An Agent of Change

President V. Lane Rawlins with Homecoming king David Wolpert  at Homecoming. (Photo by Michael Clements)Because of the responsibilities and expectations that come with attending a four-year university, a student's first year in college can be a make or break year.

To ensure our students continue on to graduation, which is our ultimate mission, we are working on ways to improve their first-year experience, whether they are fresh out of high school or transferring from a community college.

From our first-year learning communities to our early-alert system for at-risk students, we're giving all UNT students strong support and easy access to the resources they need and the people who can help them. This has contributed to our success as a leader in graduating students. We are first among our emerging research university peers in bachelor's degrees awarded, and we rank third overall among the state's public universities, behind only the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University.

In the classroom, our faculty members are equally committed to teaching and mentoring because they know that a student needs both to excel. In October, we honored the best of the best during our Salute to Faculty Excellence Week. It was a celebration of the commitment our faculty members show every day as teachers, scholars and mentors. It was inspiring to see how motivated they are to help our students learn and grow.

Helping students has always been our goal, and today UNT remains a student-focused institution, continually evaluating and responding to our students' needs. It's key to fulfilling our bold goals of offering Texas' best undergraduate education and superior graduate education.

As 2012 draws to a close and I consider our progress, I'm proud of what I see and where we are going. UNT is an agent of change, a place where students are empowered to improve their lives. Our commitment to our students has never been stronger.

V. Lane Rawlins