16th president of the University of North Texas, one of the nation's fastest-growing universities
President Neal J. Smatresk joined UNT in 2014 with a vision for leading the University of North Texas to national prominence as the largest, most comprehensive university dedicated to meeting the dynamic needs of the North Texas region.
Under his leadership, UNT was named a Carnegie-ranked Tier One research university, identified as a top 10 U.S. public university on the rise, and earned designation as both a Minority-Serving and Hispanic-Serving Institution. Thanks to strategic student success investments, UNT has increased student retention, graduation rate, and its role as a social mobility elevator for students, earning recognition as a top 50 performer on social mobility by U.S. News and World Report. With athletic investments and facility expansions, Mean Green student-athletes and teams are thriving, joining the American Athletic Conference in 2023. The men’s basketball team completed a record-breaking season in 2023 and took home the championship trophy in the 2023 National Invitation Tournament.
President Smatresk has led the charge in creating public-private partnerships with businesses like American Airlines, Liberty Mutual, Google, and JP Morgan Chase. In response to the rapidly changing career marketplace, President Smatresk ensured the addition of 21st-century degree plans in fast-growing fields such as business analytics, data science, and urban policy and planning, as well as a partnership with the Dallas Cowboys for an M.B.A. in sport entertainment management. Under his leadership, UNT partnered with the City of Frisco to launch UNT at Frisco, with student-centered curriculum and a focus on student success, to help bridge the gaps between higher education and the public and private sectors.