Raul Ramos 0

Save the University of Houston Human Development Lab School (HDLS)

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May 5, 2009 Dear University of Houston President Renu Khator and Provost John Antel, We, the undersigned University of Houston Human Development Lab School (HDLS) parents, alumni parents, and supporters of the HDLS, request the following: 1. That the University of Houston preserve the rich tradition of HDLS. Closing the school and/or significantly restructuring it would extinguish a high caliber childcare option on the University campus, a leading child education institution in the Houston community (with an over 40-year history of research and publications), and one of the only Constructivist early childhood development centers in Houston. Most importantly, it would mean the loss of the school's professional and caring teachers, with their decades of experience. 2. That an oversight committee be appointed by the University of Houston (UH) President and/or Provost to examine the school's educational, fiscal and leadership structures in order to make recommendations to the provost how to best restructure the school, if necessary, and make it sustainable. We recommend the committee include Sherry Howard (Director, UH Childcare Center), Carolyn Black (Principal, UH Charter School), Dov Liberman (Professor, College of Education), Ann Christensen (Faculty Senate Appointee to the UH Childcare Advisory Board), Elizabeth Gregory (Director, Women's Studies Program), Jeanette Doina (Director, HDLS), a representative from the provost's office, and a parent from the current HDLS Parent Advisory Board. We believe that the College of Education (COE) has overstated the fiscal instability of HDLS and that any real fiscal challenges facing the school has been a result of COE mismanagement. The HDLS staff, parents, and alumni have repeatedly offered to provide financial leadership by increasing enrollments, marketing the school, and restarting an alumni parent giving campaign; but these earnest attempts to return the school to its historically exemplary state have been thwarted by the Dean's Office in the COE. Detailed information regarding examples of COE mismanagement, and prior efforts made by parents and staff to collaborate with COE are contained in the accompanying open letter. (See Links on the right hand column.) If the HDLS closes or significantly changes, the University will have made a grave mistake based on incomplete information. We, therefore, urgently request that President Khator and Provost Antel carefully and independently evaluate COE's management of HDLS and that the oversight committee be convened at the earliest possible date. Signed,


HDLS parents, alumni, and supporters


Open Letter to the UH Community: http://sites.google.com/site/savehdls/Home UH President's Contact: http://www.uh.edu/about/offices/president/contact COE Dean Wimpelberg's Email (administrative assistant): cwirt@mail.coe.uh.edu Provost John Antel's Email (administrative assistant): ssanders@uh.edu
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