Workforce of Tomorrow

President Neal Smatresk visits with students at a UNT Symphonic Band rehearsal. (Photo by Michael Clements)As I look back on my first year as UNT president, I have a great deal to be thankful for and much to look forward to. UNT has felt like home since Debbie and I first arrived last February, and the UNT community's "can-do" attitude is fostering change and progress.

To start with, spring enrollment is up and, importantly, more of our students are taking more classes and consistently staying in school -- auspicious signs for improving timely graduation success. To sustain this growth and progress, we're creating new initiatives to make UNT a first choice for the best and brightest.

Once here, they find a university with nationally ranked programs, high-quality and caring faculty, and more degree programs -- or career choices -- than any university in the North Texas region. These are the ingredients that will make them successful college graduates and, in turn, will foster a strong workforce for the region and state. We're focused on offering the best educational experience in Texas.

This doesn't just mean being great academically but also being a place of discovery and innovation -- a hub of new ideas and solutions. We're growing as a public research university that is defined by the STEAM disciplines -- science, technology, engineering, art and math -- because the arts are a vital part of UNT's legacy and of any of these fields. UNT is a place where science and art converge, as you'll read in our cover story about artists creating public art and in our coverage on recent research initiatives.

As we begin to look forward to our 125th anniversary and the years beyond, it's clear we need to chart a course toward tier one. I invite all of you to get involved to help us advance your alma mater and to help us reach the national prominence you all know UNT deserves.

UNT proud,

Neal Smatresk