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UNT Insider | September 2009 Issue

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President's Note

President Bataille at Sunday Funday 2009

Dear Alum,

In addition to growing our reputation as an innovative university, UNT is gaining ground in research.

Our research awards and expenditures, the ones tracked by the state, are each up over 60 percent since 2007, meaning our faculty's innovative research is attracting more outside funding.

These figures are important performance measures under a new state program that supports emerging research universities. Increasing what we attract and spend on research will help UNT advance.

As part of that program, UNT submitted about $2.9 million in qualifying gifts that will fund endowed chairs, graduate fellowships and other research initiatives across campus. We are hoping for up to $1.7 million in matching dollars.

The matching incentive is a new opportunity for emerging research universities such as UNT. We will continue seeking gifts that will qualify and augment research initiatives. Support from our advocates and partners is essential to this effort.

The state program also proposes repurposing an existing state fund into one that would further support the seven emerging research universities. This would provide a dedicated source of funding for the universities once they meet criteria outlined in the new state program. The amendment, Proposition 4, redirecting the fund will go before voters Nov. 3.

At the same time, our faculty members continue to be singled out. Witold Brostow, Regents Professor of materials science and engineering, recently was recognized for his commitment to finding solutions to the world's energy issues through his appointment to the Ukrainian Academy of Petroleum and Gas. He is just the latest in a long line of faculty to earn prestige for their contributions.

Already, UNT has made important investments to support faculty and student research. This includes a new Undergraduate Research Initiative launched this fall and investments to enhance graduate education.

We continue to build on our $25 million collaborative research cluster initiative and have formed two new clusters. One furthers our efforts to create new sustainable bioproducts while the other is an extension of UNT's strength in biocultural conservation and environmental science. The development of each cluster includes hiring additional faculty and researchers with international reputations. Already, we have hired several faculty within the scope of our clusters, including a senior-level faculty member and artist, a scientist who specializes in bioinformatics and a computational materials scientist.

Growing as a broad-based university with a research edge will allow UNT to become a university of tomorrow.

With green pride,
Gretchen M. Bataille


UNT Football - Photo by Ricky Yates

Be wild with pride at Homecoming, enter to win green
Join us for the Homecoming game on Oct. 17 against Florida Atlantic. To get you ready, I'm giving away tickets to the football game, tailgating food packages and UNT Alumni Association gift packs. I'm also going to throw in some Homecoming T-shirts, UNT T-shirts and decals. The first 100 responders automatically win UNT T-shirts, and all responders will be entered into a random drawing to win the Homecoming prizes. Just e-mail me at president@unt.edu with "Homecoming" in the subject line by 5 p.m. Sept. 29. Please include your mailing address and T-shirt size. You also can take part in Homecoming-related activities throughout the weekend.

Teach North Texas conference

Moving Forward: TNT exceeding expectations, attracting more grants
After only a year, our Teach North Texas program is surpassing expectations due to strong enrollment in the first phases of the program. Already, 135 students are enrolled in TNT courses and are on track to earn bachelor's degrees in math, science or computer science with teacher certification and help fill critical teacher shortages in these areas. At this rate, TNT could exceed the original expectation of graduating at least 60 qualified, specialized new teachers each year. And with nearly $500,000 from the Texas Instruments Foundation to add a new master teacher this year and a second one next year, as well as additional mentor teachers in the future, the program is certain to make a significant difference for years to come.

students on campus

UNT continues to lead the way for transfer students

UNT's success in enrolling transfer students means we are now ranked fourth nationally among public universities for our transfer student population and continue to lead Texas. We also received two grants totaling nearly $200,000 aimed at improving the transfer process. One grant will fund a study of the effectiveness of state transfer policies and will further distinguish UNT as a leading authority on transfer issues. The other will fund support services for Latino transfer students, which will help close the gaps for Latino students in the state. UNT also is a leader in graduating students. Since 2000, UNT has ranked first in the state for the increased number of degrees awarded.

Martin  Halbert

New dean of Libraries

I'm pleased to welcome Martin Halbert from Emory University as our new dean of UNT Libraries. Dr. Halbert will begin his position Oct. 1. He brings a distinguished track record in managing and attracting funding for digital library services, having been the principal investigator for projects totaling $6.1 million. He also is president of MetaArchive Cooperative, an international consortium of research libraries and institutes that preserve digital archives in partnership with the Library of Congress. Dr. Halbert replaces the now-retired dean, Donald Grose.

vocational tech students

Grant funds research of career and technical education

Three College of Information faculty members received $1.2 million from the Texas Education Agency's Career and Technical Education State Leadership Projects Grant Program. They will evaluate and improve the effectiveness of curriculum instruction in career and technical education on subjects ranging from construction to information technology. UNT received the largest amount of funding among the four Texas universities to earn the award. The professors will conduct research for the different career and technical education fields and help develop career-related course guides for schools focusing on career and technical education.

Jeff Allen, interim chair of the Department of Learning Technologies, received $600,000
Jerry Wircenski, Regents Professor of learning technologies, received $300,000
Michelle Wircenski, professor of learning technologies, received $300,000

Shahla Ala'i-Rosales

Faculty Focus: Shahla Ala'i-Rosales
Shahla Ala'i-Rosales, an associate professor of behavior analysis who directs UNT's North Texas Autism Project, is known for her research and success in treating autism through applied behavior analysis. UNT was the first university in the Southwest to offer professional training in applied behavior analysis, a method of studying observable behavior that has led to proven, lasting and meaningful changes in the communication and social behavior of children with autism. Our Department of Behavior Analysis started the autism project in response to the growing need for behavior analysis intervention specialists who can effectively work with the rising number of children with autism.

KNTU celebrates 40th anniversary

UNT Traditions: KNTU celebrates 40th anniversary

For 40 years, UNT's student-run radio station, KNTU, has been delighting and informing listeners with music and news of our university. To celebrate, KNTU will host a radio reception Nov. 6 followed by a One O'Clock Lab Band concert. The station also will have a tent set up at Homecoming Oct. 17 in the Mean Green Village outside Fouts Field where the cutting of the official anniversary cake will take place before the game. The station is encouraging KNTU alumni and listeners to join the festivities.

Eagle Ambassador blogs

Featured Link: Eagle Ambassador blogs

Eagle Ambassadors create a positive first impression for potential students and their parents as well as campus visitors by serving as tour guides and the public face of UNT. Now you can learn more about college life today through their eyes by reading their blogs.

North Texas Alumni

UNT Alumni Association
Stay connected to UNT, alumni and friends through the UNT Alumni Association's new monthly e-newsletter, which launched earlier this month. You will learn about UNT's recent achievements and news and the association's current events and benefits. If you didn't receive the association's newsletter but would like to, contact the alumni association at alumni@unt.edu or at 940-565-2834 or 800-868-1153. The newsletter is one more way the association is helping UNT alumni stay connected to their alma mater and to each other. The association also recently added new benefits for members and their families:

• 20 percent discount on products (excluding contacts) and discounted exams at College Optical Express on campus
• 10 percent off courses at Kaplan Testing (GRE, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, PSAT, SAT, ACT and others)
• Student pricing at Studio Movie Grill

For more information about the alumni association, visit www.untalumni.com.

September 2009

At a Glance

Be wild with pride at Homecoming, enter to win green

Moving Forward:
TNT exceeding expectations, attracting more grants

UNT continues to lead the way for transfer students

New dean of Libraries

Grant funds research of career and technical education

Faculty Focus:
Shahla Ala'i-Rosales

UNT Traditions:
KNTU celebrates 40th anniversary

Featured Link:
Eagle Ambassador blogs

UNT Alumni Association

Don't Forget!

Jeff Goodell author of Big Coal, the featured One Book, One Community book, will speak in a public lecture Oct. 6.

Alumni can serve as mentors at Major Mixers, a series of events for students exploring UNT's majors. To participate,
e-mail alison.


Vote for Holly Squier, a sophomore in the North Texas Dancers who is representing UNT in 2009 Athlon Sports Sideline Spirit Contest.

Terry L. Clower has been named director of the Center for Economic Development and Research.

Lisa Campbell was appointed assistant dean of students, a newly created position at the Center for Student Development at Discovery Park.

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.