Skip to main content

Office of the President

The President of the University of Houston is the CEO of an organization with over 40,000 students, over 900 tenure and tenure-track faculty, 4,300 full-time staff members, and an annual budget slightly over $1 billion.  The President is aided by a Cabinet comprised of Vice Presidents who are in charge of the university’s major divisions and individuals who represent other constituencies, such as faculty and alumni. The President of the University of Houston also holds the title of Chancellor of the University of Houston System.  The Vice Presidents and other administrators also hold dual titles at the system level.

President's Organizational Chart

The President’s Medallion is awarded at the sole discretion of the President to individuals or organizations who have distinguished themselves by their support of the University of Houston. 

University Commencement is the formal university-wide celebration at which President Renu Khator officially confers degrees upon graduating students. The ceremony features a processional of graduates and faculty, remarks from the President, and a vibrant keynote speaker. University Commencement is an event not to be missed for students, families, and friends.

Past Presidents

For most of its history, the UH System has referred to its chief executive officer as Chancellor and to the CEO of its four universities as President, with two exceptions to this practice.  First, between 1956 and 1961, the University of Houston had both a Chancellor and a President, an arrangement never repeated since.  Second, when the smaller campuses first became universities, their CEOs were called Chancellors. 

After the UH System was created in 1977, the title of UH’s CEO was also changed to Chancellor and the title of the UH System’s CEO was changed to President.  The titles were reversed in 1986, and remain so to this day.  In 1997, the administrations of the UH System and the University of Houston were combined under one CEO, with the dual title of Chancellor of the UH System and President of the University of Houston.

(*) denotes dual UH System and UH titles and responsibilities

UH System

Philip G. Hoffman, 1977-79
Charles E. Bishop, 1980-86
Wilbur L. Meier, 1986-89
Glenn A. Goerke (interim), 1989
Alexander F. Schilt, 1989-95
William P. Hobby, 1995-97
Arthur K. Smith*, 1997-03
Jay Gogue*, 2003-07
John Rudley* (interim), 2007
Renu Khator*, 2008-present

University of Houston

Edison D. Oberholtzer, President, Houston Junior College, 1927-34, and President, UH, 1934-50
Walter W. Kemmerer (acting), 1950-52, President, 1953
Charles F. McElhinney (acting), 1953-54
A. D. Bruce, President, 1954-56, and Chancellor, 1956-61
Clanton W. Williams, 1956-60
Philip G. Hoffman, 1961-77
Barry Munitz, 1977-83
Hugh Walker (interim), 1982-83
Richard L. Van Horn, 1983-89
George E. Magner (interim), 1989-90
Marguerite Ross Barnett, 1990-92
James H. Pickering (acting, interim), 1992, President, 1992-95
Glenn A. Goerke, 1995-97
Arthur K. Smith*, 1997-03
Jay Gogue*, 2003-07
John Rudley* (interim), 2007
Renu Khator*, 2008-present