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Friday, December 6, 2019

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ICYMI: Khator addresses accomplishments during fall address


President and Chancellor Renu Khator addressed students, faculty and alumni at UH’s fall address Wednesday and noted several major accomplishments destined to propel the University further ahead in terms of national competitiveness, academics and athletics.

New buildings and facilities:

  • A new Multidisciplinary Research and Engineering Building will open September 2016 that will “provide a state-of-the-art infrastructure to support the educational experience of undergraduate and graduate students by enhancing their hands-on experience in a research laboratory setting,” according to the UH facilities planning and construction website.
  • A new Biomedical and Health Sciences Building Number 2 will officially break ground next month. The nine-story building will be the new home of the school of pharmacy and outpatient clinics. “In terms of the scope of this project, the project is bigger than the stadium, costing $20 million more than the stadium,” Khator said.
  • A new and improved Law Center. “We know that a new facility is not only badly needed but is also critical to enhancing the competitiveness, national competitiveness of the UH Law Center,” Khator said.

National prominence:

  • UH was mentioned in 27 countries and 600 cities across America, reaching $23 million in publicity for this year’s inaugural university wide commencement featuring Matthew McConaughey. McConaughey’s speech was voted among the top five commencement speeches of the year by the Hollywood Reporter.
  • The Moores Concert Chorale earned World Championship honors at the Grand Prix of Nations in Magdeburg, Germany and is now ranked No. 3 in the world.
  • The football team ranked #24 in AP Post power rankings with a 5-0 record.
  • The baseball and men’s indoor track and field teams won American Athletic Conference championships this year.
  • The golf team advanced to the NCAA championship for the second straight year.

Record enrollment:

  • This fall UH enrolled a record of 42,378 students, with undergraduate enrollment reaching a solid 5 percent increase. “The college score card, released last month by the US department of education indicates that in comparison to the national averages, the University of Houston is lower on cost, higher on retention rate, at par with graduation rate, and higher on salary earned after graduation,” Khator said. “Needless to say, we continue to be a great value for our students.”
  • The freshmen class currently stands at 4,099 students with an average SAT score of 1151.
  • 32 percent of incoming freshmen come from the top ten percent of their high school class.
  • African American enrollment grew by 10 percent despite the national decline in African American graduates.

New faculty:

  • Stephen Spann was appointed as dean of a new medical school. Spann will be leading the effort in the creation of a medical school that would train preventative and primary care physicians to work in community based clinics. “Our goal is to partner with others in the city and be a part of the solution in providing access to healthcare particularly in underserved communities in our region and the state,” Khator said.

Fundraising records:

  • UH crossed the $100 million mark for the fourth year in a row, raising $125 million for the system and $120 million for UH.
  • 65,000 donors contributed to fundraising efforts this year. “While it is easy to dream, all dreams take hard work to realize. To meet our growing aspirations, we need to grow our capacity to invest,” Khator said. “Because of their faith in us, we are able to launch new programs, support new students and build new facilities.”

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