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UNT welcomes new system chancellor Lesa B. Roe

UNT welcomes new system chancellor Lesa B. Roe

Chancellor Roe and President Smatresk talk to a group of people. This is Roe's first year as UNT chancellor. Jacob Ostermann

UNT welcomes new system chancellor Lesa B. Roe
October 12
18:52 2017

UNT held a meet and greet for Lesa B. Roe, the new system chancellor, on Tuesday at the University Union. Roe started her job this week.

Hundreds of people gathered in a UNT ballroom to meet the new chancellor. After a brief time of conversing, Neal Smatresk, UNT president, introduced Roe. He discussed her role at NASA and said she started the job at 22 years old as an electrical engineer and worked up the ranks.

“NASA is all about missions, but now I get to have an even more incredible mission and that’s transforming the lives of students,” Roe said during her speech at the event.

NASA is a $19.6 billion annual federal agency with $31 billion in assets, according to the UNT system website. Roe was responsible for 17,000 NASA employees and worked across 10 different institutions.

“Our university is used to breaking ground, so we are in good company with someone who is brave and shows no fear and is capable of taking a chance,” Smatresk said.

Roe took the stage and discussed her experience at UNT so far. Before the event, Roe toured UNT and met the president’s cabinet. She gave Smatresk credit for building an “amazing” team.

Roe continued by discussing how she plans to transform students lives. She hopes to continue the work that has already been done by advancing research and innovation, focusing on high-quality programs and giving faculty and employees the best place to work.

Roe proceeded to read a daily affirmation that was shared with her that morning—“believe in the magic of new beginnings.” She thinks the affirmation is relevant to her new position.

The UNT System Board of Regents selected Roe as the sole finalist in August, and she officially took the position this month. As chancellor, Roe is the chief executive of the UNT system. She oversees over 10,000 employees across the three UNT campuses: UNT Denton, UNT Dallas and the Health Science Center in Fort Worth, according to the UNT system website.

Smatresk mentioned Roe will flip the coin at the UNT football game.

“I’m going to do my darnedest to flip it good,” Roe said.

Roe is the third chancellor of the UNT System. She replaced Lee F. Jackson, who was the longest-serving chancellor in the state. He held the job for 15 years.

Roe has a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida. She has served on several advisory boards including Virginia Governor’s Aerospace Advisory Council, American Astronautical Society, Virginia FIRST Robotics and the Virginia Research and Technology Advisory Commission.

“Today was wonderful,” Roe said. “I got to see the full breadth of what goes on here. I was super impressed with the students. I loved the approach of the leadership team here. I loved the facilities. Everything has been thought out so well and I’m proud to be a part of UNT.”

Featured Image: Chancellor Roe and President Smatresk talk to a group of people. This is Roe’s first year as UNT chancellor. Jacob Ostermann

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Devin Rardin

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