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Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Khator praises University at fall address

Renu Khator is the 13th president of UH and has served since 2008. She is the first foreign born chancellor of the UH System. | Yulia Kutsenkova/The Daily Cougar

Renu Khator is the 13th president of UH and has served since 2008. She is the first foreign born chancellor of the UH System. | Yulia Kutsenkova/The Daily Cougar

UH President Renu Khator explained why 2011 has been a banner year for the University in her third annual fall address Tuesday.

Khator addressed hundreds of faculty, staff and board members – including Welcome Wilson, Jr. and newly-appointed Chairwoman Nelda Luce Blair – at Moores Opera House and expressed her sincere joy over UH’s recent national recognition.

“Congratulations,” Khator said excitedly. “We did it!”

During the last 10 months, she said the University has made its mark on the national stage. Beginning in January with a Tier One designation from the Carnegie Foundation, the accolades continued to roll in for Texas’ third largest university – including being named one of the 376 best colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review.

“In 2027 the University of Houston will celebrate its 100th birthday,” Khator said. “A history of the University will be written that day, there will be a chapter dedicated to one particular year, 2011.”

Khator emphasized that “student success and Tier One status is a non-negotiable” and cannot be achieved without the support of a talented faculty and staff.

In July, the Chronicle for Higher Education named UH to its list of great colleges to work for, and to build on this achievement and the achievements of the students Khator has dedicated herself and the University to the enhancement of the school’s faculty and staff.

“At this time, when we have great momentum, we cannot allow our talent to leave for greener pastures,” Khator said. “Therefore, this year, I am committed to faculty and staff raises. However, they will be based on a strict evaluation.”

Keeping in line with the focus of continued student success, one area of concern is the University’s graduation rate – which lags behind the current national average of 53 percent. Currently, UH has a graduation rate of 46 percent. The seven percent gap is enough to keep the school from being recognized as a Tier One institution by the U.S. News and World Report.

Beginning next year, admission standards will change to align with that of other Tier One universities.

Khator assured the audience that the graduation gap should be of no serious concern and instead turned attention towards hard work and dedication as the characteristics of future success.

“Research indicates that higher expectations inspire people to work harder and to achieve greater,” Khator said. “As long as they have the necessary tools to do so.

“The focus has to be on offering the necessary tools and not on lowering the expectations, because as we all know, these students, after graduating, will face a world that is increasingly competitive.”

A number of initiatives have been set in motion to ensure this success including the placement of UH advisers throughout the local community college systems, as well as offering a free education to students from low-income families.

Khator told the audience that despite the challenges placed upon the University during the last year, it has still found a way to succeed.

“You are our greatest asset,” Khator said. “Today, I ask for your leadership and I ask for your energies.”

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