University of Houston

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We are deeply thankful and proud of the way each of you has responded to our rapid shift in operations, while juggling your own personal challenges, to meet our vital mission of teaching, research and service. These are far from normal times, and your dedication is nothing short of amazing.

The short-term and long-term financial prognoses for the economy – and specifically higher education – are challenging due to the events surrounding COVID-19.  We are now experiencing declines in many essential sources of revenue, which is coupled with an increased need for student financial aid and uncertainty about future enrollment.

While the University has taken a number of steps to immediately reduce expenses and prepare for future financial uncertainty, we must also keep in mind our fiscal responsibilities. Thus the current 30-day pause on new financial obligations, scheduled to expire on April 19, will be extended to Aug. 31, the end of our fiscal year, or until further notice.

Specifically, this includes the following guidelines:

Human Resources

HR activities including the hiring, promotion, reclassification, or position funding changes – and all salary adjustments using central and auxiliary funds, or more specifically state, tuition, course fees, indirect costs, campus auxiliary fees, student service fees, athletics and other local revenue – are suspended.  Transactions including any combination of centrally allocated funds and other non-centrally allocated funds are not exempt from this suspension.  

Exceptions will exist on all funds on a case-by-case basis to facilitate the hiring of faculty reappointments, including adjunct faculty and graduate students who will continue to teach classes already scheduled for the summer.  Similarly, activities on positions using gift funds, federal grants, research grants or sponsored projects may continue.

Procurement

To help us conserve our current financial resources and slow the rate of spending through the end of the fiscal year, all contracts, procurements, and purchases by any method, including procurement cards and travel cards that utilize central funding and auxiliary sources, are suspended.

Exceptions to these guidelines for Human Resources activities and Procurement will continue to require approval of the Division VP, the Provost, and the SVP for Administration and Finance.

We recognize these guidelines are difficult and will touch every aspect of the University, including academics, administration, operations and support services, and athletics, but we strongly believe the continuation of these actions is a prudent move given the fiscal uncertainty of our situation.  We appreciate your continued understanding and support. 

Regards,
                                                           
Paula Myrick Short
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
832-842-0550
provost@uh.edu

Jim McShan
Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance
832-842-5550
cfo@central.uh.edu
 
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