UNT Dallas Vice Chancellor: ‘UNT Dallas is born’
THECB officially certifies enrollment; statute creating university in effect
DALLAS – The University of North Texas at Dallas was “born today,” UNT Dallas Campus Vice Chancellor John Ellis Price said from Austin following the official certification of spring enrollment figures by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)April 30.
Spring enrollment was certified at greater than 1,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) students, the figure required before the UNT Dallas Campus could become free-standing and function as the city’s first and only public university. Price said that the certification activates the statute which created the new university in 2001.
“Now that we have met this key enrollment goal, demonstrating the need for higher education in Dallas and the North Texas region, we can continue to plow forward in our efforts to open the doors of UNT Dallas as a four-year university in 2010,” Price said. “Before we can do that, there are still other challenges we will have to meet, such as hiring sufficient faculty and staff and constructing adequate facilities to serve the enrollment we expect when we begin to accept freshmen at our opening.”
Sen. Royce West of Dallas (District 23), the author of S.B. 576, the original legislation that created the new university, said the certification was a victory for the people of Dallas.
“Today, we surpassed a monumental milestone in the fulfillment of the establishment of the University of North Texas at Dallas,” West said. “Now we will have our first independent, state-supported, comprehensive university.”
The presence of UNT Dallas will help the State of Texas meet its goals contained in its “Closing the Gaps by 2015” Higher Education Plan, UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson said. He noted that UNT Dallas will be opened in an area where the population is rapidly expanding.
“The State of Texas cannot afford to build a university on every corner, but it can build them where the students are,” Jackson said. “If you observe the shifting demographics in Dallas, you will notice that UNT Dallas is positioned to meet the higher education needs of traditional college students whose families have long since encouraged college, but also those of many first generation college students.”