Ronald Blanck, D.O.
President, UNT Health Science Center
University of North Texas System is the only university system whose
principal aim is to serve the residents of the North Texas region.
Through its education, research, health care and public service
missions, the system serves people in nearly every county in Texas.
However, it is focused primarily on the 129 municipalities that
comprise the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex —
the consolidated statistical area made up of 12 North Texas counties.
UNT System has a significant and increasing economic impact on the
region, boosting economic activity by more than $1 billion annually.
The futures of the region and the UNT System are inextricably intertwined,
as the system helps North Texas become the No. 1 region in the nation
in terms of economic success, quality of life and effectiveness
in meeting the needs of its increasingly diverse population.
UNT System comprises UNT at Denton, the UNT System Center at Dallas
and the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth. As the leading
public university of the Metroplex, UNT at Denton is the flagship
of the system. As the state's fourth-largest university, it enrolls
more students than any other university in the region —
nearly 28,000 students in Fall 2001. Many of its programs are nationally
ranked, and the Carnegie Foundation lists UNT in the top tier of
U.S. doctoral/research universities.
UNT System's impact on the region was magnified by the 1999 launch
of the UNT System Center at Dallas, which is providing greater public
higher education access to the citizens of southern Dallas and Ellis
counties. Its Fall 2001 enrollment of 1,024 is a full
year ahead of projected enrollments. When enrollment reaches 2,500
full-time equivalent students, the UNT System will open the already
statutorily created UNT-Dallas —
the first public university within the Dallas city limits.
UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth is dedicated to educating
health care professionals and researchers, emphasizing the primary
health services most needed by the state of Texas. The Health Science
Center comprises the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, which
includes the Physicians and Surgeons Medical Group, one of the largest
multi-specialty medical group practices in the region; the Graduate
School of Biomedical Sciences; a physician assistant studies program,
one of only a handful in the nation offered at the master's-degree
level; and a School of Public Health, the first such school in the
region. Approximately 800 students are enrolled at the center.
UNT System's enterprises entered this decade with considerable emphasis
on research and discovery. The system's overall success in these
arenas is increasingly and inexorably connected to its strong leadership
role in research that will help drive the economy of the Metroplex and the state.