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Renu Khator testifies to Texas Senate Finance Committee

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UH President Renu Khator testified to the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, asking for more funding for the UH System. 

Among her legislative requests, she asked for making higher education more affordable, an increase in formula funding and support downward expansion at the Clear Lake and Victoria branches of the University. 

Also at the hearing, she mentioned that bringing students back to in-person learning was a high priority to her. 

“Anywhere I go in Houston, students run to me to say, ‘please, please, please, give us more face-to-face classes,’” Khator said.

Khator mentioned the vaccines coming to campus next week, stating that they would be provided to students and faculty who fall under the state-determined priority groups of 1A and 1B. 

She also went under questioning from a number of state senators. 

Most notably, Senator West (D-Dallas), questioned Khator about the UH-in-4 program regarding the program’s details and its effectiveness.

“After four years of it being in place, about 65 percent of students have opted for UH-in-4,” Khator said. “Close to 90 percent of students complete the program.”

Also notable, Senator Lucio (D-Brownsville) asked the president about the drug and alcohol abuse on campus. 

Khator responded by saying it was among the school’s top two priorities to ensure that students are safe from these substances on campus. She also added that during orientation, students are briefed on substance abuse. 

Khator’s most groundbreaking goal was to become a top 50 university in the United States. This goal was outlined in the UH Strategic Plan, which bases this goal off the U.S News Best College Rankings Report. 

Finally, she told the committee that student success was the school’s number one priority.

“Our graduation rate is 64 percent, our goal is, our aim is now 70 percent,” said Khator. “And I think we can achieve that since we are a school focused on student success – no excuses – that’s our priority.”

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