A Green Light to Greatness

Written by: 
Ernestine Bousquet

UNT Defining Event: Four Bold Goals, One Great University in the Murchison Performance Hall on the UNT campus on February 13, 2012. (Photo by Gary Payne)


UNT took four bold steps forward on Feb. 13, when it unveiled its new five-year strategic plan and a new iconic theme line, “A green light to greatness.” Together, they signal that UNT is intent on rising to the top and serving as the catalyst for the greatness of its students and communities.

Building on UNT’s strong foundation as a major public research university, Four Bold Goals for the Future of One Great University: University of North Texas Strategic Plan 2012-17 calls for the university to emerge as a leader in education, research and scholarship, student support, operational effectiveness and community engagement — the pillars of a great public research university.

“At its core, the strategic plan is a promise that UNT will be a place where students can become the best because of all that the university provides,” President V. Lane Rawlins says.

The theme line captures the essence of that promise in words and visuals.

“Imagine a place bold enough to seek to be the very best by trying new things and ridding itself of that which is obsolete or inefficient,” Rawlins said at the event, which drew about 1,200 students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and local and state leaders.

Jayleen Watson, a junior studying journalism, sees the goals as a public declaration of what UNT stands for because it already offers a high-quality education.

“The quality of my professors has made a difference in my education because they have so much real-world experience,” says Watson, a student leader for UNT’s Center for Leadership and Service.

“With these goals, UNT is saying, ‘When you come here, this is the excellence we provide.’ It shows accountability for both students and the university.”

The goals express UNT’s commitment to excel at everything it does, Rawlins says. They also provide the framework for progress. As the plan is phased in, the university will develop strategies and metrics to track its progress against clear and accepted standards. And the plan will guide UNT’s budgeting and fundraising priorities to align everything in support of the goals.

UNT Provost Warren Burggren says the strategic plan must be bold in all the ways that matter — from ambition to accountability — if UNT is to make good on its promise and rise to the top.

“We’re raising the stakes and embracing the challenge because we know that to continue attracting and cultivating ever-better students, we must be an ever-better institution,” Burggren said. “UNT is focused on becoming a national research university that excels at teaching and research. You can’t have one without the other to be truly great.”

The event also sounded the drum that UNT is staking its claim as the leading university of the North Texas region. And it was the launching point for the university’s new ad campaign, built around its new theme line, “A green light to greatness.” The campaign features new billboards, television spots and other advertisements.

The new theme line reflects the university’s transformation during recent years, Rawlins says. Although the new theme line is represented in new graphics, the UNT brand and logo remain largely the same. UNT’s color also remains the same shade of vibrant green.

The new strategic plan is as much about image building as it is about institution building, which is why it made sense to roll out the new theme line at the same time, Rawlins says.

The strategic plan also spells out how UNT will work toward becoming a national research, or tier-one, university. Being high quality — whether in the classroom or the financial aid office — will be the driving force, he says.

“UNT will reach the top on its own terms, with its core intact,” Rawlins says. “You can achieve national research university status without a music school. But you cannot be the University of North Texas without a music school.

"We want to be good at everything we do, and we want to be recognized for our excellence in all areas.”

Watch a video of the event and learn more.

Email northtexan@unt.edu by April 20 with "Green Light" in the subject line for a chance to win items with the new theme line and visuals.