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Renu Khator wins ACE Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award

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Renu Khator (Courtesy of YouTube)

Born in Uttar Pradesh, India, Khator received bachelor’s degree from Kanpur University

American Council of Education (ACE) on Monday awarded Indian American Renu Khator with the 2018 Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award during its 100th Annual Meeting.

Khator is currently serving as chancellor of the University of Houston (UH) System and president of the University of Houston. Prior to her current job, she was with the University of South Florida where she served in various positions.

Khator, 62, serves on several boards, forums, and councils including Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Athletic Conference (AAC), the US Department of Homeland Security’s Academic Advisory Council, the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities Council of Presidents, and the Council on Foreign Relations. She is also a former chair of ACE’s Board of Directors.

According to a press statement by ACE, Khator has mentored five fellows during the 2005-2018 period and has remained consistent in her endeavor to help diverse professionals, thus adding high achievers from minority communities.

“Her stellar career aside, President Khator has proven an invaluable asset to the ACE Fellows Program,” said Sherri Lind Hughes, assistant vice president of ACE Leadership. “As a mentor, she finds teaching moments in all aspects of her presidency and doesn’t shy away from hardships or obstacles as opportunities for her mentees to learn something new.”

Khator is the first ever Indian American woman to hold the position of chancellor of UH System and also the first to head a comprehensive research university in the United States. She assumed her current post at the University of Houston in January 2008. Khator oversees a four-university system that serves nearly 71,000 students, has an annual budget that exceeds $1.7 billion, and has a $6 billion-plus impact on the Greater Houston area’s economy each year.

The release added that during her tenure UH has experienced record-breaking research funding, enrollment, and private support.

“As part of an ongoing $1.5-billion campus construction program, UH launched its 74-acre Energy Research Park, opened its 40,000-seat TDECU Stadium, and increased student residence hall capacity to 8,000. In 2015, UH was awarded a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, one of fewer than 300 schools to earn that designation from the prestigious national honor society. In 2011, UH earned Tier One status, the Carnegie Foundation’s top category of research universities,” said ACE.

Born in Uttar Pradesh, India, Khator received bachelor’s degree from Kanpur University (India) and her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy from Purdue University, Indiana.

“Fidelity is honored to bestow, along with ACE, this award to President Khator,” said Debra Frey, vice president, Fidelity Investments. “She is committed to mentoring the next generation of higher education leaders and exemplifies the values of a successful leader.”

The Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award is conferred annually to acknowledge the substantial role of mentors in the success of ACE Fellows Program participants. Since its inception in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program has strengthened institutions and leadership in American postsecondary education by identifying and preparing nearly 1,900 faculty and administrators for senior positions in higher education leadership. More than 80 percent of Fellows have gone on to serve as chief executive officers of colleges or universities, provosts, vice presidents, and deans.

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