President Neal Smatresk at the Planning Implementation workshop
"Let's focus on what's best for UNT, our students and our mission. If we deliver on our promise, we'll meet our goals."
— President Neal Smatresk

Planning for the future

In keeping with his tradition of strong strategic planning implementation, President Neal Smatresk hosted his inaugural Planning Implementation Workshop Aug. 19, with the theme of Better Together, to develop an action plan for the university that will detail where the university is headed and how it will get there.  Sara Smith, a former IBM executive and leadership coach, co-facilitated the workshop. President Smatresk will unveil the 2014-15 action plan at the State of the University Sept. 17, 2014.

The workshop was designed to outline UNT's path to improvement while setting its priorities for the short and long term. About 120 UNT and external community representatives were asked to identify challenges and opportunities that could inform UNT's action plans based on a three-year planning framework.

  • Year 1: Improve operations and infrastructure
  • Year 2: Align academic enterprise with long-range goals and regional needs
  • Year 3: Develop UNT's unique identity and market niche

Workshop participants explored hurdles and developed the priorities for each of the following areas:

Operations and Infrastructure

The workshop participants considered ways to improve facilities and processes, to provide better support and mentoring for employees, and to create a stronger culture of service. Read the full list of opportunities identified for Operations and Infrastructure.


The workshop participants discussed how to increase revenue and cut costs so that UNT can be more effective and efficient overall as it works toward achieving its goals. Read the full list of opportunities identified for Revenues.

Education and Research

The workshop participants explored ways to make stronger connections between education and research, to enhance the learning experience for students and to advance the university on its path to Tier One. Read the full list of opportunities identified for Education and Research.

The action plan, which will be unveiled at the inaugural State of the University Sept. 17, will guide what the university will accomplish for the year, and it will serve as a high-level to-do list to ensure that the university is taking concrete steps to make progress. The plan will be updated each year through the planning workshop. And at each State of the University event, President Smatresk plans to detail what the university accomplished in the past year and what its priorities are for the coming year.

This year, UNT is focusing on operations and is conducting a top-down and bottom-up review of the university to its financial transformation. The planning started with building a sound, conservative budget for FY 2015, while balancing UNT's revenue and expenditures to rebuild the university's reserves. Through its budgeting and planning, UNT is focused on building strengths in key areas, making focused investments, and preserving revenue-generating programs and initiatives.

"It's because of you and your thoughtful input that we have a roadmap for where we want to go," Smatresk told the Planning Implementation Workshop participants at the end of the day's work. "You've made it clear that you're ready for change."

Read a full overview of the workshop.
Read the president's message about the workshop.