Tuesday, March 12, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 106



Final SFAC report submitted for approval

By Ed De La Garza
Daily Cougar Staff

After a brief delay, the Student Fees Advisory Committee report was released today and sent to UH President Arthur K. Smith and Vice President for Student Affairs Elwyn C. Lee. If approved by Smith and Lee, the committee's recommendations will be sent to the Board of Regents.

The Athletics Department, which had been the focus of some concern from the committee, was granted $3,091,678 as a base allocation for fiscal year 2002-03. It
received $2,996,052 as a base last year. While it will continue to receive 35 percent of the total student service fees, the report, signed by all nine voting members,
offered some criticism of a department with a deficit rumored to be between $7 million and $9 million.

"We would like to see the breakdown of each sport (the GPAs, graduation rate and the amount of funding each sport receives)," the report states. "The committee
would like to see what steps are being taken to reduce the amount of money spent in this department."

The committee also expressed concern about the lack of student participation and cited Athletics' own report that on average, less than 5 percent of the student body
attended football games during Fall 2001.

Senior Associate Athletics Director Larry Leckonby gave the department's presentation to the committee Feb. 18, but in its report, SFAC said it would have been more
helpful if Athletics Director Dave Maggard had shown up.

The Student Government Association, which was put on a one-time allocation basis by the previous SFAC, had its base funding restored. It received $96,500, plus
$20,000 as a one-time allocation for the next fiscal year. The committee also approved $23,200 of the $25,000 it requested in immediate funds.

SGA made its request because it said that, following an election and inauguration, the next administration would be left with only $400 until Sept. 1. Of that $23,200,
"$20,000 will not be put into the account until the 39th administration has taken office," the report states.

While the $96,500 in base funding was almost 39 percent less than the $157,797 the organization requested, the committee agreed to restore its base funding
because it said "SGA is an essential part of student life." But it also said any additional requests could not be granted "until SGA proves (it is) more financially

SFAC also recommended restoring the Student Program Board's base funding. It will receive $93,670 as its base and $99,764 as a one-time allocation. The combined
total is almost $4,000 less than the $197,054 it received as a one-time allocation last year. But it will also receive $23,500 as a one-time allocation for use in the current
fiscal year. The committee also requested SPB "look into a student-run radio network."

In total, 33 departments and organizations vied for $10,055,331 in student fees. Only Forensics, which did not make a presentation, was not granted any money.

While SFAC's report commended organizations for their work during the flood, it stated it "had concerns with the accuracy of the budget reports."

"In general, the committee was pleased with units that responded to the issues that were raised in last year's report," said William Munson, assistant vice president for
student development and dean of students. Munson is an ex-officio member of the committee.

There is no timetable for Smith and Lee to approve the recommendations, but last year's recommendations, which were released March 26, 2001, were approved by
April 2.

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