Presidential Cabinet and Organizational Changes - University of Houston
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Presidential Cabinet and Organizational Changes

September 15, 2022

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Dear Faculty and Staff,

Today, I write to inform you of some important organizational changes in my cabinet.

VC/VP Elnashai Stepping Down: After serving for five years as Vice Chancellor/Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer, Dr. Amr Elnashai has stepped down from his position for personal reasons. He will return to his home department in civil and environmental engineering at the Cullen College of Engineering.

During his tenure, he has been instrumental in developing the 50-in-5 vision, a University-wide program focused on increasing our research and scholarly output and the number of national research centers at UH. He launched several initiatives to accomplish this vision. These include developing interdisciplinary themes, launching Presidential Frontier Faculty, enhancing the federal agenda, helping secure multiple federal research centers and enhancing faculty’s ability to pursue their research interests through internal grants. Today, we have a credible research record that has put us in a position to request special legislative funding, due in part to Dr. Elnashai’s efforts. Please reach out to him and thank him for his service and accomplishments.

Interim Vice Chancellor/Vice President for Research: I have appointed Dr. Claudia Neuhauser in this interim role. Dr. Neuhauser currently serves as the Associate VC/VP for Research and is responsible for day-to-day operations. Dr. Neuhauser understands that hands-on management is our top priority in achieving long-term success and is committed to focusing on rebuilding the research operations and services to keep up with our goals and ambitions.

The search for a VC/VP for Research will be launched once we have completed the provost’s search.

Division of Energy and Innovation: Consistent with our new Strategic Plan and recognizing the need for a University-wide focus on innovation, the following three steps are being taken:

  1. The role of Chief Energy Officer is being retitled to Vice President for Energy and Innovation. Dr. Ramanan Krishnamoorti has been serving as Chief Energy Officer for the past several years and will now serve as the Vice President for Energy and Innovation.
  2. A new University-wide position of Chief Innovation Officer is being established to lead our innovation portfolio. This position will report to the Vice President for Energy and Innovation.
  3. The Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation is transitioning from the Division of Research to the Division of Energy and Innovation. This change will enhance our organizational effectiveness and further our efforts to bring UH discoveries to the marketplace.

Dr. Krishnamoorti and the Chief Innovation Officer will work closely with other vice presidents and colleges to accomplish the goals outlined in our strategic plan. They will also be engaged in the programming and construction of the Innovation Hub, a future state-of-the-art facility that will connect research, entrepreneurship and innovation efforts across the University.

There are many possibilities for us to take our game to the next level, from our flagship campus on Cullen Blvd. to our instructional sites in Sugar Land and Katy. It is our hope that these organizational updates and focused attention on innovation will help us realize those possibilities.

Each of you plays a crucial role in how we achieve our institutional mission. If you have any suggestions for me, please do not hesitate to reach out.

With warm regards,
Renu Khator