January 26, 2022
Dear Faculty and Staff,
With mixed emotions, I announce that Paula Myrick Short, University of Houston System senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and University of Houston senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, has decided that she will retire, due to family health issues, in August 2022. I will miss her dedicated leadership but on a personal level, I understand her desire to spend more time with family and loved ones. I am very happy for her to make this well-earned transition.
During her remarkable, decade-long tenure serving the UH System and UH, Provost Short has provided enlightened and effective leadership that has propelled the University’s academic enterprise to reach new heights of excellence. She launched numerous successful initiatives focusing on academic quality and student success, such as UHin4, the Open Textbook Network, the Provost Summer Read Program, Passport for Coogs, the Global Citizens Credential and Cub Camp. As a result of these collective efforts, UH’s four-year graduation rate increased 114% from 2012 to 2020. The six-year graduation rate increased 35% from 2012 to 2020.
As UH’s provost, Short established the UH Graduate School and led the development and establishment of two new colleges and schools: the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts and the Hobby School of Public Affairs. As the chief academic officer, she led and implemented initiatives to recruit and retain top-quality faculty and support the growth and success of the research enterprise. Over the span of six years, the number of Black and Hispanic tenure and tenure-track faculty members at UH increased by 40% and women tenure and tenure-track faculty members rose 26%. The number of women full professors increased 59%, from 75 to 119.
Dr. Short enjoys immense respect and admiration from all who have worked with her over the years. This includes those who have worked with her in her national leadership roles prior to joining the University of Houston and UH System. Her accomplishments as provost have been invaluable not only to UH and the UH System but to higher education across Texas. She founded and led the development of Houston Guided Pathways to Success, an integrated system of cohesive, interdependent strategies designed to increase and accelerate student completion and smooth two-year to four-year college transfer while improving educational quality for Houston area students. Led by UH, Houston GPS is a consortium of 13 institutions that, together, will assist more than 300,000 students in the Houston metropolitan area.
Provost Short was instrumental in leading UH’s new strategic plan. So even as we prepare for her departure later this year, the strong programs, improved processes and groundwork laid for the for future success of UH and the UH System will continue to make a difference in the lives of countless students, faculty members, chairs and deans for many years to come.
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the University of Houston as provost and the University of Houston System as senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. Our students, faculty, staff and administration are amazing, and I leave feeling great pride in all that we have accomplished together,” said Short.
I will soon announce a search committee and I am grateful she has agreed to stay on as we begin the search for her successor. In the meantime, please take a moment to thank Provost Short for her service to UH and the UH System. I speak for all faculty, staff, students and alumni when I wish her the best. She will be sorely missed.
With warm regards,
Chancellor, University of Houston System
President, University of Houston