Mayra Cruz" />
side bar
Friday, September 29, 2023


Regents adjust UH hiring policy

The UH System Board of Regents voted to change a policy regarding hiring practices and considered eliminating terms for the board chairperson in a meeting Monday.

The board unanimously voted to allow the University to hire UH president and chancellors’ spouses, Gerry Mathisen, executive administrator for the board, said in an e-mail. The exception to the policy only applies to the UH president and chancellor and not other faculty or staff members.

Board policy 57.07 previously prohibited hiring relatives or spouses of all University employees.

"Relatives of other system employees shall not be employed by the system in positions where the employee has the official authority to hire or recommend or approve the hiring, salary or promotions of the relative," according to board policy regarding employment.

Human Resources can fine, dismiss, reassign or take other disciplinary action against UH employees who violate the policy, according to the memo, which was approved in May 2006 by former President and Chancellor Jay Gogue and will reevaluated again in 2009.

The University System initially drafted the policy to prevent nepotism, which is defined as "favoritism shown to a relative by employment on the basis of relationship," according to the UH System Administrative Memorandum.

The change in the policy allows the University the possibility to hire President and Chancellor Renu Khator’s husband Suresh Khator, an engineering professor from the University of South Florida.

No job offer on behalf of UH has been made to Suresh Khator since Renu Khator was confirmed as president and chancellor, but the policy change makes the University more progressive, board chairman Welcome Wilson said.

"The board has always had a policy to allow the president’s or dean’s spouse to be hired by the University, so long as they did not have to report to one another directly," Wilson said.

Although Suresh Khator would be technically reporting to his wife, the University would ensure that it would be strictly in technical terms and he would be directly reporting to the provost for academic purposes.

"When Dr. Renu Khator was offered the position at the University, the agreement was made with no respect to her husband," Wilson said.

Faculty hires originate in two areas, University spokesman Richard Bonnin said.

"Generally, the process begins and ends with the provost, who authorizes approval to conduct a search and, ultimately, signs off on the eventual hire," Bonnin said.

Although faculty hires begin through the provost, faculty hires are also initiated at the departmental level, Bonnin said.

"The department chair makes a recommendation to the dean of the college," Bonnin said. "If the dean approves, he or she actually sends the offer letter to the candidate. When the dean receives the signed offer letter indicating acceptance, it is sent to the provost for final approval."

The board also discussed the possibility of abolishing term limits for the board chairperson, but took no action.

In order to change board bylaws, a two-thirds vote is needed by the board. The board is composed of nine regents and would need six votes to amend a bylaw.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑
  • Sign up for our Email Edition

  • Polls

    What about UH will you miss the least this summer?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...