Dr. Neal Smatresk
It is my pleasure to announce that today the UNT System Board of Regents voted unanimously to name Dr. Neal Smatresk as the sole finalist for the presidency at UNT. Dr. Smatresk is currently the president at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
If confirmed as UNT president by the board in December, Dr. Smatresk will bring a powerful combination of distinguished leadership in higher education and a keen understanding of the North Texas region to our flagship institution.
I am confident that Dr. Smatresk is the right person to help UNT continue to grow and succeed, and I believe he will be able to join us by February of next year.
As president of UNLV since 2009, he has led that institution to become a much more prominent resource in one of the country's fastest-growing cities. At UNLV, Dr. Smatresk emphasizes the importance of student access and success as well as research and innovation. Under his direction, UNLV completed a $537 million fundraising campaign that included creating UNLV's largest active scholarship program, established an Academic Success Center to help students graduate on time, and opened Brookings Mountain West in partnership with the prestigious Brookings Institution.
You can learn more about him in the official news release.
Dr. Smatresk and his wife, Debbie, have deep Texas roots and an understanding of our region. UNT and UNLV have many similarities, and Dr. Smatresk has demonstrated his effective leadership in many areas where UNT is experiencing critical growth and opportunity. I am excited about the future of UNT under his leadership.
And I am especially grateful to Dr. V. Lane Rawlins for his invaluable contributions over the past three and a half years. Dr. Rawlins has helped UNT develop a clearer focus on its institutional goals and metrics and increased our momentum and recognition. Under his direction, UNT has reached significant milestones and the Board and I are very pleased that Lane and Mary Jo have chosen to make their home here in Denton, where they will continue to be involved with UNT. Dr. Rawlins has agreed to accept a President Emeritus appointment upon his retirement and will contribute to our fulfillment of the plans he helped develop.
Thank you for everything you do to support UNT and the UNT System. I hope you are as excited as I am about our future.
Lee F. Jackson
Chancellor, UNT System