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Volume 68, Wednesday, August 6, 2003


Gogue gets Regents' nod for UH presidency

By Matt Dulin
The Daily Cougar

At its specially called meeting Tuesday, the Board of Regents approved the appointment of Jay Gogue to succeed Arthur K. Smith as UH system chancellor and university president, officially sealing the deal and ending a national search that cost less than $140,000 according to search committee expense reports.

"My wife and I are excited and delighted," Gogue said while on vacation. "We'll be ready to go on Sept. 2."

The UH Board of Regents officially appointed Jay Gogue as UH president and UH system chancellor Tuesday.

Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar

The three-year contract negotiated between the UH System and Gogue meets the maximum length allowed by Texas law, but it's possible, if Gogue so wishes, to renew the contract after it ends. Smith, for instance, served UH for more than six years.

Gogue will receive a nominal salary of $387,500 more than Smith's $250,000 salary negotiated in 1997. Gogue can also receive a $25,000 annual deferred retirement payment if he fulfills the three-year life of the contract. Like Smith, Gogue won't have to worry about a car or living arrangements the UH System has agreed to provide him with a vehicle, and he will move into the Wortham House the presidential living quarters off campus.

Gogue officially takes over university business Sept. 2, but he'll be in Houston on Tuesday to start getting familiar with the University and the Houston community, UH spokesman Mike Cinelli said.

In that time, Gogue said he would be "very low key" so that Smith "can do what he has to do."

In an open letter addressed to the UH community, Gogue conveyed his intentions regarding his newly acquired position.

"I intend to build upon this great legacy, strengthening even more the bonds between UH and the city," he wrote in the letter. He also mentioned goals that included getting UH more involved with the corporate community as well as the Houston's cultural opportunities.

But Gogue emphasized that his first priority is to live up to his promise to "hit the ground listening."

"In my previous posts, I have had an open door policy, which I plan to continue here, for students, faculty and staff alike," Gogue wrote.

Smith steps down Sept. 1 but won't be leaving UH entirely. He assumes the position of "university professor" with offices in the new Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. 

With additional reporting by Geronimo Rodriguez

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