Monday, Oct. 25, 2021

Dear UNT Community,

Last week, UNT joined the American Athletic Conference in an exciting move for our entire university, not just our athletics program. The conference is home to schools with great academic reputations, and as a Tier One research university, I know our academic programs, research enterprise, and accomplished student-athletes will shine on a grand scale as we join a Power 6 conference. Watch our press conference from last Friday.

This opportunity is the result of many years of focused progress. Our work over the last few years to increase enrollment and retention, invest in research activity, expand academic programs, and promote affordability and career development for our students has led to great success for our students and our university. Mean Green coaches and student athletes also have excelled on an upward trajectory, with three teams winning conference championships last year, and the men's basketball team becoming the first team in school history to win a first-round NCAA Tournament game.

UNT's move to The American will help us lead the charge to become a nationally prominent major university through increased brand exposure. Also set to join The American as soon as 2023 are Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, Rice, UAB and UTSA. We'll be joining existing members East Carolina, Memphis, Navy (football only), SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, USF and Wichita State, in a conference that has an extensive presence on ESPN's primary television networks.

This move will no doubt help us to continue building our Mean Green spirit, boost our UNT pride, and increase our recruitment of students, faculty, and staff. This is an exciting new era for UNT. Go Mean Green!!

UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk
UNT President