Wrapping up 2017-18

Dear faculty and academic department staff,

Today, as our spring semester comes to a close, I would like to take a moment to reflect on this academic year and to thank each of you for all of your support.

This time of year is always my favorite. While many of us have an achy hand from grading or are rushing to squeeze in a last-minute meeting with a student, it also is a time of celebration. I am delighted to watch our graduates taking pictures in front of the Hurley building and other iconic places across campus.

In the first year I’ve been here, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many of you. I am recognizing more and more faces but still learning names a bit more slowly. From awards ceremonies to department meetings, my interactions have confirmed to me that UNT has outstanding students, staff and faculty who all care deeply about our shared successes. One of my favorite ways to meet people has been through informal brown bag lunches, which will continue this summer. Join me for an informal conversation about our future at UNT. Please contact Margaret Vestal to sign up for one of the dates listed below. Slots will fill on a first-come, first-served basis to faculty and staff, with seven slots available for each lunch.

  • Tuesday, June 19, at noon
  • Tuesday, July 10, at noon
  • Tuesday, Aug. 7, at noon 

I am so proud of all of our collective accomplishments this academic year. As one example, Distinguished Research Professor Richard Dixon has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (the UK equivalent of the National Academy of Sciences). To have a member of both the National Academy and the Royal Society on our faculty shows, once again, that the University of North Texas is one of the top research institutions in the nation.

Here’s a look at some of the new faces you’ll see on campus by fall:

  • Dr. Neale Chumbler will begin July 1 as UNT’s new Dean of the College of Health and Public Service and Professor of Rehabilitation and Health Services. He is currently serving as Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Western Kentucky University. Read more about Dr. Chumbler.
  • Dr. Jana Hawley will begin Aug. 1 as UNT’s new dean of the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism. In her previous role, she served as the Director of the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona.  Read more about Dr. Hawley.
  • Dr. Michael McPherson will become UNT’s Acting Dean of the Mayborn School of Journalism on Aug. 1.  He is currently serving as the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Success and Professor of Economics.

We also say our goodbyes to Costas Tsatsoulis, who most recently has been serving as the Dean of the College of Engineering and Associate Vice Provost for International Research Partnerships. He is departing UNT to take on the role of Vice Chancellor of Research and Dean of the Graduate School at Missouri University Science & Technology. During Dr. Tsatsoulis’ tenure in the College of Engineering, the college saw unprecedented growth in student enrollment, launched several degree programs and earned several national rankings. An announcement about the next dean of engineering will be forthcoming.

Each of your contributions helps make UNT stronger and you have my sincere appreciation for all that you do. As we wrap up the year together, please take the time to drop a line to someone who made this academic year a success.