After a decade at the helm of the University of North Texas, President Neal J. Smatresk announced that he would be stepping down in August.
UNT, the third largest university in the state with almost 47,000 students in 2023, is seeking a new president ahead of incumbent Smatresk’s transition to a teaching and mentorship position late this summer, according to a news release.
“Serving you as president has been the highlight of my career,” the 72-year-old wrote in an emailed statement to the UNT body, according to KERA News. “When I first took on this role, I knew we had the potential to achieve great things, and because of your dedication, passion, and hard work, we have flourished in ways that are nothing short of remarkable.”
During Smatresk’s tenure, UNT reached several milestones, including record-breaking enrollment growth, Tier One research institution status, partnerships with Amazon, the Dallas Cowboys, the PGA of America, Toyota, JPMorganChase, Google, and more, and a whopping $86 million in research funding in FY 2023 alone.
Moreover, as recently covered in The Dallas Express, UNT has taken significant strides toward forging a career-ready workforce by erecting a new campus in Frisco, which will house the new Satish and Yasmin Gupta Career Center made possible through a $3 million endowment.
Niche ranked UNT No.12 on a recent list of the best colleges and universities in Texas, as previously covered in The Dallas Express.
Yet its offerings continue to grow, with several new degree programs added to its repertoire last August alone. All new programs aim to create a pipeline for a variety of industries in the region, including a Bachelor of Science degree in emergency services, a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, and a Master of Science in nursing.
Smatresk himself earned several degrees in biology and zoology, conducting post-doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and publishing several works on cardiorespiratory physiology.