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Renu Khator Named Winner of ACE Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award

March 11, 2018


ACE today awarded Renu Khator, chancellor of the University of Houston (UH) System and president of the University of Houston, with the 2018 Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award* during the opening plenary of ACE2018, ACE's 100th Annual Meeting.

The Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award is bestowed 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.

Between 2005 and 2018, Khator has mentored five Fellows. Her commitment to mentoring diverse professionals helps expand the pipeline to the presidency to include high-achievers from minority communities. And her mentees all agree: She is authentic, attentive, thoughtful, transparent, and personable.

“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.”

 Left to right: Deborah Frey, vice president for integrated marketing, Fidelity Investments; Kara Freeman Lee, vice president and chief information officer, ACE; Ted Mitchell, ACE president; Renu Khator; Kenya Ayers, dean for academic enrichment and engagement at Harper College (IL); David Jackson, associate provost for graduate education and dean of the graduate college, Florida A&M University; Joe Bertolino, chair, Council of Fellows and president of Southern Connecticut State University.

The UH System’s first woman chancellor and the first Indian immigrant to head a comprehensive research university in the United States, Khator assumed her current post in January 2008. She now 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.

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.

Khator is a past chair of ACE’s Board of Directors and serves on numerous other boards, forums, and councils. Prior to UH, Khator held various positions at the University of South Florida. She earned her bachelor's degree from Kanpur University (India) and her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy from Purdue University (IN).

“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.”

Since 2008, Fidelity Investments has been a generous supporter of the ACE Fellows Program, enabling the Council of Fellows to provide support for the discretionary fund of the Mentor Award winner's institution as well as the Fellows Fund for the Future, which provides stipends to defray costs of sponsoring a Fellow for qualified institutions.

*ACE and Fidelity Investments® are independent entities and are not legally affiliated. The recipients of the Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award are selected solely by the Executive Committee of the Council of Fellows. Fidelity employees are not involved, in any way, in determining, selecting, or approving the recipient or amount of any award. The selection criteria and guidelines for the award may be obtained directly from ACE.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kristen Carmen ▪ 202-939-9554 ▪​

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