Smatresk gets raise, students reflect on his first two years

Smatresk gets raise, students reflect on his first two years

Smatresk gets raise, students reflect on his first two years
April 21
02:39 2016

Adalberto Toledo | Senior Staff Writer

@aldot29

UNT President Neal Smatresk will get about a $3,000 raise next year, according to university reports.          

He received high marks from UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson in an evaluation of his first two years at UNT. His annual salary will rise to $508,120 from $505,000, documents show.

University of Houston president Renu Khator is paid 700,000 according to the Texas Tribune, University of Texas at Austin president Gregory Fenves is paid $750,000 and Michael Young of Texas A&M is paid $1 million. While many students believe that Smatresk is fairly compensated when compared to other Texas institutions, they feel he needs to do more about communicating with the student body.

Since arriving at UNT in 2014, Smatresk has overseen the university’s move into a more nationally prominent role as a research institution. Nearly two years to the day after Smatresk was hired, the university was named a top tier school in research output by the Carnegie Classifications.

“I think he should focus on helping faculty communicate better with students,” Spanish and international studies senior Hannah Miller said. “I always hear that a lot of departments have scholarships that people don’t apply for.”

Miller added that with high tuition prices that are only getting higher, Smatresk should focus on making sure every opportunity to help students pay for college is taken advantage of.

She said Smatresk’s pay is adequate and that he should be comfortable so he can take care of university business.

“His pay sounds good to me,” Miller said. “I wouldn’t mind $500,000 a year. He should focus all his time on better communication and better accessibility to resources on campus.”

The resources on campus are especially important to transfer students marketing sophomore Taylor Smith and journalism junior Meghan McDermott. They agreed with Miller that all the opportunities for help at UNT are not communicated well to the student body.

“He should have a bigger presence on campus,” Smith said. “Coming from a community college I knew what my resources were. I wish there was a clearer voice in finding resources, and the president should encourage that.”

McDermott said more students should know more about what Smatresk does for the school on a daily basis.

International studies senior Bo Kim said she feels the university is trying too hard to have a campus environment like the A&M and UT, when it should be focusing on what it already has, like its low prices.

“If I wanted the environment of a huge university I would’ve gone to A&M or [Ohio University],” Kim said. “They should hone in on the cheapness of UNT and not on making tradition.”

Kim said if she could talk to the president she would tell him to know the university’s strengths and to not try to make the university something it isn’t. She wishes UNT would help more students financially, and not come up with fees like the ones for the University Union and the football team.

“I just wish I knew more about him,” Kim said. “I don’t care about making UNT my home, I just want to get a good education and president Smatresk should focus on that.”

Featured Image: President Neil Smatresk poses in his office. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

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