Dean Latha Ramchand was the featured speaker at the Oct. 22 quarterly meeting of the Federation of Houston Professional Women. Her talk focused on empowerment, education and the importance of scholarship support.
“To us at the Bauer College, it all starts and ends with two words — student success,” Ramchand said. “And, success, to me, is all about having goals and empowering yourself and those around you to reach the goal. You can’t do it alone.”
“People think we are a degree-granting institution, which we absolutely are, but when I think about what we do, we are really in the business of changing lives. Life-transforming events happen at the college, and that’s what our core business is — making a difference in the lives of our students and the business community,” she added.
Ramchand also addressed her vision for the next several years at the college, emphasizing Bauer’s connection to Houston.
“What is Bauer going to look like in 2015? In many ways, in 2015, the story of the Bauer College is going to be the story of Houston,” she said.
The city, much like the college, is experiencing unprecedented momentum, Ramchand added.
“Houston is the city where things are happening. Our unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the country. More people are coming to the city than are leaving. Our average compensation is 5 percent higher than the national average. If you look at Fortune 500 companies and where they are likely to be headquartered, No. 2 is Houston. Any metric you use, we are a city where you’re rewarded based on merit. It’s that ‘can do’ spirit.”
More than 90 percent of graduates from the Bauer College go on to live and work in the Houston area, Ramchand said.
“Our graduates, like many of you here, empower this city,” she told the group. “The fortunes of the city of Houston and the Bauer College are intertwined. We grow when you grow.”
Ramchand told the story of Charles T. “Ted” Bauer’s gift of $40 million to the college in 2000, not as an alumnus but as a business leader who recognized the value that graduates of the business college at UH brought to his organization.
“There are clearly challenges that we face, she said. “One of our biggest challenges is, how do we keep the best talent in the city here in Houston? To build a business school in Houston that will groom the talent that makes it possible for companies here to fill their pipeline, that’s our responsibility. That’s what we have to do if we want Houston to succeed.”
Ramchand spoke about her goal to build The Bauer Excellence Initiative, a recruiting scholarship campaign aimed at attracting high quality applicants to the college’s programs. Too often, she said, top students want to attend the college but choose other schools because of attractive scholarship packages offered to them.
“It is completely driven toward student success. In doing so, we can make the Bauer College a destination of first choice.”
By Jessica Navarro