UH signs deal with Sugarland based game developer
By Alex Wukman
Good news for all the gamers and wannabe game developers in Houston, the University of Houston has inked a deal with Sugarland based TimeGate Studios to construct a motion capture studio in Ft. Bend County. The details of the agreement requires UH to buy the motion capture equipment, which will be hosted at TimeGate’s Sugarland headquarters, and TimeGate will provide “space and the commercial talent to operate the studio.”
Oh and TimeGate is supposed to offer “training and mentoring for student interns,” the press release doesn’t get too far into the details of the deal, like how much money UH will be spending or how many interns will be able to work at TimeGate’s UH’s new image capture lab or what they will be able to do, which is sad. It seems odd that UH would want to spend money in such a questionable manner when they are pleading poverty.
Just three weeks ago UH President Renu Khator testified before the Texas Legislature that budget cuts proposed by Governor Rick Perry would result in a 20 percent tuition hike, which would come on top of austerity measures already being considered by the UH Board of Regents that include the elimination of some programs and positons. Dr. Khator testimony came just a few days short of the one year anniversary of a “Day of Action” that protested another proposed hike in tuition.
As local activist Rob Block told Channel 13 from 1990 to 2000 tuition increased from $20 per credit hour to $40 credit hour and then from 2000 to 2010 it went from $40 to $180 per credit hour. It’s worth noting that the average class at UH is 3 credit hours which means that in 1990 taking a required course that has 3 credit hours, like Freshman Composition, cost $60, in 2000 it cost $120 and in 2010 it cost $540.
UH’s decision to spend university money on an image capture lab that will be hosted in the offices of a private corporation comes a year after the administration asked employees to take an unpaid furlough, for the first time in the administration’s history. The $1 million saved in salaries on the day off was part of a plan to trim 5 percent from the school’s budget, other options explored included cutting office supplies, travel and cell phone allowances.
Surprisingly, no one thought to eliminate the $10 million that was going to be used in a controversial purchase of a radio station, that is expected to lose $1 million per year, from proposed expenditures as a way to save money.