About Renu Khator

About President Khator

Renu Khator became the thirteenth president and eighth chancellor of the University of Houston in January 2008. Khator oversees a system with an annual operating budget that exceeds $1 billion, serves more than 57,000 students and has an annual economic impact of $3 billion.

Her vision for the university is shaped by more than 12,000 suggestions offered in her first 100 days. With enthusiastic support from UH constituencies, her focus is on student success while building a nationally-competitive research university recognized among the best in the nation.

Khator, born in Uttar Pradesh, India, earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Kanpur. She received her master's degree and her Ph.D. in political science from Purdue University. A noted scholar in the field of global environmental policy, Khator has published five books and several articles on this subject. She previously served as provost and senior vice president at the University of South Florida, capping a 22-year career at that institution.

Her husband, Suresh Khator, is a faculty member in the UH Cullen College of Engineering. She has two daughters, Pooja and Parul, who are both ophthalmologists


  • Ph.D. 1985. Purdue University (Political Science/Public Administration)
  • M.A. 1975. Purdue University (Political Science)
  • B. A. 1973. Kanpur University, India (Liberal Arts)


  • Recipient of Hind Rattan (Jewel of India) award given to non-resident Indians for making outstanding contributions in their field (2007).
  • Outstanding American by Choice. Award given by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to recognize the outstanding achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens (2006).
  • Recipient of Distinguished Alumnus Award from Purdue University, College of Liberal Arts (2006).


University of Houston & University of Houston System

The University of Houston System includes the University of Houston, UH-Downtown, UH-Clear Lake and UH-Victoria. The system also includes the teaching centers at Sugar Land and Cinco Ranch, and KUHT, the nation’s first educational television station, and KUHF, Houston’s National Public Radio station.

  • Chancellor & President (November 2007 – present)

The University of South Florida

Established in 1956, The University of South Florida is the ninth largest university in the United States. With a budget of over $1.6 billion, USF offers 200 degree programs to more than 44,000 students on its four campuses.

  • Provost and Senior Vice President(July 2003–November 2007)
  • Dean, College of Arts and Sciences(July 2000–June 2003)
  • Director/Chair, Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) Department(August 1997–June 2000)
  • Faculty Assistant to President (May 1995–August 1997)
  • Director of Graduate Program, Department of Government & International Affairs (1990–1993)


  • Overseeing an annual $1.6 billion budget, working with nearly a dozen attorneys and auditors, leading more than seventy department heads and directing 1,800 full-time faculty members.
  • Leading the expansion of South Florida’s sponsored research, which grew by 22 percent, from $255 million to $310 million.
  • Recently serving as a member of the National Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Management and being appointed to the National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research (NSF-IGERT) Program Panel and the American Council on Education Forum on Internationalism and Multiculturalism.
  • Playing a pivotal role in securing an $18.5 million donation from philanthropists Kiran and Pallavi Patel, which was matched by the state for a total of $34.5 million to build the Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions, a research center that aims to improve living conditions in underdeveloped countries.
  • Receiving the 2006 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts.
  • Returning to the classroom at USF to teach a course in her native language, Hindi.