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Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Faculty honors UH interim president

UH Interim President John Rudley’s ability to create a team atmosphere is one of the many reasons why he has been a great fit for the position, Leroy Hermes, UH System Board of Regents chairman, said Monday.

Hermes was one of many staff and faculty who recognized Rudley and his term at a special reception hosted by Faculty Senate and Staff Council at the University Hilton.

"We needed someone who really understood all the interworkings of the University and also someone who knew all of the different departments of the University," Hermes said.

Rudley was able to maintain "continuity" by following academic and master plan programs, Hermes said. Having been vice president and chancellor of Administration and Finance, Rudley was familiar with the issues and his performance was "outstanding," Hermes said.

Carol Barr, Staff Council immediate past president, also credited Rudley’s role in creating the Staff Tuition and Scholarship Program, which allows staff to pursue a career in the University. Rudley created this program when he arrived five years ago, she said.

"Within six months of his arrival to the University we had money for staff fellowships." Barr said. "This fall, 126 staff received a $1,200 fellowship, and this year 364 scholarships were made available to staff on this campus."

As interim president, Rudley addressed the need to increase the amount of financial support for health care research in order to take the University to the next level, Faculty Senate President Joseph Kotarba said.

"We had a lively and informative discussion on increasing community support for legislation enhancing UH’s status as a major research university," Kotarba said. "The importance of our efforts to establish a greater presence in the Texas Medical Center and the need to improve the quality of a university education in Texas were also discussed."

Past UH President Jay Gogue, who left to become president of Auburn University this summer, had focused on these programs, and Rudley was able to continue everything with little disruption, Kotarba said.

Rudley thanked the faculty and staff for their support and said he saw the opportunity of becoming interim president as "the realization of a dream come true."

"I loved working with people who are all trying to get the University of Houston to the next level," Rudley said. "This campus has staff and faculty who bring ideas and work hard to get things done in an attempt to bring the University forward."

The main challenge he faced was to move the University in the public’s eye to true research status, Rudley said.

Rudley said he hopes students realize that this is one of the finest universities in the country – offering quality education that "will earn them a degree which will be worth more than they can imagine," he said.

Rudley will continue as UH interim president until UH President sole finalist Renu Khator is officially announced as the new president, and then he will return to the position of vice chancellor and vice president for Administration and Finance.

Interim Vice Chancellor and Vice President of Administration and Finance Jim McShan will return to his position as associate vice chancellor and vice president of finance, The Daily Cougar reported earlier this month.

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