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UNT System begins search for new president

Chancellor Lee F. JacksonMarch 5, 2013

Dear UNT community members:

As you may have heard, University of North Texas President V. Lane Rawlins announced earlier today his intention to step down from his presidential position by the end of this calendar year.

When you see them next, please join the UNT System Board of Regents and me in thanking Dr. Rawlins and Mary Jo for becoming part of our university community three years ago. I’m personally grateful to Lane Rawlins for sharing his wisdom, experience, and passion for public higher education with us. Our flagship university has made remarkable progress under his leadership.

Dr. Rawlins has encouraged the UNT System to move ahead now with the search process to select his successor, and he has committed to serve as president until his replacement is named and takes office, sometime during the second half of this year.

Dr. Rawlins has been invaluable to UNT during his time as president. I am confident that in the months ahead he will continue to guide UNT actively toward the achievement of its strategic goals, including the university’s annual budget process and the remainder of this legislative session. I also am pleased that Dr. Rawlins has agreed to an active role as President Emeritus that will keep him involved with UNT. Members of the Board and I hope he and Mary Jo will stay involved in university life, and Dr. Rawlins will work on special projects to help the university continue to make progress in key areas.

The Board and I are tremendously pleased with the progress being made at our flagship university. Dr. Rawlins brought UNT a clearer focus on institutional goals and metrics, increased collaborations among academic and administrative units, and instituted more discipline in the budgeting process to improve efficiencies and effectiveness. Under his leadership, UNT has refined its enrollment goals, enhanced its academic standards and reputation, recruited strong faculty members, and expanded its research accomplishments. A major new branding and advertising campaign has established a higher profile for UNT across the region, state and nation. New facilities, including the Kristin Farmer Autism Center, Business Leadership Building, Life Sciences Complex and Apogee Stadium have been completed, and more facility expansions are in the planning stages. UNT accomplished several prerequisite requirements for full participation in the Texas National Research University Fund initiative. And, UNT is slated to compete as a member of Conference USA this fall.

This is a good foundation for a national search for a new president for our flagship university, and the university is well positioned to attract an academic candidate with significant higher education leadership and research university experience – someone who will continue to work with faculty and staff members to advance the university in the years ahead.

We’re confident that UNT’s growing national reputation and the System’s commitment to the achievement of the university’s strategic goals will attract strong and proven leaders who will want to join us. Our future in Texas is perceived in a favorable light nationally because of the state’s continued support of higher education through formula, incentive and research funding, and the relatively strong economy of Texas.

It is my responsibility to recommend one or more strong presidential candidates to the UNT System Board of Regents, which I plan to accomplish this year just as quickly as possible with the help of a broad and diverse Presidential Search Advisory Committee.

I have asked Regents Vice Chairman G. Brint Ryan, an alumnus of UNT, to lead this committee. Within the next two weeks I expect to name a Presidential Search Advisory Committee, composed of a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community leaders from the Dallas-Fort Worth region. The Board, Presidential Search Advisory Committee and I will work with Alberto Pimentel of the national search firm, Storbeck Pimentel, to identify strong candidates capable of elevating UNT to its next level of success.

After its first meeting, the Search Advisory Committee will launch a presidential search website to provide you progress reports.

Dr. Rawlins has set the bar high for the next UNT president, but he also helped us in our recruiting challenge, because UNT has a track record of positive growth and an enhanced reputation.

The Board and I are grateful that Dr. Rawlins and Mary Jo fell in love with UNT and the Denton community, and that we’ll continue, in the future, to benefit from his university presidential experience.

Lee F. Jackson

Chancellor, UNT System

Posted on: Tue 05 March 2013

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