President Now and Next

I believe in always looking forward. That’s how we fulfill our shared vision of becoming One University, built on values, producing the providers of the future.

I also believe in celebrating wins, and UNTHSC achieved many of them in Fiscal Year 2018-19. So I’d like to pause for a moment and thank all of you by recognizing some of our many outstanding achievements as a team.

Best Place for All

It was a banner year for our efforts to transform UNTHSC into a Best Place for All. UNTHSC not only surpassed its target goal with a 57 percent rate of employee engagement on the Gallup Survey but also ranked in the 85th percentile among all post-secondary education organizations.

This outstanding achievement reflected our commitment to living our values and Extraordinary Teamwork. We are leading the entire UNT System on the employee engagement front.

I am proud that we committed $1.3 million in this year’s budget to bring salaries for many staff members closer to the midpoint of each job grade, increase wages for team members earning less than $12 an hour to a respectable wage and implement adjustments based on the recently adopted faculty salary administration policy.

Our people are our greatest strength.

Programs and Providers

UNTHSC added emotional intelligence and entrepreneurship courses to our curriculum, skills that will distinguish our graduates from others. We continued growing the number of GME residency slots for medical students through an agreement with Baylor Scott & White Health to add 120 residencies.

We hired four visionary new Deans to lead Pharmacy, GSBS, TCOM and Health Professions into the future. Also, $10 million of designated funds were used to fund five new faculty chair endowments.

This summer, we welcomed the inaugural class of our sixth school, the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine. No other Health Science Center in Texas has these same six schools training on one centralized campus. We also opened the state-of the-art Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building early and under budget. A model of innovation and collaboration, the IREB is transforming the way students learn.

We celebrated many other academic achievements, including:

  • TCOM was granted 10-year Accreditation with Exceptional Outcome, the highest level of accreditation given, and ranked 8th nationally for primary care, according to S. News and World Report.
  • The UNT System College of Pharmacy earned four-year accreditation, the maximum allowed, and the SHP’s Department of Physical Therapy earned a maximum 10-year accreditation.
  • Our Physician Assistant Studies Program ranked 33rd in the country, according to S. News and World Report. GSBS’s Master of Science Program continued to prepare promising students to train as providers of the future at the next level.
  • Our School of Public Health served as a resource partner on the Texas 21 initiative that raised the legal age to buy tobacco, a giant milestone for public health in our state.

On the clinical front, we partnered with Catalyst/Stratifi for practice management, assessment and management of the UNT Health/Clinical Practice Group.  We also began developing several other exciting new partnerships.

Being visionary

We created two research institutes, the Translational Research Institute and the developing Genomics and Personalized Medicine Institute, as we invested heavily in Neurodegenerative Brain Diseases and Genetics/Precision Medicine.

More than 90 people have participated in the first ever clinical trial for a blood test to detect Alzheimer’s in a primary care setting. Dr. Sid O’Bryant’s revolutionary research could mean people at high risk of getting this disease get treatment sooner.

We continue to build a complete database of all our physical space and are finalizing a population health initiative project plan with Quest Diagnostics and Catalyst Partners to employ data in the pursuit of positive health outcomes for large population of patients.

Our campus footprint expanded with the purchase the 550 Bailey Building. This seven-story building will provide much-needed administrative space, allowing us to build more classrooms and research laboratories on campus — and serve as an additional revenue stream through existing lease agreements.

Philanthropically, UNTHSC established six endowed student scholarships and two new student-related program endowments. We also received $1 million toward an endowed professorship focused on research into health disparities.

What’s next?

We remain focused on our purpose to transform lives in order to improve the lives of others.  Please join me at the President’s Forum on Oct. 3 where we’ll discuss next year’s plan and look into the future of healthcare.

I am excited for the year to come and am always appreciative of all you do to make UNTHSC a best place for all.

Very respectfully,

president signature
Dr. Michael R. Williams
UNTHSC President
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