UNT President Neal Smatresk Announces Plan to Step Down After a Decade of Service

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

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Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff of the UNT System Enterprise,

UNT President Neal Smatresk has announced he plans to step down as President after 10 years of dedicated service and distinguished leadership to the University of North Texas. President Smatresk was appointed as UNT’s 16th president in 2014 and has led the university through a period of significant transformation, elevating the institution’s state and national prominence.

President Smatresk’s vision paved the way for UNT to become the third largest university in the state of Texas, and one of only 21 Carnegie-ranked Tier One universities in the nation designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Under his leadership, UNT saw record-breaking enrollment, growing nearly 30% since 2014, solidifying its place as a first-choice institution. President Smatresk also led efforts to recruit top scholars, faculty, and researchers to UNT.

UNT President SmatreskPresident Smatresk’s dedication to transforming the lives of students and championing high-impact programs also led to the creation of UNT at Frisco, which is providing innovative higher education opportunities in one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. As a leader in recognizing the importance of aligning higher education offerings with workforce demands, he has developed meaningful partnerships with major employers, including the Dallas Cowboys, American Airlines, JP Morgan Chase & Co., and Fidelity. President Smatresk’s commitment to academic excellence and research growth has been recognized by the Texas Legislature through the creation of the Texas University Fund (TUF), bringing transformational funding support that will solidify UNT’s position as a major research university and help drive the state’s economy.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Smatresk on his many notable accomplishments on behalf of UNT. He has created a strong foundation and legacy that will empower UNT to achieve great success in the years to come. We are thankful for his leadership and unwavering service to UNT and our North Texas community.

As we begin a search process for our next President, we have an important responsibility and unique opportunity to ensure UNT’s leadership builds upon the momentum of today, while driving innovative progress for tomorrow.

Thank you for supporting UNT and the UNT System. Together, we will transform the future of North Texas and build new opportunities for those we serve.

With gratitude,

Dr. Michael R. Williams

Read President Smatresk's Announcement