Friday, Dec. 1, 2023

Dear UNT Faculty, Staff and Students,

Today, we are moving forward with steps to continue to support all our students as we comply with Senate Bill 17, which creates a new Texas law prohibiting universities from having a DEI office, or employees or third-party agencies who perform the duties of a DEI office, and from engaging in certain activities related to DEI. This law takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.

We are developing a new structure that incorporates the staff and future work of the Multicultural Center and Pride Alliance into the student engagement area of Student Affairs to ensure the university continues to best serve our students and meet their needs.

While we are changing the structure of some of our work, UNT’s commitment to helping all students succeed remains foundational to our mission. Through the creation of a new Center for Belonging and Engagement that complements our student engagement area, we will continue to support the success of our students and provide opportunities for connection, involvement, and belonging that empower our students to thrive.

In addition, we will increase resources and provide dedicated staff to support our student organizations as they develop activities and programming.

In aligning with the requirements of this new law, UNT will continue to support all students, including our first-generation, low-income, and underserved students. We will ensure any university-developed programs or activities are designed and implemented without reference to race, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

I thank the dedicated staff members in the center, throughout the Division of Student Affairs and across the university who will continue to do the important work of caring for and supporting our students. We will continue our focus on being Better Together, because helping students succeed has always been a hallmark of the UNT educational experience.

UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk
UNT President