• I have a great idea for a about not sending VC employees to the same conferences each and every single year once or twice a year. That is a quick fix instead of making the rest of us pay for their "conferences"and other "necessities" for the college. I don't see a reason to raise tuition if they feel the need to keep travelling all over the country for a conference a few times a year each and every year.

    March 7, 2011 at 11:49 a.m.
  • I remember doing a research paper about 5 years ago on college retention, the rates were pretty high for college students taking up to 6 years to complete a bachelors. This also presents another problem with taking longer for the degreed professional to enter and produce for the economy.

    February 28, 2011 at 1:19 p.m.
  • This is the summary from the Wall St. Journal segment referred to by GOP LoveChild:

    "The second most populous state in the nation, Texas scores fairly average in most categories. There are, however, two areas where Texas places dead last. The Lone Star State has the lowest percentage of its twenty-five and older population with a high school diploma – one in every five fails to obtain a high school education. Also, 23.8% of its population does not have health insurance, the worst rate in the country."

    With the fact that Texas is essentially being overrun by illegal invaders, I'm surprised Texas fared as well as it did. The lack of health insurance can be traced directly to the illegal immigration problem as can the high school diploma issue. If we could get some help from President Obama and the Federal government in plugging our porous border and deporting a couple of million illegal invaders, maybe we could do better.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:37 a.m.

  • cb129923, only one?

    I'm sure you would be believe ole LoveChild if he named one, but even better how about thirty five states if you believe in facts.

    February 27, 2011 at 7:12 p.m.
  • What happened to the "Texas Miracle" of an economy Rick Perry sold us?

    February 27, 2011 at 5:16 p.m.
  • One of the problems with state funded higher education, IMO, because one of my instructors was terminated I saw it happen, is that every program must spend their entire budget each year, so they will get a larger, or at least equal budget the next year.

    The instructor I speak of was told by the department head, "We have money left in the budget, spend it or we won't get as much next year." The instructor claimed, "We have everything we need already, we don't have to spend it all."

    And POOF, he was terminated!

    February 27, 2011 at 1:10 p.m.
  • KyleC...Thank you for an international perspective. If the student can afford the cost of luxury electives, they'll always be available.

    HookEm..."you can then use your education and go out to find a private sector job"

    Outside the education business, let's see if we can come up with a job in the private sector for which an English Literature PhD is the best suited candidate. I'll get back to you when I think of one.

    February 27, 2011 at 11:39 a.m.
  • Barry ... You are absolutely right. "Education is the base which our economy will need in the years to come". If, however, no one can afford that education, then we are in the same boat as having no education system at all.
    We are at that point.

    The higher education business (and for that matter, the public school business) offers no guarantee that the people who pay for their service will be more educated. The only guarantee they seem to offer is that the 'tenured educators' and administrators will alway want and expect more ... from the students and from the taxpayers, so that they can continue THEIR way of life. They say that 'education will improve the quality of life in the communities they serve'. They say 'invest in us and we will make the future bright'. Well the future is here and all we have is the education business with their hand out, as always, saying 'don't make us cut back'.

    Take for example Lack's. By all accounts this private sector business was a premier employer with many long time employees. People worked hard for them for 20 or 30 or more years. The company was an engine for economic development in many Texas cities. The company paid benefits to these employees. The company was charitible in various community causes. They paid every kind of tax imaginable to every taxing entity. But they must make a profit in order to continue to do these things. They did not go crying to already strapped taxpayers saying, 'we're good guys, please help us out so we can continue to lead our comfortable lives'. No ... due to the existing economic climate ... they ceased to exist.

    It is time for the education business, and for that matter all governmental entities, to face cold hard facts. The people you are begging for money just don't have any more to give you! Either make it on your own or go out of business. If this happens, you can then use your education and go out to find a private sector job ... just like all the people that use to have good jobs at Lack's.

    The world has changed and the old ways can not continue.
    Who is John Galt?

    February 27, 2011 at 10:35 a.m.
  • In the UK (and other countries) most bachelor degrees are taught to a 3 year syllabus - it's 100% pure applied subject matter from day 1 -completely bypassing that initial year of "general studies" you find in degree courses over here.

    Surely there would be a cost to be saved in implementing similar 3 year program.

    February 27, 2011 at 10:34 a.m.
  • As a former student and now a tax paying member of this community let me offer this. Dr. Butler is right when he talks of personnel cuts. As sad as this may seem, it needs to happen. They need to start by offering early retirement to many of their long time professors. That alone would save the college hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are professors that heave been on that campus since the college was built. Most of these professors draw an incredibly high salary and do an incredibly small amount of actual face to face teaching. What most people don't realize is that students regularly refuse to take these classes because the sole goal of many of these professors is to fail or force kids to drop early in the semester so their workload is reduced more than it already is. They are draining the college for way more than what the provide. This college like many colleges has become a safe haven for these teachers and professors to conduct "research" on the college and tax payers dime. It's sad that VC administration hasn't retired many of these folks long ago. My sister in law is an adjunct professor at another community college here in Texas, and she said that hiring adjunct faculty is the common trend at most community colleges nation wide. She explained that it offers a tremendous savings to the school and to the tax payer. It's also nice to get an actual practioner teaching your classes such as instrumentation, law, computer clases, etc. Unfortunately many of these professors have never held real jobs in the industry in which they are attempting to prepare young peolpe to fill. The trend in community colleges is hiring adjuncts with real world experience and VC needs to look long and hard at that route. Early retirements to all those who are collecting fat paychecks on the tax payers back!

    February 27, 2011 at 9:51 a.m.
  • HookEm1 is absolutely right. Inflation is just getting started and there is no room in most budgets for additional taxes to subsidize colleges and universities. They can make cuts like other businesses and families. I took a peek at the University of Houston (not UHV) website and they estimate more than $8,500 in tuition and fees per 15 hour semester for resident students. By the way, this does NOT include room and board.

    Colleges and universities can make education more affordable by eliminating the BravoSierra requirements for courses not related to the student's major. It might be nice for a civil engineer to have studied English literature but is it necessary to design roads or a dam? It might be nice for an English major to have studied biology but is it necessary? It might be nice for a pharmacist to have studied sociology, but is it necessary? It's been a long time since I was in college so I don't know if PE is still required. It was when I was there. If a student is an economics major, PE is probably not a necessary part of his degree plan.

    February 27, 2011 at 9:36 a.m.
  • I feel the same pain you feel Hookem, but education is the base which our economy will need in the years to come. If we don't continue striving to educate our children to a higher degree than high school, they won't be contributing much into the system (social security, medicare, medicaid and of of course the tax structure itself) in the future, and that will affect us all. It is easy now to understand why the UH system did not support the expansion of UHV. Maybe they have a crystal ball.

    February 27, 2011 at 9:35 a.m.
  • What does our State Rep have to say about the budget crisis the Texas Legislature put us in with the failed margins tax? Where is Geannie? What does she have to say now? This is very much her mess!!!!!

    February 27, 2011 at 9:33 a.m.
  • The comments in this article just burn me up! The Advocate reporter prints these self serving quotes from the education business, like they are the gospel, and questions nothing.

    A 27% tax increase! HOW DARE these fat cats even think such a thing? It is time for the tax payers of this area to draw the line and say no more. NO to a 27% increase. NO to a 1% increase. It is time for VC to do like the rest of us and get by on what you have. If you can not make it on that then good-by.

    It is said VC had a $1 million cut this year, but they still had enough money to build all those grotesque parking lot entrances that are not going to help any of their students go out and get a job.

    Butler talks about, "the diminished dreams and the diminished opportunities of students". Give me a break! The higher education business does not care one bit about the tremendous debt they pile on these young people with student loans that they will be paying off for years and years. The higher education business doesn't care about "diminished dreams", they are no different than car dealers, real estate agents or any other business that says, if they qualify for the loan then sign them up and we'll get our money up front.

    "Butler hopes in the coming months to mobilize local business, industry and the community to plead the case for VC". Maybe Mr. Butler can mobilize the employees of Lacks, Old Navy, Blockbuster, Tejas Cafe, among others. If VC can not survive with all of the subsidized help they already receive from taxpayers, they should go the way of these other businesses.

    When the Advocate Editorial Board gets around to writing their opinion on this I hope they will will consider that the people of this area, the people that read their paper, have all had enough with these government funded entities constantly coming around wanting more and more to continue their way of life. The bucket is empty.

    February 27, 2011 at 4:41 a.m.