Houston: Indian-American Menu Khator has become the first person of Indian origin to be appointed as the head of the prestigious University of Houston (UH), which has more than 56,000 students on its rolls. Ms. Khator, who was the sole finalist for the position, was unanimously appointed to be the next UH president during a special board meeting on Tuesday, the governing board for the University has confirmed.

Ms. Khator, 52, is expected to assume the Chancellor role by January. “We have found an incredible person to lead this University and this system into 21st century,” said Welcome W. Wilson Sr, the chairman of UH Board Of Regents. Ms. Khator, a provost of the University of South Florida (USF), will replace Jay Gogue, who left in March to become the president of the Auburn University, his alma mater.

Born and raised in India in a small town of Uttar Pradesh to a family of lawyers, she came to the U.S. as a teenager, the wife of a graduate student she met 10 days before their arranged marriage.

She later followed him to USF, accepted a temporary faculty position there and began to climb the administrative ladder.

Ms. Khator’s early interests were in education, but she could only finish her bachelors in India.

She cried and went on a hunger strike after learning of her arranged marriage to a stranger, believing her dream of a master’s degree had ended. — PTI