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UNT Drives Progress as Top-Tier University

UNT

At the start of 2016, the North Texas region did not have a Carnegie-ranked top-tier research university.

By February, it had three.

The University of North Texas is now ranked as a top-tier research university along with our peers in the North Texas region, according to the most recent Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education report. UNT’s official Carnegie classification is R1 Doctoral University with the highest research activity, which is Carnegie’s top classification for research universities. This makes UNT one of only 115 institutions nationwide — 81 of which are public — that are classified in this top tier.

This is a boon for the region and the state because top-tier research universities like UNT — often called Tier One universities — spur progress and growth.

This is a boon for the region and the state because top-tier research universities like UNT — often called Tier One universities — spur progress and growth. They attract and graduate high-quality students — in large numbers in our case — who are the backbone of an educated, highly-skilled workforce. They drive innovation and technology through breakthrough research and scholarship. And they provide intellectual capital and foster economic development.

This has been UNT’s mission, every day and in every way. The move to Carnegie’s top tier is a validation of our impact and an important milestone as we increase our national prominence. It doesn’t change UNT’s trajectory, but it does change the speed at which we can move forward, because it gives us momentum to further our impact.

And we’re making great strides.

Last fall, we launched four Institutes of Research Excellence that bring our know-how to industry and the marketplace through solutions-based research and industry partnerships. The world is facing large-scale problems that will shape its future, from how to deal with shrinking natural resources to how to create higher-performance materials to how to move goods efficiently — and most cost-effectively — in a global market. The institutes are helping provide answers. They are think tanks and testing grounds for big ideas and innovative solutions in key areas of research that include advanced materials and manufacturing processes, bio-based innovations, environmental solutions, and logistics.

Classes there function more like a collaborative work environment where ideas, knowledge and creativity flow — powered by technology and interaction.

In January, we launched the University of North Texas New College at Frisco, an off-site instructional facility, to meet the demands of an area exploding with people, industry and potential. The New College opened with strong enrollment and a fresh approach to learning. Classes there function more like a collaborative work environment where ideas, knowledge and creativity flow — powered by technology and interaction. Working professionals and students can engage with faculty and industry experts in innovative ways. They’ll get hands-on experience and career insight that will transform them into leaders in the workforce.

UNT also is in the process of launching an executive M.B.A. program with a logistics and supply chain management focus at AllianceTexas, a vast business park between Denton and Fort Worth. Businesses and industry want us at Alliance because our nationally-distinguished logistics program is recognized as the go-to place for creating leaders and professionals in this industry.

Like our New College at Frisco, the new executive M.B.A. program fills needs in fast-growing industries.

UNT also is increasing our presence in the heart of Dallas. In September, we’ll launch an arts education graduate degree with a concentration in urban arts education studies. The program, led by our College of Visual Arts and Design, will be the only one of its kind in Texas and one of only a few in the country. It’s a great fit for Dallas, an arts mecca that has built an internationally-renowned arts district.

We help to foster economic prosperity for the people, businesses and communities here.

UNT, along with our Carnegie peers, the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Texas at Arlington, is an essential part of the region’s innovation economy. We help to foster economic prosperity for the people, businesses and communities here.

On so many fronts, UNT is finding ways to support the North Texas region by providing a strong, college-educated workforce, supporting its industries, and advancing knowledge, new ideas and technology. That’s the true measure of being a top-tier research university, and that has been our way since 1890.

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Neal Smatresk is the president of the University of North Texas, one of the nation’s largest universities.

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