Aug. 13, 2019

Dear UNT faculty and staff,

It's been a busy summer that caps off an incredibly successful academic year. We've set records in nearly everything we've done, and it's something we should be proud of and build on in the coming year. Last week, we entered our intense Planning Implementation Workshop with a great deal of momentum and a focus on developing a strategic plan that will guide us into an even more successful future.

We began by reflecting on our mission, vision and purpose, and I feel that these are the north stars that can guide us in everything we do. The workshop generated a great deal of excitement as we explored activities and implementation steps that will help us in our three focus areas — Student Empowerment and Transformation, People and Processes, and Scholarly Activity and Innovation. Collaboration will be the most critical component to helping us achieve our stated goals. Our mission, purpose and vision statements will be presented to the UNT System Board of Regents in November, along with our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, which we are working to finalize. I use these statements every day to make sure we're making the right decisions for UNT, and I've included them for you below, should you want to refer to them as well.

As we roll into this new year, I encourage you to find ways to work across boundaries and borders to improve student success, to build a stronger culture and to help us pursue Tier One, our way. In everything we do, we must look for ways to support student success, and exemplify UNT's caring spirit as we improve processes and become a Best Place to Work, while continuing our rise as a Tier One research university. To learn more about what took place during the Planning Implementation Workshop, watch this recap video.

I know this school year will be incredible and that each of you will treat our students with kindness and compassion, and help them develop a growth mindset. When you see a student in need, please take a moment to help connect them with UNT's countless academic and student affairs resources. We've updated our one-page student success resource sheet, a great reference guide for you and for our students.

Thank you for all you do to make our Mean Green family strong, and for showing our students how much we truly care. I anticipate 2019-20 will be another banner year for UNT, and I'm so glad you're part of our UNT family.

UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk

Mission: At the University of North Texas, our caring and creative community empowers our students to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Purpose: Our students will be the innovative leaders of tomorrow.

Vision: We will become globally known for collaborative and imaginative educational innovation and scholarly activity that transforms our students and benefits the world around us.