USF PROVOST RENU KHATOR NAMED FINALIST
FOR UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON TOP SPOT
Noted Political Science Scholar and Administrator Selected as Sole
for UH System Chancellor, UH President
HOUSTON, October 15, 2007 – Dr. Renu Khator, provost and
senior vice president at the University of South Florida, a major
research institution and the ninth largest university in the country,
has been selected as the sole finalist for the position of University
of Houston System chancellor and UH president.
A devoted teacher, seasoned educational administrator and respected
scholar, Khator has a doctorate and master’s degree in political
science from Purdue University and earned her bachelor’s degree
from Kanpur University in India.
UH System Board of Regents Chairman Welcome Wilson made the announcement
Monday following a vote by the board. Texas law requires that the
board give public notice at least 21 days prior to a meeting in
which final action is taken on the employment of a university chancellor
or president. The board can meet anytime on or after November 5
and vote to confirm Khator.
If approved, she will become the third person to hold the dual
title of UH System chancellor and UH president. She follows Arthur
Smith, who retired in 2003, and Jay Gogue, who became president
of Auburn University, his alma mater, this summer. A 20-member search
advisory committee, led by Regent Leroy Hermes, submitted to the
board a list of candidates to consider as Gogue’s replacement.
“Dr. Khator is an educational superstar. I want to thank
the search advisory committee for bringing us an absolutely stellar
slate of candidates,” said Wilson. “It was clear to
us that Dr. Khator is the right person at the right time for the
University of Houston and the UH System. I am extremely pleased
to announce her as our sole candidate for chancellor and president.
She brings a wealth of experience in moving a great university onto
the national stage. I know she can make a real difference here.
She has already shown her commitment to students and faculty and
the community in her work at the University of South Florida. We
look forward to bringing her to Houston to lead this university
and this system to the next level of excellence.”
Once confirmed, she is expected to begin serving in January 2008.
Interim Chancellor and President John M. Rudley will continue to
serve until Khator takes office.
The 52-year-old Renu Khator (pronounced rah-NEW ka-TOOR)
has served as provost at the University of South Florida since 2003,
and was dean of the College of Arts & Sciences for three years
prior to that. From 1997 to 2000, she served as the director of
USF’s Environmental Science and Policy Department. She has
served as professor of government & international affairs at
the university since 1995. She is the author or editor of five scholarly
books and numerous articles concerning global public administration,
environmental issues, and South Asian politics.
A native of India, she came to the United States in 1974 after
her marriage to Suresh Khator. Both pursued graduate degrees at
Purdue University and later accepted teaching positions at USF.
He is a professor of Industrial & Management Systems Engineering
and director of computing for the College of Engineering at USF.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and serves
as faculty athletic representative to the NCAA. They have two daughters,
“I have been very impressed by the bold and embracing vision
of the University of Houston System,” said Khator. “I
applaud the board’s continuing commitment to academic excellence,
economic development, diversity and PK-16 education. The University
of Houston System, with its distinctive yet complementary institutions,
is poised to become a model metropolitan university providing access
and excellence with equal ease. I look forward to being a part of
this wonderful institution and exciting city and state.”
USF, where Khator is the second highest ranking administrator,
is a comprehensive, doctoral-extensive, research university with
four campuses, including a medical school, in Tampa, St. Petersburg,
Sarasota-Manatee, and Lakeland. Last year, USF enrolled 44,000 students
and had a budget of $1.6 billion.
Khator has a long history of community engagement, serving on numerous
boards, including the Moffitt Cancer Hospital Board of Directors,
the Hillsborough Education Foundation Board, the Lowry Park Zoo
Board, and she recently served as a member of the National Advisory
Council on Environmental Policy and Management. She has recently
been appointed to the National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate
Education and Research Program Panel (NSF-IGERT) and the American
Council on Education Forum on Internationalism and Multiculturalism.
She enjoys writing poetry and short stories, several of which have
been published. In addition to her duties as provost, she has been
teaching a course in Hindi at USF this year.
Describing her administrative style, Khator has said, “My
training as a public policy person helps me tremendously. When I
see an issue, I tackle it just as I would an academic research issue.
I take a comprehensive look, and then I make a decision.”
The Khators were honored by India this year, receiving the Jewel
of India, a special award recognizing non-resident Indians for making
outstanding contributions in their field. The United States Citizenship
and Immigration Services included Dr. Renu Khator among its 2006
Outstanding American by Choice awardees. The award recognizes
outstanding achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens. Also in 2006,
Dr. Khator received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from
Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts and the Outstanding
Educator Award from the American Foundation for Greek Language
and Culture for enhancing Hellenic studies.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A photo is available online: http://www.uh.edu/admin/media/nr/2007/10oct/khator.html.
More information on Dr. Khator will be available at http://www.uhsa.uh.edu/leadersearch/.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON SYSTEM
The University of Houston System is the state’s only metropolitan
higher education system, encompassing four universities and two
multi-institution teaching centers. The universities are the University
of Houston, a nationally recognized doctoral degree-granting, comprehensive
research university; the University of Houston-Downtown, a four-year
undergraduate university beginning limited expansion into graduate
programs; and the University of Houston-Clear Lake and the University
of Houston-Victoria, both upper division and master’s-level
institutions. The centers are the UH System at Sugar Land in Fort
Bend and the UH System at Cinco Ranch. In addition, the UH System
includes KUHF-FM, Houston’s National Public Radio and classical
radio station, and KUHT-TV, the nation’s first educational
For more information about UH visit the universitys Newsroom