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Office of the President

Executive Leadership


Karen Spillar, JD

Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management and Chief Compliance Officer


As Chief Compliance Officer, she oversees the UTHealth Office of Institutional Compliance, whose purpose is to proactively promote compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements, foster ethical conduct, and compliance training.

She also serves as Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management at UTHealth, collaborating with executive leadership to identify emerging risks, and developing awareness campaigns, policies and procedures, and strategies for risk assurance, monitoring, and auditing.

With a diverse background in law, extensive experience in compliance, conflict of interest, and planning, Spillar joined UTHealth in 2005 as director of institutional compliance, and has also served as associate vice president for planning, working in the Office of the President. She has developed and facilitated high-priority projects and initiatives across the university, including Title IX policy and investigations, conflict of interest reviews and management plans, billing compliance initiatives, and faculty and student affairs issues, particularly those that cross multiple schools and departments.

Prior to working for the University, Karen served for six years as in-house legal counsel for a group of nine Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authorities throughout East Texas.  In this capacity, she provided assistance in the development of their compliance programs, coordinated procurement activities and contracting processes, and provided legal counsel to executive leadership and operational programs.  

Karen received a B.S. (Behavioral Science) from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from South Texas College of Law.  She is licensed to practice law in the state of Texas.