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Change of Leadership
Fall 2002      

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photo of Alfred F. Hurley and Johanna HurleyHURLEYS HONORED FOR 22 YEARS OF SERVICE

The UNT community in August bid a fond farewell to former UNT System Chancellor Alfred F. Hurley, who stepped down from his position after 22 years with the system. Several receptions, as well as a black-tie gala, were held as UNT and the North Texas region thanked Hurley and his wife, Johanna, for their service.

The gala was held Aug. 24 in the University Union’s Silver Eagle Suite. UNT System regents presented a large-scale painting of the Administration Building as they announced its new name, the Alfred F. and Johanna H. Hurley Administration Building, in recognition of the Hurleys’ service and years of leadership. The painting will be housed in the building, and the couple received a replica. Hurley also received a mace featuring the university and system seals. At their board meeting earlier in the day, the regents conferred on Hurley the titles of Chancellor Emeritus of the UNT System and President Emeritus of UNT.

Hurley joined the university as vice president for administrative affairs on Sept. 1, 1980. In February 1982, he became UNT’s 12th president and the second chancellor of the then informal UNT System. In September 2000, the regents voted to separate the offices of system chancellor and university president. As a result, in October of that year, Hurley became the system’s first full-time chancellor.

Under his leadership, North Texas achieved a 44 percent increase in student enrollment from 1982 to 2000, becoming the fourth-largest university in Texas. The university also successfully completed two capital campaigns, raising nearly $200 million. More than $260 million has been invested in renovation and new construction during Hurley’s tenure. In January 2001, the UNT System received recognition as a formal system, making it one of six recognized higher education systems in the state. It includes the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth and the UNT System Center at Dallas, which is a first step toward a new university. Projected to open in 2007, UNT at Dallas will be the first public university within the Dallas city limits.


The UNT System Board of Regents voted July 25 to appoint former Texas legislator and Dallas County Judge Lee Jackson the new UNT System chancellor. Jackson began working in the UNT System offices, located in the Gateway Center on the Denton campus, on Aug. 21. He was vested with the formal authority of the position of chancellor on Sept. 1, the day after former Chancellor Alfred F. Hurley officially stepped down.

Announcing Jackson’s appointment and the approval of his three-year employment contract, UNT Regents Chair Bobby Ray said, “What a great day this is. We’ve met an important milestone in our system’s history by appointing Lee Jackson as our new chancellor.

“He is a widely respected leader in Texas who brings a unique background to our system. He is a pacesetter who has worked to develop solutions for some of our region’s most pressing challenges. He will build on the momentum of 20 years of great leadership established by Dr. Hurley. We expect he will use his own dynamic leadership to bring about changes in our system that will take us to new levels of prominence in the region and state.”

Jackson had served as Dallas County judge, the county’s chief elected official, since 1987. As county judge, he was responsible for regional advances in transportation and was an advocate for advances in public education, juvenile justice, work force development, information technology, employee benefits and energy management.

Jackson represented Dallas County in the Texas House of Representatives from 1976 to 1986, where he chaired the Business and Commerce Committee and was a member of the Public Education Committee.

Jackson says he will initially focus on five priorities as chancellor: developing the full potential of the UNT System; helping to create a clearer and more visible identity for the system; enhancing the quality of programs, teaching and research at the three system institutions; promoting diversity throughout the system; and strengthening the financial base at all system institutions.


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