Monday, August 27, 2001 Volume 66, Issue 4



UH performance report states ranking for 2000-2001

Cougar News Services

The University recently released its "Performance Indicators Report" for the 2000-2001 academic year. The report states the objectives of
the University and its rankings among similar institutions across the nation among a host of different criteria.

Among those 16 "peer institutions" are Arizona State University, Georgia State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the
University of Pittsburgh, the University of South Florida and the University of Utah.

The report was presented at a meeting earlier this month of the UH System Board of Regents.

"As its primary goal, the University of Houston is dedicated to becoming a nationally recognized institution in the 21st century," the report

"It will use its resources to: meet the challenges of educating a dynamic mix of non-traditional and traditional students; promote excellence
within the context of basic and applied research and scholarship; (and) identify and respond to the economic, social and cultural
challenges affecting the quality of life in Houston, the State of Texas and the world through its education, research and service," it

According to the report, UH has a three-fold mission statement, which is to:

- "Provide a range of educational programs that fosters an intellectually and culturally diverse environment that enhances individual
growth and development."

- "Create, discover, disseminate and preserve knowledge and understanding by engaging in basic and applied research, scholarly and
artistic activities that benefit students, scholars, and external constituencies."

-"Serve as a major resource for local, state, national and global communities by applying scholarly analysis and experience to community
problems. Recognize (UH's) special responsibility to the Houston metropolitan area by making the knowledge base and other resources of
the institution readily accessible to its citizens."

Among the University's other goals is working "to ensure that members of the diverse communities it serves have access to the full range of
educational opportunities it provides."

The report states that "since Houston is one of the most globally oriented cities in the country, it is both natural and important (that UH
provides) international education and research opportunities to its students and faculty, and that it addresses the needs of its partners

The report measures UH's performance in 11 separate indicators, including enrollment, student diversity, retention of freshmen after one
academic year and the percentage of freshmen who graduate within six years.

In 2000-01, UH's total enrollment by headcount was 32,123 students, 528 less than the previous year. Students enrolled in a total of
353,130 semester credit hours (the primary driver of state formula funding), 667 less than in 1999-2000. Among the peer institutions, UH
ranks third behind Arizona State and the University of South Florida.

"In general, student headcount at (UH) has increased over the past five years, though there was a slight decline in total headcount this
year (1.6 percent)," the report reads. "To maintain and increase our undergraduate headcount, (UH) is focusing on increasing
undergraduate scholarships and expanding student retention programs such as the Scholars' Community."

The University is also increasing the number of undergraduate course sections available in such high-demand areas as English and
math, the report states.

On the other hand, the total graduate student headcount in 2000-01 declined by almost 4 percent from the previous year, due to a
decrease in master's degree students of 8 percent (while doctoral and professional student headcounts both increased slightly). According
to the report, UH is addressing this problem by expanding financial support for graduate students.

UH ranked first among the peer institutions in student diversity, the measure of minority enrollment, with 48.2 percent of its student body
made up of blacks, Asian-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans in 2000-01, a 1.7 percent increase from the previous year.

In 2000-01, UH had 4,261 black students (or 13.3 percent of the student body), 5,693 Asian-Americans (17.7 percent), 5,376 Hispanics
(16.7 percent) and 155 Native Americans.

In the same year, UH had a first-time-in-college freshman retention rate of 77.6 percent, 1 percent more than the previous year and the
highest in the past five years. The rate has increased for all ethnic minority groups, which the report attributes to such academic-support
programs as the Honors College, the Scholars' Community, Learning Support Services and increased scholarship availability. UH ranked
third in this criteria among its peers, behind the University of Pittsburgh and the University of South Carolina at Columbia.

The percentage of UH freshmen who graduate within six years is currently 34.9 percent, roughly the same as last year. UH ranks 11th in
this criteria.

"With the University's commitment to investing in increased student scholarships and continued support of retention programs, it is our
expectation that we will see higher graduation rates in the coming years," the report states.

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