2020 Fall Move-in day at UNT
Straight from Smatresk

Dear UNT supporter,

As we celebrate UNT's 130th anniversary, our 2020-21 academic year looks quite different than the previous 130 years, with masks as a new accessory and social distancing in place. But our commitment to excellence and access to higher education for all populations is as steadfast as ever. With record-setting fall enrollment, we welcomed nearly 41,000 students into our fold and we continued to climb in the U.S. News & World Report rankings.

With so much change and growth upon us, I am reflective of our independent spirit of creativity and perseverance. From admitting women in 1890 to pioneering water quality research for the North Texas region and from establishing the nation's first jazz studies program to becoming one of the first universities in Texas to desegregate, our university has a long history of firsts while continuously thriving in a rapidly changing world.

Our Mean Green Family was made to tackle tough times head on. Global events may be impacting the ways in which we deliver instruction and conduct business, but they are no match for our creative, caring and resilient nature. Our university community is growing stronger with each new challenge.

Thank you for all you do to help support UNT. I look forward to when we can once again join together on campus and in the community for concerts, sporting events and celebrations of each other — and our great university.

UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk
twitter @UNTPrez

The Inside Scoop
Hispanic-Serving Institution
UNT Latin American students
At a time when we are working hard to improve our cultural competency on campus, I am proud that INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine recognized UNT's outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion by awarding our university the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award for the third year in a row. This year, UNT also was designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), one of only 16 Tier One research universities to earn HSI status. The designation, which allows UNT to receive additional federal funding to support and expand programs for Hispanic students, is significant because it reflects the growing enrollment of Hispanic students who are choosing UNT to achieve their college education. We are committed to becoming a more equitable, diverse and inclusive campus community. Our Division of Institutional Equity & Diversity continually fosters new programs and initiatives to improve diversity and inclusion on campus, such as Latin Dreams (pictured), a new community group focused on empowering Latinos through education, identity development and leadership growth. These are important steps along our path, but I recognize we have more to do.
Read our Moving Forward Together:
UNT's Action Plan for Improving »
COVID Heroes
UNT COVID-19 heroes
UNT faculty, staff and students rose to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic the last several months. Since swiftly moving 7,700 courses online last spring, our faculty and staff have pivoted again and again to find needed solutions. Countless members of our UNT family went above and beyond to continue providing students the top-quality instruction and services they deserve, while essential personnel kept our campus safe and well maintained, often taking on additional duties to aid colleagues. COVID Heroes have shined in every area of our university, from the frontline workers in the Division of Student Affairs to the Contact Tracing Team, hygiene-focused Facilities team and others in the Division of Finance and Administration. Hats off to everyone who has kept our Mean Green Family safe and healthy as we adjust to our new normal.
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COVID Heroes »
New HPS Dean
Nicole Dash
After 10 years as associate dean of the College of Health and Public Service overseeing everything from academic programs to research, advising, space management and budgets, Nicole Dash was named dean of the college in August. During her tenure at UNT, Dr. Dash was instrumental in integrating health programs and growing the college's enrollment. She oversaw the addition of master's degrees in applied behavior analysis and emergency management and disaster science, as well as the expansion of undergraduate offerings to include new and growing concentrations in public health, urban policy and planning, and nonprofit leadership studies. HPS is home to seven academic departments with 10 undergraduate and nine graduate programs, many of which are ranked by U.S. News and World Report. Congratulations on your new appointment, Dr. Dash.
Explore the College of Health
and Public Service »
Student Recognition
Kelly Jacques
We remain committed to our mission of preparing students and celebrating their unique achievements. UNT students are boundless in the projects they take on and the achievements they realize. Kelly Jacques ('20) wants to minimize the need for soldiers on the battlefield by making drones more reliable and efficient for military application, and her Ph.D. studies are fully funded by a U.S. Department of Defense scholarship. College of Visual Arts and Design graduate student Martha Samaniego Calderón authored and illustrated a children's book about mask-wearing with her husband Dan Heiman, an assistant professor in the College of Education. And our UNT Esports team ranked among the top eight in the U.S.

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news stories »
Spotlight on Excellence
video crew at Apogee Stadium
Making Headlines

UNT's creative spirit and innovative know-how drives our progress and often ensures we are at the forefront of new programs, industry happenings and all-around greatness. We certainly appreciate when others recognize that too. Here's a sampling of how our faculty, staff, and students are turning reporters' heads.

  • UNT garnered quite a bit of good news this year for its safe reopening of our residence halls and campus for the start of the fall semester with stories airing on KDFW's Good Day show, among others.
  • UNT once again enjoyed a little media hubbub when we set enrollment records last month with KERA and CBS DFW  both picking up the story.
  • Political Science Professor Kimi King has been busy sharing her insights on the presidential election, the Republication convention and the open Supreme Court seat while Brian Lain, UNT's director of debate, shared his thoughts on the first presidential debate with NBC DFW. Political Science professor Matt Eshbaugh-Soha joined Lain for a piece in the Dallas Observer.
  • Education professor Stephen Waddell talked about K-12 returning to school this fall on NBC DFW, while G. Brint Ryan College of Business professor Kimberly Houser talked about tech and privacy.
  • Michael Carroll, director of UNT's Economic Research Group, discussed Amazon hiring 100,000 people with NBC DFW.
  • Communication Studies assistant professor Joseph McGlynn was one of three faculty interviewed by InForum about why "COVID-19 misinformation spread faster than the pandemic in early March."
Coach Littrel and football players running onto the field
COVID-19 Overhauls Fall Sports

Our resilient Mean Green student-athletes continue to train and thrive – despite a fall season that looks much different. Conference USA postponed fall team sports except football, pushing the soccer and volleyball teams' seasons to the spring. Two cross country runners took first at the season's opening meet, the women's golf team recorded a program-best 281 in its opening round a few weeks ago, and the swimming and diving team kicked off its season with their annual Green vs. White meet. I am grateful for the work of the UNT Athletics team for instituting health and safety protocols to help our athletes continue training and competing. We have limited capacity to 25% for Mean Green gamedays at Apogee Stadium, a move which received positive media attention and was highlighted on national broadcasts of CBS This Morning. Limited tickets are available for Saturday's game against Charlotte, so come join us to cheer on the Mean Green.

Given Kechepa
Hear About the Great Things Happening at UNT

Did you know that there are a variety of UNT-hosted podcasts featuring our experts and beloved stories? Consider downloading a few episodes from these podcasts.

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