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UNT Insider | June 2007 Issue

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President's Note

President Gretchen M. Bataille

Dear Alum,

Many of you likely remember attending large seminar classes where you frantically scribbled notes while your professor lectured. Well, the days of the "sage on the stage" are nearing an end. At UNT, a group of faculty members are leading the nation in an effort to redesign the way some large-enrollment courses are taught to undergraduate students.

Successfully focusing large-enrollment undergraduate courses to be more student centered is a nationwide challenge and the need to create assessment-driven alternatives to current practice is a concern for the entire higher education community. I am particularly proud of our university's work during the past three years to redesign several of our large-enrollment courses and assure better student learning for our next generation of students. This has been a faculty-driven process and the interdisciplinary community of practice that has emerged is truly extraordinary.

This fall, we will launch a third round of redesigned courses and expect to have more than 25 redesigned within the next five years. Among this fall's new courses is our UNT U.S. history course, which is being redesigned as part of a Texas pilot program charged with creating new methods to better educate today's college students and will serve as a model for the state. This effort garnered a $193,000 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which chose only three courses statewide for the pilot program. Our Texas Center for Digital Knowledge in the School of Library and Information Sciences claimed another $120,000 grant from the coordinating board to design and implement a first-of-its-kind in Texas learning-object repository that will demonstrate how digital materials for the redesigned courses can be stored for easy access by educators across the state, nation and world.

In addition, our university hosted about 60 college and university professors and administrators from around the world last month at our first ever Transforming Large Enrollment Classes Symposium, which featured 2001 Nobel Prize Winner for Physics Carl Wieman. At the symposium, our faculty members led sessions designed to introduce participants to the process of redesigning college courses to enhance student learning. The symposium truly gave us a chance to showcase our expertise.

Today, more than ever, we must pay attention to how we are teaching so that all of our students are academically successful and can become engaged citizens of the world. Our redesigned courses are transforming the way classes are taught and students learn. And they are helping to shape UNT's future success.

With green pride,
Gretchen M. Bataille


North Texas with claw

Spread green pride with iron-on transfers
Since so many of you have written to tell me how eager you are to support your alma mater and show off your green pride, I thought it would be fun to give you a chance to create your own UNT branded T-shirts. All you will need is some iron-on transfer paper from your local office supply store, a computer and printer, a green or white T-shirt and an iron. Then, start spreading your green pride.

Marie Wolffe

Moving Forward: UNT begins offering 3 online bachelor's completion degrees
We continue to open our doors - and our virtual doors - to more and more students. UNT - already the largest provider of online credit courses among public universities in Texas - now offers three new online bachelor's completion degrees for students who have earned an associate's degree from a community college or have fulfilled undergraduate core course requirements in previous college work. Our eCampus courses already include 31 online degree programs and certificates. This step forward allows more students to access the learning opportunities at UNT.

Texas Governor's School

Texas Governor's School at UNT welcomed 150 high schoolers
Our first Texas Governor's School kicked off earlier this month, when we welcomed about 150 high school students from throughout Texas to our campus. Funded by the Texas Legislature and free to selected students, UNT's program has a theme of "The Future of Science and Technology in Our World." The students, who will live in Bruce Hall during the three-week program, will take courses taught by both UNT faculty and public school teachers to further develop their abilities in science and technology and explore the impact of these fields on past, current and future societies. This should be an amazing opportunity to expand these young minds and to help them learn more about careers in the sciences.

Alan Needleman

Faculty Focus: Alan Needleman
Alan Needleman, visiting professor of materials science and engineering who has joined UNT for the spring semesters in 2007-09, recently was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Needleman's main research interests are in the computational modeling of deformation and fracture processes in materials over a range of size scales from the nano to the macro. This is a great accomplishment and helps our university by increasing our visibility nationally and internationally. I am proud to have Dr. Needleman serve in our College of Engineering.

Murchison Performing Arts Center

UNT Traditions: College of Music
It's no secret that our university's College of Music traditions run deep, and I am simply blown away each time I have the good fortune to hear one of our student groups perform. Many of our talented musicians recently have been recognized by others. For example, Jeremy Wilson, a first-year master's student in the College of Music, earned a job that most musicians can only dream about a position with the Vienna State Opera/Vienna Philharmonic, considered one of the finest orchestras in the world. Three music students and an alumnus earned DownBeat Magazine awards. Also, PopMatters, a web site dedicated to popular music, included a story that takes an in-depth look at how Denton (and of course, UNT) is making waves internationally in the music world. All of this clearly points to amazing talent and the influence of our College of Music, which is consistently ranked as one of the nation's best.

Jody's Fountain

Featured Link: Library Mall
Now that the Library Mall renovation is complete, I encourage you to stop in to see it on your next trip home. The $1.36 million renovation of the mall began during the 2004-05 academic year as part of a campuswide beautification initiative and included a renovation of the fountain and the addition of a series of new water features, upgraded seating areas and more trees and landscaping. This area surely has been a gathering spot for decades but has become an even more inviting place for students, faculty and staff to congregate and enjoy a relaxing break.

North Texas Exes

Join the Exes for a UNT vs. OU road trip
The North Texas Exes hope you will join them for a road trip to Norman, Okla., to cheer on our Mean Green and to welcome Coach Todd Dodge as the team opens its season against OU. The Exes will charter a bus for the Sept. 1 trip. To learn about other alumni activities and chapters to join, visit www.ntexes.org.

June 2007

At a Glance

Spread green pride with iron-on transfers

Moving Forward:
UNT begins offering 3 online bachelor's completion degrees

Texas Governor's School at UNT welcomed 150 high schoolers

Faculty Focus:
Alan Needleman

UNT Traditions:
College of Music

Featured Link:
Library Mall

Join the Exes for a UNT vs. OU road trip

Don't Forget!

World-renowned writer Joyce Carol Oates is the keynote speaker July 28 at the third annual Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference of the Southwest, presented by the Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism.


David McNeil, a physics graduate student, discovered the asteroid "2007 KH-16K" last month within the constellation Leo in an asteroid belt near Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation.

First Lady Laura Bush had wonderful praise for the Balenciaga and His Legacy exhibition, which was curated by Myra Walker, director of UNT's Texas Fashion Collection, for the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University.

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.