When I became interim president in 2010, I didn't plan to stay longer than a year. But I fell in love with the work and people of UNT. Fortunately for me, I was given the opportunity to stay longer. Now, after nearly four years, I am retiring, although I will remain involved as President Emeritus.
I believe that top-quality public education is a critical need in our state and nation. Not only does it change the lives of individuals who are able and willing to pursue it, it is essential to our society's economic, social and political health. A few universities lead the way in this, and I see in UNT the opportunity, drive and commitment to be among those leaders. It has — in one way or another — been our destiny since we were founded in 1890. Our founding president, J.C. Chilton, described our promise and goal, "to become leaders in the education of the young men and women of Texas."
So, when now we declare our bold vision of providing the best undergraduate education and establishing UNT as one of the leading research and scholarly universities in America, we are elaborating on Chilton's dream.
UNT is devoted to excellence. We attract students who are talented and will build our society's future. Our commitment to excel goes beyond teaching and research to providing a personal touch to students, effectively budgeting our resources, being on the frontier of technology, improving our campus and building a stronger athletics program. These must continue to be our priorities.
UNT is a community of people dedicated to these highest goals — a commitment that I refer to as the "UNT way." And, UNT has an environment where ideas can be freely expressed and people nurture each other. That is why I chose to stay, why I fell in love and why I will always be proud of my association with UNT. Thank you for your support.
V. Lane Rawlins