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UNT Insider - Information for UNT alumni and friends
UNT Insider | December 2006 Issue

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President's Note
President Bataille, U.S. Congressman Michael C. Burgess and UNT Provost Howard Johnson

President Bataille toured UNT's Research Park with U.S. Congressman Michael C. Burgess and UNT Provost Howard Johnson in October, after the College of Engineering's Advanced Research and Technology Institute was awarded an additional $4 million in federal funding to continue its important nanotechnology research. The institute now has received $15.7 million in defense funding over four years and is one of the nation's premier materials research facilities.

Dear Alum,

Since I joined the university this summer, the stunning array of innovative research and creative activities happening on our campus has deeply impressed me. This research includes work in the humanities, social sciences and the arts, as well as the work most of us think of as laboratory research in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics.

It is fascinating to note that much of the scholarly work our faculty members are conducting is groundbreaking, and our facilities offer advantages beyond those available at most other public institutions. For example, UNT has a combination of three high-powered microscopes not available at any other public university in the nation. This gives our nanotechnology program a competitive edge. We also are home to the world's leading graduate program in environmental ethics, as well as the Military History Seminar that is recognized nationally as the pre-eminent gathering of top scholars in the field.

And as a student-centered public research university, UNT places a high value on engaging our undergraduate and graduate students in the research process. We want our students to have the opportunity for hands-on training that enables them to participate in the exciting work our faculty are doing in their classrooms and laboratories.

Our faculty and students are making a difference in the world. I encourage you to read about the discoveries being made in UNT Research, our magazine dedicated to telling the story of the important contributions our scholars make to the advancement of knowledge and the improvement of society.

With green pride,
Gretchen M. Bataille


UNT license plate

Win a UNT license plate, decal or T-shirt
I'd like to give away a little more green this month so you can show your green pride in your community. The first person to e-mail me will get a check for the $30 registration fee ($22 goes to UNT scholarships) for a UNT license plate (you still have to pay your own car registration). The next 100 responders will get UNT T-shirts and decals, and the rest of the participants will be entered into a random drawing for T-shirts. To participate, e-mail me at by 5 p.m. Jan. 2.

artist rendering of UNT Dallas

Moving Forward: Future UNT Dallas opening its first building in January
The UNT Dallas Campus is moving into the first building on the campus of the future UNT Dallas, which is expected to open as an accredited, freestanding university - the first public university within the Dallas city limits - in Fall 2009. Until then, the Dallas Campus will remain an extension of our Denton campus. Opening this 75,000-square-foot facility is truly exciting for our Dallas Campus, which continues to increase student enrollment and build momentum toward becoming UNT Dallas. This first building is designed to promote student interaction and study within its three open-access computer labs, group study rooms, library, open-air atrium and mini café. I hope you will join the campus faculty and staff for an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 16 to mark the grand opening. Classes begin in the building Jan. 16.

Eagle Statue

UNT earns accreditation reaffirmation
We recently learned that our degree programs will be reaccredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. This is exciting news because accreditation from SACS is an important external measure of our quality. More importantly, our commitment to providing our students with the best education and preparation for a successful future stems from our own values, and I am pleased that SACS recognizes our commitment to quality. I look forward to continuing our efforts to improve what we offer our students and our community.

Students visit Mexico, experience its real estate market firsthand

Students visit Mexico, experience its real estate market firsthand
Earlier this month, a group of graduate students in John Baen's advanced real estate investments class spent a weekend in Monterrey, Mexico, to learn about that nation's real estate market. While in Mexico, the students met with their counterparts at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, also known as Monterrey Tech, and a variety of real estate professionals. The trip, which was funded primarily by the program's alumni, engaged our students in meaningful hands-on learning and is a wonderful example of our faculty's commitment to providing high-quality educational experiences.

Rafes Urban Astronomy Center opens to the public

Rafes Urban Astronomy Center opens to the public
I encourage you to be among the first stargazers to visit our new Rafes Urban Astronomy Center. The center, at 3250 Tom Cole Road west of the UNT campus near the Denton Municipal Airport, is offering alumni the unique opportunity to participate in various stargazing outreach programs and get a close-up look at the stars, planets and the Moon. To schedule your visit, call (940) 369-7655 or e-mail The center also offers stargazing programs open to the public beginning at sunset on the first Saturday of each month.

Miguel Acevedo

Faculty Focus: Miguel Acevedo
Miguel Acevedo, one of five faculty members named a Regents Professor this fall, draws on his expertise in engineering and computer science and interdisciplinary collaboration with several faculty members to research environmental issues. His work is instrumental in helping policymakers understand the effects of environmental policies and individual decisions on natural resources, while empowering communities to determine what kind of world they want to live in in the future. I applaud his efforts.

McConnell Memorial Tower

UNT Traditions: McConnell Memorial Tower
This month, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the McConnell Memorial Tower. The tower, which was dedicated in December 1956, still plays an important role in helping our university celebrate its victories. In keeping with UNT tradition, special green floodlights bathe the Administration Building clock tower to signal an athletic victory to the campus and surrounding community.

UNT Music Library

Featured Link: Music Library
The UNT Music Library, one of the largest university music collections in the United States, offers more than 280,000 volumes of books, periodicals, scores, dissertations and reference works in numerous languages. In addition, the library includes a magnificent collection of nearly 500,000 musical recordings that can be played on original equipment such as cylinder players, victrolas or eight-track players.

North Texas Exes

North Texas Exes' David Iles sculpture
If you haven't found that special holiday gift for your favorite North Texan, the North Texas Exes invite you to purchase a leaf or twig to be artistically displayed from one of the tree branches on their David Iles sculpture. Iles, a sculptor and 1977 North Texas graduate, was commissioned to help make the Exes Alumni Center more meaningful for our alumni, students and university friends. He constructed a 15-foot wide wall relief of bronze and polished stainless steel that features an eagle flying to its nest with a background etching of university buildings. All proceeds from the relief wall go to the North Texas Exes General Scholarship Fund.

December 2006

At a Glance

Win a UNT license plate, decal or T-shirt

Moving Forward:
Future UNT Dallas opening its first building in January

UNT earns accreditation reaffirmation

Students visit Mexico, experience its real estate market firsthand

Rafes Urban Astronomy Center opens to the public

Faculty Focus:
Miguel Acevedo

UNT Traditions:
McConnell Memorial Tower

Featured Link:
Music Library

North Texas Exes' David Iles sculpture


Former UNT student Don Henley clinched a Grammy nomination Dec. 7, and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, a band that includes UNT alumnus Jeff Coffin, earned two.

Don't Forget!

I will be in Denver Jan. 10 and Washington, D.C., Jan. 22 as part of my nationwide inaugural tour.

In Case You Missed It!

UNT hired Head Football Coach Todd Dodge Dec. 12. You can listen to the news conference on KNTU.

About UNT Insider

The UNT Insider a monthly e-newsletter, connects UNT alumni and others to the university by letting you hear directly from President Gretchen M. Bataille.

The UNT Insider is brought to you by the Office of the President in conjunction with the Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing. Please send any comments or suggestions to

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