May 9, 2007

Contact: Eric Gerber
713.743.8189 (office)
281.627.2065 (cell)

Board of Regents Chairman Leroy Hermes Heads Group
Looking for Next Chancellor/President

HOUSTON, May 9, 2007 – Leroy Hermes, chairman of the University of Houston System Board of Regents, announced today the formation of a Search Advisory Committee to undertake the national search for a new chancellor of the UH System and president of the University of Houston. The search follows the decision by Chancellor/President Jay Gogue to accept the presidency at his alma mater, Auburn University.

“This is one of the most important roles of the Board of Regents: identifying and recruiting a visionary leader to take the UH System and the University of Houston into their rightful place among the foremost urban university systems and national research universities. The Search Advisory Committee will be invaluable in helping to bring outstanding candidates to the Board,” Hermes said.

“We hope to complete our search during the fall semester with an ambitious goal of bringing the new Chancellor/President on board by January 2008,” he said.

Hermes will head the Search Advisory Committee with Regent Mike Cemo serving as vice chair. Regents Lynden Rose and Jim Wise also will serve on the committee. Max Castillo, UH-Downtown president; Suzanne LaBrecque, UH-Victoria provost and vice president for academic affairs; and Chloe Diepenbrock, associate professor of human sciences and humanities and UH-Clear Lake Faculty Senate president, will represent the UH System universities. Michael Rierson, vice chancellor/vice president for university advancement, represents the administration, and Ted Estess, dean of the UH Honors College, will represent the deans.

Faculty representation on the advisory committee includes Joseph Kotarba, professor of sociology and UH Faculty Senate president; Sam Quintero, UH associate professor of optometry; David Francis, UH professor of psychology; and Ramanan Krishnamoorti, UH professor of chemical engineering; and Sandra Guerra Thompson, UH professor of law. Staff members are represented by Staff Council Chair Carol Barr, who is the business manager for the UH Department of English. Samuel Dike, vice president of the UH Student Government Association, is the student representative to the committee.

Community representation includes former UH System regents Liz Ghrist, chair of the Houston Alumni Organization board of directors, and Beth Robertson, president of Cockspur, Inc., along with Melvyn Wolff, chairman of the Board of Star Furniture, and Dr. H. Dirk Sostman, chief academic officer and chief medical officer of The Methodist Hospital.

The Search Advisory Committee will be assisted by Dona G. Hamilton, vice chancellor and vice president for legal affairs and general counsel, and by David P. Bell, assistant vicec chancellor and assistant vice president for academic and faculty affairs. Peggy Cervenka and Gerry Mathisen will serve as executive administrator and assistant administrator, respectively, for the Search Advisory Committee.

Those interested in submitting recommendations for the chancellor/president position to the Search Advisory Committee should contact search consultant R. William Funk by e-mail at


The University of Houston System is the state’s only metropolitan higher education system, encompassing four universities and two multi-institution teaching centers. The universities are the University of Houston, a nationally recognized doctoral degree-granting, comprehensive research university; the University of Houston-Downtown, a four-year undergraduate university beginning limited expansion into graduate programs; and the University of Houston-Clear Lake and the University of Houston-Victoria, both upper division and master’s-level institutions. The centers are the UH System at Sugar Land in Fort Bend and the UH System at Cinco Ranch. In addition, the UH System includes KUHF-FM, Houston’s National Public Radio and classical radio station, and KUHT-TV, the nation’s first educational television station.

For more information about UH visit the university’s ‘Newsroom’ at