A picture of Representative Michael C. Burgess
Michael B.
Republican TX 26

About Rep. Michael
  • In Recognition of V. Lane Rawlins’ Service as President of the University of North Texas

    by Representative Michael C. Burgess

    Posted on 2014-01-13

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    BURGESS of texas in the house of representatives Monday, January 13, 2014 Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the service of V. Lane Rawlins as the 15th President of the University of North Texas (UNT). Dr. Rawlins joined UNT in 2010 at a critical time in the school's history as it sought to become a tier-one research institution. Under his leadership, great strides have been made in this effort. He remains a strong advocate for students, recognizing that ultimately their success is the measure by which all University accomplishments are made.

    Since the entry of the fall 2010 freshman class, UNT has emphasized efforts to increase the number of high-quality students by focusing on recruitment, retention, and enrollment. Under his direction, UNT's fall 2013 enrollment reached a record 36,221 students, an 18 percent growth with an average SAT score of 1108, 7 points higher than three years prior.

    Dr. Rawlins sought to strengthen the culture of research at UNT by attracting distinguished faculty and emphasizing the significance of research activity. Through this focus, UNT has increased research funding across the board, now counting two National Academy of Engineering members and a National Academy of Sciences member among the institution's outstanding faculty.

    During his tenure, UNT also unveiled its five-year strategic plan: Four Bold Goals for the Future of One Great University, to establish common goals for providing the best educational experience for students and achieving status as a tier-one research institution. Additionally, an updated brand campaign ``A green light to greatness'' was introduced to expand brand awareness, pride, and engagement among the University's various constituencies. Pride for the University has continued to grow as the Mean Green football team earned the right to play in the Heart of Dallas Bowl in 2014. UNT won 36-14, taking the first bowl trophy in over a decade to Denton's Apogee Stadium in the University's inaugural season under the Conference USA banner.

    At a time when traditional sources of higher education funding are in decline, Dr. Rawlins helped launch the public fundraising campaign, The light is green. The time is now. The Campaign for UNT. As a leading proponent to increase sources of financial support, Dr. Rawlins established an era of strengthened fundraising and greater alumni and stakeholder engagement which helped secure two of UNT's largest pledged gifts in 2011.

    With Dr. Rawlins' support, UNT opened three of its four LEED- certified environmentally friendly facilities, earning recognition by Princeton Review as a ``Green College''. UNT also achieved the highest rank in the State by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, underscoring UNT' s sense of responsibility through commitment to conservation research and application, and modeling the leadership necessary to support US economic growth in an increasingly competitive worldwide energy market.

    I am grateful to Dr. Rawlins for bringing his wisdom, boldness, vision, and discipline to the University of North Texas. I am also indebted to his wife Mary Jo as she became an important member of the Denton Community, supporting him through the challenges faced in guiding UNT. I am pleased to hear they will remain in Denton, becoming Texans by choice, as he accepts the title of President Emeritus. It is my continued privilege to represent them, UNT, and the great State of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives.


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