Khator appoints Interim Chief Health Officer
President and Chancellor Renu Khator appointed Earl L. Smith III, dean of the College of Optometry, to a two-year term as interim chief health officer Wednesday, according to an official UH press release.
Smith will work with the UH System’s Health Science Center Task Force to create programming based on the local community’s need for workers and will create new undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
His biggest plan is the creation of a Health Science Center, a move passed last January by the Board of Regents that will prepare students for research, patient care and entering the workforce.
Smith cited Houston’s thriving health care industry as a reason for the center.
“The University of Houston is ideally positioned to significantly advance health care, particularly in Houston and Texas,” Smith said in the press release.
“I am excited about the opportunity to be involved in the growth of health care-related programs at UH. President Khator’s emphasis on health-related degree programs is very timely, and it is clear to me that UH has the potential to address the increasing demands for health care services and professionals.”
Roger Boltz, current associate professor and associate dean for professional studies, will serve as dean of the College of Optometry in Smith’s place.