Monday, Dec. 13, 2021

Dear UNT Faculty and Staff,

Another semester of great progress came to a close with the weekend's commencement ceremonies, and it was a joy to celebrate our graduates as they crossed the stage. It is because of your expertise and valued contributions that our students achieve success and earn their UNT degree. Thank you for all you do.

We know this year has been difficult for many as you juggle both university and personal obligations. Some of you have hit burnout, and others are navigating mental health issues, which data show are rising nationally. I know you hear me continuously reiterate the importance of caring for our students, but it also is important we care for one another.

We want to not just retain our wonderful faculty and staff, but see them thrive. In that spirit, the Cabinet is exploring additional ways we can support you by offering more focused worktime and workplace flexibility. We want to foster an environment that allows everyone to achieve professionally while having the margin to care for their mental, physical and emotional health. If you have ideas about improving work-life balance to better support faculty and staff, we encourage you to speak with your vice president now.

As this year concludes, remember that UNT's Employee Assistance Program is a wellness resource available to you and your families. As always, talk with your manager to gain approval for use of your accrued leave whenever you need a moment to step back and breathe.

I hope you are able to truly disconnect during UNT's winter break, refrain from thinking about work, and spend time doing things that bring you joy. We truly want you to recharge and return refreshed in January.

UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk
UNT President