moore $69,525

87-88 " $73,700

88-89 " $76,000

89-90 Roland Smith $83,000

90-91 " "

91-92 vacant $84,660

92-93 Elwyn Lee $90,000

93-94 " $93,627

94-95 " "

(increase: $24,102)

Bursar

85-86 Phyllis Bradley $25,820

86-87 " $27,628

87-88 " $31,882

88-89 " $33,158

89-90 " $34,816

90-91 " $36,905

91-92 " "

92-93 " $38,020

93-94 " $43,850

94-95 " "

(increase: $18,030)

Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid

85-86 Robert Sheridan $45,392

86-87 " "

87-88 " $46,754

88-89 " $50,000

89-90 " $52,500

90-91 " "

91-92 " $54,086

92-93 " $55,709

93-94 " "

94-95 " $67,709

(increase: $22,317)

Director of Registration and Academic Records

85-86 Mario Lucchesi $47,133

86-87 " $49,019

87-88 " $50,490

88-89 " $53,116

89-90 " $55,772

90-91 " "

91-92 " $57,456

92-93 " $59,180

93-94 " "

94-95 " "

(increase: $12,047)

Director of Admissions

85-86 Wayne Sigler $54,590

86-87 " $56,228

87-88 " $58,478

88-89 " $63,000

89-90 " $67,410

90-91 " "

91-92 " $69,446

92-93 Robert Sheinkopf $62,821

93-94 " "

94-95 " "

(increase: $8,231)

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FACULTY OUTRAGED AT PROF'S, ADMINISTRATOR'S RAISES

by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

University of Houston faculty members voiced their dissatisfaction with UH pay raise policies last week after a senior-level administrator and a faculty member received large pay raises during the February meeting of the UH System Board of Regents.

UH chemistry Professor Harold Kohn and Susan Coulter, UH associate vice president of institutional advancement and development, both received significant pay raises designed to counter offers of employment from other institutions.

Kohn received a $36,723 raise, to $123,000 from $86,277.

While he declined to reveal the nature of the outside offer, Kohn said he "actually took a loss to stay here."

"I've always believed that salaries are a private thing, whether you are happy or unhappy," Kohn said. "But I don't think people go out to get an offer just to get a raise. In my case, I was approached with an offer."

Coulter received a $19,000 raise and a change in job title.

This raise will push Coulter's annual salary to $96,717, a 40 percent increase since 1992.

She was named associate vice president for development in 1992 at a salary of $69,000. Her salary increased to $73,217 in 1993, and to $77,717 in 1994.

With the change in job title, she is responsible for directing all development and capital campaigns for the university (donations from corporate and private-sector sources). She also serves on the president's executive Cabinet.

Coulter said, "I am pleased that UH made the counter-offer. Even though it was not as much money as I was offered at the other university, I was inclined to take UH's offer because UH is home to me now. I wanted to be able to complete the job I had started."

Geri Konigsberg, UH director of Media Relations, said, "Susan received an offer of $125,000 from a head-hunter. She doesn't feel like she has to release any further information. She doesn't want to jeopardize any future relationships.

"Gender is also an issue. She and Wendy Adair are the only two females on the executive committee. The gender-equity issue

in regard to salaries also may have played a part in it.

"The University of Houston System office did a study showing

comparable salaries across the nation in schools similar to UH, and that's how the counter-offer was developed," Konigsberg said.

John Scales, vice chancellor for institutional advancement at the UH System, confirmed Coulter's $125,000 job offer and said, "We're in the last stages of our campaign (the UH Creative Partnerships fund-raiser) which is a critical time in terms of its finishing a success. We're right at $300 million of the $350 million goal. I think that those of us who have worked on this for five years feel a responsibility to finish what we started."

All of the faculty members who spoke to The Daily Cougar said they did not object to the raises because the increases were not deserved, but because they believe the only way to get a raise at UH at this time is to have an outside offer.

Kent Tedin, professor of political science and the chairman of

the Political Science Department, summed up the frustration of faculty members when he said, "We can't get a big pay raise unless we get an outside offer, but there are lots of excellent academics who don't get outside offers and, therefore, can't get high-level raises.

"We are not able to even get merit raises. We're talking about a couple of thousand dollars. A usual merit raise is not a big raise," Tedin said.

Joseph Glatthaar, professor of history, said, "In my department, we have numerous people who are excellent scholars and strong teachers who are making well under $40,000 as associate professors. Right now, you have only a few options -- you can leave, threaten to leave or become an administrator.

"I have a former colleague who had a very low salary, then he got a job as an administrator. One day, I heard him say that now he thought he was really doing something useful. I almost had a fit. I wanted to tell him, 'You were teaching. That's what this place is all about.'

"Now he's been promoted to assistant vice president. When you compare his salary to the salaries of members of the History Department, there's probably only one full-time history professor who's making more than him."

Harrell Rodgers, professor of political science and former dean of the College of Social Sciences, said, "It has been going on for a long time. Sometimes, department chairs would actually tell their faculty that. I always thought that was a bad strategy.

"The problem is when you go out and get an outside offer, you have represented to the other university that you are willing to move. Hopefully, people would not misrepresent that fact. You put yourself in a moral situation where you should not have wasted everybody's time by misrepresenting your intentions.

"My experience is that when people get an outside offer, they are very likely to accept that offer because first, they do feel that they are morally obligated to the other university, and secondly, they resent that the only way they can be compensated fairly at what would be their market rate is to go to the trouble of seeking an outside offer," Rodgers said.

Faculty members said that without an outside offer, pay raises continue to be just an elusive promise. Both UH President

James H. Pickering and Henry

Trueba, UH senior vice president and provost, recently promised merit raises for faculty members by the

fall of 1995.

Dennis Boyd, UH senior vice president for Administration and Finance, whose job description says he "serves as the principal adviser to the president on financial and administrative matters," denied he was involved in the decision to offer Coulter a raise.

"At that level, I don't advise the president on the pay of someone who is practically a peer," Boyd said.

Boyd added, "I believe a pay raise for the faculty is long overdue. And I'm doing my best, working with the provost to ensure that on Sept. 1, there is a pay raise for the faculty. It's going to be difficult, but I think we can do it. We're pretty much committed to it happening.

"I think we can count on it. The question will be the amount. Much of that depends on what happens in Austin. But one way or the other, I believe that is the goal of the president and the provost," Boyd said.

Faculty members also questioned how the administration can justify large increases for specific individuals, usually administrators, while the rest of the faculty can't get merit raises.

Communications Professor Garth Jowett said, "There was a

recent report from 'The Chronicle of Higher Education' which indicated that administrative salaries have jumped far ahead of academic salaries. That's always the obscenity. Things are so out of whack in terms of administration vs. faculty salaries. I think that this is an indication that universities seem to feel that they need to hire and pay people at the administrative level a lot more money than they do at the academic level. As far as I am concerned, that is an indication of the skewed bias in universities, which is wrong.

"My anger is with university systems as a whole. They have

put themselves into this position where they are paying incredible salaries to these administrators while those of us who are on the firing line, and who, ultimately, make the reputation of the university, are treated so cavalierly."

Glatthaar added, "If you don't treat faculty members properly, they will become alienated, then when they receive an outside offer, they are going to leave.

"What I've noticed is that when administrators weren't going to get pay raises, what they would do is promote them, and that way, they could justify bumping their salaries. That's a crazy way to run a system. And the reality is that administrators are much more readily replaceable than good faculty members," Glatthaar said.

According to an article in the Feb. 14 issue of The Daily Cougar, salaries of professors in the College of Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication have increased 28.7 percent in the past 10 years, but the article noted that, with the exception of the philosophy and history faculty, average salaries for those HFAC professors, when compared with the national average

for those positions, actually fell during the past 10 years.

The Daily Cougar examined the salaries (see accompanying story) of nine upper- and lower-level administration officials over the past nine years using the UH budget.

Overall, the salaries of the nine officials generally increased at a higher rate than the 3 percent cost-of-living raises the faculty received during the same period.

Of the nine positions, the lowest overall increase was an 11

percent increase, to $140,000 from $126,454 , for the position of senior vice president for Academic Affairs/provost.

The salary for the position of UH president rose 28 percent over the nine years, to $156,046 from $122,004, not including perks.

The highest administrative salary increase of the nine positions was for Wendy Adair, associate vice president for University Relations.

Adair's position, the job title of which did not change during the nine-year period, jumped 75 percent to $78,778 from $45,000. Adair is currently on temporary assignment with the UH System office as interim vice chancellor for Public Affairs and special assistant to the chancellor.

During the same period, the salary for the position of director of Admissions increased to $62,821 from $54,590, an increase of 15 percent.

The salary of Skip Szilagyi, associate vice president for planning and executive assistant to the president, rose to $104,889 from $89,861 between 1990 and 1994.

The position of director of Registration and Academic Records, held by Mario Lucchesi, rose $12,047 since 1985.

Jowett noted the disparity in salary increases, and said he questions why senior administrators receive large increases and command high salaries while lower-level administrators, like the registrar, receive just token increases.

"Why should a fund-raiser be paid more than twice as much as

the registrar? That, in my mind, is totally wrong," Jowett said. "If you look at where the real problem is, in terms of significance of jobs, in E. Cullen, in offices like the Registrar's Office, salaries are so abysmally low that they're almost embarrassing.

"So you really have to start questioning what kind of salary increases the university is giving to what kind of people. The people who are on the firing line, so to speak, the people who have to deal with the everyday problems, those people are so miserably paid in comparison with those people on the second floor of E. Cullen.

"It indicates what the faculty is concerned about, that the people who are doing the real work in the university, namely the faculty and, to some degree, the people on the first floor of E. Cullen who are doing the registering, the recruiting and the analyzing -- those people are worked to death, and they are paid

nothing," Jowett said.

 

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BREAKING INTO MUSIC BUSINESS OFTEN ENTAILS MIX OF LEARNING, SCHMOOZING, LUCK, ARTIST SAYS

by Mariana Ivanova

News Reporter

Anyone who wants to break into the music business must do three things: constantly improve his or her music abilities, know the right businesspeople and be in the right place at the right time, said Trivia Tuttle, a Houston saxophone and bass player.

Tuttle, 24, studied music in high school, then majored in music and video business. "I believe that to refine your craft -- to make it the best -- you must study it all the time. You must find new techniques and innovations to further your musicianship," Tuttle said.

He describes himself as a professional amateur because at this stage, he has yet to break into the music business. He plays "gigs" at local bars, but he doesn't like to use the word "gig."

"Everybody calls them 'gigs.' I like to call them 'jobs.' I will audition, or (producers) will come to see me. If I get the job, great. If I don't, then I have to move on," Tuttle said.

"I have to do what I have to do -- play the bars and the rat holes. This is only temporary. This is not what I will do for the rest of my life," the musician said.

At times, the music business can become heart-breaking. Once, Tuttle was hired to play keyboard, saxophone and bass at an upscale restaurant at the last minute. Nothing went right: His guitar shorted out, his saxophone reeds were chipped, and he didn't know the music.

Tuttle lost his ability to play for a month. "It would hurt, physically, to play my saxophone. It was very scary," he said. "I had to start from scratch, like a beginner. I had to teach myself to play, and it took me about a month, but thankfully, this music gift is in my spirit."

Zeff Kerry, who was the lead singer in the Bulgarian band Ahat, also had to start from scratch when he came to the United States. He now sings in a Houston band called Scratch.

Kerry, 30, was successful and famous in his country. "It was so much easier there," he said. "We got together with a bunch of friends from the Music Academy, the college I graduated from; we decided to form a band, and the next thing you know, we were on a tour in Holland."

It is easier to break into the music business in a small country, where the competition is not so big and where image, once created, is everything, Kerry said. "Here, I don't know anybody, and no one knows me. I have to struggle like everybody else to create a new image. After that, everything is easy," he said.

 

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AUSTIN-STYLE ROAD BLUES

Brooks ejected as Longhorns blow out Cougars 96-82

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

Not that it hasn't been said before, but in basketball, home court advantage means everything.

Tuesday night, a young Houston team learned that lesson the hard way against the Texas Longhorns, losing head coach Alvin Brooks and the game 96-82 at Austin's Frank Erwin Center.

The wheels came off during a decisive first-half run marked by controversial back-to-back technical fouls on Brooks.

"I was walking away when I found out I had received my second technical," Brooks said. "I was just standing up for my guys. It was a hard-fought game up until that point."

The Longhorns improved to 19-6 (10-3 in the Southwest Conference).

The Cougars, who fell to 8-17 (5-8 in the SWC), beat Texas by nine points in a breakout victory at Hofheinz Pavilion Feb. 1. The month's close again saw them hanging right with the Longhorns, this time at UT's "Drum," where Texas came in undefeated.

Houston was trailing 35-31 with roughly five minutes to go in the first half when point guard Tommie Davis received the ball at midcourt from forward Jessie Drain. Fighting a subsequent double team, Davis moved upcourt, where Texas forward Reggie Freeman tried a flop to draw a foul.

The call, an offensive foul on Davis, brought a screaming Brooks right out to the spot of the foul, a big no-no. He promptly received two technicals for his trouble.

After the second-year coach's initial anger had subsided, he learned he had received not one but two "T"s, thus bringing his automatic ejection, and had his final say with the offending official.

Brooks eventually stormed to the locker room in front of a screaming crowd of 12,109 and an HSE television audience, helped by UH Administrative Assistant Jim Wilson.

Interestingly, Texas head coach Tom Penders had received a technical of his own for precisely the same offense three possessions earlier when his guard Roderick Anderson was whistled for an offensive foul. Why the discrepancy?

"I wanted one," Penders said. "I saw three or four calls that were questionable in a row. Then Jessie Drain threw Roderick and they called traveling.

"After my first technical, I didn't say anything to get another one. As far as what happened to coach Brooks, I don't know."

The officials said they believed Brooks continued onto the court in a "menacing manner," after the first technical foul was called.

The trio of assistants coaches -- Robert Kirby, Ray Harton and Clifton McNeely -- had the UH reins for the rest of the game, but it wasn't an enviable task.

A Houston turnover gave Texas' Sonny Alvarado a transition basket, followed by another Cougars mishap. Freeman then put down consecutive layups, the first a 360-degree crowd-pleaser in transition, to complete the mess he started with the flop.

Thus, rather easily, a four-point game had become a 16-point blowout.

For the game, the Longhorns forced 27 Cougars turnovers with their patented press. The Longhorns scored 38 points off the turnovers, and their bench outscored Houston's 40-9.

Tim Moore led Houston with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

 

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LADY COUGARS NEED A WIN IN AUSTIN TONIGHT TO HAVE CHANCE AT THIRD PLACE

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

There is still hope.

But Jessie Kenlaw is not smiling. Concerned is the best way to describe her at this point.

In just one week's time, the Houston Lady Cougars head coach has witnessed her team fall from possible NCAA Tournament at-large contender to probably needing to win next week's Southwest Conference Postseason Classic in Dallas in order to get in.

The Cougars' quest for rejuvenation begins tonight in Austin when Houston (13-12, 7-6 in the SWC) tangles with Texas (10-14, 6-6) at 7 in the Frank Erwin Center.

The Cougars need to win tonight if they hope to possibly secure the conference's No. 3 seed in the Dallas tournament.

Southern Methodist (17-8, 7-5) hosts Texas A&M (17-7, 8-4) tonight in Dallas. A Lady Mustangs loss coupled with a Houston victory will put the Cougars in third place.

"I think we'll be very fortunate to have that happen," Kenlaw said. "I mean, how many chances are we going to get?"

During a two-game skid last week, Houston failed to keep hold of a tie for second place or sole possession of third with losses to Baylor (93-77) and SMU (106-88).

The Lady Longhorns' problems this season give Houston reason to hope, however.

With just two games left in its season, Texas is guaranteed to finish under .500 for the first time in school history as the 1995 season has been everything short of spectacular for legendary head coach Jody Conradt.

"We are probably one of two teams in the conference with the most question marks," Conradt said. "Houston is the other."

"Both teams are capable of playing as well as anyone in the conference, but we have both won big games and lost big games."

Guard Nekeshia Henderson has managed to pick up the slack in the Longhorns backcourt, which has been left a little vacant because sophomore guard Danielle Viglione has been out of the UT lineup since Jan. 14 with a right ankle injury.

Since coming back from a thigh injury of her own, Henderson has averaged 17.5 points per game.

"She is just playing awesome," Kenlaw said of Henderson, who has scored at least 24 points in her last five outings. "If we are to be in any kind of position to win, we are going to have to contain her."

Thus, a key matchup, Kenlaw said, is going to be between Henderson and Cougars star guard Stacey Johnson.

Johnson, who averages an SWC-leading 21.8 points per game, scored a career-high 37 points with a game-high six steals when the two met the first time this season, Feb. 2 in Hofheinz Pavilion.

Houston's 82-67 decision was just its second victory ever in the 52-game series. However, the Cougars are 0-18 all-time at the Erwin Center.

"Texas is probably anticipating about 8,000 fans (tonight)," Kenlaw said. "But we are going to have to pretend like those 8,000 are cheering for us."

 

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TIP-TOE THROUGH THE TULIPS AT THE AZALEA TRAIL

by Jessica Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Flowers, flowers, and more flowers. No, this is not Fannin's Flower Alley, nor is it Valentine's Day.

Take a tour through River Oaks and find yourself on a spring stroll through the 60th annual Azalea Trail the weekends of March 4-5 and 11-12.

The River Oaks Garden Club is sponsoring the event, which includes a tour through eight locations.

The tour includes the house and 14-acre gardens of Bayou Bend, the former home of philanthropist Miss Ima Hogg. It is now the home of the American decorative arts collection of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. Bayou Bend has been a part of the tour since 1935.

The historic River Oaks Garden Club Forum of Civics joined the Azalea Trail in 1948 when, in its first exhibition, garden club members displayed their own flower arrangements.

"Taking the tour is a way to enjoy a peaceful respite to the busy life we all lead," Allyson Cook, River Oaks Garden Club public relations director said.

In celebration of the trail's 60th anniversary, garden club members will again display their own arrangements at the Forum.

Additionally, gardening experts from leading Houston area nurseries will informally address questions on topics ranging from azaleas to Texas wildflowers.

The private homes and gardens on the '95 trail represent a 60-year span of architectural and garden design.

The Mellinger home, which appeared on the first tour, was designed by leading Houston architect John Staub in 1930.

In contrast, the home and garden at 3419 Wickersham, designed and built in 1991, reflects the American lifestyle of the 1990's. Built of stucco, its large open kitchen with adjoining family room and its lovely-smelling garden are representative of many new homes currently being built in Houston.

Courtesy of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Azalea Trail ticket-holders will have the opportunity to win a free trip for two to Holland, "the land of flowers, canals and windmills."

Funds raised by the non-profit River Oaks Garden Club through the Azalea Trail benefit civic beautification, conservation and horticultural efforts in the Houston community.

The oldest home and garden tour in Houston, the Azalea Trail is an outgrowth of the garden club's annual garden contests held in the early 1930's to stimulate interest in garden design.

The Azalea Trail began in April 1935 as the "Spring Flower Garden Pilgrimage". Twelve private gardens in River Oaks were opened to the public for 25 cents each or $1 for all 12.

Bayou Bend and the John Sweeney Mellinger gardens, both on this year's Trail, were a part of the original tour.

Proceeds from the Pilgrimage were used to begin landscaping and to maintain the grounds at River Oaks Elementary School.

In 1936, the first official "Azalea Trail" was held in March to highlight the azaleas at the height of their bloom. Three thousand people from seven states registered their attendance at the gates.

The tour opens Saturday when Mayor and Mrs. Bob Lanier will be honored guests at the ribbon-cutting ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. at the Bayou Bend estate.

The public is invited to attend.

River Oaks Garden Club president Jean Peddie and 1995 Azalea Trail co-chairwomen Lynne Campbell and Nancy Epley will present the Laniers two azaleas as a symbol of the garden club's gift to the city of sixty azalea bushes.

The ceremony will take place Thursday at the Mayor's Proclamation Room in the City Hall Annex.

The presentation is a re-enactment of a March 1938 event.

Mayor Lanier has proclaimed March as "Azalea Trail Month" in Houston.

Tickets are $15 for eight admissions (for the eight stops of the tour). Advance tickets are $12 before Saturday. Children under 12 are admitted free.

Tickets are available at many locations including all Randall's food markets, all Cornelius Nurseries, the Museum of Fine Arts and River Oaks Plant House.

For more information call the River Oaks Garden Club at 523-2483.

 

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LET'S GO SURFIN' NOW, EVERYBODY'S LEARNIN' CDNOW!

by Valerie C. Fouche

Daily Cougar Staff

Too busy surfing the Net to actually get out of the house and buy new music? Tired of playing the Columbia home shopping game? Netkids, here is your dream come true -- CDnow!

CDnow! is the latest new fad offered on the internet. And from recent sales, it is destined to become a big hit.

CDnow!, The Internet Music Store, is out to make its customers' lives easier by offering the largest selection of immediately available CDs, mini-discs and cassettes in the world.

CDnow! also offers its customers a free on-line magazine rack featuring publications that cover what's happening in all categories of music, including rock, classical and jazz.

Unbelievably, CDnow! is the only retailer on the Internet to provide this service. And in its short history -- the store first "opened its doors" on August 1, 1994 -- CDnow! has become one of the most popular sites on the Internet. It is recognized by customers for its comprehensive music collection and excellent service.

However, unlike many other stores that have popped up on the Net recently, CDnow! is much more than your ordinary electronic catalog service. CDnow! has truly taken advantage of the internet's power by providing customers with encyclopedias of information at their fingertips.

With its collection of reviews, bios, tracklists, ratings and genre categories, CDnow! is the world's largest publicly accessible music information repository. Visiting CDnow! has been coined "edutainment" or "more than just a shopping trip" by its co-founders, twin brothers Jason and Matthew Olim.

"Our goal is to fulfill all of the music needs of our customers," Jason Olim said. "We want CDnow! to provide one-stop shopping for everyone who visits the store. The electronic magazine rack takes us one step closer toward accomplishing this goal."

With the exception of its unique location, CDnow! operates much like any other retail store. However, customers don't have to worry about parking -- all they have to do is log onto the Internet, key in CDnow!'s electronic address and shop till they drop.

With well over 140,000 imported and domestic titles available (about 10 times the selection of the average record store), CDnow!, with its network of distributors, is able to get most orders in the mail within 24 hours.

Like visitors at a record store, many customers who drop by CDnow! do so just to browse. Simply by typing in the name of an artist -- or even a portion of a song title -- a user can review a complete list of songs and recordings by that particular artist.

"Since we never have to worry about shoplifting, we invite our customers to browse for hours on end," Jason said. "It gives us great pleasure to see our customers taking advantage of the vast amounts of information we've made available on-line. After all, that's what makes CDnow! so special."

Once a customer makes a selection, it is placed in a "shopping cart" where it remains while the customer views other titles. When customers wish to exit the store, they can either pay a visit to the automated cashier or leave their selections in the shopping cart to buy another day. Purchases may be made electronically by credit card or check.

CDnow! even offers special encryption software at no extra charge that assures customers that their credit card numbers are secure when making purchases on-line. Once a purchase is made, customers can expect to receive their selections within three to six business days.

CDnow! claims that a quarter of its business is international, with customers visiting from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Italy, England, Germany and Israel.

"It's still cheaper for many international customers to purchase American music from CDnow! than it is for them to buy it in their own country," Jason said.

If you're itchin' to get on the internet tonight and check out CDnow!, there are several ways for going about it. To directly access telnet, the text version of CDnow!, type "telnet cdnow.com."

For those with graphic capability, enter through the World Wide Web, key in the Uniform Resource Locator "http://cdnow.com," into Mosaic, Lynx, Netscape or other http compatible browser on a Mac, PC or a UNIX operating system computer.

 

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UH SCHOOL OF THEATRE PRODUCTION <I>CONQUERS<P>

by Eric James

Daily Cougar Staff

The UH Theatre Department, opened its production of the 18th century play <I>She Stoops to Conquer<P> last weekend. The play was written by Oliver Goldsmith and the production could easily compete with any piece put on by other professional theaters. The play is astounding.

The play opens with Mr. Hardcastle (Anthony Hubert) addressing the audience in a hilarious soliloquy. The play never loses that sense of humor and continues to build strongly throughout the running time.

The plot is simple. Mr. Hardcastle has arranged for his daughter Kate (Roxanne Raja) to marry a young man by the name of Marlow (Darrell Womack). While Marlow and his friend Hastings (Ilich Guardiola) are traveling to the Hardcastle house, they run into the Hardcastle's mischievous son, Tony Lumpkin (Noel Bowers). Tony tells the two travelers that they have gone in the wrong direction and that they are far from the Hardcastle household. He tells the two to stay at the finest hotel around, which happens to be the Hardcastle household.

The two travelers treat Mr. Harcastle with cruelty and indifference, the way they would an innkeeper. Mr. Hardcastle also has a deal with his beautiful daughter that she may dress in fine clothes during the day, but must dress in plain clothes at night. Marlow then mistakes Miss Hardcastle for a barmaid, and hits on her unknowing that she is the woman he is supposed to marry.

Another wonderful subplot is that Mrs. Hardcastle, played marvelously by Amanda Henkel, tries to force her son Tony to marry her niece, Constance Neville (Courtney Lomelo). Con (as they lovingly call her), however, is in love with Hastings. Tony, who hates his cousin, tries his best to allow Hastings and Con to escape together.

At the same time, Kate plans to continue deceiving Marlow in hopes of forcing his true nature to shine through.

The first time Marlow and Kate speak when Kate is out of disguise is absolutely marvelous. Marlow is wonderfully inarticulate and Kate smoothly completes all his answers when the words escape him. The scene is beautifully executed.

The scenes between Con and Tony are also absolutely hilarious. The way they slyly condescend to one another behind mom's back is brilliant.

Anthony Hubert is nothing short of amazing as Mr. Hardcastle. His performance is unwavering. One really feels badly for him as the two guests treat him ever so cruelly.

Raja and Lomelo are beautiful in their roles. Raja has the slyness and wit of Kate down and Lomelo is always convincing as the voice of reason throughout the play.

Womack and Guardiolo are amazingly dashing as Marlow and Hastings. Womack is a genius at comedy, and his facial expressions alone make the performance. Guardiolo has a commanding voice and his execution of his role is equally impressive.

Noel Bowers shines as the annoying runt, Tony Lumpkin. His performance could have easily gone too far, but he plays his role perfectly and allows the audience to experience emotion with him rather than to simply despise him.

Everyone in the cast does a fine acting job. The servants-- played by Dennis Draper, Mike Rice, Markus Langhans and Lauren Woody -- take full advantage of their stage time. Their performances are as delightful as the rest of the cast.

The true standout, however, is Amanda Henkel as the empty-headed Mrs. Hardcastle. She tries so hard to come across as grand and noble, but she only succeeds in becoming stiff and silly. She is wonderful. Her voice has a fake grandness about it and her movements are so forced as she tries to succeed as something she's not. Bravo! to Ms. Henkel. Every time she rolled her r's and said someone's name, the audience died laughing.

Despite the magnificent acting in this production, the most awe-inspiring aspects of the play are the sets and the costumes.

John Gow designed the sets, which merited applause by themselves. The sets are beautiful and extravagant, and they move! The sets wheel off and on the stage, turn around, and fly up into the flyspace. They are amazing. Lauren Woody is charming during stage changes and entertains the audience beyond the marvel of the sets.

Topping all, however, are the costumes, designed by Claremarie Verheyen. The play is done in 18th century style, and the costumes are gorgeous. Vibrant and flowing, the costumes perfectly accentuate the action on the stage. Verheyen created a masterpiece with her work. She has everything figured out down to the the most miniscule detail. Even the beauty mark on Con's breast moves periodically from scene to scene.

Director Mark Olsen deserves high merit for his work on this piece. The play never drags in a period piece that could easily become tiresome. His execution of the comedy in the play clearly displays his knowledge of the period and the play. I only wish the audience could comprehend the comedy more than they did. It was a hysterical play. The portrait stances at the end were brilliant, too.

<I>She Stoops to Conquer<P> expresses a lesson that should be followed even today. The worth of a person should not be based on their status and nobility, but on character. The comedy and fine performances in the production only add to the enjoyment of learning this lesson.

Oliver Goldsmith's <I>She Stoops to Conquer<P> plays Friday thru Sunday in the Lyndel Finley Wortham Theatre. For more information call 743-2929. Tickets with a student I.D. are $6.

Do yourself a favor and go to experience this charming and witty play.

 

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DES'REE'S MESSAGE A LITTLE TOO SWEET

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

Music with a message can be an extremely delicate matter. An artist can either end up with a deeply thought-provoking song or sound as if they are preaching to music. <I>I Ain't Movin'<P>, the debut album from Des'ree, lands somewhere in the middle.

The first single, "You Gotta Be," is a smooth groove that is easily one of the catchiest songs of the past year. It says to face life without fear and know that love will help you through it all. Des'ree's velvety voice is as cool as a fall breeze.

The next couple of tracks on the album are also pleasant. "Crazy Maze" and "Feel so High" are extremely listenable and also deal with life and love. Des'ree's voice is reminiscent of Anita Baker on these songs.

Unfortunately, the rest of the album is virtually smothered in even more sweet philosophies dealing with the trials of life. "Little Child" falls curiously flat as a piece dedicated to the poor children of the world. The lyrics, by Des'ree and Ashley Ingram, are in conflict with the musical arrangement, which has a bit of a Latin flavor.

"Herald the Day" and "Living in the City" also suffer from what can now be seen as blind optimism. Lush guitar riffs by T-Bone Walk help, but the endless calls for happiness and order in the world get tiresome. Perhaps a small dose of reality would breathe some life into these songs.

A welcome change from all this social consciousness is "I Ain't Movin'," the album's title track. A beautiful string arrangement by Ingram complements Des'ree's vocals and helps the song soar. Love yourself -- that is the only message.

By the album's end one may be so tired of all this awareness that a simple love song would be heaven. Music with a message can be helpful, but an avalanche of songs dealing with life's great questions can get boring very quickly.

This is even more unfortunate because there are songs on this album that actually work quite well. The overload of deep thoughts on the disc only serves to diminish the impact of the entire album, unless complex contemplation is something done on a regular basis while listening to music.

While there is no denying Des'ree's talent, perhaps next time more emphasis should be placed on enjoyment rather that enlightenment. This is not a bad album, but the casual listener may not be interested in a parade of socially-conscious tracks. Music is often thought-provoking, but it should always be fun.

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