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Monday, September 27, 2021

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New regents join board


The UH System Board of Regents swore in four new members, appointed Jan. 28 by Gov. Rick Perry, after a board meeting Tuesday.

The new appointments will replace Leroy Hermes, Michael Cemo and Raul Gonzalez, whose terms officially expired in August. Regent Morgan Dunn O’Connor, whose term expired in 2005, will also be replaced.

"(I’m) just a little daunted in (knowing) whose shoes I’m going to fill," regent Mica Mosbacher said after being sworn in by 234th District Court Judge Reece Rondon. "I’m very proud to give back to this institution."

Regents Jacob Monty, Carroll Robertson Ray, Nelda Blair and Mosbacher said one of their goals was to help the University reach flagship status during their terms as regents.

"We’re really turning on the gas to make it what it should be," Blair said of the goal to enable the University’s flagship status.

Ray, an attorney with Andrews and Kurth, is a 2002 UH law alumna. Ray said her priorities during her term would be to increase support in fine arts, athletics and the UH Law Center.

"We have un-met needs," she said.

Monty, a 1993 UH law graduate and managing partner at the law firm Monty Partners, is replacing regent Hermes.

"UH took me from being the painter’s son to a lawyer," he said.

Blair, a 1982 UH law alumna who is president and owner of the Blair Law Firm, is replacing regent Cemo.

"Education means a tremendous deal to my family," Blair said.

Mosbacher, a fundraiser for philanthropist organizations for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. She is replacing regent Gonzalez.

"I didn’t attend the University of Houston, but I got here as soon as I could," she said.

During the board meeting, Vice President of Academic Affairs Donald Foss said the University is in the process of making information readily available to the public online.

At the last board meeting on Jan. 18, UH System Chancellor Renu Khator signed the UH System to the Voluntary System of Accountability, a system developed by a partnership between the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.

According to the VSA Web site, more than 70 public colleges and universities have joined to develop its data-reporting template since 2006.

The VSA would make UH more transparent to prospective students and their families as well as the public by posting information online in a template called a College Portrait, Foss said.

The College Portrait is expected to include information for prospective students to help them plan tuition expenses, have current students’ feedback on the institution’s effectiveness and educational outcomes.

"It’ll evolve over time," Foss said. "At the moment, there’s a standard format and we’ll follow it."

The portrait would contain information about enrollment figures, a tuition-cost calculator for prospective students and student perceptions of the University.

According to the VSA Web site, the goal is for universities to "demonstrate accountability and (public) stewardship, measure educational outcomes to identify…educational practices, (and) assemble information that is accessible, understandable and comparable."


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