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Khator ranks high among best paid educators in the nation

Jiselle Santos/The Cougar

University of Houston Chancellor and President Renu Khator was the fifth highest paid public executive educator in the U.S. in 2018, according to a national survey conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Khator is one of the top highest paid members of UH. Head football coach Dana Holgorsen and head basketball coach Kelvin Sampson total compensation outdo the UH president. Khator is paid about nine times as much as the average full-time UH professor, which, according to the survey, is paid $149,087.

“I can say unequivocally that the chancellor’s compensation is appropriate based on her stellar track record and achievements overseeing an organization that serves more than 70,000 students, has a budget that exceeds $2 billion and an economic impact on the state of Texas of over $7 billion,” said Tilman Fertitta, the chair of the system’s governing board, in a statement.

While Khator is one of the highest paid chancellors in the nation, so are many of her Texas colleagues. William H. McRaven, the University of Texas’ recently retired chancellor, was the highest paid executive educator in the nation in 2018. Texas Tech and two Texas A&M leaders also round out the top seven highest paid leaders.

Factoring in base pay along with bonuses and other perks UH pays for, including her house near Rice Village,  Khator’s compensation has been steadily increasing since she started in 2008. In the 2013-2014 year her compensation bumped her to the highest paying college leader in the nation, earning $1,300,000 due to big bonuses.

“The rest of her total compensation is made up of $200,000 in bonus pay and $400,000 in deferred compensation paid,” wrote the Houston Business Journal. “Not included in her total compensation is $200,000 in deferred compensation set aside.”

During Khator’s more than ten years at UH, the University has grown in size and recognition. Namely, becoming designated a Tier One Research University by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Only 115 out of America’s 4700 public universities qualified and seven Texas universities qualified for the designation.

“I give the credit to our faculty, our staff, our students and our Board of Regents who have been so supportive the last few years,” Khator said in 2010 when UH was named a Tier One university.“But, at the end of the day, great communities build great universities. It is a compliment to the city and the state and to our fabulous delegation members, our legislative leaders who believed this was an important initiative.”

The president is the administrative and educational head of the university and the chancellor being the executive head of the school or system. In UH’s case, Khator takes on both roles and is the head of the entire UH System.

Other colleges have separate leaders for their flagship college and their university system, including the University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System.

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