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Volume 68, Issue 1, Monday, August 26, 2002

News
 

FY '03 budget approved by UHS Board of Regents

By Christian Schmidt
The Daily Cougar

The UH System budget for 2003 and a joint venture with the University of Texas System were approved at this month's Board of Regents
meeting, but the biggest story was the naming of the first black dean in UH history.

Sunny E. Ohia was approved for the position of dean of the UH College of Pharmacy. Ohia is a native of Nigeria, and is coming to UH after
serving as associate dean for the Creighton University School of Pharmacy in Omaha, Neb.

"Dr. Ohia will bring additional international scope to our pharmacy college offerings, as well as a wealth of experience in the interaction between
the worlds of academic research and medical practice," said Edward P. Sheridan, senior vice president and provost.

The hiring of Ohia marks a step forward for the UH system.

The budget for Fiscal Year 2003 of $834 million was approved. The budget marks a 3.5 percent increase from last year's budget of $805 million.

"This budget will allow the University of Houston to continue building upon our successes and move us closer to our Tier I goal of excellence in
all aspects of our mission," UH System Chancellor and UH President Arthur K. Smith said at the Aug. 15 meeting.

The board also approved the "Closing the Gap" program. The UH/UT Systems Alliance for Education Progress will help disadvantaged students
throughout Texas.

The alliance will improve high school curricula, teacher training and professional development in public schools.

"Pooling resources, working together to build a stronger educational system will demonstrate to Texans and to people across the country that
we are serious about 'Closing the Gaps' in providing quality educational opportunities to everyone," UH System Board Chairman Morrie
Abramson.

The joint endeavor was made in the hope that combining the forces of the two systems will increase positive results.

The board also elected new officers for the 2002-'03 school year. Gene McDavid, retired president of the Houston Chronicle, will serve as
chairman of the board. McDavid replaces Abramson, who served one year in the position.

Morgan Dunn O'Connor will serve as vice chairman, while Michael Cemo will be the board's secretary.

In other Board of Regents news, the Administration and Finance Committee met Thursday to discuss the UH system endowment fund and
changes in its management. At issue was the switch from Mercer Investment Consulting to Cambridge Associates and strategy for future
investing.

The collapse of the stock market, in particular WorldCom, hurt the UH endowment significantly in the second fiscal quarter. One board member
called it a "disastrous" quarter. Those losses caused the endowment fund to grow at only a 4.6 percent return.

Because spending is fixed at 5 percent, the fund actually shrank in that quarter. Among the areas hit by such poor returns will be student aid,
professorships and unrestricted donations, according to committee member John Rudley, UHS vice chancellor and UH vice president for
administration and finance.

The rest of the meeting consisted of strategy discussions to grow and protect the fund led by Cambridge Associates Consultant Bruce Myers.
Cambridge Associates was chosen as the new investment consultant because of their large list of collegiate customers, especially Texas
schools.

with additional reporting from Ray Hafner, senior staff writer

 Send comments to dcnews@mail.uh.edu

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