In recognition of UNT's momentum as a thriving student-centered public research university, President Gretchen M. Bataille invited a group of distinguished individuals to serve on a Board of Visitors and to provide guidance for UNT to chart its course as a top national university.
The board is made up of prominent leaders and executives — including several alumni — from business, media, publishing, the arts, education, the energy industry and more. Bill Lively, who received UNT's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2009, is serving as the Board of Visitors' chair and is president of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee. (A full list of members can be found at the end of the release.)
Bataille says the dedicated group of advisors will act as a sounding board for her.
"Creating this board comes at a critical time when UNT is experiencing unprecedented growth, reaping national and international recognition for its research, programs and creative activities, and seeing its faculty and students continually earn top honors," she says. "To keep advancing, UNT must maintain its historic strengths in education, music and art, while growing its strengths in science, engineering and technology.
"UNT is becoming a premier public research university, and we have a clear vision of how to reach the top," she adds "Our new Board of Visitors will help UNT identify new opportunities while staying attuned to marketplace needs."
Lively says UNT's Board of Visitors promises to be different from a typical advisory board because President Bataille is intent on taking advantage of the group's knowledge and experience.
"I have seen many instances where a board convenes and the university just shows what it is and how great it is," Lively says. "The president's aim for the Board of Visitors, in my judgment, is to really listen."
Lively, who earned his master of music education at UNT and was a longtime administrator and music faculty member at Southern Methodist University, says he benefitted greatly from attending one of the finest music programs in the country. He retired from SMU after 25 years and went on to direct a hugely successful fundraising campaign for the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts.
He called UNT's growth since his days as a student "phenomenal."
The Board of Visitors members will serve as ambassadors, spreading the word about UNT's mission, progress and success to those around the world, he says.
The board's eclectic makeup also will serve UNT well, he says. "The Board of Visitors is purposefully comprised of scholars, corporate executives, artists, educators and others, all of whom understand UNT's mission and aspirations to be among America's most distinguished public universities," Lively says. "It's a stunning beginning to a board that will evolve and grow over time."
Bataille says having a board with well-known and successful members speaks to UNT's growing stature.
Expert rankings in U.S. News & World Report put UNT among the top national universities that are "leading the pack" in innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus, diversity and facilities.
UNT also has set its sights on becoming a top research university and is investing in faculty and programs to reach that goal. At the same time, the university is continuing to build on its legacy in the arts, education and music with new initiatives, such as the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts in downtown Denton. With 36,000 students, UNT continues to grow dramatically. In fall 2009, UNT experienced its ninth consecutive year of record-breaking enrollment and its largest increase in seven years.
This fall's enrollment included an 11 percent increase in graduate students, which is important to the university's continued development as a national research university. UNT's fall 2009 enrollment also included important growth in retention and continued growth in Hispanic, African American and Asian students.
The Board of Visitors will serve as an advisory group and will not have any policymaking authority. The board members will serve for three years and will meet twice a year. The first meeting was Jan. 22-23, 2010.
The Board of Visitors members include:
- Mary Anne Alhadeff, President and CEO, KERA
- Phillip J. Bond, President, TechAmerica
- Christopher Dickey, Bureau Chief/Mideast Editor, Newsweek Paris Bureau
- Jeff Fegan, CEO, DFW International Airport
- Alumnus Joe Greene, Former UNT and NFL Player, Pittsburgh Steelers
- John Hofmeister, Founder and CEO, Citizens for Affordable Energy, former President of Shell Oil
- Alumnus Bill Lively, President, North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee
- Alumnus Lou Marini Jr., Saxophonist, Arranger, Composer
- Marcus Martin, President, Education is Freedom
- Gerald McElvy, President, ExxonMobil Foundation
- Bernard Milano, President, KPMG Foundation
- Alumnus Jesús Moroles, Sculptor
- Felice Nudelman, Executive Director of Education, New York Times
- Blaise Simqu, President, Sage Publishing
- Alumna Gayle Strange, President, Axiom Commercial, Former Chair, UNT Board of Regents
- Scott Tarwater, Executive Vice President of Development, John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts
Kelley Reese with UNT News Service can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.