Khator keeps bleeding Cougar red
The UH System Board of Regents asked President and Chancellor Renu Khator to renew her contract as the only female chancellor in the state, giving her new term agreements that amount to $700,000 a year.
“We have just hit the tip of the iceberg on what the University of Houston System and the University of Houston flagship can accomplish,” said UH System Board of Regents chair Nelda Blair. “She has so many wonderful ideas and plans for this University. That’s why she wants to be here.”
Khator was appointed as president and chancellor in 2008 and is the first foreign-born president and second female to hold the position. She planned for the University to reach Tier-One status in five to seven years, yet accomplished it in four.
Former Faculty Senate President Dan Wells said most faculty have respect for Khator and trust the decisions she has made while leading UH.
“President Khator is a very let’s-get-it-done-now kind of person, an I’m-impatient-this-should-have-been-done-yesterday kind of person. She holds herself to that kind of standard and she expects everyone around her to hold themselves to that kind of standard,” Wells said.
“The faculty feel that that’s a good thing. We like her pushing the envelope. We like her pushing people.”
When her next term concludes in 2015, she will have held the office of president and chancellor for seven years — the longest dual leadership in UH history. No president has held the position for as long since Philip Guthrie Hoffman was president for 16 years from 1961 to 1977, and no chancellor has ever remained in office for more than six years.
Blair said the Board of Regents hopes to keep Khator around for much longer.
“The state of Texas only allows us to bind her for three years at a time, but we would probably do 30 if we could,” Blair said. “(Khator is) going to lead this University system into the next decade, no doubt about it.
“She is committed; she has made that promise to me personally.”
The new contract, effective since Sep. 1 and until August 2015, sets Khator’s salary at $700,000, a 40 percent increase in comparison to her last term, granted her a one-time signing and renewal bonus of $150,000, an annual retention bonus of $100,000 and a contingent of $50,000 based on her performance — all new to the term agreement.
“She has such passion, dedication and commitment to this University, and the Board feels that this new contract shows our commitment to Renu Khator,” Blair said.
According to The Texas Tribune’s Government Employee Salary Database, Khator is the highest paid university president in Texas colleges, excluding university hospitals and medical branches.
“It’s what we think will help keep her here, and I know that the city of Houston — particularly the business people — will be very, very happy to hear that,” Blair said.
Blair said Khator impressed the UH System in her last years in office and the Board of Regents expects much more from her in the future.
“She is such an enormously wonderful leader,” Blair said. “She has in her mind not only goals and dreams but real growth and accomplishments and wonderful things that are going to happen to the University of Houston.”
“This is where her heart is. She bleeds Cougar red.”