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Smatresk to update UNT community today at Murchison Performing Arts Center

Smatresk to update UNT community today at Murchison Performing Arts Center

State of the University Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

Smatresk to update UNT community today at Murchison Performing Arts Center
September 15
10:25 2016

President Neal Smatresk will lay out his plans for UNT over the course of the next year in what will be his third time giving the State of the University address.

In last year’s address, Smatresk outlined his hope that UNT will be among the top research institutions in the nation, known around the world for its excellence, creativity and innovation. Smatresk said that continuing to grow enrollment and improve retention would do this, growing federal research funding and expanding UNT’s reach in Dallas, Frisco and surrounding areas. This year, it will come as a surprise to most to see what Smatresk hopes for the University to accomplish.

“We’re three weeks into our new school year, and we already have so much to celebrate,” Smatresk said, in a statement earlier this week. “The school year has started strong with an enrollment increase, another great freshman class, and our first football win of the season.”

Looking back on last year’s goals, some were obtained and others weren’t.

Over this past year, Smatresk followed through on his promise he made in last year’s State of the University that UNT would gain recognition as a “tier one” university. Now, the next step in the process is to build more research facilities throughout the university.

“There is excitement and energy on campus as we hold our heads high as a Carnegie R1 university,” Smatresk said. “We’re celebrating our progress and our future Thursday.”

UNT has also made strides to expand its reach to surrounding areas, but has had a rocky start with some of its programs, such as the UNT law school. The law school has struggled to gain the accreditation it needs. The accreditation is what allows students who graduate from the program to go on to become lawyers.

One issue that many students are on the fence about is the topic of parking, which was mentioned in last year’s address. At the time, UNT had added lots near Victory as well as the lot off of Interstate 35. This semester, many students still have negative feelings towards UNT’s parking system, or lack there of. For example, at the beginning of this semester is that the university took away the General and Premium parking passes and introduced “Eagle” parking passes, which cost more for students.

UNT spokesperson Margarita Venegas said that the president is probably still putting the final touches on his upcoming State of the University Address.

Some students, despite being emailed about the address, still did not know that the State of the University address is happening this upcoming Thursday. Psychology senior Danielle Gray was one of those students. She said she hopes one of Smatresk’s goals for this year is to not grow the university any farther.

“I prefer to keep it the way it is,” Gray said. “I think if the university increases in size any more,  we will need more parking. UNT should be focusing on increasing the quality of all the older buildings.”

The State of the University address will take place Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. Event parking will be open in Fouts Field between 1:30 to 4 p.m. A parking pass will be required before and after those hours.

Featured Image: State of the University 2015. Kristen Watson

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