Chancellor, University of Houston System
President, University of Houston
Renu Khator is in her second decade as president of the University of Houston, having assumed the post, as well as the UH System’s chancellorship, in January 2008.
UH, the largest and oldest of the four UH System universities, enrolls more than 46,000 students, offers 261 degree programs and awards nearly 10,000 degrees each year. During her tenure, UH has experienced record-breaking research funding, enrollment and private support, highlighted by the “Here, We Go” campaign which surpassed its $1 billion goal in February 2019, eighteen months ahead of the campaign’s scheduled completion.
Born in Uttar Pradesh, India, she earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Kanpur, and her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in political science and public administration from Purdue University. Prior to her appointment at UH, she was provost and senior vice president at the University of South Florida, capping a 22-year career at that institution.
Her current international, national and state appointments include, among others, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, member of the Board of Governors of the NCAA, member of the Board of Directors of the NCAA Division I, member of the Board of Directors of the American Athletic Conference (which she chaired from 2017 to 2019), member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Empowered Expert Committee, member of The Philosophical Society of Texas and Chancellor Representative on the Executive Committee of the Texas Council of Public University President and Chancellors. She has been inducted into the Texas Women Hall of Fame.
Locally, she is a member of the Advisory Board of the Texas Medical Center, the Greater Houston Partnership and the Board of Advisors of the Indian-American Chamber of Commerce of Houston, among others.
She is the former Chair of the American Council on Education and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Business-Higher Education Forum, the Indian Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Academic Advisory Council and the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum, among others.
Among the institutional accomplishments Khator is most proud of are the elevation of UH to Tier One status in 2011, being awarded a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in 2015, establishing a College of Medicine in 2018 and improving graduation rates 10 points in 10 years.