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UNT Insider | May 2007 Issue

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President's Note

Bataille signing Hill College agreement

President Gretchen M. Bataille and Hill College President Sheryl Smith Kappus recently formalized a partnership that will help Hill College students seeking the timely completion of their bachelor's degree requirements at UNT.

Dear Alum,

As a student-centered public research university, UNT is charged with protecting and providing accessible and affordable higher education. Last month, I told you about the financial aspect of ensuring affordability when I announced the Emerald Eagle Scholars program. But just as important is the mandate to reach into our communities and provide access to higher education.

A recent example is a partnership created between our university and Hill College that will aid Hill College students seeking the timely completion of their bachelor's degree requirements at UNT. In addition, our university will begin offering upper-level and graduate courses in Hill College facilities.

This is a wonderful addition to our partnerships with the community colleges in Collin, Dallas, Tarrant, Johnson and other Texas counties, as well as with other universities across the state. These collaborative efforts are key to expanding educational opportunities for Texas students.

Other excellent examples of our ongoing commitment to ensure access are our Go Centers, physical spaces in participating high schools that provide prospective college students with information about college and career options, financial aid and mentoring. The centers are a primary focus of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's College for Texans campaign, which aims to nurture and sustain a college-going culture in grade schools, middle schools and high schools throughout the state. UNT's Go Centers were recognized for their work this month by the Coordinating Board.

I also am proud of UNT's Center for Economic Education for bringing about 150 Grand Prairie middle school students to campus earlier this month for its Bridge to Economic Success program. The students and their parents learned about the link between a college education and higher salary potential and other personal economic benefits. For many of these students, this likely is one of the first steps in ensuring they will one day enroll in college.

And this summer, our university will host 150 high school juniors and seniors from Denton County and surrounding counties to provide them with intense instruction in mathematics, language arts and writing. UNT earned $100,000 in grants for the High School Summer Bridge Program from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to help ensure the students are prepared for state-mandated exams and college-level curriculum. At the same time, we aim to expose these students to all the benefits of higher education. I look forward to welcoming these students to our campus and hope they will one day enroll at UNT.

All of these partnerships play an important role in our commitment to provide accessible, affordable high-quality education for our students now and in the future.

With green pride,
Gretchen M. Bataille


UNT System

Texas legislative session wraps up
Texas' 80th legislative session, which officially ended May 28, brought increased funding to the state's formulas for higher education that will help us continue to provide high-quality instruction and services to our students who seek to improve their lives through education. We owe a debt of gratitude to Representative Myra Crownover, who worked tirelessly as our advocate. And while it is disappointing that the bill to establish the UNT College of Law in Dallas died during the final days of the session, Chancellor Lee F. Jackson and the UNT System Board of Regents remain committed to providing affordable legal education to the Dallas-Fort Worth region, which is the nation's largest metropolitan area without a public law school. We will keep you informed as our plans progress.

UNT T-shirt

Get your green pride
This month, I hope to help you spread a little more green pride with my quarterly giveaway. The first 100 people to e-mail me will get free UNT T-shirts and decals, and the rest of the participants will be entered into a random drawing for T-shirts. To participate, e-mail me at president@unt.edu by 5 p.m. June 8 and get ready to show your green pride.

Administration building

Moving Forward: Peer Review Assessment
You may remember shortly after I arrived that I invited five groups of peer reviewers to assess our operations in research, academic affairs, student development, information technologies and advancement. Last week, I shared the final summary report from their work with our faculty and staff members for review and input. Now, our university community will use these recommendations, and our own thoughts about what will work best, as a roadmap for focusing our resources and energy to elevate our university's reputation as a student-centered public research university and achieve our vision as outlined in the Strategic Plan. Ultimately, our efforts will lead to greater recognition and respect for UNT, our graduates and our students.

UNT Brand

Grant supports development of professional science master's degree programs
UNT recently earned a $45,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to support the exploration and creation of new, innovative master's degree programs. The professional science master's degree programs will combine advanced training in science and mathematics with key business skills so our graduates are even better prepared to meet industry workforce needs. Our campus and other UNT System institutions plan to offer these degree programs beginning Fall 2008. The grant also will support the creation of guidelines for how other Texas universities may develop and implement similar degrees within their regions.

Carl Eastman

College of Music receives $1.5 million trust
Our College of Music was designated as the sole beneficiary of a $1.5 million trust bequeathed by Carl and Margaret Eastman to fund scholarships for piano and organ students. The Carl and Margaret Eastman Piano Fund also may be used to help pay for travel for students attending international piano competitions, as well as to purchase new practice pianos and fund organ maintenance. This is a wonderful tribute to our music students and will certainly help them in their musical pursuits at UNT.

UNT women's soccer

Soccer team named to nation's top 10 percent in latest NCAA rankings
While all of our athletic teams deserve recognition for their commitment to their academic endeavors, I am extremely proud of our women's soccer team, which was recognized this month as a top 10 percent team and earned an APR score of 995 (in the 90th percentile of all women's soccer programs in the country). The 2005-06 NCAA Academic Progress Rate Compilation Report data indicated that several of UNT's 16 NCAA-sponsored sports performed very well. In all, seven of UNT's 10 women's teams earned scores above the national average for Division I schools and for public institutions. In men's sports, Mean Green basketball (946) performed above the national average for Division I and for public institutions. Men's golf (948) earned the highest UNT men's APR score.

Timothy Montler

Faculty Focus: Timothy Montler
Timothy Montler, professor of linguistics, earned a $317,502 Documenting Endangered Languages grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The three-year grant will help Dr. Montler create a dictionary and electronic text archive of Klallam, the native language of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe in northwest Washington. This language was rapidly disappearing 15 years ago because few tribal members had grown up speaking it, but Dr. Montler created teaching materials and other tools to help members learn it. This is remarkable work and is ensuring that this language remains alive in its community and for those who wish to study the works.


UNT Traditions: Commencement
Many of you probably have fond memories of your graduation day at UNT. Two weeks ago, about 2,600 students joined your ranks as alumni. This spring's commencement ceremonies marked the beginning of a few new UNT traditions designed to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates. For example, master's candidates received lapel pin replicas of the UNT seal when they were handed their degrees. In addition, a finale celebration with a UNT beach ball drop and hat toss replaced the traditional recessional. These changes were designed to make the experience even more meaningful for all of our graduates.

Japanese painting of waves

Featured Link: School of Library and Information Sciences Storytelling
Since so many of us enjoy a good story, I wanted to share with you the efforts of some graduate students in the School of Library and Information Sciences. Sixteen students in the Advanced Storytelling Class recorded themselves via digital video telling personal tales or reciting classic tales such as The Gift of the Magi. You can find Creating Ripples … Making Waves: A Storytelling Concert About Transformation online. I hope you enjoy these stories.

North Texas Exes

North Texas Exes
I enjoy every opportunity I have to interact with students and alumni, but I was especially proud to participate in the North Texas Exes' most recent ring ceremony. The students who participated in the annual ring ceremony were presented with their official UNT class rings and enjoyed live music. The ceremony was a great opportunity for students to gather one final time before graduation and be recognized for their accomplishments. To learn about other alumni activities and chapters to join, visit www.ntexes.org.

May 2007

At a Glance

Texas legislative session wraps up

Get your green pride

Moving Forward: Peer Review Assessment

Grant supports development of professional science master's degree programs

College of Music receives $1.5 million trust

Soccer team named to nation's top 10 percent in latest NCAA rankings

Faculty Focus: Timothy Montler

UNT Traditions: Commencement

Featured Link: School of Library and Information Sciences Storytelling

North Texas Exes


Two students - Amelia Lin and Monica Lu - who graduated from the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science this month were featured in USA Today for being named to the newspaper's High School Academic Teams.

Two UNT professors - Ted Farris, professor of marketing and logistics, and Nada Shabout, assistant professor of art history - recently received Fulbright Scholar Awards.

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.