North Texas Daily

Construction of UNT at Frisco to start in the fall of 2020

Construction of UNT at Frisco to start in the fall of 2020

Construction of UNT at Frisco to start in the fall of 2020
July 04
12:49 2019

Construction of UNT at Frisco’s main campus is scheduled to begin in fall 2020 and be completed by fall 2022. The campus will open in spring 2023.

The campus will offer up to 16 undergraduate degrees ranging from business to Consumer Experience Management. Dr. Wesley Randall, the dean of UNT at Frisco, said they plan to implement courses that will help students meet the demands of careers that require digital literacy.

“The total project budget of $100 million included roughly $9 million to acquire and renovate a Frisco Economic Development building in addition to the first phase of the campus,” said Bob Brown, UNT’s senior vice president for finance and administration. “That building has been acquired and renovated.  Ninety-one million dollars remains in the first phase budget.”

The 100-acre campus site in Frisco will be the new learning ground for 20,000 to 25,000 students. Randall said he plans to take advantage of partnerships in Frisco to create an “industry-type” student life experience.

“What we don’t want to do is overly replicate Denton,” Randall said. “It would be really about this partnership-based education and just hitting these job ready work skills.”

Randall said that it is nice that the goals of the city of Frisco and the university’s goals are “absolutely congruent.”

“The city’s goal, and the president of the economic development corporation, his goal is to build big buildings with companies that pay good salaries — fantastic,” Randall said. “We want to create degrees or bring forward degrees that educate students to take good jobs and big buildings with wonderful salaries.”

According to Frisco’s education statistics, 60.3 percent of their adult population has a bachelor’s degree or higher, while 25.3 percent took some college or has an associate’s degree.

Randall plans to “eradicate” the “some college” statistic by incorporating plans that cater to the adult-learner population.

UNT at Frisco will accept any previous credits that students have earned, whether they have completed community college or not.

Randall said he was not expecting to be the “dean of anything,” but is looking forward to making a difference at the Frisco campus.

“I think what I like most about what we’re doing in Frisco is, it is highlighting North Texas,” Randall said. “This whole adventure at Frisco makes me even more proud of what we’re doing in Denton.”

Details regarding the UNT at Frisco main campus were released when a map of the campus was unveiled to the UNT System Board of Regents in May.

“They have a very special educational need,” Dr. Allan, Clark, vice president of University Information Services and math instructor, said. “With that, we just fell in love with the idea of an original campus there.”

The new campus will cater to the academic needs of both traditional and non-tradition students with project-based, career-focused opportunities.

Dr. Clark, said in UNT World’s “Bridging Gaps” podcast, that he struggled to engage with students when he taught straight from a textbook.

“The idea of project-based learning has just fascinated me for the last 10 years,” Dr. Clark said. “To get this opportunity where we can bring projects in and you teach something like inventory control, but in the end, you’re teaching calculus, but they don’t know it.”

President of Frisco Economic Development Corporation Ron Patterson said that partnering with UNT was more about increasing educational and workforce development opportunities and less about increasing the city’s revenue. The new university would help Frisco continue to be an “attractive option” for companies who are interested in relocating their headquarters to the area.

“In addition, many of these companies are expected to have opportunities such as internships and post-graduation employment for UNT graduates,” Patterson said.

Featured Image: Rendering of the first proposed building at UNT Frisco which will serve as a multi-purpose, academic facility that includes collaborative learning environments, student support services, faculty and staff offices and communal gathering areas. Courtesy of UNT

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Bridnee Bizor

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