Letters to the University Community

Provost Office Reorganization

May 13, 2013

In October, the Provost and I engaged the Pappas Consulting Group Inc. to create a functionally aligned organizational structure for the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs/Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. Our objective was to be able to optimally support the University of Houston's Tier One classification and to ensure Student Success at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Throughout this effort, the consultant reached out to the Deans, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, and the Vice Presidents for their comments and ideas. The consultant further solicited input from Department Chairs and College Business Administrators. Most recently, the consultant shared the initial conceptual model with the Council of Vice Presidents, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, and the Deans for their reaction and comments. The report from the Pappas Consulting Group Inc. is the result of the collaborative manner in which the study was designed. I encourage you to read it to grasp its transformational impact for our University.

There are three important points that I want to underscore at this juncture in our ongoing process:

  • I have asked our Interim Provost, Dr. Paula Short, to begin immediately to implement the changes enumerated in the report. She has my full support for this organizational transformation and what it will entail to achieve its objectives.
  • Effective today, Dr. Richard Walker will assume responsibility for all Enrollment Services functions that currently report to the Provost Office. Dr. Walker, in his new role as Vice Chancellor/Vice President Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, will be responsible for all service functions related to undergraduate admission, financial aid, scholarships, registrar, etc. Given our need to engage collaboratively with the Deans, Chairs and faculty to develop an undergraduate enrollment management plan for the University, we have created the position, Associate Provost for Strategic Enrollment Planning reporting to the Provost. A position description has already been developed and will be posted for a national search over the next several weeks. The Strategic Enrollment Management Plan that emerges will guide the admissions, financial aid and scholarship services led by Dr. Walker and his team.
  • The report calls for convening a working group to develop a University-wide strategic plan for University Engagement. I have asked Dr. Short to develop a charge for the working group and to begin to identify people to serve as members. I am proud that our University is classified as Carnegie Engaged and I want to ensure that we are doing our very best to fulfill our pledge to the city of Houston and the diverse communities of which we are a part.

Dr. Short will share details about the implementation plan for the reorganization of the Office of Academic Affairs in a follow-up email later today. I want to thank those of you who have contributed your insights and wisdom throughout this process. I am confident that this transformational undertaking will enhance the trajectory of the University of Houston.

Renu Khator
Chancellor/President
University of Houston