Office of the President

President’s Message

Posted Date: June 23, 2017
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I’d like to invite you to my Summer Town Hall, scheduled for Tuesday, June 27, at 10 a.m. in MET 109-111.

I plan to discuss a number of topics, including how the Health Science Center fared during the recent legislative session in Austin. I’d also like to share more about our vision of One University, built on values, defining and producing the providers of the future. Read more »

Posted Date: June 5, 2017
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Last week, thanks to the signature of Governor Greg Abbott and the hard work of countless colleagues, we have a new state law that significantly affects the future of UNT Health Science Center.

Following nearly unanimous votes of support in the House and Senate, the governor signed into law House Bill 1913. The new law does two key things for the Health Science Center: Read more »

Posted Date: May 17, 2017
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There’s an innovative spirit to be found in our first class of graduating pharmacists – one reason why I have such admiration for them.

As pioneers and trailblazers in a new school, they now have a comprehensive education in health care teamwork, and a degree that will allow them to care for their communities.

Six years ago, the UNT System College of Pharmacy was nothing more than an idea. There were no faculty, no facility, no curriculum – nothing but a promise to future students and the North Texas community that we would work together to create something extraordinary. Read more »

Posted Date: April 24, 2017
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Dear team,

In the early days of this university, when classes took place in a converted bowling alley along Camp Bowie Boulevard, innovative research on our campus was in its infancy.

Back then, we literally were just one school. But our growing research programs eventually led to the creation of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, founded in 1993 and setting us on the path to become a true Health Science Center.

Since then, we have marched forward, with discoveries in the laboratory that create solutions for our community and improve the lives of others. It’s a journey that continues today, as we work toward my vision of One University using extraordinary teamwork to define and produce providers of the future.

Providers are more than the doctors, nurses or therapists who treat you in clinical settings. They are also, for example, the researchers in the lab, working to understand the biological mechanisms of disease to identify new therapeutic targets. Or the public health professionals, tackling challenges like childhood obesity or infant mortality.

What does this look like? Let’s start with Sid O’Bryant and his team in the Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Disease Research. They observed that Alzheimer’s drugs that fail in clinical trials are actually successful in treating a fraction of the study’s participants.

That observation led to a flash of insight. Dr. O’Bryant developed a blood test that can identify the fraction of people most likely to respond successfully to a so-called “failed” drug.

It’s scientific discovery that when paired with an entrepreneurial spirit will change the way UNTHSC turns research into results for our community.

A provider is someone like Amy Raines Milenkov, who’s trying to reverse Texas’ startling high rates of maternal mortality by pushing for better health care access, expanded coverage and drug treatment programs. Or Styliani Goulopoulou in the Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, who is addressing the same health challenge through research focused on preeclampsia.

A provider is also someone like the remarkable Andras Lacko, who’s studying how to use the miracles of nanotechnology to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly to tumors while bypassing healthy tissue. Or the team in our Institute for Patient Safety, who through research is determining better, safer ways to care for patients in ambulatory settings.

This kind of research is a key part of our financial health as well. Total research funding at UNTHSC has increased by roughly 30 percent to $47.2 million – just in the last five years. And

we’re making better cases for that funding. Last fiscal year, we submitted 100 fewer grant proposals than the year before but received nearly $5 million more in funding.

There are hundreds of students, staff, postdocs and faculty performing extraordinary teamwork in research labs across campus, making us a better university and Fort Worth a stronger community.

I am so proud of the research we do now and excited about what’s next.


Dr. Michael R. Williams

Posted Date: April 24, 2017
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Total research funding at UNTHSC has increased by about 30 percent in the last five years, thanks to the hard work of talented researchers across campus. Read more »

Posted Date: February 28, 2017
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Dear Team,

“Best Place for All” has become shorthand for a number of Extraordinary Teamwork initiatives that will help make UNT Health Science Center a destination workplace.

This journey is about improving our work, attracting the right new-hires and retaining good people. If you attended or viewed our recent Town Hall, you know we’re making progress.

One example is Priority Care, our new, on-campus urgent care service that offers same-day appointments for UNTHSC team members and their families. If you’re covered by UNTHSC’s insurance or most other major health plans, here’s how it works: You call the clinic, describe your symptoms and get notified by phone within the same work day that a UNTHSC provider is ready to see you. Once you’re at the clinic, there is no wait.

Priority Care is not only a great perk for employees but also a visible sign of some of the progress going on here at UNTHSC. Our clinical leaders have redesigned processes and patient experiences in an effort to serve as an example of the interprofessional teamwork that we want to model for our students. In trying to define and produce providers of the future, our own practice is leading the way.

This month, we also proudly announced our new partnership with Lena Pope to open a child development center on campus. The goal is to provide high-quality, affordable care for the children of our students and employees. Seventy percent of the slots will be reserved for UNTHSC. Mayor Betsy Price praised the partnership in her State of the City address.

In recent months and despite tightening budgets, we allocated $1.6 million to update our base salary ranges and implement raises for our team members. We also introduced flexible scheduling and are working toward a policy of incorporating flexible work arrangements, such as remote work.

You’re seeing physical changes to our campus as well. Work continues on the outdoor walkway space between the library and RES that will help better connect our campus to the new Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building, which will open later this year. And we have plans to renovate Alumni Plaza and make it a more attractive site for outdoor social activities.

There’s also new leadership and energy at the UNT System level, where we are collaborating in new and effective ways. I encourage you to check out this #TogetherWe video that highlights the UNT System and some of our colleagues here in Fort Worth.

Thank you for your participation in the Gallup Engagement Survey. We hit 83 percent participation rates, up from 76 percent in the last go round. We should get the results soon, and we will share those with you when they become available.

My best always,
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Dr. Michael R. Williams
UNTHSC President