Cougar Milestones - Jan. 30, 2023
01/30/2023, 04:20:02 PM

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Dear Cougars, 

Each month, the Office of the Provost produces this newsletter to recognize the accomplishments of our University community and we are never at a loss for good news! Your hard work has provided many memorable moments for the University, and it is always a pleasure to share these accomplishments with our institution’s stakeholders.  

We’ve previously announced Diane Z. Chase as our new provost and Heidi M. Appel as the new dean for the Honors College. These are major hires for our institution and both scholars will play significant roles in advancing our goal to become a top 50 public university.

In this month’s Cougar Milestones you’ll read more about Drs. Chase and Appel as well as other University accolades, awards, and  acknowledgements. While UH is off to a solid start in 2023, there’s more to come. We have an important legislative session on the horizon and other institutional priorities to achieve this year. And did I mention that our Cougar basketball team is still ranked among the nation’s best? 

With Dr. Chase’s arrival Feb. 1, this will be my final newsletter as your interim provost. With that in mind, I extend my appreciation to President Khator for entrusting me with the responsibility for overseeing the academic portion of the UH enterprise. I am also grateful for the support and patience the UH community of faculty, staff, students and alumni has indulged me this past seven months.

In closing, I take this opportunity to recognize the extraordinary efforts of the Provost’s Office leadership team – Mark Clarke, Joe Curtin, Sabrina Hassumani, Erika Henderson, Sarah Larsen, Teri Longacre, Jeff Morgan, Jay Neal and Michael Pelletier and their amazing and dedicated staff members. Their work is often unseen and undervalued by many in our Cougar nation, but I have observed firsthand how their collective wisdom and actions makes UH the high-quality learning institute that we enjoy today.                 

Onward with pride,


Robert H. McPherson
UH Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost




The University of Houston System has named Diane Z. Chase as its next senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and UH senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. A noted scholar in the discipline of archaeology, Chase will step into the role of UH’s chief academic office in February. 

With Honors

Heidi M. Appel is the next dean for UH’s Honors College. She will arrive at UH in July to lead the college. Appel, a nationally-recognized plant biologist, comes to the University after serving other esteemed honors programs around the nation.

Star Power

Coogs have been applauding the University’s Scholar Enrichment Program, which is aimed at supporting students in high-risk classes. The program also earned praise from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and received its coveted Star Award

Going Global

15 Coogs soon will pack their bags and venture far and wide for life-changing learning experiences. These students earned the highly competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

A Walk to Remember

The campus community can take a stroll next to some of the University’s top researchers featured on the Scholars Walk. This digital installation spotlights those faculty members breaking new ground across different disciplines and elevating the University’s national profile. 

An Equitable Award

University of Houston ecologist Martin A. Nuñez has been recognized with the 2022 Excellence in Restoration Research Award from the Texas Society for Ecological Restoration. He was selected based on his research in restoration science and for his work to identify ways it can become a more equitable field in countries around the world.


Finishing 2022 on a High Note

Student success seemed to be the story of the year in 2022. By year’s end, the University celebrated more than 3,700 fall graduates, including father-son grads and a pair of sisters earning doctoral degrees. Additionally, several undergraduates earned prestigious national scholarships


Poet and lawyer Reginal Dwayne Betts will deliver the 2023 Bracewell LLP Distinguished Lecture in Racial and Social Justice

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Robert H. McPherson
Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, UH | 832-842-0550


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