Khator looks back on UH’s 2013
As a testament to UH’s continuing growth, the University president publishes an annual report marking the previous year’s accomplishments.
In the 2013 President’s Report, President and Chancellor Renu Khator noted UH’s upholding of its national rankings and its increase in the number of nationally ranked programs. Ten of UH’s graduate programs are ranked Top 50 by U.S. News & World Report. For the first time, the Law Center is ranked in the Top 50, and four of its programs are ranked in the Top 20.
“We certainly take pride in such accomplishments, but we exist because we educate and open young minds to the possibilities of their own potential. Everything else — rankings, residence halls, recreation centers, research labs, athletics — only enhances our capacity to do so,” Khator said in the report.
“They are not the mission in themselves. It is important for us as administrators, faculty and staff to rededicate ourselves to the core mission of our university, no matter how hard it is, no matter what demands it makes of us. If anyone can shape the future of our higher education, we in Houston can.”
As the Texas Legislature heads toward a higher-education outcomes-based funding model based on performance, UH is embracing the approach to student success by emphasizing strategic enrollment practices.
The average SAT score of entering freshmen in 2013 was 1138, compared to an average of 1060 in 2008. The stricter enrollment standards seem to correlate with UH’s freshman retention rate, which was recorded at 84.7 percent for Fall 2013, as opposed to 79.2 percent in Fall 2008.
“More than ever before, we concentrate on student success and degrees produced rather than simple head count,” the report said.
The report also cites living on campus as a driver of student success.
After the opening of Cougar Village II and Cougar Place, the student residence capacity reached 8,098 in Fall 2013 — the second-highest among all Texas universities — increasing from 4,730 in Fall 2007.
“Along with the academic benefits this provides, it creates palpable energy and enthusiasm on campus every day,” the report said.
Among the notable projects cited in UH’s ongoing $1 billion construction program are the 40,000-seat football stadium, the Stadium Parking Garage, the Health and Biomedical Sciences Building and the 1A Parking Garage across from Moody Towers. Substantial renovations have also been made to the Blaffer Art Museum, the University Center and the Central Plant.
According to the report, UH is now one of five finalists to house a new Phi Beta Kappa chapter — an academic honor society found at only 10 percent of universities in the U.S.
“Since chapters are awarded, in large part, based on the number of Phi Beta Kappa members at an institution, UH is in a prime position, with nearly 100 of our faculty now boasting PBK affiliation,” the report said.
To read the full report, visit uh.edu/presidents-report.