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Board of Regents: New degrees and new property for UNT

Board of Regents: New degrees and new property for UNT

Elizabeth With, vice president of student affairs, proposes the Board of Regents increase the student recreational fee to renovate the Pohl Recreation Center at UNT. The Board of Regents met May 19th and 20th at the University of North Texas System Building.

Board of Regents: New degrees and new property for UNT
November 18
14:42 2016

By James Norman and Julia Falcon

The UNT Board of Regents convened Friday, Nov. 18 and approved three new degree programs, as well as a property acquisition and finances for the UNT System and the UNT Health and Science Center.

The programs passed on the agenda include a major in Japanese, a joint master of social work degree program with Texas Woman’s University and a Master of Arts degree program with a major in Women’s and Gender Studies.

The first program approved was the Japanese degree program. Currently, there are 80 students minoring in Japanese studies with 20 who are interested in a major in the subject. The degree would require a minimum of 120 hours, with 39 of those in the major and a minimum of 42 advanced hours. Students majoring in this program would work in Japan or Japanese-related fields, such as teaching English or working for Japanese-based companies. To expand the program, a third faculty member will be hired. As of right now, UNT offers degree programs in German, French and Spanish, and minors in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian and Spanish.

UNT President Neal Smatresk said these new degree choices will appeal to more select audiences and add more diversity by meeting more needs.

“I think that these programs have a pretty good user base already, you can get jobs where there is demand for it, portfolio, and give our students more options,” Smatresk said. “One of the things they worry about for example is current and global issues against a global curriculum.”

A joint master of social work degree program between UNT and TWU was approved and will go into effect August 2017. TWU approved the motion last week. This program will be an equal collaboration between the two universities and will have a common program and curriculum. UNT and TWU have Bachelor of Social Work programs accredited by the Council of Social Work Education, a national accrediting body for both BSW and Master of Social Work programs.

The health care and social work field is rated as one of the fastest growing fields in Texas. According to a Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board report, healthcare social work was rated as one of the fastest growing Master’s degree occupations, with a 35 percent increase in demand through 2020.

While both universities already offer a Bachelor of Social Work degree program, based on a 2015 survey, 80 percent of graduating BSW students said they would attend a joint program to complete their MSW. The closest MSW program is at UT Arlington.

UNT Provost Finley Graves negotiated the partnership with TWU, where people taking classes here and there can combine their forces.

The last degree program passed was the Master of Arts degree program with a major in Women’s and Gender Studies. The new program will be housed in Interdisciplinary Studies. Currently, this program has enough existing graduate courses to offer a stand-alone degree program. No additional faculty will be required.

In regards to the programs passed, Chairman of the Board Brint Ryan called them “critically important.”

“I think [it’s important to be] expanding our reach in those areas, particularly in parts of the world with growing economies,” Ryan said. “One of the things I’m really proud of is we’re so diverse at UNT. It’s part of our heritage, and what makes us strong.”

Ryan said he foresees no backlash or negative effects from the programs.

Other items approved included financing for the 2017 fiscal year, an amendment to Regents Rule 10.300 in regards to debt management and to UNT System Regulation 08.2000, as well as the FY18 and FY19 holiday schedule.

Lastly, the board voted and approved the acquisition of real property and professional medical malpractice self-insurance premium rates.

The property acquired is located at 1125 North Texas Blvd. in Denton. Other recent property acquisitions were 1011 North Texas Blvd. and 2114-2122 W Prairie St., both located in Denton.

The next Board of Regents meeting will be on Feb. 23 and 24 at UNT Dallas.

About Author

Julia Falcon

Julia Falcon

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