Texas Southern University President John Rudley says he is “not on the bandwagon” of Houston higher education officials who oppose a potential downtown expansion by the University of Texas System.
The Houston Chronicle today reports on Dr. Rudley’s meeting with UT Chancellor William McRaven, who in November announced plans to purchase 300 acres near TSU and the University of Houston to develop an ‘intellectual hub’ in the city.
McRaven says the UT System has no plans to infringe upon existing programming and research capacity in the city, but UH officials say any UT establishment would set the foundation for ‘an invasion’ on resources and mission, and cite program duplication as a primary threat.
“If the State of Texas is to allow duplication of services and competition as a practice for higher education in the future, then we respectfully ask the legislature to provide parity in resources, including PUF, for the University of Houston System before allowing the University of Texas System’s expansion into Houston.”
Dr. Rudley, who served as interim president of UH and interim chancellor of the UH System prior to his appointment at Texas Southern in 2008, says that McRaven appears to be genuine in its expansion plans and that they may benefit TSU.
“He’s an honorable guy,” Rudley said. “Sometimes you have to look to the people who bring you something. If you look to the guy who has been to war and battle, I tend to trust what he has to say. I at least want to hear what he has to say. And if he says he’s going to do something, I believe he’s going to do it.”
The Chronicle reports that TSU has not had an increase in state funding since Dr. Rudley’s arrival, and last year had its funding cut by five percent, the worst among all state institutions.
Dr. Rudley, who did not return a request for comment, will resign as TSU president at the end of the academic year.