North Texas Daily

UNT Faculty Senate meeting postpones talk about speaker series, gives parking updates

UNT Faculty Senate meeting postpones talk about speaker series, gives parking updates

Members of the faculty senate vote to approve the graduated council's minutes. Rachel Walters

UNT Faculty Senate meeting postpones talk about speaker series, gives parking updates
October 11
22:52 2017

The UNT Faculty Senate postponed the discussion for a resolution regarding speakers, discussed faculty policies and procedures and a parking and transportation update, as well as continued the discussion of student retention rates.

A vote to make a resolution concerning UNT speaker selections will be discussed at the next Faculty Senate meeting on Nov. 8. The senate was unable to proceed because President Neal Smatresk was not in attendance.

Provost Jennifer Cowley carried on from the previous meeting about student retention rates.

With Cowley acknowledging UNT retention rates are lower than they should be, she said a big question is why UNT is not retaining students at the same rate as other universities in Texas. Cowley said this starts with advising.

“Our current student to advisor [ratio] is one to 400,” Cowley said. “We know we need to increase the size of advising staff to be on par with other institutions. Another factor is students finding their place in a university.”

The student retention rate at UNT is high for first semester freshmen to second semester freshmen. When a student drops out after their freshman year, they are less likely to get a four-year college degree, Cowley said.

Helping students find their place on campus is another key to retention. But another reason students will drop out of college is because they have run out of financial aid to pay for classes.

UNT is currently working on a grant for transfer students in an effort to make dropout rates shrink.

“We are working on improving advising sequencing for transfer students by working with community colleges,” Cowley said.

Associate Vice President Allen Clark discussed an update within the parking and transportation services.

With the growth of the university and the City of Denton, Clark said it impacts the number of parking spaces available for students, faculty and administration.

There were 1,000 parking spaces lost last year due to construction on campus, but there is hope the lot behind Apogee Stadium will be completed soon.

“We are currently discussing what to do with the seventh floor of the [Highland Street] parking garage,” Clark said. “We also found that faculty parking is tight around 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

Recently, UNT began using the Park Mobile application, requiring students to pay for their parking spot by the hour through an app on their phone. This was an effort to help students save money for the one or two days a week they are on campus.

Despite how large and successful Park Mobile became, citation rates went up.

“Students paid, but didn’t pay enough money for the spot,” Clark said. “We are going to try a multimodal system, bike share program and need to encourage bikes and walking areas. It needs to be simple like parking.”

In 2008, a student parking permit was $180. Since then, it has gone up to $250.

The money made from parking permits goes to multiple departments involved with parking and transportation services.

$3.9 million is sent to UNT police and $3 million is sent to DCTA, whose contract with UNT ends this year. The rest of the funds go to parking and refurbishing.

“Financially, I feel good where we are at,” Clark said.

When Clark was asked about the V Bike program, bikes that are activated by phone and left anywhere the rider leaves it, he said he is not in favor of the chaos from it.

Featured Image: Members of the Faculty Senate vote to approve the graduated council’s minutes on September 13th. Rachel Walters

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Julia Falcon

Julia Falcon

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  1. Michael
    Michael October 12, 07:59

    UNT should end the parking permit program. When car drivers must pay separately each day for their parking spot, they are more likely to choose a better option, such as DCTA or cycling.

    Reply to this comment
  2. UNT employee
    UNT employee October 14, 12:04

    Your comment demonstrates tremendous ignorance about issues like ADA compliance, from where people are coming to campus, and the impact this has on daily workers.

    Reply to this comment

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