Chancellor, University of Houston System
President, University of Houston
Renu Khator holds the dual titles of chancellor of the University of Houston System and president of UH. The UH System’s first woman chancellor and the first Indian immigrant to head a comprehensive research university in the United States, she assumed her post in January 2008.
As chancellor of the four-university UH System, Khator oversees an organization that serves more than 66,000 students, has a budget that exceeds $1.3 billion, and has a $3.5 billion-plus economic impact on the Greater Houston area each year. The UH System includes UH, UH-Clear Lake, UH-Downtown, UH-Victoria plus branch campuses in Pearland and NW Houston and teaching centers in Cinco Ranch and Sugar Land; as well as KUHT, the nation’s first educational television station, and two radio stations – KUHF, Houston’s National Public Radio affiliate, and the classical music station KUHA.
As UH president, she is the chief executive officer of the largest and oldest of the four UH System universities. UH now enrolls 40,000-plus students, offers more than 300 undergraduate and graduate programs and awards 7,000 degrees each year.
During her tenure, UH has experienced record-breaking research funding, enrollment and private support. In 2011, UH became a Tier One university, with the Carnegie Foundation elevating it into the top category of research universities. The university was also recognized by the Princeton Review for excellence in undergraduate education and by the Chronicle for Higher Education as an exceptional workplace.
Khator earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Kanpur, and received her master’s and Ph.D. in political science from Purdue University. A noted scholar in the field of global environmental policy, she is widely published. Prior to her appointment, she was provost and senior vice president at the University of South Florida, capping a 22-year career at that institution.
She was recently appointed to the Indian Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council, and serves on several advisory boards, including the American Council on Education and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Khator’s husband, Dr. Suresh Khator, is associate dean of the UH Cullen College of Engineering. The Khators have two daughters, both of whom are ophthalmologists, and a grandson.