V. Lane Rawlins
When I became UNT's interim president in 2010, I didn't plan to stay longer than a year. But I fell in love with the work and people of UNT, and fortunately for me, I was given the opportunity to stay longer. My tenure as president will end when I retire in early February, but my connection to UNT will continue as I take on the role of helping to advance UNT as President Emeritus.
For me, these have been good years. I love UNT and I am especially grateful for the opportunity to have served this new generation of students. Top-quality public education is a critical need in our state and nation. It changes the lives of individuals who are able and willing to pursue it; it is essential to our economic, social and political health; and it is a democratic leveler of opportunity. A relatively small number of universities lead the way in this, and UNT has the opportunity, drive and commitment to be among those leaders.
Our founding president, J.C. Chilton, described our promise and goal, "to become leaders in the education of the young men and women of Texas." As we declared in our vision and bold goals to provide the best undergraduate education and establish UNT as one of America's leading research and scholarly universities, we are taking President Chilton's dream to a new level.
Our dream is within our reach and we are seeing results. We attract students who are talented and will lead the way in building a strong future. Our commitment to excel goes beyond teaching and research to providing strong support for our students, effectively budgeting our resources, being on the frontier of technology, improving our campus and building a stronger athletics program.
It feels good to know that such an experienced, thoughtful leader as Neal Smatresk will be UNT's next president. He brings both passion and vision that will help the university continue its rise to the top.
I feel good about our progress. Our student body is getting bigger and stronger. Our programs and research are advancing. And we're celebrating a winning football season and our first bowl game win in more than a decade.
I'm privileged to have become part of the UNT family and always will be a proud member. My wife, Mary Jo, and I were surprised and touched to have the proposed new Honors residence hall and the Fine Arts Series named in our honor. Both reflect our passions and what we love most about UNT.
Thank you for your support.
V. Lane Rawlins