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Revenue Generating Ideas


These are ideas that were received and processed through April 22, 2011. More suggestions will be added periodically.

  • Suggestion: Allow UHD departments to offer courses online. For some unknown reason, UHD departments have been forbidden to offer any lower level courses online. As a result, we have to advise all of our online students to go to other institutions (e.g., Lone Star College) to complete their lower level courses. Thus, we lose an average of 90 hours (or 270 SCHs) per student to local community colleges and other institutions that readily offer those required courses online.
  • At many universities, there is a fee for requesting official transcripts. I believe that the Records Fee should remain the same but students should be limited to no more than two free transcripts. After the second transcript has been requested, the student may obtain the third transcript by paying a $5 fee. The Records Fee can be justified by allowing students to request and pay for transcripts online.
  • Increase Cafeteria offerings to attract more revenue from students and surrounding community. Offer Continuing ED classes such as English as a Second language and GED classes. Offer Dual Enrollment opportunities with such universities as TSU.
  • Use Alumni to help promote the university more and increase alumni donations by having a fundraising campaign of some kind.

    Offer some incentive to current students and/or faculty, staff who bring in new students to the university. Guidelines can be created to specify how long the new student will need to stay in order for the current student (or faculty/staff) to receive the incentive.

    See if there is an interest in having mini-courses for some programs over spring break to increase revenue.

  • I was looking online at the USC site and noticed they have banners/links embedded in various pages for Macy's, State Farm Insurance, etc. I wonder if this could be a source of revenue for UHD? (Editor's Note: This is a commercial web site connected with USC athletics. UHD does not have NCAA teams and is prohibited from including advertising on its "EDU" designated site.)
  • I think we should consider renting out the special events rooms for wedding receptions and other personal events on the weekends. I know the University of Houston Central campus used to do this in the past. We should even consider the reception room at the Commerce building and the Willow pump station as well. I think this could generate quite a bit of revenue.
  • I believe that faculty buyouts might be a good way to reduce faculty in a voluntary type fashion.
  • Ascertain whether administrators who have resigned their administrative positions and are currently doing special project type work are really necessary. If an administrator is no longer qualified to be teaching faculty, I do not see any reason to create an employment position for that person when they resign his/her administrative position.

    Put timers and motion sensors on all lights.

    Remove phones from offices on a voluntary basis, many of us rarely use our office phones anymore.

    Put the university on a Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs and Sat basis [this would be a 4 day, 10 hour day for staff and administration] - the perhaps small increase in energy usage in administrative offices during Mon, Tues, Wed and Thurs would presumably be completely offset by the huge energy savings by not using the buildings on Friday and Sunday, Sat would be classes only and the classrooms used could be more efficiently scheduled so that some floors in the buildings would "go dark" on Fridays along with Sundays.

    Raising parking fees would be reasonable since our parking fees are way below market in the downtown area - perhaps this would encourage carpooling or use of the light rail.

    Provide reduced rate light rail passes for folks using light rail to come to UHD with the proviso that they NOT apply for nor receive a parking pass as well.

  • Cut back on lavish food and drink at gatherings, luncheons and dinners. There are less expensive restaurants than some that are being utilized that have tasty, nutritious and appealing food.

    When possible, serve the minimal. (In this economy, staying in the realm of reality is best.)

    When it comes to vendors, allow more bidding rather than using the same vendors when others may be less expensive.

  • Require all course work be online, including syllabi, tests, reading materials and faculty evaluations. This would greatly reduce paper and copying costs. I see faculty with foot high stacks of tests and syllabi in the copying room. In my experience, students like having readings and other course items online, then they don't have to carry them around.
  • Offer more leisure classes to the public during the week. Surely, there are many faculty and staff that would be willing to teach guitar, karate, dancing, etc. to others if there were an incentive involved? Maybe an arrangement could be made for a 10/90 split of fees for 10 students, 20/80 for 20 students, up to 50/50 split for classes up to 6 weeks.

    Wrap faculty/staff cars. Could an incentive be offered if a person was willing to 'wrap' their car and be a rolling advertisement for the university? The University could pay a portion of that person's gas bill in return for a certain guarantee of so many miles a month.

  • My suggestion is: a) Re-schedule the semesters: Change the starting date and reduce the gap between spring and fall.

    b) Add one summer session of four weeks and another summer session of nine weeks with a minimum gap between them. The result is three summer sessions of four weeks and two summer sessions of nine weeks.

    With this form of scheduling, the faculty may teach more classes, the students can take more credits and the University receives more money during the year because of the additional classes students will take. In addition, the cafeteria and other services gain because there are more customers during the year.

    The success of the mini-semester during the fall demonstrates that this option is possible; however, the additional summer session could include both online and face-to-face classes.

  • With the recent opening of the Downtown YMCA, maybe we should explore the ability of our Sports & Fitness department to offer competitively priced memberships to employees of businesses in the downtown vicinity.
  • Work out a way to reward faculty members for generating more semester credit hours. Right now most of our incentives do not work in that direction.
  • For some years now, there has been discussion of childcare at UHD. I think this absolutely aligned with our mission as an urban university serving a significant number of older students; especially single mothers. While I am certain the feasibility issues are significant, I would like to know whether there is a model that makes sense providing positive cash flow for UHD and improved academic standing and retention of students with children.
  • Increase student and staff parking fees.
  • UHD is adjacent to one of this country's best arts communities. Why not join that portion community and become an avenue for entertainers and performance groups looking for an intimate venue to share their art with Houston? It's my understanding that this was once an option here, but some issues and conflicts occurred (that I unfortunately don't have details on) that caused UHD to stop offering this service.

    The Hobby Center and Wortham Theatre both offer their facilities to outside groups. Perhaps, a meeting with management at both those locations would provide guidance in regards to contracts, policies and fees. While, this may not add millions to the budget, this is also another way to connect to the community and bring more people to our campus.

  • In a broader frame, could UHD take fuller advantage of the funding opportunities available to minority serving institutions? I am not thinking here of research grants funding individual programs but rather those with broad institutional implications. Are there ways we could increase the number of grant submissions? While submission is no guarantee of success, I suspect that success does improve with practice. In addition to federally funded grant opportunities, are there foundation grants that make sense?
  • Many universities have created programs to serve the needs of older students many of whom are retired or making a career change. I suggest that we look into this.

    Idea - Referral Type Program for Employees who Recruit Students. I think employees make great sales people and in this case, UHD employees would be selling the services that the university offers. For each new student (never enrolled at UHD) that enrolls for classes and is referred by a UHD employee, the employee would get $$ (example $25.00) at the end of the semester after the student successfully completes his/her courses. (It would only apply for the initial semester for each new student.)

  • Could the university rent out some of the auditoriums, classrooms etc to outside organizations for meetings and so on?
  • Many local professional organizations need venues for meetings, professional development classes and certification classes. Would it be possible for UHD to market/rent our facility for this purpose? Most such activities take place evenings and weekend when out facility is often underutilized. Earlier this year, I attempted to determine if the Society of Plastics Engineers could use space at UHD for our monthly meetings. After being handed off several times, I gave up. Therefore, I suspect that one issue is that we do not have the infrastructure for this activity at the moment and would need to weigh the cost of developing it.

    Along these same lines, is there a model could generate additional capital through corporate and or compliance training? Many local businesses operate in a regulatory environment that requires periodic compliance training. Is there a model whereby it would make sense for UHD to offer such training? Such classes typically have a much higher ROI than a university class.

  • An idea to increase revenues might include for the regular semesters to allow faculty to teach more than two online courses per semester. I believe the UHD distance learning policy does not allow faculty to teach more than two online courses per semester. Another idea is to offer another min-semester during May similar to the winter semester with additional distance learning courses offered.
  • Raise the price of faculty/staff parking (It is way underpriced).
  • We need to immediately pursue a 501c3 status and also establish a UHD foundation - not having these are both greatly hindering our fundraising efforts. Come to speak of fundraising efforts - these are really lacking!
  • As you know, many students prefer online courses to hybrid courses and hybrid courses over face-to-face (F2F) courses for various reasons, including increased convenience, reduced scheduling conflicts with work and family responsibilities, reduced travel time and expense, and reduced childcare needs and expense. Accommodating these student preferences supports the recruitment, success and retention of students. I suggest implementing additional incentives that encourage faculty to convert, teach and share their converted online and hybrid courses. Incentives might be of two types: Financial and Publication credit

    Two types of financial incentives seem appropriate, one for converting a F2F course to hybrid, the other for converting a hybrid course to online. Rewarding each type of conversion could have two potential benefits

    • Encourages faculty who now rely solely on F2F teaching to begin the transition

    • Minimizes jeopardy to faculty effectiveness that the more abrupt transition from F2F to online could entail

    Grant publication credit to tenure-track faculty who complete the course conversion and meet the requirements of a peer review by a committee of UHD faculty and instructional technology personnel. Requirements might include incorporation of elements of high-impact educational experiences. Additional performance-related incentives at the department and college levels might also help generate awareness, interest and participation.

  • SCH generation. Increase from 30 to 36 hours (i.e., from 10 to 12 courses) the absolute minimum UHD hours required to obtain a degree from UHD.

    SCH generation. Mandate that additional online sections be opened when all available sections become closed on the first day of registration (e.g., like yesterday with ENG 3302 in the winter term).

    Course schedules. Provide clear guidelines and/or software to support rational course schedules so that not too many sections are offered at the same time and hardly any at other times.

  • My idea is to host a College Success Course once a month (very similar if not the same content currently offered in the college success programs led by David Morales). The College Success course currently offered at UHD is worth one credit hour. If we set these monthly courses up on a monthly basis, we could sign students up on the spot to attend one of these courses. These courses would take place once a month at UHD on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday for a total of 15 hours equal to that offered during the semester.

    There would be a fee for the course but I feel confident that we can eventually underwrite these courses with donations/grants for college success programs at which time a certain number of scholarships could be offered for these courses. Of course, when the student takes the class, they are not yet UHD students and could potentially use the class to apply elsewhere. We would deter this by offering 1-hour credit for the course immediately upon successfully applying to UHD. Starting the semester with one credit under their belt would be a fine incentive for them to apply at UHD. During the course, we would assist them with how to be a successful student, how to complete a financial aid application, how to request transcripts, how to take preparatory classes etc. We would cover upcoming admission deadlines as well as other topics generally covered in the college success class. We of course would tailor all of our information to UHD in the hope that they in turn apply to UHD.

    The reason I like this idea is because it offers instant gratification. When our counselors are out marketing for our campus, instead of giving dates for the next semester as to when students can expect to be on campus, they could suggest the College Success course offered that month or the following month. I feel this is more effective recruiting year round since there will be 12 of these courses offered throughout the year. Of course, if we don't have enough registered for the month to cover expenses or make a predetermined profit, that course is cancelled. My thought is that even if we only register 10 high school students for the weekend course that would be instant revenue. If only two students in turn apply to UHD, that is future revenue.

 

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Last updated or reviewed on 4/22/11

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