Feb. 7, 2017

Dear faculty and staff,

In the past three years we have made significant improvements to bring a number of processes and our IT infrastructure up to date. While we are still grinding through the changes and working to make them more customer friendly, we continue to find that a number of our processes do not support our students, faculty and staff as well as they could. If we are truly going to create a positive culture of change, innovation and collaboration, then we must find ways to remove barriers, eliminate the “runaround” and create better ways to communicate and operate.

With this focus on process improvement, we have created a new group, called the Talon Team, dedicated to identifying and addressing problematic functions and processes. With support from Provost Finley Graves and Vice President for Finance and Administration Bob Brown, the group leaders are:

  • Terri Day, Vice Provost for Academic Administration
  • Brandi Renton, Assistant Vice President for Organizational Behavior
  • Debbie Rohwer, Presidential Faculty Fellow and Chair/Professor of Music Education

The group will include representatives, as needed, from different colleges, divisions and departments.

The Talon Team will gather input from faculty and staff through a Process Improvement Form. If you experience organizational, functional or process problems at the university, division or department level that negatively affect the university or your work, I encourage you to fill out the form and describe the challenges you face. Starting with what appear to be the most urgent problems, the Talon Team will thoroughly research the issue and report to me, and then to the people involved, with a plan to address the concerns. Regardless of the severity of the issue, you can expect a reply updating you on a plan of action or a resolution. If you have questions, you can contact Talon.Team@unt.edu. Your information only will be used for fact-gathering purposes.

This is not the place to air personal grievances or specific personnel matters — we have other avenues to address those kinds of issues. The Talon Team will be a resource that will help us solve problems and fulfill our mission more effectively. Just as importantly, it will help the administrative team stay aware of big issues that may be hampering our progress. Along with the other changes we're implementing, this initiative will help us be a better organization and focus on what's most important — our students and the quality of their educational experiences.

UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk