Monday, November 29, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 68

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About the Cougar

New regents set to improve UH System

By Miriam A. Garcia
Daily Cougar Staff

The three newly appointed UH System regents said they are ready to take on the challenges of the System -- particularly finding ways to enhance UH's image and continue the progress the System has made recently.

Morrie K. Abramson, Morgan Dunn O'Connor and Thad "Bo" Smith were appointed to the board last week by Gov. George W. Bush. Abramson and O'Connor are new to the board, while Smith was appointed to a second term.

The regents are responsible for overseeing all four UH System institutions and considering major issues like tuition increasement and budget approval.

Smith, a UH alumnus, is well-acquainted with the University. He has served as a regent for six years and was named a UH College of Business Administration Distinguished Alumnus in 1993.

During his previous term on the board, Smith said he witnessed many positive changes in the UH System, but he said he was particularly pleased with the funding the System received from the 76th Texas Legislature. That session awarded UH the largest amount of special-items funding and the largest general funding increase of any Texas public university.

"The fact that we received the warm welcome and support speaks well of our system," Smith said.

However, he said there is more to build on, citing as an example the advertising campaign that will enhance the image of the UH System.

"It is a campaign to let a larger audience know what we have going in the system," Smith said. "I think UH is one of the greatest-kept secrets in the state."

Although Abramson and O'Connor are new to the board, they are also familiar with the System. Abramson, a UH alumnus, serves on the UH CBA's Advisory Board and received a distinguished Alumnus Award in 1998.

He said he would like to help UH achieve significant growth at all levels by recruiting outstanding students and professors.

"My priority is understanding our present position so that I can help develop the strategy that will take the University to the next level," Abramson said.

O'Connor, a member of the UH-Victoria President's Advisory Council and the school's Institutional Resource Committee, said she is excited to serve on the board.

"I believe the UH system is moving straight upward," O'Connor said. Although she said it is too early to discuss specific changes she would like to see in the System, O'Connor said improvements can always be made in the fields of recruiting and retaining students.

All three new appointees will serve on the board until Aug. 31, 2005.

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