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College of Nursing and Health Innovation




March 25, 2016


Dear Colleagues at UTA,

We are continuing to shape the provost’s office to provide maximum support to the campus in accomplishing the goals of the Strategic Plan for the university and leading North Texas in our commitment to educational attainment. Thank you for taking the time to read about some important developments, summarized below.

New Faculty

Our announced recruitment of 50 new faculty lines earlier this year is progressing extremely well, and we are already adding to the academic strength of UTA. Response to the solicitations in the Chronicle of Higher Education and other postings has been outstanding, yielding superior candidates with great depth of experience. This tells us that word of UTA’s excellence is spreading, and we are becoming better known across the nation.

Our Carnegie Classification R-1 “Highest Research Activity” standing has also made a huge difference in how UTA is perceived academically and in the eyes of the general public. We are being noticed, and this heightened attention is producing great dividends in many ways.

As you walk the campus, please look for the new faces that just may be candidates for positions and welcome them to UTA. A complete listing of our new faculty members will be shared in the Fall 2016 New Faculty Brochure, already in production.

Changes and New Opportunities

One of UTA’s most beloved academic leaders will leave us this year. Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Director of University College Kimberly van Noort has accepted a position as Vice President for Academic Programs and Instructional Strategy at the University of North Carolina System in Chapel Hill. Kim was the only UTA staff member I knew and with whom I had worked prior to joining UTA, and I will always be grateful for her expertise, warm spirit of collaboration, and all that she has invested in her years of service to this university. We wish her the best that a new challenge has to offer, and hope she will stay in touch with her former colleagues.

As is true of many dedicated employees at UTA, Kim’s titles were not by any means indicative of all she did for the university, and we will miss her.

Leadership of Undergraduate Studies will now be vested with Pranesh Aswath in his new role as Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Policy, and we plan to initiate a national search for new leadership of University College very soon. In the meantime, Liz Hannabas, Director of Advising, will serve as interim Director of University College. I want to extend my appreciation to Liz for her willingness to step up to this new role.

The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs position, which has been vacant for some time, is now posted, and we encourage any qualified candidates from within UTA to consider applying themselves or sharing with potential external talent. The faculty senate strongly urged me to re-institute, this staff position and I agree that it fills an obvious void. The individual selected for this role will be a dedicated advocate for the concerns of the faculty, serve as a liaison from the provost’s office to faculty, attend to academic personnel matters, and ensure that faculty concerns and viewpoints are represented to the senior administration.

Relocation of CMAS and CAAS

After consultation with a variety of stakeholders, I have decided to move the Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) and the Center for African American Studies (CAAS) into the Office of the Provost. This change is made to give these core functions more visibility and to demonstrate UTA’s commitment to truly supporting diversity - not only among our student body - but with regard to faculty, staff, curriculum, and program offerings. We want above all to signal to the external community the importance we place on a rich, inclusive, and welcoming climate at all levels within the university and to truly be the place that lives up to its “5th most diverse” status.

The current director of CAAS, Schnavia Hatcher, has accepted an appointment to become Director of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Schnavia was the founding director of CAAS and a driving force in its creation and service to the campus and broader community. We have her to thank for the accomplishments of the center, the impact it has had, the programming it has offered, and we wish her the best in her new position.

We will initiate a national search shortly to identify and appoint a successor to follow in Schnavia’s footsteps and lead CAAS to even greater achievements. I am pleased to say that Dr. Christian Zlolniski will continue his inspiring and dedicated leadership of CMAS.

60X30TX Conference

Finally, I hope many of you are aware by now that UTA will be the host site of the first regional 60X30TX conference on Tuesday, April 5th. This is shaping up to be a very exciting opportunity to showcase our leadership in this area, to share successes we have had in strengthening the K-12 pipeline and getting more young people into and through college, and to foster constructive dialogue on how we can all work together to do even more to reach the state’s higher education goals. We expect a robust showing of ISD partners, community colleges, universities, non-profit educational organizations and the local business community. Your dean has received the invitation and is determining who in your college should attend, and we hope to have a strong showing of UTA faculty, staff, and employees.

Thank you for taking the time to read this to the end (!), and for your support in my first few months as Interim Provost at UTA. Please do let me know if you have any questions or concerns you wish to share. I look forward to working with all of you to enhance our areas of excellence, and build more reasons to be proud that we work for and serve the educational needs of North Texas at a university of excellence, access, and success.

Linda K. Johnsrud,
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs






Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs - UT Arlington

321 Davis Hall • Box 19118 • Arlington, TX 76019


817-272-2103 (voice) • 817-272-3400 (fax)