Moving Forward Together

Dear UNT community members,

I want to thank each of the students, faculty and staff members who participated in the Black Lives Matter virtual town halls. I owe a debt of gratitude to each of the individuals who bravely shared their personal experiences, concerns and hopes for our university as part of this important discussion.

These conversations are difficult, but it is crucial for us to engage in them so that we can find our way forward together. I don’t have all the answers now, but I am sincerely committed to the significant work ahead to do better – so our university can be better.

If you were unable to attend the student or faculty and staff town halls, I invite you to watch the video recordings or read the transcripts. We are reviewing each question that was presented and working to provide answers very soon in a document that will be posted with the transcripts.

This won’t be the end of our conversation and our shared journey to improve our campus culture. I will be hosting an in-person town hall in August and the Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity will be releasing the data from our climate survey along with recommendations for immediate actions and the steps we have already taken to address the concerns you have raised. And during the next several months, each vice president will be hosting opportunities for further engagement within each division.

I also encourage each of you to speak out if you witness racist or unjust acts on our campus or toward any of our community members. If you experience or witness racism committed by a student, please report it. Suspected violations committed by faculty or staff members should be reported to Equal Opportunity. The Division of Institutional Equity & Diversity also has more information on how to be a more effective ally

As an institution of higher education, we have a responsibility to be at the forefront of change, leading the way in the fight against racism and bias, and creating social justice and equity. We pride ourselves on making a difference in the lives of our students, and so we must become an antiracist institution. So let me say clearly to Black students, faculty and staff, we will fight alongside you because Black Lives Matter.


Neal Smatresk
UNT President