Thursday, March 28, 2013
New UNT Dallas president plans to build on-campus housing, among other goals
Ronald T. Brown begins his tenure July 1.
DALLAS Even though his official start day isn’t until July 1, 2013, newly appointed UNT Dallas President Ronald T. Brown didn’t hesitate to meet with university administration to discuss the future of the campus.
During their meeting, he outlined five goals for UNT Dallas to pursue with current President John Ellis Price, who he will be succeeding, to offer guidance during the transitional period, said UNT Dallas spokeswoman Heidi McKinley.
The university first approached Brown in October while a presidential search committee was beginning to interview and analyze potential candidates, Brown said. University officials do not release the amount of candidates who were interviewed, McKinley said.
“I think a lot of people have hopes and anticipations and I really promise to fulfill these goals and make UNT Dallas a premiere urban university,” Brown said.
Brown has already served Temple University in Philadelphia and Wayne State University in Detroit, and feels he is well suited for the urban environment UNT Dallas is a part of. He said he will build the curriculum and partnerships that are relevant to an urban university.
“I’ve always been involved in universities that are located right smack in the cities,” Brown said. “UNT Dallas will be an urban university that’s engaged in the city and in the community so that’s part of my DNA basically.”
Brown’s first goal is to offer experiential learning so that students will not only develop intellectually, but have real world experiences in the city, through internships and mentor programs, he said.
He said all five goals are set in place to make UNT Dallas a student-centric university.
Brown says another goal is UNT Dallas taking advantage of technologies in every degree program with teacher inputs helping to determine what role technologies will best serve their fields of study.
The third goal is to ensure students are supported throughout the degree process by documenting their experiences through their degrees and internships and by being advised for their degrees and career paths, Brown said.
“First they’ll [advisors] help in landing an internship, those kinds of things, getting assistance so that they’re not on this on their own so that they really have a great deal of support through the process,” Brown said.
Another goal is geared toward improving retention rates through peer support. Brown said a shared core curriculum would be created for the general education requirement that students would need to finish by their freshmen and sophomore years in order to go through school together in a shared learning community, Brown said.
Students who go through the same degree plans together tend to stay in the program as opposed to those who don’t and would be more likely to drop out, Brown said.
UNT Dallas also doesn’t have any residence halls on or near the 260-acre campus, which is something Brown is hoping to change, McKinley said.
Brown’s fifth goal is to put together a plan for student residency halls on campus in the next 12 months because students living on campus generally perform better, Brown said.
“[Resident students] are there full time, all of their attention, all of their efforts are devoted to college, the college experience,” Brown said.
Brown said he also plans to study the city and university and begin hiring accordingly before making any other plans for UNT Dallas.
Pegasus News Content partner - North Texas Daily