Renu Khator, University of Houston System chancellor and UH president since 2008, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in the field of Educational and Academic Leadership, AAAS announced this week. She joins more than 250 exceptionally accomplished artists, scholars, scientists and leaders in the public, nonprofit and private sectors as members of the AAAS class of 2020.
“While recognition from this esteemed organization is personally very gratifying, I am even more pleased with the honor it brings to the University of Houston and UH System, which has given me such a valuable opportunity to develop my leadership skills,” Khator said. “Being included with such an array of eminent individuals is humbling, and I am proud to join my fellow UH Cougars in the Academy.”
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences represents innovative thinkers in every field, including more than 250 Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners. Khator joins three highly respected faculty from UH in the prestigious ranks of AAAS membership. They include:
- Adam Zagajewski, internationally recognized poet, essayist and novelist who has taught as a visiting professor in the Creative Writing Program since 1988, has been a member of AAAS since 1999 in the category of Humanities and Arts, Literature
- Maurice S. Brookhart, internationally renowned chemist UH professor of chemistry became a member in 1996 in Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Chemistry
- Paul Chu, UH professor of physics, T. L. L. Temple Chair of Science, and
founding director & chief scientist, Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston, joined AAAS in 2007 in Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Physics
Khator is in her second decade as president and chancellor. As chancellor, she oversees a four-university organization that serves nearly 71,000 students. During her tenure as the chief executive officer of the largest and oldest of the four UH System universities, UH has been elevated to Tier One status (2011), awarded a Phi Beta Kappa chapter (2015), and established a College of Medicine (2018) Graduation rates have also improved 10 points in 10 years.
Khator also lends her expertise to matters of national and international importance in areas of higher education, business and policy though appointments and membership to various boards and advisory groups, such as the Board of Governors of the NCAA, the Indian Prime Minister’s Empowered Expert Committee and the Advisory Board of the Texas Medical Center.
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences was founded in 1780, during the American Revolution, by John Adams, John Hancock, and 60 other scholar-patriots to honor exceptionally accomplished individuals and engage them in advancing the public good.
“The members of the class of 2020 have excelled in laboratories and lecture halls, they have amazed on concert stages and in surgical suites, and they have led in board rooms and courtrooms,” said Academy President David W. Oxtoby. “…These new members are united by a place in history and by an opportunity to shape the future through the Academy’s work to advance the public good.”
Born in Uttar Pradesh, India, Khator is UH System’s first woman Chancellor and the first Indian immigrant to head a comprehensive research university in the United States. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Kanpur, and her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in political science and public administration from Purdue University.