On November 7, 2008, the University of Houston celebrated the investiture of Renu Khator as its thirteenth president. President Khator also holds the title of chancellor of the UH System, the eighth individual to hold that post. She is the first woman in the institution’s history to hold both titles. The investiture ceremony was scheduled for September 18, 2008, but was canceled because of Hurricane Ike, which struck the Houston area the weekend before.
When she took office in January 2008, President Renu Khator invited the university community, friends, and supporters to email her during her first “100 Days” with suggestions – more than 12,000 were received – on how to help the University of Houston attain Tier One status . After culling and categorizing the suggestions, six strategic goals – a blueprint for Tier One success – were identified and adopted by the UH System Board of Regents.
Hurricane Ike struck Texas on September 13, 2008. While major damage was experienced by Galveston and other coastal communities, the Houston metropolitan area, including the UH campus, suffered less severely. Nevertheless, UH lost many trees, and several buildings were damaged. As soon as the campus re-opened, the Cougar family rallied to offer help to Houstonians in need. At a FEMA “Point of Delivery” set up at Robertson Stadium, students, faculty, staff, and cadets from UH’s Air Force and Army ROTC programs helped distribute 144,000 liters of bottled water, 480,00 pounds of ice, and 65,000 MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) to 40,000 fellow citizens.