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UHV plans for growth in upcoming legislative session

Gabriella Canales By Gabriella Canales

Dec. 31, 2016 at 10:15 p.m.
Updated Jan. 1, 2017 at 2 a.m.

The growth rate of the University of Houston-Victoria could be decided in the 85th legislative session, university president Vic Morgan said.

In the legislative session the university's Special Item and Exceptional Item funding requests support continued growth of student enrollment, programs and community-outreach initiatives.

"We are told there is not going to be much money and no new money at all, so we are going to see about that," Morgan said.

The university is requesting funding to continue adding freshman and sophomore level students.

For the 2016-17 biennium, UHV received $4.2 million, $2.1 million per year, according to UHV's Legislative Appropriations Request.

However, other institutions of similar size received appropriations ranging from $5 million to $6.5 million in similar stages of downward expansion, Morgan said.

"We are asking for them to treat us the same as other institutions that have expanded," he said.

Exceptional items are material and need to be documented in order to provide investors and regulators with accurate and informative financial statements, according to Investopedia.

The university is requesting special item funding for the Master's in Nursing program and a Center in Regional Outreach.

A special item is a large expense or source of income that a company does not expect to recur in future years, according to Investopedia.

In 2016, the university re-established its nursing program under the School of Education, Health Professions and Human Development.

The university plans to hire additional faculty and accept more students and further develop its programs.

UHV is requesting $742,500 for the biennium, or $371,250 per year, according to UHV's Legislative Appropriations Request.

The purpose of the Center in Regional Outreach request is to sustain support for Letting Education Achieve Dreams (LEAD) program.

The LEAD program helps in recruiting first-generation, minority, and non-traditional student populations to higher education programs.

The region's college-going rate is about 4 percent below that of the state, 14 percent versus 18 percent, and nation 14 percent versus 17.5 percent, Morgan said.

UHV is requesting $336,656 for the biennium, $168,328 per year, according to UHV's Legislative Appropriations Request.

The university will use the perspective of the region's needs as one of its strongest arguments, Morgan said.

He said this year's freshman class was made up of 79 percent minorities, 50 percent first generation college students and 70 economically disadvantaged.

"The university serves a large population of minorities, first-generation and economically disadvantaged students," he said. "We have to do everything we can to support them to stay and be in school and graduate."


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