Messages to the UNT Community

March 3, 2017
An Official Notice from the President

To the UNT community,

I’ve spoken often of our warm, caring inclusive community, but in the last few weeks I’ve noticed a series of disturbing events that I believe do not reflect our values or our commitment to one another.

While we respect freedom of speech on our campus, there has been a recent series of flyers, social media posts and hostile speech directed at some members of our community because of who they are. I in no way condone this behavior.

In my years as a university administrator, I have witnessed how the actions of a handful of individuals who are attempting to provoke responses have crossed the line into threatening behavior or acts of vandalism. We will not tolerate this on our campus, and will act quickly and decisively when confronted with such actions.

I know you will recognize these unfortunate and misguided behaviors for what they are and will not let the actions of a few individuals disrupt our strong sense of community, create division amongst us, or erode our unity.

Please continue to support each other, be respectful, welcoming and considerate. I know that we will remain #UNTStrong.

Sincerely,
Neal Smatresk
President

February 16, 2017
Sexual Violence Climate Survey

The University of North Texas Dean of Students office is conducting a research study; Cultivating Safe College Campuses: A College Sexual Assault Policy & Prevention Consortium. The Assessment of Sexual Assault Perspective, or ASAP, is an online survey designed to measure how common sexual misconduct is on our campus, and tell us how well our prevention and advocacy programs are doing. Your insights are valuable, and help build a respectful community that doesn’t tolerate sexual misconduct.

Participants will be entered to win one of the following prizes: UNT Eagle parking permit, ($250 value) Bookstore Gift Card ($25 value), Flex Dollars ($5 value).

*Sexual misconduct includes sexual assault, sexual contact without consent, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual harassment, and stalking.

Here is the link: https://www.psychdata.com/s.asp?SID=175387

January 30, 2017
Our Commitment to International Students, Faculty and Staff — An Official Notice from the President

Last Friday, President Trump, through an Executive Order, imposed a temporary ban on all immigrant and nonimmigrant entry to the United States from seven Muslim-dominant nations — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. We are deeply concerned about the well-being of members of our community who may be impacted by evolving immigration policies and practices, and we want all of our students, faculty and staff to know we are dedicated to their safety, security and success.

Our university family is greatly enriched by the more than 2,500 international students from more than 130 countries. Students, faculty and staff members from around the globe contribute to the rich learning, research, scholarship and cultural experiences that are at the very heart of our university and our standing as a public research university.

I want to assure you that we are reaching out to members of our university community from the affected nations to offer support and guidance during this confusing and difficult time. We are coordinating with the UNT International Office and are in contact with other universities, national associations and immigration experts to seek clarity on some of the issues and questions that are of concern.

As we seek more information about how this new federal restriction on immigration will be implemented, you should be aware that if you are a citizen of one the seven nations and you leave the U.S., even for an emergency, you will not be able to return during the temporary ban, possibly longer. For citizens of other countries, if you travel outside the U.S., you may experience increased visa delays and re-entry rules could change while you are travelling.

If you have questions about travel-related issues or immigration policies and practices, please contact the UNT-International Office at 940-565-2197.

Meanwhile, it’s worth noting our university’s position on non-discrimination, privacy and public safety.

  • UNT welcomes and supports members of our community without regard to country of origin or immigration status. We endeavor to foster an environment in which each member of our university family can flourish, and we enforce our non-discrimination policy.
  • In the management of our international programs, UNT complies with federal laws and requirements. The university doesn’t otherwise share information about immigration status.
  • In the performance of their duties, the UNT Police Department doesn’t inquire about or record immigration status, excepting as required by law. The enforcement of immigration law rests with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, not our campus police.
  • UNT remains strongly committed to the privacy of student records, including immigration status, for all students, consistent with state and federal laws.

The university has many resources available to help members of our community.

  • Students may receive free, confidential counseling though UNT’s Counseling and Testing Services, which can be reached at 940-565-2741.
  • Students may receive free legal assistance through Student Legal Services at 940-565-2614.
  • UNT’s CARE Team, works to help protect the health, safety and welfare of members of our community, especially students, and can be reached at 940-565-4373 or careteam@unt.edu.
  • Faculty and staff members may obtain free short-term, confidential counseling services through our Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-343-3822.

If anyone feels unsafe, please call the UNT Police at 940-565-3000 or dial 911 for assistance. UNT has emergency phones throughout campus that connect directly to the police department.

As always, UNT remains committed to growing our global perspectives and awareness by continuing to lawfully recruit into our university community and support academically talented students, faculty and staff members.

Our diversity makes us stronger, and our greatest attribute is our caring community. Please join me in ensuring UNT is a welcoming and supportive environment for all. We will continue to do all that we can to ensure your success.

Sincerely,
Neal Smatresk
President

December 1, 2016
Join the President's Office at a town hall meeting to discuss immigrant student topics — An Official Notice from the President

Join President Neal Smatresk to learn what UNT is doing to ensure that our campus is a safe and inclusive environment for all.

2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, January 31
University Union Ballroom 314C

Hear about the resources UNT has in place to address immigrant student needs.

University officials will be on hand to answer questions, but want to use the town hall as an opportunity to hear what the UNT community has to say on the subject.

January 17, 2017
Office of Equal Opportunity Offering WeComply Title IX Training

The Office of Equal Opportunity will be offering in-person sessions to cover the material in the WeComply Title IX training for people who were not able to complete it online. Please see the dates below for upcoming opportunities:

  • 2/21/17 from 2:00-3:30PM at Gateway 43
  • 4/20/17 from 2:00-3:30 PM location TBD
  • 6/20/17 from 2:00-3:30PM location TBD

Contact oeo@unt.edu or call (940) 565-2759 to register for the training. Please contact OEO if you require accommodations to participate in the training.

December 1, 2016
Supporting UNT students — An Official Notice from the President

Dear UNT community,

This afternoon, a group of our students gathered to voice their support for designating UNT as a “sanctuary campus.” I want you all to know that I am listening to the concerns raised and hear the anxieties of those speaking out.

Our university is first and foremost a community that cares about its students, and I will do everything in my power to preserve UNT’s supportive environment. We are planning to hold a Town Hall in January so our students can ask questions and engage directly with me and others. I want to make sure that we are meeting their needs and supporting them in ways that help them pursue their dreams.

In the meantime, please know that UNT already provides many of the things the students are requesting: free counseling and legal services, training on cultural issues, financial assistance and housing opportunities, and perhaps most importantly a commitment to providing an environment free of discrimination.

It is too early to speculate on what will happen in the future, but as we move forward together, you can rest assured that your safety and security is paramount, and UNT will continue to be an advocate for and a strong supporter of diversity and inclusion. For more than 125 years our university has been a welcoming place, and the values that have shaped our history will continue to guide us in the future.

UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk
President

December 1, 2016
Required Training for UNT Faculty and Staff

Dear UNT faculty and staff,

The Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity will launch two equal opportunity training courses this year. The courses will be available online, and will be delivered to full-time employees through the training vendor WeComply/Thompson Reuters.

The first course, “Preventing Discrimination and Harassment for Managers,” for supervisors and managers of full-time employees was deployed on Nov. 1, 2016. This course will provide strategies for managers to prevent and respond to discrimination, which is prohibited by UNT policy 16.004: Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Non-Retaliation.

Employees who completed the “Preventing Discrimination and Harassment for Managers” course in the August 2016 rollout are not required to retake it. Employees who started the course but did not complete it must complete this one.

The second course, “Preventing Sexual Misconduct,” is for all full-time employees it was deployed on Dec. 1, 2016. This course will satisfy the requirement in Section VIII (C) of UNT policy 12.005: Prohibition of Sexual Assault and Retaliation, which requires that university employees complete an educational program on the nature, effect and prevention of sexual assault every two years

Employees who are required to complete these courses received an email informing them when their course deployed. If you are a full-time UNT employee who did not receive an email announcing the “Preventing Sexual Misconduct” course, please email oeo@unt.edu immediately.

This email will come from staff in the Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity, and will include a link to the Office of Equal Opportunity webpage where the course will be hosted. The courses are hosted in the box titled “EO Compliance Training”. Please use your EUID and password to access this course.

Participating employees will have the option to print their course completion certificate once they have passed the quiz at the closure of the course. Please note that all course participants are responsible for printing their course certificates and preserving them.

November 11, 2016
UNT is a caring and inclusive community — An Official Notice from the President

Dear UNT students, faculty and staff members,

Thank you for coming together this week to openly, respectfully and peacefully discuss your feelings and thoughts about the outcome of the Presidential election and its possible implications for our nation at home and abroad.

Our campus community, like our nation, holds many points of view about what is good and right for our country, and I am encouraged by the way our community has responded to one another with discourse that reflects intellect, empathy and understanding. As a university, we promote the exploration of different points of view and the exchange of opinions as part of the educational process.

In the days ahead, as we seek a deeper understanding of the complex situations that may face the members of our university community, even the university itself, we need to continue to have respectful dialogue, even if it may be uncomfortable. This is how we build an honest, caring and inclusive community.

Please remember that we have many resources available to help:

  • Students may receive free counseling through the university’s Counseling and Testing Services, (940) 565-2741.
  • Faculty and staff have access to free short-term counseling services through the university’s Employee Assistance Program, 1-800-343-3822.
  • An additional resource is UNT’s CARE Team, which works to help protect the health, safety and welfare of UNT students and the members of the UNT community. You can reach out to the CARE Team by calling (940) 565-4373 or emailing careteam@unt.edu.

And, as always, if anyone feels unsafe please call the UNT Police at (940) 565-3000 or dial 911 for assistance. UNT has 45 emergency phones throughout campus that connect directly to the police department.

For more than 125 years, our university has served Texas and our nation by preparing students to become thoughtful, engaged citizens of the world. As we continue to progress, let’s keep in sight the values that have shaped us throughout our history.

UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk
President

June 15, 2016
Candlelight vigil at Library Mall Thursday honors Orlando victims

Dear UNT Community,

In the wake of Sunday’s tragedy in Orlando, the UNT community will unite during a candlelight vigil Thursday to express its condolences and support the victims, their families, loved ones and friends, and our nation’s LGBTQ community.

The vigil to remember the victims and strengthen our community will be hosted by UNT’s Pride Alliance, Multicultural Center and Office of Spiritual Life in collaboration with TWU and Denton community organizations from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 16, at the Library Mall on UNT’s campus.

The vigil will include speakers who will talk about the mass shooting’s effect on the LGBTQ, Latino and Islamic communities. In addition, community members may choose to participate in the vigil by sharing during open mic time. The vigil will close with the reading of the names of the deceased and lighting of candles.

It is important to remember that following a tragic event such as Sunday’s shooting, there are resources available to help. Students, faculty and staff who may be dealing with grief in the aftermath of the shooting can find free, confidential counseling services through the university. Students can contact Counseling and Testing Services at 940-565-2741 or counselingandtestingservices@unt.edu. Faculty and staff can receive services from the Employee Assistance Program, which can be reached at 800-343-3822.

We encourage all of our community members to take care of themselves and be mindful of others who may be hurting.