UH President Renu Khator Takes Her Acumen for Sports & Academics to the NCAA Division I Board of Directors
“Upholding the highest level of integrity and sportsmanship in intercollegiate athletics is more important now than perhaps ever before."
Renu Khator, the woman who has led more than a decade of transformation at the University of Houston, will soon take on an additional leadership role tackling challenges faced where university academics and collegiate athletics intersect: the NCAA. The NCAA has appointed UH President Renu Khator to serve on its Division I Board of Directors through August 2023. The appointment begins May 1.
The appointment to the NCAA Division I Board of Directors- comprised of 20 presidents, a student-athlete, faculty representative, athletics director and female administrator- comes at a crucial time for the organization that represents more than a thousand schools, 100 conferences and nearly half a million college athletes.
The NCAA is facing imperative issues, such as the economic sustainability of big-time college sports, the rights and welfare of student-athletes and their preparedness for the workforce after college. The Division I Board of Directors provides strategic direction and oversight of committees responsible for academic policies and standards, infractions and appeals, and day-to-day decision-making while also engaging presidential leadership from member institutions.
“Upholding the highest level of integrity and sportsmanship in intercollegiate athletics is more important now than perhaps ever before,” said Khator. “I embrace this new opportunity to work alongside the dedicated leaders on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors. The values of institutions, athletics programs and student-athletes must be aligned to achieve athletic and academic success. I will work hard to make sure they are.”
"President Khator’s strong leadership will play a vital role in supporting student-athlete success in and out of the classroom.”
BUILDING A POWERHOUSE
Strengthening the national competitiveness of UH’s academic programs as well as its 17 Division I athletics programs has been a strategic goal for Khator throughout her presidency. And it’s something she’s seen come to fruition. She has long been a proponent of collegiate athletics, advocating the idea that a nationally competitive athletics program "is one way to build a strong academic institution."
“I look forward to working with President Khator on the Division I Board of Directors. Her broad and diverse engagement in American higher education, global public service and college sports will bring valuable perspective to the division,” said Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA. “The Association will address a number of significant issues over the next few years, and President Khator’s strong leadership will play a vital role in supporting student-athlete success in and out of the classroom.”
Khator is no stranger to serving on an NCAA committee, having served as the American Athletic Conference (The American) representative on the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum since Sept. 2016. As the primary presidential advisory body for the NCAA Division I Board, she has provided counsel on many of the most pivotal issues facing collegiate athletics.
“The experience of serving on the NCAA Presidential Forum for the last several years has only strengthened my awareness of the challenges and matters facing the NCAA, including the financial sustainability of athletics programs, health and safety. I look forward to expanding my responsibilities within the NCAA,” she said.
SUPPORTING STUDENT SUCCESS
In the Classroom
In the past 10+ years under Khator's leadership, UH has:
- Received designation as a Tier One public research university
- Earned a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, an indicator of excellence in undergraduate education
- Increased the number of degrees awarded by 43% (2006-2016)
- Raised more than $1 billion in the “Here, We Go” capital campaign
- Established new colleges for nursing, medicine and the arts
On the Playing Field
On the playing field, results have been similarly impressive over the past decade:
- The highest student-athlete cumulative GPA and highest average hours passed in UH Athletics history
- 117 NCAA postseason team and individual appearances
- 38 team conference championships
- Five NCAA individual national championships (Two Diving; Two Men’s Indoor Track & Field; One Outdoor Men’s Track & Field)
- Three NCAA relay national championships (Two Men’s Outdoor Track & Field, One Men's Indoor Track & Field)
- $230 million in new construction and upgrades for athletics
- Completion of a spectacular $125 million, 40,000-seat TDECU stadium
- A $60 million renovation and completion of Fertitta Center basketball arena
In addition to this most recent NCAA appointment, Khator is chair of the Board of Directors of the American Athletic Conference (AAC). She also serves on several Houston-area boards, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In December, Khator was inducted into the UH Athletics Hall of Honor.
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A communication by the University of Houston Division of University Marketing, Communication and Media Relations.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for excellence in undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city and one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse regions in the country, UH is a federally designated Hispanic- and Asian-American-Serving institution with enrollment of more than 46,000 students.