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Rawlins promises to build strength, trust and academic excellence

Raawlins named presidentDec. 10, 2010

Dear UNT community,

Earlier this week, the UNT System Board of Regents confirmed my appointment as UNT’s 15th president.

Thank you for welcoming me and my wife, Mary Jo, to this place. I promise to do what I can to build strength, trust and academic excellence during my tenure.

It is a challenging time to be involved in public higher education. While I am excited about the bright future for UNT, we all recognize that the coming year will present budget reductions and other challenges. We have been preparing for those, and I believe we are positioned as well as possible. However, it is difficult to plan for uncertainty, and the probable scenario seems to change daily.

So, how do we juxtapose our planning for a future of growth, increasing recognition and accomplishment at UNT with the short-term prospect of budget shortfalls and revenue reductions?

Years ago I was visiting a friend in Berkeley, Calif., who asked me if I would like to go sailing with him. I was a true novice, but eagerly agreed. As we started out, my friend, Joe, told me we would be sailing out to the Golden Gate Bridge. The wind was blowing directly in our faces as we headed in that direction. During those few hours I learned a very important lesson: The wind may determine the speed of your journey, but it need not affect your destination. It was dark by the time we got home, but we had accomplished what we intended.

UNT already is a national university, and we are on the path to become a major research university — committed to excellence in all we do and focused on solidifying a national reputation based on our overall strengths and chosen fields of emphasis. We will continue to pursue those goals in a deliberate manner, but we also must understand that changes in funding, policy and other factors may affect the actual path we take and the speed of our journey. Our commitment is to get there as fast as we can.

We are in the early stages of our annual budget-setting process. Each area of the university will be asked to set priorities under various budget scenarios. Budget discussions will focus on cost savings, clear goals and objectives, and how we are collectively served by proposed changes. I am confident that, together, we can set the right course for whatever winds we encounter this year.

Again, let me state that I am proud to be a member of the UNT family

Happy Holidays to all of you.

Sincerely,

V. Lane Rawlins

President 

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