REGENTS NAME SYSTEM REVIEW PANEL

by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

The University of Houston System Board of Regents announced Thursday the names of the three-member panel that will conduct the organizational review of the UH System.

Heading the panel is Bryce Jordan, president-emeritus of Pennsylvania State University. Jordan will be joined on the review board by Robben Wright Fleming, president-emeritus of the University of Michigan, and E.K. Fretwell Jr., chancellor-emeritus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

UH Board of Regents Chairwoman Wilhelmina R. "Beth" Morian said, "As I reported at the February board meeting, the regents will utilize an outside panel of higher education leaders and policy-makers who are former presidents/chancellors/System administrators of nationally recognized multi-university systems to conduct an organizational review of the University of Houston System."

Morian said the panel will be asked to evaluate ways of structuring the UH System to maximize its effectiveness in meeting the educational, research and service needs of the Houston area and the state of Texas.

The panel will also look for ways to improve the System's efficiency in delivering primary mission services and support functions.

The review was prompted by intense criticism of the UH System over the past year by faculty, staff and students. The complaints range from duplication of services between the System and the four campuses to favoritism of the satellite campuses over the main campus, which has approximately 80 percent of the System enrollment.

The Board of Regents selected Jordan to be the panel convener. According to Morian, Jordan worked with the board's task force to identify the other panel members and to develop the group's critical tasks.

Jordan served on similar panels evaluating the University of Nebraska, Arizona State University and University of North Carolina Systems. He also directed a special study of the UT System in 1975-76.

Fleming, the second member of the panel, was president of the University of Michigan for 11 years between 1968 and 1979. He also held that position in 1988.

Fleming served as chairman of the New York Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduate Education and served on the North Carolina Committee to review all North Carolina public universities.

Fretwell, the final member of the review board, was interim president of the University of Massachusetts System from 1991 to 1992. He was previously the chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for 10 years and president of State University of New York College at Buffalo for 11 years.

According to a news release from Morian, the newly formed panel has received all of the information gathered through the regents' task force's open meeting sessions over the past few months.

The panel will conduct interviews at each of the UH System universities between April 10 and 12.

Morian added, "Dr. Jordan is working with the board to determine the individuals and groups with whom they would like to speak. The Regents' Office will make those arrangements as soon as the list is completed. If you are contacted, I hope you will work with us to arrange your schedule to meet with the panel."

Morian said the review will focus on the current organizational structure and management processes of the UH System.

She added that the panel will suggest possible changes that might improve the efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness and balance among the components of the UH System.

 

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PICKERING TO SPEAK ON LEGISLATURE

by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

UH faculty, staff and students will have an opportunity to hear an update on the current session of the Texas Legislature from President James H. Pickering, who will speak in Farish Hall's Kiva Room Thursday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Joining Pickering at the meeting will be UH System Vice Chancellor Grover Campbell, who has been the university's point man in Austin during this year's legislative session.

According to a memorandum to UH faculty and staff from Pickering, there will be a question-and-answer session following the meeting to discuss topics of concern related to legislative matters.

Pickering said, "As we move through this critical period in the legislative session, I want to continue to communicate to all members of the campus community -- faculty, staff, students and alumni -- the university's status regarding legislative activities.

"At this update, I will share with you information on the legislative actions which have occurred in Austin during the first half of the session, as well as explain how these items will affect our agenda for the remainder of the session."

For more information, call the Office of University Relations at 743-8190.

 

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NO. 7 TECH TARGETS NO. 40, NCAA BERTH

by M. S. Ameen

Daily Cougar Staff

With another possible 40-win season in reach, it appears the No. 7 Texas Tech baseball team will once again challenge perennial powerhouse Texas for diamond domination in the Southwest Conference.

In last season's SWC tournament championship game on May 15, Texas, winners of a league-record 21 SWC titles, outlasted the Red Raiders 4-3 in 12-innings.

Ironically, Tech (28-4, 3-1 in the SWC) began their 1995 conference schedule by beating the No. 10 Longhorns (30-7, 4-3) 4-3 in a game at the SWC First Pitch Tournament in Houston's new Cougar Field on March 16.

And the Red Raiders will again meet their nemesis for a two-game series in Austin on April 14 and 15. Tech head coach Larry Hays said he hopes his team can repeat its earlier performance.

"I think you have to feel like Texas is the top team because they've got two strong pitchers returning," he said.

With Texas and No. 16 Rice, Hays said he sees excellent competition in the conference this season.

"Any time you can play more games against quality teams like we have in the league, it's got to help you in the ratings (for NCAA playoff berths)," he said.

Despite winning ways in the 1993 and 1994 SWC Tournament, fourth and second place respectively, the NCAA has failed to recognize the Raiders' hard work by forgetting to invite them to the NCAA Tournament in each of the past two seasons.

But 1994 All SWC players Brandon Welch (right field) and Jason Totman (second base) join fellow returning starters Clint Bryant (third base) and Randy DuRoss (first base) to make sure that invitation does not get lost in the mail again this season.

Totman (.467 avg.), DuRoss (.426 avg.) and Bryant (.407 avg.) also supply solid infield defense to complement their offensive abilities.

Hays is also looking for returning pitcher Travis Smith (RH, 4-2, 2.43 ERA) to help provide strength on the mound.

"Pitching will be a big factor, but it always is," Hays said.

 

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UH RELIEVERS TO START DH TODAY

 

The Houston Cougars baseball team is scheduled to play a doubleheader vs. the Southwest Texas State Bobcats beginning at 5 p.m. today at the new Cougar Field.

Houston (14-16) is coming off a three-game series in which it was swept by Texas in Austin's Disch-Falk Field last weekend.

Junior righthanded pitcher Chad Poeck (2-1, 5.00 ERA) will take the mound for the Cougars in the first game while senior righty and starting outfielder Jason Farrow (2-3, 2.86) will pitch the second contest.

Poeck will be making only his first start of the season, while Farrow has started just one other game this year.

However, in relief work, both have been reasonably sharp. In 27 innings this season, Poeck has 24 strikeouts, while Farrow has fanned 21 batters in 22 frames of work.

The Bobcats (18-14) are led by outfielder Noel Zepeda (.336 avg., 13 doubles) and catcher Bryan Broussard (.333 avg., 25 RBIs).

--Jason Paul Ramirez

 

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A&M PRESEASON RANKING GONE, BUT COACH STILL HOPEFUL

AGGIES RELYING ON RECRUITS, RETURNEES

by Jeff Holderfield

Daily Cougar Staff

Texas A&M started the 1995 season with a No. 23 preseason ranking in the Baseball America national poll -- its lowest preseason ranking since 1987 -- and hopes for a SWC championship.

But the Aggies' dreams have quickly disappeared.

Aggies head coach Mark Johnson did some serious recruiting after last season's 31-22 record and 6-12 fifth-place finish in the SWC, bringing the Aggies 10 transfer students and eight freshmen.

"We're not going to dominate teams," Johnson said. "We have to have all facets of our game working.

"I believe this group will scrap, and I like that in a personality."

But the Aggies own a record of 17-13-1 and are 3-4 in the SWC, which has them tied for fifth place in conference play.

Thus, A&M is not where it was two months ago.

The SWC championship is still a possibility, but the national ranking is gone.

Texas A&M has a total of 18 returning lettermen, with seven being starters.

Returning for the Aggies is All-SWC shortstop Robert Harris, whose .232 average, however, is down from last year's .337 with seven home runs and 41 RBIs.

"We're very fortunate to have Harris return for his senior season," Johnson said. "He's a blue-chip type of player, but he's a scrapper and my type of guy."

Another returning standout is righthanded pitcher Ryan Rupe, who was 5-0 in 10 starts last season, with a 3.27 ERA.

"Rupe performed well last spring as a true freshman and was pretty impressive," Johnson said. "I look for him to continue to improve."

A&M centerfielder Chad Alexander returns for his junior year after hitting .306 with 17 RBIs in 1994. Alexander is currently batting .373 with four homers and 25 knocked in this season.

"Alexander played well in center field for us last season, and he fell just short of hitting .400 in the Alaska League this summer," Johnson said. "He is a very talented young man."

 

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URBAN DANCE SQUAD TAKES ON NEW <I>PERSONA<P>

by James V. Geluso

Daily Cougar Staff

From the opening crunch of the guitar, it's easy to tell in what direction Urban Dance Squad is going.

Its latest album, <I>Persona Non Grata<P>, follows closely on the musical heels of its last release, but shows off improved playing by guitarist Tres Manos and bassist Sil.

DNA, the mixmaster for the last two albums, is no longer with the group, and his absence is obvious from the reduced use of samples. The songs benefit from this, with a greater presence for the guitar and bass, but the album suffers. Where DNA's mixing once gave each song its own distinct sound, the songs on <I>Persona Non Grata<P> blend together in the mind of the listener, and the songs seem to lack the diversity that made UDS a worthwhile listen.

Urban Dance Squad hit the scene with its 1989 album <I>Mental Floss for the Globe<P>, which featured 13 completely different songs. The aptly titled opening track, "Fast Lane," made it into the movie <I>Pump Up the Volume<P> (but not onto the soundtrack album) while the mellow, funky "Deeper Shade of Soul" was seen briefly on MTV.

The band's 1991 follow-up, <I>Life 'n' Perspectives of a Genuine Crossover<P>, made less of a splash as the songs became homogenized. While <I>Life<P> provided a definite UDS sound, it was less exciting to listen to than the wildly differing tracks of <I>Mental Floss<P>.

<I>Persona Non Grata<P> follows in <I>Life<P>'s footsteps, but with better playing. Rapper/singer Rudeboy keeps up the speed, slowing down only for "Alienated," the obligatory complaint about how his music is marginalized because it doesn't match the stereotype of what a black musician should be playing. Mercifully, he doesn't try anything like "Careless," the ballad on <I>Life<P> that stuck out in a way that made the listener cringe.

Rudeboy sticks to his social commentary from the opening track, "Demagogue," through most of the album. His lyrics are mostly straightforward, and his rapping/singing is clear enough to understand. There are no surprises here.

There's really nothing wrong with <I>Persona Non Grata<P>. The lyrics are fine, and the playing is a step up from the previous albums. But without a track to catch the ear like "Duck Ska" from <I>Life<P>, or just about anything from <I>Mental Floss<P>, it's a step down for the UDS fan.

 

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EX-PSYCHEDELIC FURS MEMBER IN LOVE

by Deanna Koshkin

Daily Cougar Staff

Love Spit Love, formed by Richard Butler, formerly of The Psychedelic Furs, has just released its self-titled debut album. This 12-track release is brimming with fresh ideas, versatility and strong musical talent.

This band began in 1991 when Butler, tired of the predictability and preset expectations of The Psychedelic Furs, decided to free himself and start his own band. He decided to set about building a new platform for his musical and lyrical visions.

The first member he recruited was guitarist Richard Fortus, who had impressed Butler while opening for The Furs with his former band, Pale Divine. By the time Butler and Fortus met up with their new drummer, Frank Ferrer, they felt so inspired, they convinced Richard Butler's brother, Tim, to fill in on bass and record the initial album with them to avoid further delays.

The four of them met up with producer Dave Jerden, who was just as excited about the prospect of recording Butler's new sound for Love Spit Love. Jerden's claim to fame has been producing great bands like Alice In Chains and Jane's Addiction.

Love Spit Love's new album includes strong songs like "Seventeen," "Superman," "Jigsaw" and "Am I Wrong?" though there is not a single song on this album that is not worthy of attention. Each and every song is fresh and invigorating. The band's style presents itself through acoustic melodies and driving rock anthems.

Though it is not The Furs, the vocal influence is very similar, yet it is used in a different context. The band really holds its own in showing us a new side of Butler that was not readily apparent in The Furs. With its unmistakable vocals and innovative new sound, it is sure to be heard.

Butler says he is at the peak of his recording career, adding, "I thought The Furs were a great band for its time, but I wanted to work with new people to create a new sound and get the spark of surprise back into my songwriting. With The Furs, it got to the stage that I would know how a record was going to sound before we started it."

The new Love Spit Love album has just been released and should be purchased immediately. The group plans to tour this fall, so be on the lookout for it because it's definitely a band that should not be missed.

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