Welcome Wilson, Sr. as Chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of Houston

TRANSCRIPT

Welcome Wilson, Sr: There’s not gonna be any tuition increases this year.

 

Audience: Woo-hoo!

 

Welcome Wilson, Sr: There it is. I can’t believe, how unrealistic some people are. The idea that came 2009 that we would be raising tuition or even consider it our time to maintain the status quo, isn’t it? That guy from University of Texas who got the million dollar bonus, working stock market and then he was thrown up in the border regions, resigned or whatever. Now anyway, we are going to…now we’re back but one thing that this package is going to do is provide more money for scholarships and grants.

 

Woman: As Chairman of the Board of Regents of a major university, what do you feel are some of the challenges facing all universities and colleges?

 

Welcome Wilson, Sr: Well, cost is one. Let me give you an example. There was a time that we became a public university. When the State of Texas provided approximately 80% of the money that we needed to run the University of Houston, 80%. It has declined every single year since then. And now it is about 32%. So here we are, a state university but only 32% of our money comes from the state. So that is one of the big challenges, the worst in 2009, worse than that, but the bigger problem is we must increase our graduates by 35%. That’s a big number. We are falling so far behind in Texas yet cranking out how many graduates? We have millions of baby boomers that are gonna start to retire in two years.

So petroleum engineers, accountants, mechanic, teachers, and we are not, we are about halfway in producing that people in places. Russ.

 

Russ: First and foremost, thank you for sharing your time today. You mentioned something in your speech that I think is very important. Create more peer of women to lead the State of Texas. Can you please remind us, or remind our valuable Texans in the legislature why it’s important to have more than just two tier 1 universities in the State of Texas.

 

Welcome Wilson, Sr: Thanks for asking that. Loaded question. The University of Texas and Texas A&M are great institutions.

 

Audience: Woo-hoo!

 

Welcome Wilson, Sr: No doubt about that. No question about it. And they are way ahead of everybody else. They are going that, that, and that. How did they get there? They got there by having the advantage of the public university fund. And I give them credit and they deserve it and they wouldn’t take one dollar away from them. But a world-class education. Least you come from a world-class research university. Then why is that important? If you go to Princeton, Henry Kissinger is teaching a course. What I am saying is that the idea of having the opportunity if you want to be a scientist or researcher or a doctor, that you are going to have a class with Dr. [3:49], the world’s renowned expert of hormone therapy, that this is a totally different kind of education.

We have universities that are great in Texas. We need more of them. We also need to have more clinic in metropolitan areas. Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, where the people are. And they are gonna give you… rise of a university is a wonderful student, the double student population is about 5,000 compared to our 60,000. But it is a fabulous school. But the point is, 80% of their graduates leave the state. 75% of the graduates of the University of Houston stay in Texas, 65% stay in Metropolitan Houston. So we’ve got to be building universities for future Texas and future Houstonians.

 

Woman: Other questions?

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“Welcome’s efforts as an entrepreneur have enriched the community, led to better lives for untold numbers of fellow Texans, and inspired generations of admirers and followers to do greater things. My hope is that through reading this book, you will come to know Welcome W. Wilson, Sr., as I have–as a brilliant businessman, a loving family man and a proud Houstonian.”

Rick Perry
Rick PerryUS Secretary of Energy & former Governor of Texas
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