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Friday, November 27, 2020

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UH aims to rank in top 50 public U.S. institutions, Renu Khator says during Fall Address


While President Renu Khator announced her long term goal for UH to rank in the top 50 U.S. public institutions, the University has a more narrowed short term goal of jumping to top 75, from their current rank of No. 87. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

While President Renu Khator announced her long term goal for UH to rank in the top 50 U.S. public institutions, the University has a more narrowed short term goal of jumping to the top 75, from their current rank of No. 87. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

UH is aiming to rank in the top 50 public institutions in the United States, President Renu Khator announced during her annual Fall Address.

This year in a virtual platform, Khator covered her upcoming goals for the University, as well highlighted recent accomplishments of UH students and faculty. The University currently ranks No. 87 in public U.S. institutions, according to U.S. News & World Report.

“Our goal is to grow the University of Houston as one of the top 50 public universities in the nation, Khator said. “Since we are ranked 87th currently, our short term goal is to improve our ranking to top 75, which would put us along with or ahead of institutions like LSU and Oregon State.”

Khator’s plan to help the University rise in rankings includes increasing the six-year graduation rate. Beyond that, Khator wants to offer more ways to support students and the University’s name.

“In order to do so, we have to do three things,” Khator said. “Increase our six-year graduation rate to 70 percent. Currently, we are at 62 percent, so that’s an eight-point jump. Invest more in student support, and finally, raise the reputation of the University.”

Prioritizing student success is how Khator plans on increasing graduation rates. No matter how long it’ll take, Khator says any progress will align with her goal.

“To improve the graduation rate, we have to keep the student success as our no excuse priority,” Khator said. “Since it’s a rolling average of four years, it will take longer than we would like, but rest assured each step we take to help our students succeed is a step in the right direction.”

As the University’s centennial year approaches, the Fall Address touched on UH’s plans for their 100 year anniversary. The University aims to renovate some parts of the campus as part of these plans.

“To celebrate the milestone, I had set up in May a centennial master plan committee which is recommending that we transform the campus into a walkable, pedestrian-friendly, collaborative space by planting trees,  shading walkways and enacting gateways at some of its major entrances,” Khator said.

Adding additional greenery around campus, focused around the Cullen Family Plaza is one of the suggestions the centennial master plan committee made.

“Included in the plan is a recommendation that we build a centennial plaza,” Khator said. “A vast green space expanding from E. Cullen to McElhinney Hall, highlighting the existing iconic foundation and two cougar statues.”

In order for the centennial plaza to be made, the College of Education would have to be remade and relocated from its current spot.

“Yes, it would mean building a new building for the College of Education on a new site, but the vision is so powerful that I wanted to share it with you,” Khator said. “Of course now I know we have to do a feasibility study to see how and when it is practical.”

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