Chancellor\'s Report - February 2022
02/25/2022, 12:30:01 PM
Chancellor Renu Khator

Renu Khator
Chancellor's Report
UH System Board of Regents Meeting
February 24, 2022

University of Houston System

UHS Spring Enrollment Trends Withstand Pandemic Declines

Spring enrollment at UH, UHD and UHCL either remained flat or declined by a percentage point. UHV experienced a 12% decline. It is important to note that universities all over the nation are experiencing significant enrollment declines due to the lingering impact of the global pandemic.

Preliminary Spring Enrollment

SPRING 2022 43,430 13,725 8,671 3,908 69,734
SPRING 2021 43,432 13,898 8,639 4,459 70,482
% CHANGE 0% -1% 0% -12% -1%

UHS Amplifies Voice in D.C.

To ensure the UH System has the necessary national support to expand its federal research initiatives, the UH System Governmental Relations team hired Megan Schneider as its first Washington D.C.-based governmental relations staff member. Schneider has extensive experience navigating the political waters in D.C. Most recently, she represented the National Association of College and University Business Officers and was instrumental in advocating for federal relief funds during the pandemic.

University of Houston

UH Membership to National Academies Increases to 20

Pradeep Sharma, M.D. Anderson Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the Cullen College of Engineering, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering earlier this month. The academy noted Sharma’s role in establishing the field of flexoelectricity, leading to the creation of new materials, devices and solutions to address some of the world’s most significant challenges. Sharma has worked his entire professional academic career at UH since 2004. Additionally, Leon Thomsen, research professor in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, became a member of the NAE for his contributions to geophysics. Thomsen joined UH in 2008 following his retirement from industry.

UH Researchers Influential Worldwide

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the C.T. Bauer College of Business researchers are among the most cited globally in their fields. NSM Professors Zhifeng Ren, Shuo Chen and Zhu Han are among the top 0.1% of most highly cited researchers worldwide. In Bauer College, Information Systems faculty are now ranked as the third most productive group in the world in top publications, and Marketing and Entrepreneurship faculty placed in the top 10 worldwide in 2021 for publications in top marketing journals.

Double-Digit Funding Growth for UH Researchers

Funding is the lifeblood of research, and UH researchers are applying for and being awarded more research funds than in years past. Between 2020 and 2021, UH experienced double-digit gains in the number of proposals submitted and funds awarded.

  • Submitted research proposals increased 15.4% (1,201 to 1,386)
  • Awarded funds increased 24.4% ($116.2 million to $144.6 million)

Challenge Accepted

Since its launch, the $100 Million Challenge for Chairs and Professorships campaign has funded two chairs and nine professorships. As a result of these commitments, $11 million has been applied to the $50 million anonymous fund-matching challenge. These gifts are helping us launch our second Aspire initiative, an institute focused on health care innovation.

Racking Up the Wins

UH Men’s athletics are performing well in the national spotlight. UH Men’s basketball is currently ranked No. 1 in the conference and No. 14 in the Associated Press Top 25 College Basketball Poll with an overall record of 22-4. UH Football closed their season with a No. 21 ranking and a 17-13 win over Auburn in the Birmingham Bowl. The UH Swimming & Diving team defended its American Athletic Conference title for the sixth straight season.

University of Houston-Clear Lake

UHCL Provides Essential Aid to Students

UHCL has disbursed more than $64 million in student scholarships, grants, waivers and exemptions, and loans. Additionally, more than $7 million in federal stimulus funds have been distributed to students facing hardships.

Grant Will Transform Research Methods for Students

UHCL is part of a $2 million National Science Foundation grant seeking to transform research methods education. With the help of artificial intelligence, students can conduct research studies with human subjects in a digital space. The system addresses the cognitive and logistical barriers inherent in conducting research while preparing the next generation of critical thinkers and researchers.

Pathways to STEM Careers Grant Increased, Extended

UHCL received a $4 million grant renewal from the U.S. Department of Education to increase the number of Hispanic and low-income students earning four-year degrees in STEM fields. This new project builds upon the work of the “Pathways to STEM Careers” grant originally awarded in 2016 for approximately $3.7 million.

University of Houston-Downtown

U.S. News & World Report Ranks UHD Among Best Online Programs

UH-Downtown is among the top institutions offering the best online programs in the nation for the fourth consecutive year, according to U.S. News & World Report. UHD is No. 27 for Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Program, No. 15 for Veterans and No. 80 for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

UHD Ranked Among Top 50 for Economic Mobility, Social Mobility

UHD earned a spot among the top 50 higher education institutions in the nation supporting students’ economic mobility as measured by Third Way, a national think tank that covers education, the economy and other key policy issues. In addition, UHD is ranked No. 32 in U.S. News & World Report’s Top Performers on Social Mobility, an assessment of universities’ success at enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students.

University of Houston-Victoria

Biology Faculty Member Named Interim Dean of New UHV College

Dmitri Sobolev, associate professor of biology, was recently named interim dean of the new UHV College of Natural & Applied Science. Sobolev will work with the administration to establish an infrastructure for the college, promote growth in the university’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics academic offerings and address enrollment in both Victoria and Katy.

UHV Raises $915,000 to Fund Partnership for Victoria Economic Development

The UHV College of Business secured $915,000 to establish a partnership with Innovation Collective. The partnership will work to create a culture of economic innovation and assist with the creation of new business ventures and job opportunities for area residents. The new business and job opportunities also will encourage more UHV students to stay in the Victoria area after graduation.

UHV Partners with VISD to Spark Children’s Interest in STEM

A longstanding partnership between UHV and Victoria Independent School District recently expanded to help schoolchildren develop intellectually in STEM subjects. The goal is to form a pathway for children to advance in these subjects through their primary and secondary grades and ultimately to higher education and beyond. UHV professors specializing in STEM fields will volunteer as mentors for children attending the district’s two new STEM campuses.

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