University of North Texas at Dallas President Robert "Bob" Mong is leading UNTD’s efforts to help students blaze a pathway toward social mobility. Named the third president of UNT Dallas in 2015, the University has achieved record enrollment numbers under Mong, as it transforms into a residential campus and deepens its role as a community-changing force in South Dallas and beyond.
Under Mong, who previously served as Editor in Chief of the Dallas Morning News, the University has set lofty strategic goals for growth, fundraising and community involvement in a traditionally underserved area. UNTD has a diverse student population (41% Hispanic, 35% African-American, and 17% white) and offers its students the opportunity to earn bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees, as well as a juris doctor degree from its Downtown Dallas law school.
The President and his leadership team have made steady progress toward these goals while fulfilling the university’s mission to empower students, transform lives and strengthen communities. UNT Dallas announced record enrollment in Fall 2016 of more than 3,000 students. The enrollment increase went from 2,488 last fall to 3,026 in the fall, a 17.78 percent change. Enrollment has increased since Mong’s arrival at UNTD and is projected to exceed 5,000 students by 2021.
UNT Dallas isn’t just growing its enrollment under Mong, its tree-lined 264-acre campus is transforming physically as a strategic campus master plan gradually fills out. The university’s first residence hall is set to open in August, 2017, and a new $63 million student center is also under construction. The main campus in South Dallas is now served by DART light rail, making UNTD more accessible than ever. Future projects include an amphitheater that will look out on UNT Dallas’ beautiful wooded campus, as well as a recreation center and arena that will be accessible to students and the public, while also serving as home to a new intercollegiate athletics program.
In Downtown Dallas, the UNT Dallas College of Law’s historic, soon-to-be home – the former Dallas City Hall at 106 S. Harwood St. – is undergoing $56 million transformation to house the City’s only public law school. This historic renovation will be completed in 2018 and comes on top of a recently-completed $15 million exterior renovation of the building by the City of Dallas.
As part of Mong’s vision, UNT Dallas is broadening its offerings in health care, business, arts and science, education and human services management. Community partnerships for the University – including those with school districts and community colleges – are at an all-time high, and a record number of grants are in the pipeline to help fund new, innovative programs at UNTD.
Before joining UNT Dallas, Mong worked as a journalist for 44 years, most of it at The Dallas Morning News where he served as the paper’s Managing Editor and later as Editor in Chief. During his time in news leadership, the paper won nine Pulitzer Prizes and named Pulitzer finalist 16 other times. He also gained significant business experience as the paper’s general manager and before that as CEO and publisher of the then company-owned Owensboro (Ky.) Messenger-Inquirer.
Throughout his business and journalism career, higher education was Mong’s principal outlet for volunteer activities. He developed volunteer ties to UNT Denton, UT-Arlington, UT-Dallas, SMU, Austin College, UT-Austin and LSU – among other institutions. Since 2000, Mong has chaired the board of visitors at the Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU. He has been active at UNT Denton since the presidency of Al Hurley in the late 1990s and helped start the Mayborn Literary Non Fiction Conference at UNT.