Feb. 9, 2017

Dear UNT community,

In these past few years, we've made significant progress as a university. Through hard work and an unwavering commitment to excellence, we've strengthened our base and are building momentum. Today, UNT is a Carnegie-ranked top-tier research university focused on being Tier One across the board and bringing value to our students' lives.

Now that we have earned our SACSCOC reaccreditation, we have the opportunity to move our university's vision forward and update the university's mission statement. As we evolve, our mission statement should change to reflect our priorities today. You can read our current mission statement.

A mission statement defines our purpose, our beliefs and our overarching promise to give our students the best education possible. It should be a guiding force in the future steps we take to improve the university. A well-written mission statement not only inspires us to do our best, it helps us remember what's most important.

We are gathering public input and we want your ideas. I have charged Terri Day, Vice Provost for Academic Administration, and Debbie Rohwer, Presidential Faculty Fellow and Professor/Chair of Music Education, to lead the process of engaging the university in a discussion about our new mission statement. We began the discussion last summer through the Chair Academy and our annual Planning Implementation Workshop

Some example statements developed in those sessions include:

  • The University of North Texas is a comprehensive public research university committed to exceptional teaching, discovery and service that transforms lives and helps individuals question critically, think logically, reason effectively, communicate clearly, act creatively and live ethically.
  • The University of North Texas transforms the lives of students by providing a quality education rooted in research to create successful citizens who contribute to a global society.
  • The University of North Texas transforms its students with a research-informed education that promotes their success and contributes to a culturally rich and prosperous society.

Now it is time to solicit input from our campus community at large. Help us write our next mission statement by submitting your suggestions. We want something short and powerful that captures our fundamental goals and our role as a university. These ideas will be compiled and synthesized so that Dr. Day and Dr. Rohwer can engage the university in meaningful, contextual discussions later this spring and make recommendations to the President's Cabinet.

I hope you'll take the time to submit your ideas. Help us define UNT's mission according to the university we are today and the university we want to be tomorrow.

UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk