lukegilman.com : High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

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Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at www.lukegilman.com

Houston v. Tulsa Football in 215 Seconds

Gonzo Reiter Promotions posts a field level view of the action in the University of Houston’s nailbiter in Tulsa this weekend.

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President Renu Khator Discusses the Future of the University of Houston

John David Powell, Director of Communication for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and editor of Graffit-e, the electronic newsletter of the college interviews Renu Khator, Chancellor of the University of Houston System and President of the University of Houston, on the state of UH and her vision for the future.

Part 1 of 3 videos embedded below:
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UH Athletic Director Dave Maggard Retires

maggard

Maggard stepped down last Wednesday after seven years as the director of athletics for the University of Houston. I remember 0-11. Now I get to remember last year’s Armed Forces Bowl. Thanks Uncle Dave!

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Jack J. Valenti School of Communication

From the Houston Chronicle: Welcome Wilson Sr., A Fitting Way to Remember Valenti, on renaming the University of Houston School of Communication in his honor:

Those who didn’t know him need only turn to his memoir, This Time, This Place, in which he celebrates his childhood growing up in modest circumstances on Alamo Street, attending Sam Houston High School, ushering at his uncle’s Iris movie house downtown then working at Humble Oil while taking evening classes to obtain his college degree.

“The day I enrolled in the University of Houston was the most exalted day of my life,” he writes. “If there had been no UH, I don’t know what turn my life would have taken.”

I know a lot of people who would say that, including myself.

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Men’s Basketball: Houston v. Nevada

Well, um, not exactly March Madness but fellow hapless Cougar fans can watch the Houston Cougars men’s basketball team take on Nevada in the College Basketball Invitational tonight at 9pm. The television broadcast is on Fox College Sports (which I don’t have) or stream it from the CBI website for $6.95. Sigh.

More here and here.

UPDATE: Houston pulls out a close one 80-79. GO COOGS!

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Professor Richard Murray blogging at Prof13

Dr. Richard Murray, the University of Houston’s éminence grise of Texas politics, is blogging at Prof13, doing everything from taking readers questions to teasing out the trends from the voting data. It’s worth keeping an eye on through the campaign season.

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Houston Cougars go Bowling in our own backyard, soon to be Coach-less?

The same week the University of Houston Cougars accepted an invitation to play in their hometown Texas Bowl on Dec. 28, held in Houston at Reliant Stadium, it was announced that Houston head coach Art Briles is a front-runner for the newly vacant job in Waco. Baylor fired coach Guy Moriss following their 12th straight losing season and a winless year in the Big 12. Briles interviewed with Baylor’s AD today in Dallas. From the Houston Chronicle:

“Art asked for permission to talk to Baylor, and I said OK,” said UH athletic director Dave Maggard. “We talked about it. I asked if he really felt that he needed to do this, and he said that it was something he needed to do. I told him that I wanted him to stay in Houston. That was it.”

Say it ain’t so, Art. Or if it is so, at least win us a damn bowl game before you go.

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Do Over? Texas Legislator Calls for State Tuition RE-regulation

I have to admit, despite my free market tendencies, this proposal resonates with me.

Coleman also provided statistics. Over the last five years, tuition and fees have risen 111 percent at the University of Texas, 94 percent at the University of Houston and 113 percent at Texas Southern University. About 70% of increased student costs stem from deregulated tuition, Coleman said.

I started out at a small private liberal arts college in the northeast, though I had the largest scholarship they offered I dropped out for financial reasons after only a year and a half. If it weren’t for the state-subsidized education I subsequently received at the University of Houston, I doubt I would have finished college at all, much less gone on to law school. I’ve posted some of my thoughts on UH previously in New President and Chancellor of the University of Houston, an Opportunity for Reflection.

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New President and Chancellor of the University of Houston, an Opportunity for Reflection

Renu Khator, a Professor of Political Science specializing in environmental policy and lately the Provost of the University of South Florida, was named the President and Chancellor of the University of Houston System. For the faculty and staff at UH it’s a refreshing and somewhat surprising choice, indicating an acknowledgment of the University’s unique position and an indication of where we might be headed. At the very least, I like her motto, which seems a perfect fit for UH –

“When life gives you lemons and everyone else is busy making lemonade, think about making margaritas.”

Let’s start by stating the obvious, which is frustratingly not so obvious to many commentators – the University of Houston is not UT, it’s not A&M, it’s certainly not Rice. None of these three neighboring institutions with which it is too often compared is a model to which it should aspire. While each surely shares the common goal of delivering high quality education, a vast gulf lies between the means available, the fundamental character, and the community each institution serves.

Most conversations about the future of the University of Houston start with the quest for flagship status, public image and raising the stats of the average student to something that looks more like the three benchmarks. None of these are goals to be shirked, but they come at a cost that few are willing to recognize. Tuition and fees growing at 7-12 percent annually since a state imposed tuition cap was deregulated several years ago. For a public institution that serves dual, sometimes competing aims of offering both excellence and access, the fee hikes are robbing Peter to pay Paul, sacrificing access for a somewhat misbegotten notion of excellence.

The University of Houston already offers an excellent education with a staggering $3.1 billion in economic benefits estimated for the local economy. Like many University of Houston students I worked full-time throughout my undergrad and continue to do so in law school. Having started out at a more traditional, private east-coast liberal arts college, I understand first hand the differences in an institution that understands working students and one that doesn’t. The opportunity for career-oriented students seeking real-life professional experience is unparalleled. A low cost quality education built around a base students who have already started their careers before or during their education is an educational and economic powerhouse that should be recognized and utilized, not swept under the rug.

Khator’s experience at South Florida gives me hope for a President/Chancellor who understands the unique opportunities and character of the University of Houston and can craft a vision without being tied to an antiquated notion of what getting an education looks like in 2007.

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Mascot on Mascot Violence

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