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Academic Affairs leadership updates

Feb. 10, 2016

Dear faculty and staff,

I begin this message with a special thank you for your deep commitment to the quality of our university and the outstanding education we’re providing students. Our Carnegie ranking as a Tier One institution places us among the top 115 public and private universities nationally, and we are in good company as one of the top 81 public institutions. The accomplishment is due largely to your dedication and hard work.

As we continue to move forward, I wanted to share a few updates with you:

  • I am pleased to report that the new Vice Provost for Toulouse Graduate School position is posted and available for application by current UNT tenured faculty members. This faculty administrator position reports directly to me and is an important partner to the Vice Presidents for Research and Economic Development and Enrollment. If you are interested in the new Vice Provost position, I encourage you to review the job description and promptly apply through the UNT HR website. A search committee led by Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Christy Crutsinger will screen candidates and make recommendations to me. College of Engineering Dean Costas Tsatsoulis will continue to lead the school until a new dean is in place.
  • We currently are vetting national candidates for the position of Vice Provost for Academic Resources, the Division of Academic Affairs’ chief budget and faculty human resources officer. Candidates for the position must have extensive university and fiscal experience and strong planning and project management skills. This position will report to me.
  • A Special Assistant to the Provost position has been created to

provide support for the Division of Academic Affairs, supporting the effectiveness of the senior academic leadership team and assisting me through specialized administrative and project management support. The university is conducting an internal and national search for the candidates and the position soon will be posted to the HR website.

  • Regents Professor of Decision Sciences Victor Prybutok will assume the interim leadership of the College of Information, as Associate Dean Greg Jones turns his focus to the college’s curriculum development. Dr. Prybutok will serve in the position until a new dean is in place. That search, led by Mayborn School of Journalism Dean Dorothy Bland, is well underway and I hope to receive finalist recommendations soon.
  • As an update on the other dean and vice provost searches, the College of Music dean search is being led by College of Business Dean Marilyn Wiley. The College of Education dean search is being led by College of Arts and Sciences Dean David Holdeman. And the Vice Provost for International Affairs search is being led by Vice President for Enrollment Shannon Goodman. 

 I trust that the search committees working to identify and screen candidates for these important positions are doing an excellent job and I am looking forward to the committees’ recommendations. I will keep you posted on the outcomes of the searches underway.

Our SACSCOC reaffirmation visit will take place March 21-24, 2016. A vital part of the process is the presentation of our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). You will begin to see much more information about our QEP – UNT Career Connect – in the coming weeks. I’m pleased to announce that I’ve asked Dr. Mike Simmons to lead UNT Career Connect in a full-time, permanent role. Dr. Simmons has, in the last two years, led the selection and advisory teams for the QEP process, so it is a natural fit for him to help make the plan a reality in his new role as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs. He’ll report to me and will focus primarily on getting UNT Career Connect started, building a team and launching the plan more fully this summer. 

Lastly, under Director Brenda Sims, UNT’s new off-site instructional facility, the New College at Frisco, is launched with a number of academic departments offering classes and full programs there. The Frisco Think Tank, which comprises faculty from every college on campus, is working on interdisciplinary programming in sports management, big data, communication and gaming.

Thank you, again, for the deep commitment you exhibit every day through your work with our students and the communities we serve.


Finley Graves

Provost and Vice President for Academic AffairsFinley Graves

Posted on: Thu 11 February 2016

Owning Excellence

Faculty and staff members have roles in transforming UNT into a nationally prominent university. Share your ideas on how you can help UNT to own excellence, keep students on track and improve graduation education.

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