March 20, 2017

Dear UNT community,

I am excited to announce that we named a new provost and vice president for academic affairs, Jennifer Evans-Cowley, who will join us July 1. A native of Arlington and a UNT alumna, Jennifer currently is vice provost for capital planning and regional campuses at The Ohio State University. You can learn more about Jennifer in the  news release.

As a proven leader with experience in both higher education and government, Jennifer brings unique expertise to help us continue our momentum as a Tier One research university focused on providing the best education to our students and being a great partner to our communities. A former chair and associate dean, she has experience at different levels of university administration and is a strong advocate for faculty and students alike. I also am excited about her experience in leading Ohio State's regional campuses, which will be beneficial as we work to develop our off-site locations throughout the region. And there is nothing like having a proud UNT alumna leading our academic enterprise. Having earned her M.P.A. from UNT, she knows firsthand the quality of a UNT education.

I want to thank the faculty, staff and administrators who served on the search committee and who helped to identify candidates for this key leadership position. Your feedback made it clear that Jennifer was the best candidate and a leader who will uphold our mission and goals. She will be a great addition to our strong leadership team.

I also am deeply grateful to Finley, who has served as provost since 2015 and will retire from his position in August after 15 years with UNT. We've had one of the best working relationships I've experienced between a president and provost. Because of his dedication and hard work, we are poised for even greater success and a seamless transition as he passes the baton to Jennifer.

Please join me in giving Jennifer a warm welcome and giving Finley a sincere thank you for all that he has done.

UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk