By Mike Cronin
Trustees voted 4-1 with three abstentions.
The total cost for the MBA program is about $722,000. That will fund 16 students for the program. St. Thomas will invest roughly $376,000, and HISD will contribute the remaining $346,000.
Those numbers are different than what board members discussed during Monday’s agenda review meeting. At that time, the program was to train 25 students and cost $990,000 — with $660,000 from St. Thomas and $330,000 from HISD.
Trustee Julie Stipeche asked district staff what caused the changes.
Superintendent Terry Grier said HISD and university officials continued talks after Monday’s meeting and determined what the actual cost of the program was.
“We didn’t want to come back and ask for more money,” Grier said.
Stipeche and trustees Anna Eastman and Greg Meyers abstained.
Meyers abstained because he is employed by St. Thomas. He said on Monday that the discussions between HISD and the university started long before he began working there last year.
Carol Mims Galloway voted against the contract.
“These funds could be used for so much more,” Galloway said. “We already have similar programs.”