Message From the President

University of Houston Magazine - Winter 2009

When I am invited to speak to alumni groups, professional and business organizations, civic clubs, and at many other events, my message has been consistent—the imperative to elevate the University of Houston to top-tier national status, coupled with our mission of ensuring the success of our students.

No university can reach the top ranks nationwide without providing a top-tier learning environment focused on student success. So I would like to share with you what we mean by "student success."

Student success means more than handing a diploma to thousands of graduates at the end of their college careers.

Student success starts with intelligent recruiting, with the university pursuing and attracting the most promising and qualified students from all backgrounds. It continues with effective and student-friendly services, from admissions and financial aid to advising and housing. Student success also reflects the quality of our academic programs, the commitment of our faculty, and the opportunities we afford our students for research, internships, and community service. And finally, student success is measured by how well we have prepared our graduates—once they leave UH—not just to work, but to be leaders in the global marketplace.

I am pleased with the good job we are doing across campus to ensure the success of our students. For first-time-in-college freshmen, we have established the JUMP program, which gives them a head start to complete six credit hours in the summer preceding their first semester. We have tripled the number of merit-based scholarship offers to this group, complemented by the graduation pledge and four-year graduation contract. We have significantly increased the number of academic advisors. We have created affordable weekend and summer pricing strategies. And we have launched the Cougar Promise, a waiver of tuition and fees for students whose families earn less than $30,000 per year.

I know we can always refine and expand the services and academic resources we provide, so our students will leave here with good memories and a desire to become involved and supportive alumni.

Let’s take stock of all we do as we interact with our students at all levels and ask ourselves, how can we make their college experience more productive, more fulfilling, and more valuable to them, their families, and the communities in which they will live and work.


Renu Khator
UH System Chancellor and UH President