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UNT Insider | September 2008 Issue

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President's Note


Gretchen M. Bataille

Dear Alum,

Long before the green revolution took hold, UNT was living green. We have cut our carbon dioxide output from natural gas by more than 50 million pounds in the last 10 years. Our Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building was ahead of its time when it opened in 1998, built with environmentally friendly features like an innovative cooling system that generates an icy slush to produce chilled air during the day. And for years, we have encouraged our campus community to ride buses or take part in our ride share system. You can read more about our environmental legacy in the summer issue of The North Texan magazine.

UNT continues to be a leader, not a follower when it comes to sustainability initiatives. We were the first large public university in Texas to sign the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, which commits us to becoming an even more sustainable institution. UNT is now the choice of 34,795 students our eighth consecutive enrollment high and we have more than 7,000 faculty and staff. It is more important than ever for us to offset our environmental impacts because we are the size of a small city.

For every major new building project, UNT will follow the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council. Next month, we plan to break ground on our first such facility, the Life Sciences Complex. I encourage you to join us at our groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 4, at 2:30 p.m. next to our Biology Building. You also can follow the complex's progress at www.biol.unt.edu/lscam/. Its construction soon will be followed by our Business Leadership Building, which also will be built to LEED standards. These buildings will provide important infrastructure to support an environment that is dedicated to preparing tomorrow's leaders. And our new stadium planning also will adhere to LEED standards, showcasing our commitment to sustainability in every aspect.

We also will launch our We Mean Green monthlong public awareness campaign next month with a free conference on the environment. Through the campaign, we are encouraging our campus community to recycle and become more aware of their carbon footprint. We also are handing out free We Mean Green water bottles to discourage people from buying bottled water. To jump-start our campaign, I am giving away water bottles to the first 100 people who e-mail me by 5 p.m Oct. 6, with the words "We Mean Green" in the subject line.

Our faculty also are working to better the environment through innovative research. For example, Nandika D'Souza, an associate professor of materials science and engineering, is working with the U.S. military to create Meals-Ready-to-Eat packaging with materials that will take less than a month to decompose once discarded, instead of the four centuries that traditional petroleum-based plastics require.

I believe it is our obligation as a public university to act responsibly at all turns, and through our efforts we can show other institutions and other industries that it is possible to make a difference. It's a message I plan to share with other university presidents through my participation in The Chronicle of Higher Education/New York Times Higher Education Cabinet, a new advisory group of forward-thinking higher education leaders.

Being a green campus comes easily to UNT. After all, we are the Mean Green, and for many years, this appellation has referred to more than our athletic teams.

With green pride,
Gretchen M. Bataille
President


Features


The North Texan

Get a sneak peek at Mean Green Mania
Read about our growing Mean Green Nation, our commitment to athletics and our successes on and off the field in a sneak peek of The North Texan magazine's fall cover story. While you're there, you can upload your own fan photos, sing along with the fight song, play a video about stadium plans, revisit athletic highlights, learn about our newest facilities, brush up on UNT traditions and more.


Food Fest

Moving Forward: UNT attracting more ethnic minority students
At UNT, we value the diversity that comes from having students with different ethnic and social backgrounds. Our enrollment of ethnic minority students increased this year, with Hispanic student enrollment leading the way with a 9.2 percent jump from last year, according to preliminary numbers. Our Asian student enrollment climbed 7 percent while our African American student enrollment increased 2.7 percent and our international student enrollment rose 8.4 percent. These increases illustrate that we are among the leaders in the state's Closing the Gaps effort, which is designed to help ensure the Texas work force keeps pace with the demands of our economy.



UNT

UNT adding programs, creating scholarships to fill critical needs
One of UNT's greatest strengths is our ability to adapt to the demands of the work force and our changing society. I am proud to see two new programs that will help us fill critical needs and prepare our students for bright futures. We recently received an $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to offer a master's degree program in special education, with an emphasis in autism, which can be earned completely by distributed learning methods. Known as Project DART, this program will help us reach out to educators in rural Texas who lack access to training opportunities in special education programs. Project DART will complement our existing on-campus master's degree program. In addition, UNT has started a scholarship program for its first-year biology, biochemistry and chemistry students with the help of a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The program, titled FOCUS, will enable us to attract and graduate more students in the sciences.


Harold Strong

Harold Strong

Richard Nader

Richard Nader

UNT growing as a public research university
UNT already has a strong reputation as a hub of innovative research conducted by renowned faculty. This year, we added important leaders to our team and jump-started six new collaborative research clusters with a $25 million investment plan. Denise Perry Simmons, the former director of clinical cancer research at the Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center and former research fellow at the National Cancer Institute, is leading our newly installed Research Development Team that will work with our faculty to advance their research and attract important funding. She joins Richard Nader, who was previously a program manager for the National Science Foundation's Office of International Science and Engineering. They, along with Harold Strong, our new director of Discovery Park and technology transfer who came from Texas A&M's research park, will help heighten UNT's national and international visibility as a top research institution.


Hellmuth Wolff

Organ conference to inaugurate concert organ
Our College of Music continues to be among the best at nurturing musicians and supporting opportunities for our students to perfect their craft. It is hosting a three-day organ conference Oct. 20-22 during the official inauguration of its new Richard Ardoin-Paul Voertman Concert Organ built for Winspear Hall in the Murchison Performing Arts Center by the celebrated builder Hellmuth Wolff, at left. The conference will focus on the repertory and performance practices of music of each of the last three centuries, with special emphasis on Johann Sebastian Bach for the first day of the conference. I encourage you to learn more about the organ and concerts during the conference by visiting www.music.unt.edu/organ2008/. This conference, as well as all of the College's October concerts, are part of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days, an annual international event affirming tolerance and inspired by the life and work of the Wall Street Journal reporter and classical violinist who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan. In addition, his father, Judea Pearl, will speak on campus Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m. Titled, "Carving a Dialogue between Muslims and Jews," Mr. Pearl's lecture is free and is part of our EncoUNTers International Speakers Series.


Ram Dantu

Ram Dantu

Faculty Focus: Ram Dantu
Calling 911 through an Internet-based phone can have varying response times and emergency services. It could become a widespread problem as more people abandon their land lines. Ram Dantu, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering, has received grants totaling more than $1 million from the National Science Foundation to help 911 better handle the web-based emerging technology. Leading a collaborative project with other universities, Dr. Dantu will create a platform for future research and experimentation of next-generation 911 services. He also will devise methods on how to secure 911 call centers from outside attacks, ensure service during large-scale emergencies and enhance 911 services for people who are deaf and hearing-impaired.


Homecoming bonfire

UNT Traditions: Talons
UNT's athletic teams would be nothing without fans cheering them on, and Talons, UNT's official spirit and service organization, has led the charge for 50 years. The Talons keep our traditions alive, build our annual Homecoming bonfire by hand, fire Boomer the Cannon during football games and special occasions, and for many years were the caretakers of our mascot, now known as Scrappy. The group also has restored our Model A and Spirit Bell this year. I want to thank them for 50 years of spirited dedication and memories and I look forward to another 50 years. I encourage you to learn more about their efforts by visiting http://orgs.unt.edu/talons/Talons/Home.html. And if you are a Talons alum, you can join the group's 50th anniversary celebration Thursday, Oct. 23. E-mail the Talons president, Michael Maher, at michael.maher@unt.edu for reservations.


Archie Manning

Archie Manning

Featured Link: Murphy Enterprise Center brings in football legend for annual luncheon
Our Murphy Enterprise Center is where academic concepts meet business practices, a marriage that creates visionary leaders and fosters strong partnerships. The center promotes the free exchange of ideas and celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit through such events as job fairs and guest speakers. I'm excited to tell you that Archie Manning, father of National Football League quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning and a football legend in his own right, will be this year's keynote speaker for the BDO Seidman LLP 2008 Leadership Luncheon Nov. 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Hilton Anatole. Mr. Manning currently serves in public relations and consulting capacities for several Louisiana, regional and national companies and is active in a wide variety of charitable and civic causes. I'm proud to give away a pair of luncheon tickets in a random drawing. For a chance to win, send an e-mail by 5 p.m. Oct. 6 with "Leadership Luncheon" in the subject line.


North Texas Exes

Alumni association invites you to its Alumni GameDay Grille
I am excited that football season is well under way and I am happy to see so many events to get you in the spirit. The North Texas Exes Alumni Association invites you to join alumni and friends at the Alumni GameDay Grille. Located on the northwest concourse outside of the UNT Coliseum, this new pregame event will be held before many of the home games and feature all the necessities to get fans excited for Mean Green football. College football games from around the country are broadcast on big-screen televisions and food and beverages are available. For more information, visit www.untalumni.com or contact the alumni association at alumni@unt.edu or at 940-565-2834.

September 2008

At a Glance

Get a sneak peek at Mean Green Mania

Moving Forward:
UNT attracting more ethnic minority students

UNT adding programs, creating scholarships to fill critical needs

UNT growing as a public research university

Organ conference to inaugurate concert organ

Faculty Focus:
Ram Dantu

UNT Traditions:
Talons

Featured Link:
Murphy Enterprise Center brings in football legend for annual luncheon

Alumni association invites you to its Alumni GameDay Grille


Don't Forget!

Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 -
Oct. 15.
Join our Celebracion Hispanic Heritage Month Banquet sponsored by the UNT Multicultural Center Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 6 p.m. in the Gateway Center Ballroom. The event is free but you must have a ticket. To reserve one, call 940-565-3424.

Join us for Homecoming
Oct. 25 as the Mean Green football team takes on Troy University, and take part in our many activities throughout the weekend. Also
plan to join us
Oct. 10-12 during Family Weekend. The first person to e-mail me by 5 p.m. Oct. 1 will win a Family Fun Pack for the Louisiana-Lafayette game Oct. 11 during Family Weekend.


Congrats!

Sandra Terrell, dean of the
Robert B. Toulouse
School of Graduate Studies
, has been named vice provost for academic outreach and
will support the university in seeking, identifying and assisting in developing new avenues for collaboration.

Mona Hicks has been named deputy chief for student development and also will serve as interim dean of students. She also will help operate the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students.



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.