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At the inaugural State of the University, President Smatresk gave a frank assessment of UNT and unveiled the top priorities UNT will tackle this year. He also outlined how UNT will evolve its focus throughout the next three years to ensure continued progress and to transform UNT into a nationally prominent university.
About 750 people attended the event, where Smatresk called on UNT community members to work together to achieve UNT's priorities while being adaptive, transparent and collaborative. To ensure accountability, he defined metrics such as retention and graduation rates, program rankings, and fundraising and research funding ― all important data that UNT will use to measure its progress as an institution and its impact on students. Smatresk developed the priorities through a planning implementation process and workshop.
“Our to-do list is ambitious and most of the priorities are multi-year tasks, but it’s time to take UNT to the next level,” Smatresk says.
In 2014-15, UNT will continue to improve operations and efficiency, increase revenue and build stronger academic support systems. This also must be the year UNT re-invents its campus community to break down silos and create a “can-do” culture for each other, students and the communities it serves. In 2015-16, the university will better align its academic programs with its mission and vision. And, in 2016-17, UNT will more clearly identify its unique attributes to shape a stronger, more authentic identity and further work toward achieving national prominence. Smatresk says the university will make progress in all areas beginning now.
To keep UNT on track, President Smatresk assigned three Implementation Teams that will be accountable for delivering on the university's goals:
- The Operations and Infrastructure Implementation Team will be led by Bob Brown, vice president for finance and administration.
- The Academic Implementation Team will be co-led by Warren Burggren, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Elizabeth With, vice president for student affairs.
- The Research Implementation Team will be led by Tom McCoy, vice president for research and economic development.