UNT President's Report 2023

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President’s Report 2023

President’s Annual Report The President’s Annual Report is published by the Division of University Brand Strategy and Communications, University of North Texas. Postmaster: Please send requests for changes of address, accompanied if possible by old address labels, to the University of North Texas, University Brand Strategy and Communications, 1155 Union Circle #311070, Denton, Texas 76203-5017.

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OWNING EXCELLENCE Helping Students Soar At the University of North Texas, students discover their passions and achieve dreams as limitless as the sky. Record-breaking enrollment this fall soared to nearly 47,000 students — including more than 7,000 incoming freshmen — solidifying our status as one of the fastest-growing universities in Texas and the nation. UNT’s growth has been instrumental in shaping higher education across Texas — accounting for 52.3% of the growth in new enrollees at state public universities since 2019. Named a Fulbright HSI (Hispanic-Serving Institution) Leader for 2023 by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Afairs, UNT’s faculty members and students also garnered prestigious awards and scholarships such as Fulbright Awards, GoldwaterAwards and one of the National Science Foundation’s highest honors. Research awards also soared to record heights in 2023, further solidifying UNT’s standing as a Carnegie-ranked Tier One research university. UNT alumni were recognized on several of the world’s biggest stages. Opera singer Latonia Moore and jazz-fusion band Snarky Puppy featuring several alums claimed Grammy Awards, while director Stevie Walker-Webb earned a Tony nomination for the play Ain’t No Mo’. Fashion designer and model R’Bonney Gabriel was crowned Miss Universe 2022, and dancer Ellie Breaux captured the Miss Texas 2023 title and went on to become the frst runner-up in the 2024 Miss America pageant. Closer to home, UNT proudly presented civil rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Opal Lee with an honorary doctorate. As long as there are dreamers striving to pursue their passions, UNT will continue to give them the skills needed to make those dreams take fight.


FROM THE PRESIDENT From record-breaking enrollment to the passing of the Texas University Fund (TUF), it’s been a historic year for UNT. With nearly 47,000 students, UNT is now the third largest university in Texas — behind only Texas A&M and UT Austin, and I’m proud that we are the university of choice for so many students and their families. We’re making just as much progress helping students earn their degrees. Last year, 12,352 Eagles received a degree — a 32.1% increase over the last fve years. At UNT, students fnd a challenging education with an accepting and caring campus to support them during their college journey. UNT’s creative community prides itself on welcoming students into the Mean Green Family, and once here, they have many opportunities with more than 400 student organizations, engaging events year-round, and faculty and staf that care deeply for their success and wellbeing. Ensuring success through graduation and creating tomorrow’s innovators and leaders is our top priority. With the everchanging job market and technology advancing faster than ever, we’re laser-focused on career readiness as a key part of their college experience. This year, thanks to generous donors, we opened two new career centers — the Satish and Yasmin Gupta Career Center at UNT at Frisco and The Wilson Jones Career Center in the G. Brint Ryan College of Business. These new centers, in addition to our main Career Center, will provide more students greater access to the resources and opportunities needed to ensure they fnd the career that fts their passion. Thanks to Texas voters, UNT is set to receive a transformational investment through the TUF, which will be a $3.9 billion permanent endowment to ensure sustainable funding for eligible universities — including UNT. We are committed to helping meet Texas’ needs, and UNT is prepared for the opportunities this new fund will bring to our university and the communities we serve. With innovative, in-demand degree programs, we are making a diference in our students’ lives as we help them achieve their educational goals to follow their dreams. With a UNT degree, our students soar. UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk, President president@unt.edu @UNTPrez


Watch our latest national ad that follows a student’s path at UNT from acceptance to career.


CULTURE OF CARE Supporting and Preparing Students

UNT helps students succeed by ofering support and resources for everything from academics to personal wellness to life’s challenges.


Meeting students’ needs. Dedication to students is a top priority at UNT. From ensuring they feel welcome on campus and providing an atmosphere that encourages engagement to providing access to resources and opportunities for success after graduation, UNT strives to focus on the whole student so they can focus on achieving their dreams. Welcoming all. Representing nearly every state in the union and 141 countries, UNT students come from all backgrounds and walks of life. UNT faculty and staf work hard to bring students together through classroom projects, more than 400 student organizations and a variety of campus life opportunities that range from concerts and cultural exploration to service clubs and rec sports. Opportunities are plentiful for students to fnd friends with similar interests and backgrounds, as well as those with views and experiences diferent from their own. It’s UNT’s mission to help students thrive in every aspect of their college experience. Extending educational outreach to historically underrepresented students. UNT is proud to be a Hispanic-Serving and Minority-Serving Institution that continually focuses on increasing opportunities and resources available to historically underserved members of the student body. As a founding member of the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities, UNT is committed to creating access and equity for Hispanic students and growing a diverse faculty to match. UNT is part of one of the fastest growing regions in the nation, and it is critically important that UNT serves as a welcoming place for everyone to achieve their dreams of a higher education.


FOCUSED ON CAREER READINESS Serving Inclusively A Tier One research university and Minority-Serving and Hispanic-Serving Institution, UNT is the largest and most comprehensive institution of higher education in the North Texas region and the third largest in the state. As such, UNT is paving the way to meet the needs of the region and driving the state’s evolving economy. UNT is committed to graduating career-ready students, and dedicated faculty and staf guide students down the path to the resources and programs they need to succeed. Throughout their journey at UNT and beyond, students receive support that fosters growth academically, personally and professionally. Graduating from classroom to career. UNT continues to invest in career readiness by creating cutting-edge programs that meet the demands of business and industry while

Students can get advice from alumni who are experts in their field through a free, online mentoring program.

preparing students for the careers of their dreams. UNT remains dedicated to students’ academic success while increasing focus to help them design a degree they can put into action — an essential component to thriving in a rapidly evolving job market. With resources like career coaches embedded in every college on campus, academic advising and career centers to develop skills and earn internships, UNT’s goal is to support students as they progress from classroom to career. Investing in career centers. This year, thanks to generous donors, UNT opened two new career centers — the Satish and Yasmin Gupta Career Center at UNT at Frisco and The Wilson Jones Career Center in the G. Brint Ryan College of Business. These new centers will enhance the invaluable work of the main Career Center to foster strong connections between UNT and industry partners to provide even more scholarships,

Connect with a student as a Mean Green Mentor.


learning opportunities and greater access to the resources and opportunities needed to ensure students fnd the career that fts their passion.


Watch The Lab, a series that explores UNT faculty’s groundbreaking research.


RESEARCH ON THE RISE Impacting the State and Beyond It’s been another historic year for research as UNT continues to climb as a Carnegie-ranked Tier One research university. From artifcial intelligence to biomedical engineering to integrated and intelligent mobility systems, UNT is a catalyst for creativity, fueling progress, workforce development, innovation and entrepreneurship for the North Texas region and beyond. In fscal year 2023, UNT research expenditures exceeded $39 million while researchers garnered a record high total of sponsored project awards with more than $86 million in funding from top national agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Education. As an inaugural recipient of awards from the NSF’s Regional Innovation Engines program, as well as NASA’s initiative to support Minority-Serving Institutions in their work to further strengthen academic oferings in STEM, UNT is bolstering its national reputation in research. The university forged collaborations across the region, state and nation, including an NSF-funded efort to develop new vehicle technologies, a U.S. Department of Energy consortium on emerging semiconductors and technologies, and workforce-focused initiatives to address training gaps in health care and education as well as improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Faculty and students have earned prestigious recognitions — from Fulbright awards to early career and student researcher awards from national agencies.




UNT’s rapidly growing biomedical engineering

With $800,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture

UNT researchers — including faculty and students

department is bringing new understanding to

grants, UNT is advancing its food studies research

in public administration and geography and the

some of the world’s biggest health challenges

and programs — from fostering future food-

environment — helped the city of Lewisville plan

— from cancer to dementia to epilepsy — with

and-fber industry leaders through an array of

and develop a new park. The project focuses on

nearly $3 million in funding from the U.S. National

academic oferings and events, to planning an

improving residents’ health and providing access

Institutes of Health this year.

edible landscape on campus that supports

to greenspace.

experiential learning opportunities for students.


OPEN FOR OPPORTUNITY Providing Afordability & Access With 476,000 alumni, UNT has no doubt shaped and infuenced numerous businesses and industries in the North Texas region, across the state and beyond. Students can get advice from alumni who are experts in their feld through a free, online mentoring program. UNT also successfully reduced the percentage of graduates with student loan debt by nearly 10% — with nearly 40% graduating debt free. Opening opportunities at Frisco Landing. A new chapter in higher education commenced with the Spring 2023 opening of the frst permanent building at the UNT at Frisco branch campus. Collaboration is key amid Frisco Landing’s four stories, where higher education is being reimagined in state-of-the-art, interactive classrooms and study spaces that promote open communication and innovation. The frst four-year institution in booming

The Student Money Management Center supports students in achieving fnancial wellness.

Collin County, Frisco Landing ofers 27 undergraduate and master’s level programs and provides students opportunities to work side-by-side with industry partners — including the Dallas Cowboys and PGA — as they prepare for their careers. Progress on the Prairie. Home to more than 900 species of native fora and fauna, the Pecan Creek Pollinative Prairie at UNT’s Discovery Park campus was selected to receive $77,500 in funding by the Diamond Eagles Society. Since 2017, the network of donors, alumni and community members has provided funds for high-impact campus projects that boost student success. Scheduled for completion later this year, the Diamond Eagles Community Learning Area will include a covered pavilion, an observational dock, signage and an accessible walkway. The four-acre prairie is tended to by student

Learn more about the workshops, coaching sessions and programs that help UNT students save.


volunteers and members of the UNT Pollinative Prairie Committee for the beneft of visitors looking to learn, research and relax amid nature.

The eagle has landed in Frisco! Watch a recap of the ofcial opening of Frisco Landing.


Athletics saw a 36% increase in Mean Green Scholarship Fund members, ensuring more opportunities for student-athletes.


MEAN GREEN CHAMPIONS Moving Onward & Upward Change was in the air as UNT Athletics soared into the prestigious American Athletic Conference, bringing increased exposure for UNT on the national stage. Championship-winning seasons were had by the men’s basketball team as it captured the National Invitation Tournament title and the women’s golf team, which claimed its third-straight Conference USA title. The softball team swung for the fences on their way to the Conference USA fnals. New leaders guided the Mean Green’s entrance into the American — men’s basketball coach Ross Hodge, women’s basketball coach Jason Burton, head football coach Eric Morris, men’s golf coach Luke Calcatera, women’s tennis coach Amanda Stone and Jared Mosley, vice president and director of athletics. UNT’s football stadium received a new name, becoming DATCU Stadium, part of an agreement with the fnancial institution. Founded as a credit union in 1936 by then-North Texas State College faculty members and area educators, DATCU is a team player in its role as the ofcial fnancial institution and exclusive credit union of UNT Athletics and the UNT Alumni Association. Further solidifying its commitment, DATCU provides fnancial literacy programs for students as well as discounted fnancial services, UNT merchandise and event tickets for faculty, staf and students. This exciting partnership is sure to continue the Mean Green tradition of building champions and preparing leaders for years to come.




Our student-athletes scored in the classroom.

On the Rec Sports front, the polo team rode

Three student-athletes participated in the

They achieved a 3.160 GPA in Spring 2023 —

away with the United States Polo Association


the highest in department history.

Division I Men’s National Intercollegiate

Championships, the most UNT has sent to the


event since 1983.

NCAA Outdoor Track




UNT IN THE NEWS Making Headlines

“GRANDMOTHER OF JUNETEENTH” HONORED “We all know people who aren’t on the same page we’re on. Change their mind. If people can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love.” — ‘Grandmother of Juneteenth’ Opal Lee speaking to spring 2023 graduates during their commencement ceremony

REAL ESTATE ADVICE “Labor is requiring more, land is costing more, the demand is up. Houses in North Texas are going to double in value within fve to seven years.” — Real estate expert and business professor John Baen sharing tips with homebuyers in a competitive market

TUF PASSES “The TUF is a transformational investment in UNT, Texas higher education and the state’s economy.” — President Neal Smatresk on the passing of Proposition 5 during the 2023 November election




“Tourists who come to the DFW area, most of them are looking for hotels frst. Airbnb is targeting a totally diferent market.”

“You shouldn’t worry if someone sees you because this isn’t something to be embarrassed about. This is a basic need that every student should have.”

— Hospitality and Tourism Management professor Xi Leung on the efect of a short-term rental ban in Dallas

Maddie Moore (’23), then a senior, encouraging those in need to use UNT’s on-campus food pantry



“It was the dog fght we expected, and in the end North Texas prevailed. I think it’s one of the biggest moments in Mean Green history.”

“When you gain an education, you better yourself and you better those around you. And, of course, you gain knowledge, I know a lot more now than I did to begin with.”

— Adjunct instructor Hank Dickenson on UNT’s frst National Invitation Tournament title win

— Minnie Payne (’23, M.S. Interdisciplinary Studies), the oldest UNT graduate to complete her coursework and earn her degree at age 90

JAZZ MECCA “I think the touring aspect and the recording aspect were hugely infuential in getting the word out that Denton, Texas, University of North Texas, North Texas State at the time, was the place to go to get a jazz degree.” — Alan Baylock, director of the One O’Clock Lab band and music professor, on how Denton became an unlikely jazz hot spot

SOLAR ECLIPSE “We’ve gotten more phone calls in the last few weeks than we’ve gotten in a long time. It gets the public all engaged in science and what I’m passionate about.” — Astronomy Education Program Director Ryan Bennett discussing how the annular solar eclipse boosts interest in astronomy


FINANCIALS Fiscal Responsibility & Giving Impact Ranked a Tier One research university, UNT has been a catalyst for discovery and innovation since 1890 by providing students opportunities and support to achieve their dreams. In addition to generating an economic impact of $1.65 billion in the Dallas-Fort Worth area annually, UNT fuels the social and cultural vitality of the North Texas region and world.




State of Texas $171.29

State of Texas $190.29

Tuition & Fees $326.86

Tuition & Fees $449.28

Federal, State, & Private Grants & Contracts $114.68

Federal, State & Private Grants & Contracts $167.32

Endowment & Interest $24.24

Endowment & Interest $31.95

Sales, Services & Other $30.75

Sales, Services & Other $39.56

Auxiliary $76.32

Auxiliary $86.91

OPERATING AND CAPITAL USES ($ in the millions)




Instruction $175.48

Instruction $198.76

Research $67.02

Research $89.18

Public Service $10.14

Public Service $10.01

Academic Support $63.18

Academic Support $69.60

Student Services $83.67

Student Services $106.25

Institutional Support $41.52

Institutional Support $58.97

Operation & Maintenance of Plant $53.98

Operation & Maintenance of Plant $45.63

Scholarships & Fellowships $86.14

Scholarships & Fellowships $118.71

Auxiliary Enterprises $63.94

Auxiliary Enterprises $70.20

Capital Outlay $37.57

Capital Outlay $43.95

Other $2.30

Other $0.14



TOTAL NET ASSETS ($ in the millions)



FUNDRAISING SUCCESSES With 11,887 gifts from 7,029 donors, UNT raised a total of $33.9 million in fscal year 2023.

GIVING HIGHLIGHTS • Dave and Sheryl Heacock’s $1 million gift created the First in Business Program within the G. Brint Ryan College of Business, which focuses on empowering frst-generation college students. • The College of Engineering celebrated its most substantial gift to date — a generous donation of the Pettinger Engine Collection, coupled with a signifcant monetary endowment from Wes and Hedwig Pettinger, establishing Tuition and Fees

All Other

State Support

the Pettinger Center for Design & Innovation at UNT’s Discovery Park. 17

Division of University Brand Strategy and Communications • 1155 Union Circle #311070, Denton, Texas 76203-5017

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