The effort to build a long-overdue new facility for the University of Houston Law Center has moved one further step towards becoming a reality. On May 26, 2019, the budget passed by the Texas State Legislature designates $45 million for new facilities for the UH Law Center and the UH Hobby School of Public Affairs.
As I have said many times, a world-class institution in a world-class city requires a world-class building. The current facilities are inadequate, holding us back in rankings and our ability to attract more of the best and brightest faculty, students and staff.
The UH Law Center is the home of three top ten law programs and has been regularly recognized for its commitment to diversity. The new UH Law Center building, with its modern technology and flexible space, will enhance student learning and faculty teaching capabilities.
As you may remember, we reached our first milestone in January when alumni and friends raised $10 million intended as “seed money” or a “down payment” toward construction. In August, we made a request to the State for $60 million in funding.
We are especially thankful to our state leaders, particularly Senators Miles, West, and Whitmire and Representatives Coleman, Davis, Walle and Zerwas, and are also very grateful for the generosity of our alumni and friends. Each saw the need, and understood that a new, state-of-the-art facility would benefit the Law Center and the City of Houston itself. We thank all our supporters, contributors, and volunteers including members of the UH Law Foundation Board and the UH Law Alumni Association.
I would especially like to thank UH senior leadership for their dedication and support: UH President Renu Khator, UH Senior Vice President and Provost Paula Myrick Short, UH Vice President for Governmental Relations Jason Smith, and UH Vice Chancellor for Advancement Eloise Brice.
Our alumni leadership also deserves a special recognition and thanks for their dedication, faith, support, and tenacity. They include: Bill Jackson, Jim Grace, Richard Whiteley, Susan Bickley, Bill Swenson, Nelda Blair, and Brad Tucker.
Without this support and these efforts, we would not be where we are today. With your continued support, the building, as the campaign slogan promised, will be “more than bricks.” It will embody a broad commitment to quality education, public service, community involvement, and the city at large. We have the power to make this happen.
As we await the Governor’s signature, we will update you on the road forward.
Leonard M. Baynes
Dean & Professor of Law
University of Houston Law Center
The University of Houston Law Center
100 Law Center
Houston, TX 77204-6060