Renu Khator

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Renu Khator
Renu Khator.jpg
8th Chancellor of the University of Houston System
Assumed office
January 15, 2008
Preceded byJay Gogue
13th President of the University of Houston
Assumed office
January 15, 2008
Preceded byJay Gogue
Personal details
Born (1958-06-29) June 29, 1958 (age 61)
Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Suresh Khator (m. 1974)
ResidenceWortham House
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Alma materKanpur University
Purdue University
WebsiteOffice of the President

Renu Khator (Hindi: रेणु खाटोर, born June 29, 1958) is the eighth chancellor of the University of Houston System and the thirteenth president of the University of Houston.[1] She is the first foreign-born president of the university, and the second woman to hold the position.[2] Khator is also the first Indian American to lead a major research university in the United States.[3]


Prior to moving to the United States, Khator earned a bachelor's degree from the Kanpur University in 1973 in liberal arts.[4] Moving soon thereafter, she attended Purdue University and received a Master of Arts in political science and a Doctor of Philosophy in political science and public administration in 1975 and 1985, respectively.

Beginning in 1985, Khator began a 22-year career affiliation with the University of South Florida. She served in various positions, culminating in her position as provost and senior vice president of the university.

On October 15, 2007, Khator emerged as the sole-finalist for the vacant dual-position as chancellor of the University of Houston System and president of the University of Houston.[5] On November 5, 2007, she was confirmed by the University of Houston System Board of Regents for the dual-position and officially took office on January 15, 2008, and became the third person to hold a dual position of University of Houston System chancellor and University of Houston president.[6]

Board and committee memberships[edit]

Khator sits on the following public and private boards:

  • American Athletic Conference Board of Directors (Chair) [7]
  • Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities Council of Presidents [7]
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council [7]
  • NCAA Division I Presidential Forum [7]
  • Council on Foreign Relations [7]
  • Greater Houston Partnership Board of Directors [7]
  • Houston Technology Center Board of Directors [7]
  • Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston Board of Advisors [7]
  • Texas Medical Center Advisory Board [7]
  • SAGE Publications Board of Directors [8]
  • Camden Board of Trust Managers [9]
  • TIAA Board of Overseers [10]

Research interest[edit]

Khator has published five books as well as various chapters and articles on global public administration, environmental issues, and South Asian politics.[11]

The University of Houston System[edit]

As chancellor of the University of Houston System, Khator oversees four institutions of higher learning serving close to 71,000 students.[12] Composed of the University of Houston, University of Houston-Downtown, University of Houston-Clear Lake, and University of Houston-Victoria, the UH System has an annual budget over $1.7 billion and results in a $6 billion-plus impact on the Greater Houston area each year.[12]

The University of Houston[edit]

As president of the University of Houston, Khator is the CEO of the UH System flagship university. The oldest and largest institution in the UH System, the University of Houston enrolls approximately 44,000 students and awards over 9,200 degrees each year.

Under Khator's leadership the University of Houston has made several achievements.

  • UH has undergone an extensive era of construction under a $1-billion campus construction program, resulting in the 40,000-seat TDECU Stadium, increased student residency hall capacity to 8,000, and an $80-million expansion and renovation to the student center[3]
  • In 2015 UH was awarded a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society[3]

Personal life[edit]

Khator was born in Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh (India). Through a traditional arranged marriage, she married her husband, Suresh, in 1974.[13] Suresh—another Purdue graduate—holds a doctorate in engineering, and is a professor and associate dean of the University of Houston's Cullen College of Engineering. The Khators have two daughters, Pooja and Parul, who are both ophthalmologists, and two grandchildren.[3] As chancellor of UH System and president of the University of Houston, she takes residence in the Wortham House provided for her and her family in the Broadacres neighborhood of Houston.

Notable awards[edit]

Khator has received many awards over the length of her career. She was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame, she received the Excellence in Leadership Awards from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, she received the President of the Year Award from the Association of College Unions International, and the President's Award from the National Association of Student Affairs Administrators.[3]

Khator also was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from the president of India, the highest honor given to overseas Indians.[3]

Purdue University honored Khator with a Doctor of Social Sciences degree, honoris causa, and Swansea University awarded her with a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.[3]


  1. ^ "Office of the President". Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Thai, Kim (October 16, 2007). "Renu Khator: teacher, poet, community leader". The Daily Cougar. Archived from the original on November 21, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "About Renu Khator". Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  4. ^ "Curriculum Vitae". UH Office of the Chancellor and President.
  5. ^ "UH - News Releases - USF Provost Renu Khator Named Finalist For University of Houston Top Spot". Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  6. ^ "UH Mobile - Renu Khator Confirmed as new UH System Leader". Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Curriculum Vitae". Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  8. ^ "Our People | SAGE Publications Inc". Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  9. ^ "Officers & Directors -". Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  10. ^ TIAA. "Board of Trustees & Overseers | TIAA". Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  11. ^ "Curriculum Vitae". Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Office of the Chancellor - University of Houston System". Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  13. ^ Colavecchio-Van Sickler, Shannon (October 16, 2007). "Longtime USF administrator is leaving". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved April 7, 2008.

External links[edit]