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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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Khator talks to Texas Tribuners


UH President Renu Khator sits with fellow Texas university chancellors at Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, TX.  |  Christopher Shelton/The Daily Cougar

UH President Renu Khator sits with fellow Texas university chancellors at Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, TX. | Christopher Shelton/The Daily Cougar

AUSTIN — Renu Khator, representing UH as Chancellor of the University System, sat with Chancellors from five other public universities in a talk the Texas Tribune called the “Chancellor Confidential” at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin this weekend.

“I wear two hats,” Khator said as she introduced herself, referencing her responsibilities as both UH president and system chancellor.

After Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp talked about the 11 universities that made up his system and the depth of research they do, Khator focused on students

“Student success is not only our number one priority, it is our no excuses priority,” Khator said.

When Texas Tribune Moderator Reeve Hamilton asked if they petitioned Texas legislators for funding as a group, the chancellors agreed that working together was essential.

“I call them and ask for advice,” Khator said. “The question is what kind of partnerships we can build.”

Chancellor of the University of North Texas System Lee Jackson said working against each other would be like “crabs in a bucket.”

“Crabs pull each other back in every time one of them starts to make progress,” Jackson said.

Khator also mentioned the U.S. News & World Report college rankings, which lists UH at 184.

“There is no ranking that is flawless,” Khator said. “The way we use them is in the operationalization of goals. It has helped us to have razor-sharp focus.”

“In that sense I’m a fan of rankings because it helps me set a direction and help keep others in that direction. The area that is hurting us most is the graduation rate,” Khator said. “(The ranks) don’t tell you everything but they tell you something.”

“Khator knocked it out of the park. The audience applauded for her right away,” said Student Government Association Chief of Staff Lauren Rosenbaum. “Everything she said … everything revolves around the students. She kept bringing it back to student success.”

Khator, along with several members of the SGA, viewed a talk called “An 83rd Legislative Session Preview” between Republican and Democratic senators of the Texas Legislature.

“It was a lot of fun and really informative,” Rosenbaum said. “Some of the legislators were very different. Things got pretty heated up, it was going back and forth.”

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