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Friday, October 19, 2018

Administration

President Khator looks to future in 11th annual Fall Address


Renu Khator 2018 fall address president

President Renu Khator spoke Wednesday at Moores Opera House for her 11th annual fall address. | Michael Slaten/The Cougar

UH President Renu Khator focused her 2017 Fall Address on her past 10 years as Chancellor. This year, Khator’s Fall Address looked to the future.

Citing what the University has accomplished, as well as what remains on the agenda, Khator spoke about the journey she and UH students have been on.

“The Fall Address is not my address, it is not my story,” Khator said. “It is your story, it is our story.”

Khator spent the address recounting the improvements UH has made to its enrollment, research facilities and prestige. She made sure, however, to make clear that despite the leaps and bounds made by the school, there is no limit to what UH can achieve.

“She truly sets the standard for commitment and focus that she expects from all of us,” said Dan O’Conner, associate dean for Faculty and Research.

Khator opened her address by taking a look back at Harvey. She gave thanks to UH donors, faculty, students and friends, for raising $1.2 million to help the 582 students who were displaced by the storm. Forty-four of these students have already graduated, and a majority of these previously displaced students continue to attend UH.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the cougar family for coming together and setting an example for being cougar strong,” said Khator.

In terms of academic development, a lot has changed for UH. Khator delivered the news that UH has jumped up 21 places in the US News and World Report rankings, which has been the biggest jump in the state of state of Texas in recent times.

Khator felt gratified that the gap between students of different races and ethnicities vanished.

“The achievement gap, on the basis of race, income, or family education, has been reduced, or even eliminated,” said Khator.

The difference in the education for those at UH who receive the Pell Grant, which is an indicator of socioeconomic divide, has been reduced to zero. Khator attributed this to the success of the UHin4 program, with 71 percent of freshman currently enrolled in the program.

Despite the advancements made by UH under Khator, the president made sure to let all in attendance know that this was only the beginning.

“In the coming years, we need to continue on our path to student success with even more focus and determination, because our journey is not yet complete,” she said.

The next milestone Khator has set is for UH is for it to reach the rank of 150 in the US News and World Report Ranking. The school current sits at No. 171.

A record 46,350 students have enrolled this year, with $364 million in financial aid awarded across students. On average, students at UH now take 10 fewer credit hours to graduate than they would have 10 years ago, which results in aggregate an savings for students of $6.8 million.

Khator spent the final minutes of her address looking once again to the future, as she spoke about Generation Z and their specific future at UH.

“As educators, we have an obligation to the next generation,” Khator said. “We cannot convert them to Millennials or Baby Boomers, we must understand them.”

After the address, Khator revealed on Twitter that she writes her own address each year.

“It was a really captivating speech, knowing how much she cares for the school,” said Jevh Maravilla, a student who was recognized during the address for his achievements in media production.

In closing, Khator expressed her hope for the future of the University.

“I’m very proud of what we have done together, I look forward to a bright future because there is so much more we can accomplish,” said Khator.

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