University of North Texas

UNT Insider | March 2012

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President's Note

President V. Lane Rawlins speaks at a public student hearing.

President V. Lane Rawlins speaks at a public student hearing.

Dear Alum,

UNT is committed to providing students with a high-quality, innovative educational experience that continues to get better and grow stronger.

But we are in tough economic times that continue to be challenging, and this is part of the reason why UNT sought an increase in tuition and fees starting this fall. Earlier this week, the UNT System Board of Regents approved a 3.95 percent tuition and fee increase for each of the next two academic years. The increase is based on a two-year tuition model we use to help students and their families better plan.

In addition to the 3.95 percent increase, the board also approved a $25 per semester credit hour increase for graduate tuition starting in Fall 2012, the first such increase since Fall 2005. A 3.6 percent net increase in room and board rates also was approved to account for higher operational costs and to maintain service.

We did not want to increase tuition and fees and looked at all of the alternatives. The reality, however, is that our state support has been reduced and that means we have a harder time keeping up with new technologies, space needs and student support. It’s important that we make certain our students get a top-quality education that will allow them to compete with anyone. Even with these increases, tuition and fees at UNT are less than they would be at most of our peer universities. I have pledged to students that we will use every cent to their benefit and will be accountable in reporting how it was spent. And we will continue to make reductions, reallocate funds and implement other cost-savings measures, staying true to our culture of doing the best we can with the money we have.

To help ease the economic burden on students and their families, we are making sure to use part of the additional revenue to offer more need- and merit-based aid and scholarships. UNT has a strong financial aid and scholarship program to help students with educational costs, and we award more than $310 million in financial aid each year. On average, about 70 percent of a student’s financial need is met through financial aid and scholarships.

This rate increase is not just about our bottom line. It will help us continue to provide our students with a high-quality educational experience with increased support in and out of the classroom. This is at the heart of the four bold goals outlined in our new strategic plan. It also will help our university to maintain progress. We plan to invest the money in key areas to:

  • Strengthen core course teaching and maintain healthy student-to-teacher ratios
  • Provide more merit- and need-based scholarships and aid for undergraduates
  • Hire more advisors
  • Hire and retain more competitive, distinguished faculty
  • Expand growing areas
  • Provide support for graduate recruitment, retention and scholarships
  • Continue providing better facilities and technology
  • Support and reward employees to maintain a high-quality workforce of faculty and staff

It's never easy to ask students and their families to shoulder more of the burden. But UNT is committed to becoming an even better university and ensuring our students leave well-prepared with a high-quality education.

V. Lane Rawlins



Students in a professional kitchen setting

Hospitality management students working in the newly renovated Marriott Culinary Lab at UNT.

Moving Forward: Evolution of College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism addresses growth in majors, programs

UNT is constantly responding to industry demands and reviewing our programs to provide students with the most relevant, high-quality education. The evolution of the School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management into the new College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism reflects one important way that UNT is staying relevant to the marketplace while raising the visibility and reputation of the college's diverse degrees and programs. The college was the first in the nation to offer a bachelor's degree in digital retailing and it has one of the largest merchandising programs in the U.S. In addition, CMHT is the first to offer a master's degree in international sustainable tourism and the college's hospitality management program was the first in the nation to be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration. The new college is organized into the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Department of Merchandising and Digital Retailing.

Don Winspear, Paula Homer and James Scott

Don Winspear, son of the late Bill Winspear, is pictured with Paula Homer, the new Margot and Bill Winspear Chair in Opera Studies, and James Scott, dean of the College of Music.

Opera chair established with $1.5 million Winspear gift

Having the support of our alumni and friends is paramount to advancing our university and UNT's College of Music is the most recent beneficiary of a $1.5 million gift from the estate of the late philanthropist and honorary UNT alumnus Bill Winspear. With the gift, the university has established the endowed Margot and Bill Winspear Chair in Opera Studies. The endowed chair is named in honor of Winspear's wife, Margot. Paula Homer, director of UNT Opera, was selected as the first person to hold the chair. The endowed fund will be used for opera production costs, financial support for voice students in opera and other opera-related expenses.

Students in the Business Leadership Building's securities trading room

Students watch stocks in the Business Leadership Building's securities trading room.

Business Leadership Building earns UNT's third LEED certification

Sustainability is a big part of everything UNT does as a university, and our green practices are evident campuswide. The Business Leadership Building recently earned LEED Gold, the second highest level of certification, from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Business Leadership Building is our third facility to become LEED certified. The 180,000-square-foot building opened in fall 2011 and includes numerous environmentally friendly features, from recycling stations to a sustainable water management and irrigation system. The building's open concept design encourages interdisciplinary research among faculty and provides ample study space for students. Other features include a securities trading room with a dozen Bloomberg terminals and a stock ticker, 24 classrooms, meeting space, a café, computer labs and an entire floor dedicated to faculty offices.

UNT awarded $1.2 million grant to train special education leaders

Founded in 1890 as a teachers college, UNT is still a top place for future teachers. The College of Education is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Top 120 education colleges in the nation. A $1.2 million U.S. Department of Education grant will help the university continue to produce high-quality teachers. Beginning this summer, the grant will fund scholarships for 12 students to participate in Project TELL, a program to train and educate future leaders of special education. Scholars in the program will earn a doctorate in special education while working with three local school districts to gain valuable experience and improve special education programs. It's one more way that UNT -- one of the state's top producers for teachers -- is putting great educators in the classroom.

Marco Buongiorno-Nardelli

Marco Buongiorno-Nardelli

Faculty Focus: Marco Buongiorno-Nardelli

Marco Buongiorno-Nardelli, professor of physics, and researchers at North Carolina State University have solved the mystery of how a specially designed polymer is able to store and release large amounts of energy. The discovery could result in more powerful and more efficient electric cars. Current technologies struggle to give electric vehicles the get-up-and-go necessary to accelerate quickly from a standstill, and the team is looking to capacitors using engineering polymers to solve this problem. The future, they hope, is for an electric vehicle to accelerate from zero to 60 mph at the same rate as a gasoline-powered sports car. Dr. Buongiorno-Nardelli is a member of UNT's Materials Modeling Research Cluster, one of 15 multidisciplinary research clusters addressing complex scientific, technological, environmental and societal issues through collaboration and innovation.

Attendees watch performances at the 2011 Denton Arts & Jazz Festival.

Music lovers watch performances at the 2011 Denton Arts & Jazz Festival.

Traditions: Denton Arts & Jazz Festival big draw for UNT musicians

Students, faculty and alumni will once again perform at the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival, proving why UNT is known for having one of the world's leading music programs. You can experience this excellence at the UNT Showcase Stage during the jazz festival April 27-29 at Quakertown Park. During the festival, you can enjoy performances by UNT’s talented musicians -- including the internationally acclaimed, Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band -- and other well-known performers such as Los Lonely Boys. The One O'Clock Lab Band is considered the premier ensemble of UNT's jazz program. Our jazz roots date back to 1947, when UNT became the first college to offer a degree program in jazz studies, and today the university's jazz studies program is consistently rated among the nation's best.

UNT Research 2012 cover

Featured Link: Learn about UNT's legacy in water research in UNT Research

UNT Research is the university's annual publication that focuses on the research and creative endeavors of faculty and students. The 2012 issue covers the university’s outstanding water research, part of an environmental science legacy dating back to the 1930s and the work of biologist J.K.G ‘Doc’ Silvey. Today, water is studied across many disciplines at UNT. Visit UNT Research online to read about these researchers and other faculty experts shaping industries with their work.

UNT Alumni Association

UNT Alumni Association

Recipients of the 2012 Alumni Awards -- for Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus, Distinguished Young Alumna/Alumnus, Outstanding Alumni Service Award and the Ulys Knight Spirit Award -- will be recognized for their achievements and support of UNT during the annual Alumni Awards Dinner at 7 p.m. April 20 in the Gateway Center Ballroom. The event is presented by the UNT Alumni Association and UNT’s Division of Advancement. I am giving away a pair of tickets to the dinner in a random drawing. To enter, email with "Alumni Awards Dinner" in the subject line by 5 p.m. April 6 and include your name, address and phone number. To buy dinner tickets, contact Abbie Lows at 940-565-4851 or To learn more about the UNT Alumni Association, visit or contact the association at or at 940-565-2834.


March 2012

At a Glance

Moving Forward: Evolution of College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism addresses growth in majors, programs

Opera chair established with $1.5 million Winspear gift

Business Leadership Building earns UNT's third LEED certification

UNT awarded $1.2 million grant to train special education leaders

Faculty Focus: Marco Buongiorno-Nardelli

Traditions: Denton Arts & Jazz Festival big draw for UNT musicians

UNT Alumni Association


TAMS student Kurtis Carsch was a finalist in the 2012 Intel Science Talent Search. Nine TAMS students were semifinalists.

Arminta Jacobson, the Elaine Millikan Mathes Endowed Professor of Educational Psychology, was named a fellow by the National Council on Family Relations.

The UNT Libraries ranked among the Top 20 digital repositories in the world.

Alejandro Garrido, an English and social sciences senior, received a scholarship from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

Graduate mechanical and energy engineering students Joseph Koruth and Carlos Pena-Sanchez were on winning teams in Vestas’ 2012 Winnovation Case Challenge.

Four UNT students qualified for the 2012 National Debate Tournament. Two debate students also made it to the final round of the National Junior Division Debate Tournament.

The Emerald Ball Goes Green raised a record-setting $400,000 to support UNT's Emerald Eagle Scholars program. Thanks to all of you who helped make this event a success.

The Mean Green men's basketball team advanced to the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Tournament's championship final for the third consecutive year before losing to Western Kentucky. The Mean Green women’s basketball team made it to the quarterfinals, wrapping up their best season since 2006.

Don't Forget

Join Coach Dan McCarney and the Mean Green football team for the 2012 Green and White scrimmage game at 2 p.m. April 21 in the LEED Platinum- certified Apogee Stadium.

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