Thursday, August 18, 2022
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff of the UNT System:
Earlier this week, I went on a long walk along the Trinity River. Outdoors, my worries seem to fade away, and I can clear my head and focus, and what came to me was a feeling of tremendous gratitude for the entire UNT System team, and the quality of the people I have the privilege to work with. I write to you in that spirit, with some important updates.
In my last communication, I promised an update following the August Board of Regents meeting. Last Thursday and Friday, our Board completed a great deal of work:
- We welcomed two new Regents, Lindy Rydman and Student Regent Andy McDowell (UNT)
- The Regents interviewed final candidates for the HSC President position, and a sole finalist should be named by the end of this week
- The Board received updates on the status of our facilities/infrastructure and compliance programs on each campus
- The Board was presented the findings of the Organizational Diagnostic performed by McChrystal Group
- The Regents approved our FY23 annual UNT System consolidated budget, and we announced there will be no tuition raises for this coming academic year
I am incredibly proud of the fact that our campuses haven't raised tuition for the last seven years because it demonstrates that the entire UNT System community is customer-focused and is committed to providing an affordable, high-value education to all our students. This is especially important to communicate as we begin to prepare for the 2023 State Legislature.
The results of the Organizational Diagnostic can be found here, and the video of the briefing can be found here. Remember, this survey was fielded to over 6,300 faculty and staff, and we had an overall return rate of 57 percent, so the results truly represent your voice, the voice of UNT System. The findings focused on three areas, in order of urgency: communications, strategy, and defining processes.
Regarding communications, the specific recommendation was to implement a comprehensive communications plan that improves trust. I want you to know that I have personally heard your call for leaders to be more transparent and more accessible, and that you want clear communication vehicles to make heard your thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Therefore, I will be launching a listening tour in the Fall, where members of the UNT System Cabinet, members of your campus Cabinets, and I will be present on each campus at a series of events. More to come on this – but we will be focusing on building our new values-based culture and ensuring we have listened to your thoughts on what the UNT System’s values are and should be.
I continue to be impressed by your dedication to our students, to each other and to our broader team. Everyone who works across the UNT System is, in some way, an educator because we all contribute to the student experience. Whether you are a member of the facilities team, a campus police officer, a member of the student success team, or a full-time faculty member, you are part of ensuring that our students have the best learning environment possible. We are one team, working together and serving others with a high level of excellence in all we do. I'm so proud to be a part of this outstanding team.
As always, I welcome you to share any questions, concerns, or ideas with me, or any member of my leadership team. I look forward to hearing from you.
Very respectfully and with gratitude,
Chancellor Michael R. Williams