THE OPPORTUNITY

The University of Houston (UH), located in the nation’s fourth largest city, is a public, urban institution of higher education chartered by the State of Texas. Founded in 1927, UH is the flagship and only PhD granting institution in the University of Houston system. It is the third largest university in Texas with over 46,000 students and 2,700 faculty. A Tier One public research institution and one of the country’s most vibrant and ethnically diverse universities, UH is a dynamic hub of creativity and progress with award-winning faculty, innovative research centers, and alumni who have become international leaders.

As its primary objective, UH is dedicated to becoming a nationally recognized institution in the 21st century which anticipates and responds to changing demographics in an increasingly diverse and globally interdependent world. Student success has been identified as one of the University’s six strategic goals, and is at the core of the mission of the student affairs and enrollment services division.

The Position

ROLE OF THE ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS AND DEAN OF STUDENTS

The associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students (AVPDOS) is responsible for providing vision, leadership, and effective management for a broad set of critical campus-wide programs, services and operations that support and enhance the student experience. The position reports to the vice chancellor/vice president for student affairs and enrollment services and is a key advisor to the vice chancellor/vice president on matters involving student advocacy, student conduct, and policy and compliance. The associate vice president works closely with the vice chancellor/vice president, the vice chancellor/vice president’s executive and senior leadership teams, faculty, staff, and students to strengthen a collaborative university-wide effort to support students in achieving academic and personal success. The associate vice president currently has seven direct reports: an associate dean of students; an assistant dean of students; four directors; and an office manager.

The following are the major departments that report directly to the AVPDOS:

  • Children’s Learning Centers
  • Dean of Students Office
    • Commuter Programs
    • Parent and Family Programs
    • Student Judicial Programs/Code of Conduct
    • Student Outreach and Support
  • International Student and Scholar Services
  • Veteran Student Services
  • Women and Gender Resource Center

Additionally, the AVPDOS collaborates with the Office of General Counsel and other stakeholders to identify, update, publish, and distribute pertinent information in compliance with applicable federal and state laws, acts, and/or legislation; oversees the annual allocation of student service fees via the Student Fees Advisory Committee (SFAC); serves as chair of the UH Conduct Assessment and Response Team (CART); serves as the division liaison to the Alumni Association, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, and the Police Department; and is a member of the UH Policy Advisory Council and University of Houston System Compliance Committee.

HISTORY OF THE POSITION

Dr. William Munson has served as UH’s dean of students since 1988, and has served as associate vice president/dean of students since 2001. Dr. Munson has announced his retirement from UH effective the end of the current academic year.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE POSITION

The associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students must possess a broad and deep understanding of the current and emerging trends with regards to student conduct; compliance with institutional, state and federal regulations; and supporting and advocating for diverse populations of students. It is important that the associate vice president be an experienced student affairs leader with well-developed capacity to manage complex situations, committed to student success and advocacy at the highest level, and equipped to contribute at both a strategic and operational level within a large and highly respected division of student affairs and enrollment services.

Within this context, there are several aspects of the role of the associate vice president and dean of students in which the successful candidate will need to be prepared to lead after a period of acclimatization and relationship building. These include:

  1. Quickly and seamlessly joining the vice chancellor/vice president’s executive leadership team and contributing to the advancement of the division’s mission and priorities through active participation and engagement.
  2. Assessing the structure, resources and services of the department, followed by formulation of a cohesive and strategic vision and ‘brand’ that brings together the various functions and activities of the department with an eye towards serving UH students.
  3. Being highly visible on campus and quickly connecting with stakeholders to learn how the University of Houston campus operates and how it interacts with the UH system. Stakeholders described UH’s culture as ‘fast moving and entrepreneurial in spirit’ and the associate vice president will be expected to match the energy of the university.
  4. Developing strong relationships with the staff that report up to the associate vice president and supporting individual and group level professional development plans that focus on:
    • understanding current trends and best practices;
    • professional contribution and participation through regional and national associations; and
    • elevating the programs and services of the department.
  5. Becoming familiar with the Student Fee Allocation process, by-laws and regulations at UH and working closely with the Student Fee Allocation Committee (SFAC) to prepare for the next allocation cycle and for approval by the vice chancellor/vice president, chancellor/president, with final fee approval by the Board of Regents.
  6. Reviewing the charge of the Conduct Assessment and Response Team (CART) and engaging committee members in moving the committee from one that is reactive to one that is also proactive in addressing issues and dynamics that lead to student behavioral issues.

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

The associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students will work with Vice Chancellor/Vice President Walker to determine specific measures of success and related timetables. The search committee and stakeholders offer the following general metrics for the position:

  • The associate vice president has established strong working connections with all members of the vice chancellor/vice president’s executive leadership team.
  • The associate vice president has thoroughly and thoughtfully assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the department’s operational and fiscal infrastructure and has developed a set of recommendations to move the department to its next best iteration.
  • The associate vice president has formulated and articulated a clear vision that focuses the work of all functions in their portfolio on student success and advocacy.
  • The staff and functions who report up to the associate vice president feel supported and are able to connect their work to the broader vision of the department and division.
  • The associate vice president has established themselves as a knowledgeable and trusted partner with stakeholders across campus, including but not limited to general counsel, intercollegiate athletics, university police, alumni association and academic affairs colleagues.
  • The associate vice president is visible and engaged and has earned credibility and respect with students.
  • The associate vice president has become familiar with the Student Fee Allocation process and advises the committee successfully through the allocation cycle.

QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

A master’s degree in a related field and a minimum of seven years of progressive experience in student affairs administration are required. A doctoral degree is preferred. Demonstrated outstanding supervision and coaching skills, experience as a member of a senior leadership team at a complex institution, and a contemporary and sophisticated understanding of student conduct and legal issues that affect students are required.

The ideal candidate will be an energetic and instinctive collaborator who possesses:

  • a passionate commitment to supporting and advocating for students;
  • the ability to navigate circumstances that require effective negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution skills;
  • knowledge of emerging trends and dynamics that affect the management of student affairs;
  • the ability to formulate and articulate a vision for the work of the department; and
  • excellent fiscal management skills.

The search committee is especially interested in candidates who have a clearly articulated understanding of and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as a record of innovation and success in supporting the needs of a highly diverse student body.

Additionally, in order to succeed in this critical position, campus stakeholders indicated the new associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students should be someone who:

  • is thoughtful, deliberate and informed;
  • has demonstrated success as an advocate and champion for diversity, equity, inclusivity, accessibility, and social justice, along with a willingness to stand up for these values;
  • is able to identify synergies and mobilize them effectively;
  • has both a strong work ethic and a commitment to work-life balance;
  • has a sense of humor and can build an enjoyable working environment;
  • has contemporary, progressive and deep experience in student conduct and Title IX processes;
  • is an open and empathetic listener;
  • can be a bridge builder and connector;
  • enjoys being innovative and creative;
  • has a steady hand and is fair and ethical;
  • is comfortable moving quickly and confident in their work;
  • is comfortable with policies, including legislative directives and unfunded mandates;
  • is adaptable and resilient;
  • has the capacity to be deliberate and intentional about moving the work of the unit forward;
  • has had supervised layers of staff, including multiple offices or departments;
  • is skilled in ‘bringing the work back to the mission’;
  • has a proven record of hiring, developing and coaching a high functioning team;
  • is partnership oriented;
  • understands strategic enrollment management;
  • is comfortable with a culture of assessment;
  • has been actively involved in local, state and national professional associations;
  • is adept at supporting and managing change and can improve upon existing operations and practices;
  • has served as a member of a wide range of campus-level committees and has a track record of collaboration;
  • has experience working with or responding to the needs of veteran students;
  • has been a member of behavior care or incident response teams and is able to provide a sharp focus and the necessary training for team members;
  • respects the student experience and champions a student-centered environment;
  • has strong fiscal and administrative skills; and
  • will take time to learn and champion University of Houston’s culture, strengths, and unique value propositions.

THE DIVISION OF STUDENT AFFAIRS AND ENROLLMENT SERVICES: AN OVERVIEW

The Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Portfolio

Children’s Learning Centers

The mission of the Children’s Learning Centers (CLC) is to facilitate an inclusive learning environment that celebrates diversity as well as promotes a professional commitment to impacting our community and supporting student success, through the provision of a nationally accredited early childhood educational program for the children of University of Houston (UH) students, faculty, and staff.

Dean of Students Office

The Dean of Students office is committed to student success. Through the following units and functions, the office advocates for students as they navigate personal and educational challenges, educate to promote a respectful and safe campus environment, and engage parent and family members as partners in the educational process.

  1. Commuter Student Services’ mission is to provide support services and effective communication to help facilitate commuter students’ success and connection to the UH community. Its primary purpose is to ensure that commuter students’ needs are acknowledged and addressed by the campus community.
  2. UH’s Conduct Assessment and Response Team (CART) is charged with providing a proactive, multidisciplinary, and collaborative approach to assessing and responding to students who exhibit threatening and/or concerning behaviors. The CART is designed to assist faculty, staff, students and the administration by providing information and assistance in dealing with behavior that disrupts the educational mission of the University.
  3. The Dean of Students Leadership Council (DOSLC) includes both undergraduate and graduate students dedicated to improving the UH student experience. Serving in the capacity of student advocates, the DOSLC members seek to address common topics of concern among the student body and strategize proactive solutions to improving the student experience. Council members provide valuable insight to DOS staff regarding policies, programs, and procedures seeking to identify barriers and address them with campus stakeholders.
  4. Parent and Family Programs strives to create an environment where parents and family members are informed and involved with their student’s college career. It aims to establish a positive relationship with parents and family members as an important factor in the continued success of their student.
  5. The Student Fees Advisory Committee (SFAC) is made up of seven (7) students, two (2) faculty and one (1) non-voting advisor and is charged with recommending funding allocations for Student Services Fees. At the conclusion of the annual process, SFAC forwards its allocation recommendations, as well as a recommendation on the amount of the SFAC Fee for the following year to UH’s vice president for student affairs and enrollment services and the president.
  6. Student Judicial Programs aims to maintain a civil and orderly academic environment on campus by administering the University of Houston Student Code of Conduct. The disciplinary system at the University of Houston is educational in nature; its goal is to hold students accountable for their actions and to help them understand how their actions impact themselves and others.
  7. Student Outreach and Support (SOS) responds to referrals regarding concerns about student safety and wellbeing, and connects and collaborates with campus and community partners to ensure students are offered a continuum of care and support.

International Student and Scholar Services

International Student and Scholar Services advances the goals of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services by providing for the special needs of international students and exchange visitors related to their status as non-immigrants of the United States. It fulfills the University of Houston’s responsibility to comply with the laws and regulations of the U.S. government and promotes internationalization through comprehensive services and programs.

Veteran Services

Veteran Services (VS) empowers new and current student-veterans, as well as Reserve, Guard, and Active Duty personnel, and their eligible dependent family members. The professional and student staff are available to address the needs and concerns of military and veteran students through a variety of programs, services, and resources. VS provides academic support and guidance, informational assistance with federal and state educational benefits, and much more. Working closely with UH Veterans Administration (VA) certifying officials in the Office of the University Registrar at the Welcome Center, VS serves more than 1600 students. Faculty and staff also benefit from VS resources.

Women and Gender Resource Center

The mission of the Women and Gender Resource Center (WGRC) is to promote gender equity, gender justice, and student success at the University of Houston through advocacy, education, empowerment, and support services.

About the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services

Comprising 30 departments and programs, the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services supports the University’s mission by providing a comprehensive array of services, programs, and activities that enhance the learning environment and development of the whole student.

The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services comprises five major functional areas:

  • Teaching Students to Stay Healthy: The University offers programs and services that address mind, body, and spirit. Students have many fitness and athletic options to explore and have access to excellent healthcare services.
  • Leading Students to Get Involved: The division helps students get involved on campus to better develop leadership skills, character, and discipline. Creating global citizens who are ready to contribute to the world.
  • Providing Ways to Get Support: The division provides opportunities for students to achieve their goals by offering services that complement their academic experiences. Supporting students’ general needs that, when met, provide a foundation for academic and personal success.
  • Encouraging Students to Live On Campus: Living in a residence hall provides access to many services and resources, as well as the support to focus on academics and the experience of being a part of a diverse community.
  • Empowering Students to Take Charge: The division supports prospective and admitted students through a variety of resources and touch points throughout their college life-cycle that lead to retention and timely graduation.

Mission

The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services cultivates an environment that facilitates student success through learning, discovery, and engagement.

Vision

The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services will provide a nationally acclaimed student experience that results in a valuable impact on persistence and graduation.

Values

The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services is committed to an ethic of care, including a commitment to civility and individual growth and learning, while holding firm and true to our core values:

  • Empowerment – We empower students and staff through programs, development, and employment.
  • Transparency – We provide transparency of purpose with honesty and integrity.
  • Accountability – We are accountable in the provision of quality programs and services.
  • Diversity and Inclusion – We celebrate diversity and embrace the intentional inclusion of all experiences and cultures while fostering a welcoming and open community.
  • Innovation – We expect innovation as we develop cutting-edge programs and services that continuously strive for excellence while supporting student success.
  • Collaboration – We embrace the spirit of collaboration through mutually beneficial partnerships on campus and in the surrounding environments fostering the exchange of knowledge, resources and expertise.

Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services Facts and Figures

  • More than 400 full-time employees
  • Seven campus residence halls
  • Two housing partnership properties
  • Three main campus health and wellness facilities: Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, Health Center, Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Two campus event centers: Student Centers, A.D. Bruce Religion Center

Leadership of the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services

Dr. Richard Walker – Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services – UH System

Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services – University of Houston

Dr. Walker has 37 years of experience in higher education, at both public and private institutions. He currently serves as the vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment services for the University of Houston System and vice president for student affairs and enrollment services for the University of Houston. He also serves as an instructor for the Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies program within the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the College of Education at the University of Houston.

Dr. Walker received his Ed.D. in higher education leadership from the University of Miami. He earned a specialist in education, education administration and supervision from Middle Tennessee State University, a master of education in education administration and supervision from Memphis State University, and a bachelor of science in history from Middle Tennessee State University. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education Management Development.

Dr. Walker is involved in several student affairs professional associations and has served as the national president, executive vice president, and conference chairperson for the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors. He is a past treasurer for the AFA Foundation Board of Directors. Currently, he is a member of TACUSPA – the Texas Association of College & University Student Personnel Administrators and previously served on the TACUSPA Foundation Committee. He is a member of TCCSAO – the Texas Council Chief Student Affairs Officers and currently serves as the secretary/treasurer. He is also a member of ACPA – College Student Educators International, Association of College Unions International, and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. He was a member of the 2015 NASPA national Board of Directors serving as the 2015 NASPA national conference chair. He served NASPA as the chair of the James E. Scott Academy Board and was a member of the NASPA Emergency Resources Advisory Group. He recently rejoined the NASPA Board of Directors as the Member-at-Large serving from March 2019 to March 2021.

NASPA and the NASPA Foundation named Dr. Walker as a 2016 Pillar of the Profession. The award honors sustained professional distinction in higher education recognizing extraordinary excellence and service, significant lifetime contributions, and leadership roles in NASPA. In June 2015 he received the NASPA Region III John Jones Award for Outstanding Performance as a Senior Student Affairs Officer. He is a past recipient of the AFA Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Walker was named the recipient of the 2018 Dr. Kent Gardner Award from the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors. The honor is presented annually to a senior university administrator who exemplifies a commitment to fraternities and sororities through the development of partnerships, creation of positive change, and mentoring of new and seasoned professionals.

He has served Sigma Alpha Epsilon as the chair and member of the Extension Advisory Committee, chair of the New Member Education Committee, Province Archon for Nu-Epsilon, member of the Leadership School Planning Committee, Leadership School Faculty, and member of the search committee for the Eminent Supreme Recorder position.

Strategic Plan

The 2019 – 2023 Strategic Plan

The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services exemplifies its own mission, vision, and values, by undertaking the following strategic initiatives.

Student Success

Champion exceptional opportunities and services to support all UH students.

  • Engage all students to intentionally develop leadership qualities, critical thinking and communication skills, diversity competencies, and personal growth.
  • Expand diverse experiences on exploration and education while identifying and meeting the needs of the student population through supportive, inclusive environments.
  • Foster the holistic well-being of all students through coordinated, intentional services and processes.
  • Enhance assessment of student success by defining measures at the departmental and divisional level with focus on the impact of our programs and services.
  • Enrich the sense of connection, belonging, and shared UH identity among all students.

Division Cohesion

Create and foster a cohesive division identity, culture, and community.

  • Implement staff communication strategies that promote a mutual understanding of who we are and what we do.
  • Strengthen staff connections within the division, both professionally and personally.
  • Invest in staff success through professional development, recognition, and opportunities for broader participation throughout the division.
  • Foster collaborative divisional processes focused on common goals.
  • Promote and create initiatives that support a healthy work/life balance while contributing to division success.

Resources

Evaluate, actively pursue, and leverage resources to enhance the UH experience.

  • Evaluate resources to identify opportunities for efficiency, improvement, and transformation.
  • Pursue and develop resources to address identified gaps and needs.
  • Leverage and adapt resources in innovative ways to increase effective utilization.

Partnerships

Forge and strengthen partnerships to expand our reach into the University and greater community.

  • Educate and empower campus partners to be our advocates.
  • Enhance students’ educational experience by expanding partnerships with academic affairs.
  • Create opportunities for students by developing initiatives that support our neighboring communities.
  • Expand strategic partnerships with K-12 schools and other post-secondary institutions.
  • Promote alumni engagement and support for division initiatives in cooperation with the office of institutional advancement.
  • Raise the profile of the division through regional, national, and international involvement.

Student Affairs and Enrollment Services Organizational Chart

Institution & Location

UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON: AN OVERVIEW

Institutional Background and History

The University of Houston is a public research university and the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. Founded in 1927, it is Texas’ third-largest university with over 45,000 students. Its campus spans 667 acres in southeast Houston. From 1983 to 1991, the school was known as University of Houston–University Park. The Carnegie Foundation classifies UH as a tier one research university.

The University offers 280 degree programs through its 15 academic colleges on campus—including programs leading to professional degrees in law, optometry, and pharmacy. The newest college is the College of Medicine scheduled to admit thirty students in the inaugural class in 2020. The institution boasts $109 million in sponsored funding and $169 million in research expenditures and operates more than 25 research centers on campus. Interdisciplinary research includes superconductivity, space commercialization and exploration, biomedical sciences and engineering, energy and natural resources, and artificial intelligence. The University’s alumni base exceeds 255,000 and the University contributes over $6 billion annually to the Texas economy, generating about 24,000 jobs.

The University of Houston hosts a variety of theatrical performances, concerts, lectures, and events. It has over 500 student organizations and 15 intercollegiate sports teams. Annual UH events and traditions include The Cat’s Back, Homecoming, and Frontier Fiesta. The University’s varsity athletic teams, known as the Houston Cougars, are members of the American Athletic Conference and compete in NCAA Division I. Athletic success at UH is seen through the 17 NCAA team titles, 62 NCAA individual championships, 67 Olympians (with 20 gold medals), 131 conference championships, and over 900 All-Americans.

When the Carnegie Foundation elevated the University of Houston to tier one status in 2011, the designation made the University one of only three public tier one research universities in the state of Texas, along with the University of Texas and Texas A&M.

The city of Houston continues to evolve at a faster pace than other cities in America. As Houston’s namesake university, the institution must keep pace with the momentum of the city. The University seeks to grow in an effort to solidify its position among nationally competitive research universities, including broadening overall excellence and strengthening performance and reputation for student success.

Tour ISU’s campus!

About Houston, Texas

Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest city in the United States. According to 2012 U.S. Census estimates, the city had a population of 2.16 million people within a land area of 599.6 square miles. Houston is the seat of Harris County, and its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the U.S., with over six million people.

Houston was founded in 1836 on land near the banks of Buffalo Bayou (now known as Allen’s Landing) and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837. The city was named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas. The burgeoning port and railroad industries, combined with the discovery of oil in 1901, have led to continual surges in the city’s population. In the mid-twentieth century, Houston became the home of the Texas Medical Center—the world’s largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions, and NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.

Houston’s economy has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. It is also leading in health care sectors and building oil field equipment; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in the amount of international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled.

The city has a diverse population and a large and growing international community. The metropolitan area is home to an estimated 1.1 million (21.4 percent) residents who were born outside the United States, with nearly two-thirds of the area’s foreign-born population from south of the United States-Mexico border. Additionally, more than one in five foreign-born residents is from Asia. The city is home to the nation’s third-largest concentration of consular offices, representing 86 countries.

Houston is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than seven million visitors a year to the museum district. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the theater district and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.

Many annual events celebrate the diverse cultures of Houston. The largest and longest running is the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, held over 20 days from late February to early March. The event is the largest annual livestock show and rodeo in the world. Another large celebration is the annual Houston Pride Parade, held at the end of June. Other annual events include the Houston Greek Festival, Art Car Parade, the Houston Auto Show, the Houston International Festival, and the Bayou City Art Festival, which is considered to be one of the top five art festivals in the United States.

For more information visit the Chamber of Commerce website: https://www.chamberofcommerce.com/houston-tx/chambers-of-commerce.

Mission, Goals, and Shared Values

Mission

The mission of the University of Houston is to offer nationally competitive and internationally recognized opportunities for learning, discovery and engagement to a diverse population of students in a real-world setting. The University of Houston offers a full range of degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and professional levels and pursues a broad agenda of research and creative activities.  As a knowledge resource to the public, the University builds partnerships with other educational institutions, community organizations, government agencies, and the private sector to serve the region and impact the world.

Goals

National Competitiveness:  UH will strengthen its status as a nationally competitive public research university as measured by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Top American Public Research Universities (TARU) and will seek to meet the threshold needed for its entry into Association of American Universities (AAU).

Student Success:  UH will have a student profile consistent with a nationally competitive public research university by creating an environment in which student success can be ensured.

Community Advancement:  UH will commit to fulfilling regional and state workforce needs while becoming the primary engine of social, economic, and intellectual development.

Athletic Competitiveness:  UH will provide a comprehensive educational experience to its students and, within this context, it will seek to build the strongest athletic program possible.

Local and National Recognition:  UH will be known for its accomplishments locally and nationally.

Competitive Resources:  UH will build a resource base that enables it to accomplish its mission and realize its vision.

Shared Values

As its primary goal, the University of Houston is dedicated to becoming a nationally recognized institution in the 21st century. The University will anticipate and respond to changing demographics in an increasingly diverse and globally interdependent world. It will use its resources to:

  • meet the challenges of educating a dynamic mix of nontraditional and traditional students;
  • promote excellence within the context of basic and applied research and scholarship;
  • identify and respond to the economic, social and cultural challenges affecting the quality of life in the city of Houston, the state of Texas, and the world through its education, research and service.

Leadership of the Institution

Dr. Renu Khator – Chancellor, UH System and President, University of Houston

Regarding her own philosophy of higher education, Khator says, “I look at it as a pyramid. You need to have a strong base, with enough affordable, accessible college education for your population to fuel your economy. But at the same time, you must also have the pinnacle of the pyramid, which means the very best in innovation, in research, in scholarship, in the world. At UH, we are committed to those dual goals. We must always take a long, hard look at what we are doing and evaluate our real-world options. But we must always do so while remaining totally committed to the core mission.”

During her first decade of leadership, Renu Khator has guided the remarkable transformation of the University of Houston into a top-tier institution that has become nationally recognized for its unique blend of academic accomplishment, research innovation, athletic achievement, and dedication to the success of a significantly diverse, determined student body.

Today, UH enjoys an enrollment of more than 46,000 students, awards nearly 10,000 degrees annually and has a $6-billion economic impact on the greater Houston area each year.

Since assuming the position of president (and chancellor of the UH System) in 2008, Khator has concentrated on making sure the University reinforces the economic and cultural strengths of the city of Houston. To that end, the University of Houston has focused on energy, the arts, and healthcare while maintaining an overall pursuit of excellence in the higher education arena. Recognizing that a great city deserves a great public university, Khator launched an ambitious program shortly after her arrival to elevate UH’s standing in the academic community. In 2011, in approximately half the predicted time, UH earned Tier One status from the Carnegie Foundation.

That unprecedented success, which both inspired the city of Houston and further motivated the UH community, has been followed by a string of similar feats, including being awarded a Phi Beta Kappa honor society chapter, more than tripling the number of National Academy members on the faculty, and dramatically improving the graduation rates. The University consistently earns accolades for its students’ achievements, such as Princeton Review’s “50 Colleges That Create Futures,” while ranking in the Top 10 in the lowest amount of debt owed by its graduating students.

Staying prepared for that future, Khator has overseen the growth of the campus to nearly 700 acres, with a $1 billion-plus construction program to add and update numerous facilities, including a 40,000-seat football stadium, a completely renovated Student Center, two Health and Biomedical Sciences buildings, a 74-acre Technology Bridge research park, and an unparalleled expansion of residence halls to accommodate as many as 8,000-plus students – among the largest in the state – developing a vibrant residential campus environment that has also enhanced academic performance.

Essential to Khator’s overall objectives has been gaining the financial and civic support of the community for the University, reflected by the steady increase of private donations during her administration, most notably the ongoing “Here, We Go” campaign to raise $1 billion, which has reached nearly 95 percent of its goal. Likewise, UH takes its own community responsibilities seriously and, responding to Khator’s call for increased community engagement, the University has launched its Neighborhood Initiatives program, including an extensive plan to help its neighborhood, the Third Ward, significantly upgrade its economic, educational and healthcare resources.

Khator, who was born in Uttar Pradesh, India, came to the United States without being fluent in English to study at Purdue University, where she earned a master’s degree (1975) and a PhD (1985) in political science. Her alma mater has bestowed a doctor of social sciences, honoris causa, upon her as has Swansea University. She has been inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame and been awarded the Excellence in Leadership Award by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The then-president of India has presented her with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award, the highest distinction bestowed upon a non-resident Indian, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services honored her with its Outstanding American By Choice Award, which recognizes the achievements of naturalized American citizens.

Reflecting her keen appreciation of the importance and complexity of college athletics, Khator has been appointed as chair of the board of directors of the American Athletic Conference. Her growing reputation as one of higher education’s most accomplished leaders led to being named chair of the American Council on Education’s board as well as a position on the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities Council of Presidents. Additionally, she has drawn on her academic training as a policy analyst to serve as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas board of directors.

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. Khator is the first Indian immigrant to lead a comprehensive research university in the United States and the first female chancellor of a Texas higher education system. She is married to Dr. Suresh Khator, associate dean of the UH Cullen College of Engineering, and they have two married daughters and two grandchildren.

Dr. Paula Myrick Short – Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Houston System

   Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of Houston

Paula Myrick Short is the senior vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University of Houston System, and senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Houston.

Since her appointment in June of 2013, she has established the UH Graduate School, the Cougar Chairs Leadership Academy for department chairs, the Foundations of Excellence initiative, and Houston GPS as well as implemented student success initiatives such as UH in 4, Provost Summer Read, Passport for Coogs, and Cub Camp. Prior to joining UH, Dr. Short served 12 years as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth-largest governing board system of higher education in the United States, annually serving more than 200,000 students. In Tennessee, she served as a legislative-appointed Board member of the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, as a Board member of the Life Sciences Institute-Tennessee Emerging Technologies, and as an Academic Auditor for the Australian Universities Quality Agency.

In her role as senior vice chancellor for the University of Houston System, Dr. Short is responsible for the academic quality and accreditation of all four UH system institutions: UH, UH – Downtown, UH – Clear Lake, and UH – Victoria. She chairs the UH System Provost Council and has served two terms on the Funding Formula Committee of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

As senior vice president and provost of the University of Houston, Dr. Short is responsible for faculty development, strategic enrollment planning, undergraduate student success, graduate education, education innovation and technology, global strategies and partnerships, and UH Arts. She recently led the development of two new colleges at UH–the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts and the Hobby School for Public Affairs, as well as co-founded the Data Science Institute with vice president for research and technology transfer Amr Elnashai. At UH, the 17 deans report to her including the dean of University libraries and dean of the newly-founded College of Medicine.

Additionally, Dr. Short is the director of the Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success, funded by a $3.3 million grant from by the National Science Foundation. Under Dr. Short’s leadership, the Center is addressing gender equity and diversity issues related to moving more women and women of color forward with careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Dr. Short has served as a tenured faculty member at Auburn University, The Pennsylvania State University, the University of Missouri – Columbia, and currently is the tenured Distinguished Professor of Education at UH’s College of Education. Dr. Short received her PhD in administration in the department of organizational development and institutional studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Academic Programs and Faculty

The University offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as several pre-professional programs leading to careers in medicine, law, and pharmacy. UH also offers comprehensive programs leading to teacher certification and a five-year, dual-degree program.

Undergraduates choose from 109 majors and minors and a top- notch Honors College provides special opportunities for exceptionally motivated students.

At the graduate level UH offers 105 masters and doctoral degree programs and three professional degree programs.

Colleges, Schools, and Departments

The University of Houston houses 15 academic colleges, the Hobby School of Public Affairs and an interdisciplinary Honors College. Each major and graduate program “lives” in one of the academic colleges or schools. The Honors College provides special courses and opportunities for talented undergraduate students of all majors and departments.

UH colleges, schools, and departments are:

  • Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design
  • Katherine G. McGovern College of the Arts
  • T. Bauer College of Business
  • College of Education
  • Cullen College of Engineering
  • Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • UH Law Center
  • College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
  • College of Medicine
  • College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Optometry
  • College of Pharmacy
  • Graduate College of Social Work
  • College of Technology
  • Hobby School of Public Affairs

The Student Body (fall, 2019)

Undergraduate: 37,689

Post-Baccalaureate: 1,041

Graduate: 5,864

Special Professionals: 1,554

Total Student Enrollment: 46,148

Female: 23,465

Male: 22,683

UH Organizational Listing

https://uh.edu/about/offices/org-chart/index.php

Benefits Overview

The University of Houston offers the following benefits:

  • Health plans
  • Dental plans
  • Vision plans
  • Retirement plans
  • Supplemental retirement plans
  • Disability plans
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Life insurance
  • Leave benefits
  • Employee assistance program
  • Workers compensation

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Confidential inquiries and nominations for this position may be emailed to Michel Frendian, Search Consultant, at mrf@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the University of Houston website at www.uh.edu. Visit the University of Houston Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services website at www.uh.edu/dsaes.

The University of Houston is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Additionally, the University prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.