A host of administration members and guest speakers converged in the Cullen Performance Hall on Friday to celebrate the tier one recognition bestowed upon UH.
The Carnegie Foundation recognized UH as a Tier One university on Jan. 18, citing the University as one with “very high research activity.” UH achieved this milestone five years ahead of schedule, UH President Renu Khator said.
“Our journey, our pursuit of excellence, our journey toward Tier One, of being a nationally and globally competitive university will continue,” Khator said. “It is absolutely essential that it does, whether the times are good or bad.”
Khator stressed the need to increase alumni participation, which is currently at 13 percent, and broaden faculty research outside of science and engineering.
Guest speakers for the event included U.S. Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), Jeff Moseley, Larry Kellner, Melvyn Wolff and William P. Hobby.
Green addressed the importance of this event and the future of current and potential students.
“Now you can stand toe-to-toe with Texas and Texas A&M and say you’re Tier One,” Green said. “I’ve always been proud of UH. You make a lot of us who are alumni even more proud.”
Moseley, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership, chronicled the establishment of Proposition 4, which established a fund for emerging universities.
Moseley acknowledged the population increase in the Houston area as one of numerous reasons to support the pursuit of Tier One.
Khator highlighted the role of faculty, staff and students in the pursuit of Tier One that ended with a “Whose House?” chant.
Khator invited UH quarterback Case Keenum, who made an appearance following the news that he will be allowed to return for a sixth year.
Former Faculty Senate President Mark Clarke highlighted faculty who won awards in the past five years; almost 500 awards have been received. Clarke also acknowledged the metamorphosis of the goals towards Tier One.
“Our share of achievement is the culmination of a journey that began before I came to UH,” Clarke said. “When I first joined the faculty, my perception of our goals for Tier One were more aspiration than concrete.
“However, in the last three years those goals were transformed into strategic plans, strategic plans into action items, and action items into results.”
Current president of the Senate Monica McHenry emphasized progress and education.
“We are now a Tier One University and it feels brilliant, but that’s not the end of the story. We have larger goals in mind,” McHenry said.
“We’re committed to building a nationally recognized university. One that strives for overall excellence — not only in research, but in the many other elements that go into making a truly great University,” McHenry said. “In academics and education; in music, theatre and the arts; in athletics; in community outreach and public support; and in student success.”