2015-16 action plan begins to take shape

Planning implementation workshop

Aug. 21, 2015

Dear faculty and staff,

We’re poised to start the 2015-16 academic year on a great note. Enrollment is expected to be up and we have one of our biggest and most talented freshman classes, thanks to more aggressive and focused recruitment efforts.

I’m especially proud to see that we’re expected to increase our number of new National Merit Scholars from five last year to 15 this year, for an expected total of 31 scholars this fall. This is a signal of change and momentum that we are transforming into a first-choice university.

I’m also excited to report that we’ve resolved our financial obligation to the state as part of our financial transformation, and can put that issue behind us.

All of these efforts are part of a great — and lengthy — list of achievements we’ve had this past year because we’re working from a shared vision of solid planning and high-level priorities. This past academic year, we got our house in order by improving our operations and infrastructure and strengthening our foundation in academics and research so we can build a stronger university. As we wrap up the 2014-15 academic year, we’re compiling a full report that we’ll soon share that outlines the incredible work we accomplished.

We’re also looking ahead. In this year’s Planning Implementation Workshop, Owning Excellence, we invited about 125 internal and external stakeholders to help us set our priorities for the 2015-16 year by exploring three main topics on how the university can:

  • Own excellence to achieve Tier One status
  • Build community and win hearts and minds
  • Close the gaps and make the pursuit of excellence fun

The participants’ insight will help us hone our to-do list for the coming academic year. Watch a recap of the workshop.

I will unveil our 2015-16 Action Plan at the 2015 State of the University, where we will review our current accomplishments and our future priorities.

  • Join me for my State of the University address at 2 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Murchison Performing Arts Center, where we will launch our 125th anniversary celebration.

Through our planning implementation process, we’re looking forward from our 125th anniversary to our 150th and asking how will we grow our excellence? We have exciting plans and we’re going places. We need everyone’s commitment and belief in our excellence and our mission so we can “climb to the mountaintop.”

Let’s celebrate what we’ve done so far and the opportunities we have before us to be the best university in Texas and beyond.

UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk


Above, about 125 stakeholders shared their ideas for helping UNT own excellence during the 2015 Planning Implementation Workshop Aug. 18 at Apogee Stadium. (Photo by Michael Clements / URCM)