WHEN A BUDGET IS IN QUESTION
State Rep. Garnet Coleman
told members of UH faculty
that the University of
Houston must improve its
image in order to ensure that it isn't
forgotten in the next legislative
"You have to be seen as a
resource, both to the legislature and
the community. You need to make
yourself indispensable," Coleman
Coleman, a Democrat
representing House District 147,
which includes the UH campus, said
UH's funding will likely decrease in
the next session, and the faculty
have to do their part to protect what
Although the university has
relied on special funding called
"holds harmless" for the past few
years to cushion budget cuts, that
funding won't be available for
much longer, Coleman said.
"I'm just letting you
know there's no more
reprieve," he said.
was a member of ^^
as well as a member of -,
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As the federal government
shifts more responsibility to the
states, Coleman said, universities
have a chance to prove their worth.
"When that block grant
comes down (from the federal
government), we won't just be
implementing policy, we'll be
making policy," he said. "We need a
"See where you can provide
expertise. Organize yourselves to
present testimony, present papers,
stuff you all like to do.
"(The) Health Law and
Policy (Institute) drafted a bill for
me. They testified for a colleague of
mine on his bill. We were both on
the Conference Committee. As I
recall, Health Law and Policy got
Being helpful and
accomplishments will help to secure
funding for special items, such as
the Health Law Institute and the
Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center,
Coleman also said that to
secure funding, UH should take
more steps to recruit locally.
"If you get students in the
pipeline, that will increase your
formula enrollment," he said.
Some faculty expressed
skepticism that UH should
concentrate on local recruitment
rather than looking across the
nation, but Coleman stood firm.
"You have a lot to offer, but I don't
believe you're going to make up
your enrollment deficit by recruiting
around the nation," he said.
UH President Glenn Goerke
praised Coleman in his introduction.
"He's never been afraid to tell us
what he thought, and he's often too
damn accurate," he said. "We never
would have held on to holds
harmless were it not for Garnet
Alex Ignatiev, a physics
professor and director of SVEC,
said Coleman's ideas will
likely be put into practice as the
next session approaches. "The
. kind of policy groups he
I suggested are something we
/ will be looking at in the
future," he said.
The meeting was the
first of eight planned meetings
with area legislators.
- James V. Geluso