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UNT Insider | February 2008 Issue

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President's Note

President Gretchen M. Bataille

Dear Alum,

As you know, UNT is a vibrant, student-centered public research university dedicated to providing opportunities to some of the best and brightest students.

Our university gets stronger every day because of the teaching, research and creative activities taking place in our classrooms and laboratories. Our students and faculty are making remarkable contributions, winning prestigious awards and sharing their expertise across the state, nation and world.

To help further spread our message, I recently released my first President's Report at UNT. The report includes information about everything from our Emerald Eagle Scholars program to Mean Green athletics. It details our excellence in faculty innovation, student discovery and global partnerships like those in Thailand and Turkey, while giving readers a glimpse at our expansion through projects such as the planned Business Leadership Complex.

I know you share my green pride in UNT, and I invite you to visit the President's Report 2007 online.

With green pride,
Gretchen M. Bataille


Vish Prasad

Vish Prasad

Moving Forward: Research grants increase at UNT
One of the ways UNT is expanding its national and international impact is by working to increase the amounts of competitive research grants faculty earn. And we've seen some remarkable successes in recent months. Data compiled by the Office of Research Services shows that UNT received $12 million in research awards from September to December 2007, compared to $8.5 million during that period in 2006 an increase of more than 40 percent. The dollar amounts of grants applied for increased by 34 percent. The increase in grant money and our additional efforts to secure grants are key to advancing our research agenda and help us achieve our mission as a student-centered public research university.

Eagle Statue

UNT's endowment ranks 29th in growth
We've also had great success growing our endowment this past year, and a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education drew attention to UNT's outstanding efforts in fiscal year 2007. Of 785 colleges and universities that provide information in the National Association of College and University Business Officers survey, UNT posted the 29th highest growth percentage in 2006-07 at 34.9 percent. The average for all schools was 17.2 percent. The university's endowment is combined with the UNT Foundation endowment for the study. UNT also is ranked in the top half of all the schools in total endowment, with $92.6 million at the end of the fiscal year. Since 2002, UNT's total endowment has grown almost 250 percent, thanks to generous support from alumni and friends and astute investments. This is great news as we work to increase this fund so we can provide additional scholarships and other opportunities for our students.

Anshel Brusilow

Foundation donates $500,000
The Lupe Murchison Foundation granted $500,000 for the Anshel Brusilow Chair in Orchestral Studies. The gift will go toward a $1 million endowment to honor Brusilow, conductor of the UNT Symphony Orchestra and Regents Professor of music, who is retiring at the end of the 2007-08 academic year after a UNT career spanning 35 years. Proceeds primarily will fund scholarships for orchestral students. I invite you to join us at the Murchison Performing Arts Center April 23 as Maestro conducts his UNT Symphony Orchestra concert. The Lupe Murchison Foundation is a Dallas-based charitable organization of the estate of Lucille G. Murchison, former UNT System Regent. Grants are made to organizations that provide student scholarships and educational and medical benefits.

UNT students on campus

UNT now Texas' third largest university in key areas
Newly released figures from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board show that UNT is the third largest university in Texas in the key areas of undergraduate enrollment and undergraduate and graduate degrees awarded. Official figures from fall 2007 show that UNT had 27,242 undergraduate students more than the University of Houston, which is the third largest in total enrollment, by 747 students. UNT's undergraduate enrollment has gone up nearly 10 percent since fall 2004. UNT is also third in the state for the number of undergraduate degrees awarded (4,863) and master's degrees awarded (1,329) in fiscal year 2007.

Ian Parberry

Faculty Focus: Ian Parberry
Microsoft recently named Ian Parberry, professor of computer science and engineering, a Most Valuable Professional for the fifth year in a row. The distinction recognizes Dr. Parberry's work in game development and validates the curriculum offered in UNT's undergraduate and graduate classes dedicated to game development. Dr. Parberry and his classes currently are working to develop a system to incorporate real time video processing with gaming graphics. Beyond advancing the computer video game industry, which in 2007 reported more than $17 billion in sales, his research interests include experimental algorithmics, computational complexity theory and neural networks. I applaud his forward-looking research and dedication to providing our students with a relevant classroom experience.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

UNT Traditions: Encounters
I'm proud that this month we expanded our tradition of providing our students and community members with a campus that encourages learning, reflection and discussion of diverse points of view. On Feb. 20, it was my privilege to launch Encounters, a new international lecture series that will bring speakers from around the world to campus. And it truly was an honor to have Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Dutch politician, writer and feminist, as the inaugural speaker in the series. I am committed to expanding the intellectually rigorous experiences we provide at UNT.

UNT Students in India

Featured Link: Immersed in Indian life
Steven Friedson, professor of music, and Poovalur Sriji, a renowned South Indian drummer and UNT adjunct, recently led a group of eight undergraduate and graduate students on a trip to India to study culture and music at Mysore University as part of UNT's first formal educational exchange program with a university in India. Although offered through the College of Music, the program was open to students of all majors. Students attended artists' lectures and concerts, visited historical sites, watched a filming and recording session in India's massive filmmaking industry and visited Mysore University for a residency to study religion, philosophy and music.

North Texas Exes

Exes encourage you to attend upcoming networking sessions
The North Texas Exes are encouraging alumni to visit their online calendar to learn more about upcoming events. This spring, the association is offering a variety of networking and career-building seminars and mixers to help alumni achieve their career goals while getting better acquainted. For information about upcoming events or becoming a member of the North Texas Exes, visit www.ntexes.org or call 940-565-2834.

February 2008

At a Glance

Moving Forward:
Research grants increase at UNT

UNT's endowment ranks 29th in growth

Foundation donates $500,000

UNT now Texas' third largest university in key areas

Faculty Focus:
Ian Parberry

UNT Traditions:

Featured Link:
Immersed in Indian life

Visit the Exes' online calendar

Don't Forget!

Please join me for the sixth annual UNT Beautification Day March 29, when we will clean up our campus, plant flowers and do other projects.

Enjoy a visual trip back to the far-out fashions of the 1960s and 1970s at Minis, Maxis and Mods, a free exhibition by the Texas Fashion Collection in the College of Visual Arts and Design. Clothing from the era will be displayed Feb. 21-May 16 at Fashion on Main at Universities Center at Dallas, 1901 Main St., Dallas.


Norah Jones, who is a guest singer on album of the year River: The Joni Letters, and Don Henley, member of the Eagles the group that won for best country performance, were among winners at the 50th annual Grammy Awards. We also were proud to have other alumni and two faculty members Steve Wiest and Joseph Banowetz receive nominations this year.

Ken Hackenberg, a Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science student, presented his research at the prestigious POLYCHAR 16 World Forum on Advanced Materials this month in Lucknow, India.

Vinay Ramasesh, also a TAMS student, is a finalist in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search.

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 president@unt.edu.