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Great Piece on UNT Football by 247


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36 minutes ago, keith said:

Nice article.  Looking forward to the day the word potential is clearly and unmistakably in the rear-view mirror when it comes to North Texas football.  Let's do this!  Go Mean Green!!!

I'm looking forward to the day that the word "potential" is in the rear view mirror in reference to the WHOLE SCHOOL and it's attitude about supporting athletics.

I find it interesting that the word "culture" was used regarding the main change(s) that the coaching staff was/is working on.

We know who is in charge of culture change on the west side of 35, WHO'S IN CHARGE OF CULTURE CHANGE ON THE EAST SIDE?

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16 hours ago, SilverEagle said:

WHO'S IN CHARGE OF CULTURE CHANGE ON THE EAST SIDE?

There's so much debate about that and how to go about it and what people want the university to be. 

Argument 1)  We need as many students as possible to be a juggernaut force in the state (that a good percentage of those students are not college ready and that it requires an increase in remedial classes is mere collateral damage.  They have student loan checkbooks that pay various and sundry fees toward things we like) 

Argument 2)  We need to be more selective and maybe reduce enrollment to increase the standard of students admitted and perhaps attract higher profile faculty and research dollars (That this would likely considerably reduce that attention paid toward things like athletics is mere collateral damage)

Argument 3)  We are and always have been a nice pragmatic choice for area students going into nice pragmatic non-extraordinary but fulfilling careers (Only at same ole' little ole' UNT.  Who's got  a bulldozer that can tear down all these invasive new houses and commercial real estate?) 

I don't think anybody related to UNT, student, alum, faculty, administration, really has a firm grasp on what the future of the university should really be. 

Edited by oldguystudent
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22 minutes ago, oldguystudent said:

There's so much debate about that and how to go about it and what people want the university to be. 

Argument 1)  We need as many students as possible to be a juggernaut force in the state (that a good percentage of those students are not college ready and that it requires an increase in remedial classes is mere collateral damage.  They have student loan checkbooks that pay various and sundry fees toward things we like) 

Argument 2)  We need to be more selective and maybe reduce enrollment to increase the standard of students admitted and perhaps attract higher profile faculty and research dollars (That this would likely considerably reduce that attention paid toward things like athletics is mere collateral damage)

Argument 3)  We are and always have been a nice pragmatic choice for area students going into nice pragmatic non-extraordinary but fulfilling careers (Only at same ole' little ole' UNT.  Who's got  a bulldozer that can tear down all these invasive new houses and commercial real estate?) 

I don't think anybody related to UNT, student, alum, faculty, administration, really has a firm grasp on what the future of the university should really be. 

 Well, building a new and very modern football facility (instead of a new-but-bare-minimum facility) and putting up more money for noticeably (for North Texas) higher paid Athletic coaches and administrators, would seem to indicate that they are interested in changing the culture at North Texas regarding athletics. And I assume that by doing those things, the administration wants to move up the food chain of college athletics. That's not going to happen without larger numbers of butts-in-the-seats, and larger numbers of the aforementioned back sides in the seats is not going to happen without a serious culture change from the days of " good ol' pragmatic North Texas".

I think the administration should have realized by now that "build it and they will come" hasn't happened like they hoped it would. Our nice and modern facility has been in place for six years now and we've yet to sell it out. Part of that is w/l records, but IMHO just as much of it is CULTURAL.

So, once again, the coaching staff seems to be doing their part to change the culture of the football team, who is responsible for changing the student body/faculty/alumni cultural attitudes? 

As my dear department mother used to say "it take two to tango".

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2 hours ago, SilverEagle said:

 Well, building a new and very modern football facility (instead of a new-but-bare-minimum facility) and putting up more money for noticeably (for North Texas) higher paid Athletic coaches and administrators, would seem to indicate that they are interested in changing the culture at North Texas regarding athletics. And I assume that by doing those things, the administration wants to move up the food chain of college athletics. That's not going to happen without larger numbers of butts-in-the-seats, and larger numbers of the aforementioned back sides in the seats is not going to happen without a serious culture change from the days of " good ol' pragmatic North Texas".

I think the administration should have realized by now that "build it and they will come" hasn't happened like they hoped it would. Our nice and modern facility has been in place for six years now and we've yet to sell it out. Part of that is w/l records, but IMHO just as much of it is CULTURAL.

So, once again, the coaching staff seems to be doing their part to change the culture of the football team, who is responsible for changing the student body/faculty/alumni cultural attitudes? 

As my dear department mother used to say "it take two to tango".

Not sure why anybody thinks that facilities are going to significantly increase attendance.  It just doesn't happen, even when it is great leap like from Fouts to Apogee.

As part of the on-going arms race, facilities do matter as they should lead to better recruiting, that should ultimately lead to winning, that if done on a consistent basis should increase attendance.  That is a slow process and only works with the right hires and a continued long term investment in athletics. 

Blaming culture like RV, McCarney and countless others, is just an excuse.   NT is not that different than most of their peers, attendance is a problem.   It has little to do with culture, it does have a lot to do with competition for the entertainment dollar and a significantly dwindling overall sport fan base.    

For decades NT has hung around D1 sports by a thread, with a budget just high enough to stay on the fringes.   I guess you could label that culture, but it is a self-inflicted kind.  NT has significantly upped their ante in college sports and what used to be a major obstacle is no longer at the G5 level.  The next step is to win substantially more then you lose. 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, oldguystudent said:

I don't think anybody related to UNT, student, alum, faculty, administration, really has a firm grasp on what the future of the university should really be. 

It looks like there has been a failure to communicate goals, but leadership is very much oriented to accomplish two tasks:

  1. Acquire Texas Tier 1 status, as recognized in HB 51.
  2. Become a leading research institute in the state of Texas.

To accomplish this over the last several years the school has:

  • Spent millions on Talon, an HPC (super computer) that allows current researchers to perform complex work here.  Instead of having to farm out work to other places, for example Sandia National Labs.  This in turn attracts more competitive faculty.  Think of it as building an IPF for BioEngineers.  
  • Created a new Strategic Plan for Research and poured millions into accomplishing those actions/goals.
  • Built the Life Sciences Complex to increase lab spaces, both for instruction and research.  Those lab spaces are top notch, I would stand them up against any school in the country.
  • Just finished remodeling the Science Research Building, this is almost all for new research laboratory space.  
  • Funded new research clusters, that have drawn very good faculty to the university.  This is very expensive.  To draw a top chemist from another research university for example, is probably going to cost $3 million in startup alone.  
  • We have become more selective in our admissions, this is directly related to HB 51. 
  • We have increased staffing in teaching roles in order to make sure faculty can focus on helping PHD candidates.  We have hit the 200 PHDs a year goal for HB 51. 
  • College of Arts and Science is being split, so that the sciences part can go into their own college.   The president promises to throw additional funding at them, in return he is expecting federal grant expenditures to go up, also a HB51 goal.  

So maybe the message hasn't reached off campus.  But I am pretty sure most people on campus (faculty/staff/administration) have a pretty good idea of leadership's goals.

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On 4/5/2017 at 11:03 AM, Cerebus said:

It looks like there has been a failure to communicate goals, but leadership is very much oriented to accomplish two tasks:

  1. Acquire Texas Tier 1 status, as recognized in HB 51.
  2. Become a leading research institute in the state of Texas.

To accomplish this over the last several years the school has:

  • Spent millions on Talon, an HPC (super computer) that allows current researchers to perform complex work here.  Instead of having to farm out work to other places, for example Sandia National Labs.  This in turn attracts more competitive faculty.  Think of it as building an IPF for BioEngineers.  
  • Created a new Strategic Plan for Research and poured millions into accomplishing those actions/goals.
  • Built the Life Sciences Complex to increase lab spaces, both for instruction and research.  Those lab spaces are top notch, I would stand them up against any school in the country.
  • Just finished remodeling the Science Research Building, this is almost all for new research laboratory space.  
  • Funded new research clusters, that have drawn very good faculty to the university.  This is very expensive.  To draw a top chemist from another research university for example, is probably going to cost $3 million in startup alone.  
  • We have become more selective in our admissions, this is directly related to HB 51. 
  • We have increased staffing in teaching roles in order to make sure faculty can focus on helping PHD candidates.  We have hit the 200 PHDs a year goal for HB 51. 
  • College of Arts and Science is being split, so that the sciences part can go into their own college.   The president promises to throw additional funding at them, in return he is expecting federal grant expenditures to go up, also a HB51 goal.  

So maybe the message hasn't reached off campus.  But I am pretty sure most people on campus (faculty/staff/administration) have a pretty good idea of leadership's goals.

As somebody who right now has submitted several grant proposals in order to make the step from postdoc to junior faculty in cognitive and psychiatric neuroimaging these are indeed some of the things where I would be looking and saying do I want to go there or do I not. And it seems UNT is clearly making an effort that will eventually pay off. For example the life science complex: will I find labs that can handle what I need from collaborators. Sure increases that chance. And I definitely am using parallel computing from the computing center at my current institution and would not consider going somewhere that can not keep up on that front of infrastructure. And you'd be surprised how many universities can't. But also: how much basic teaching will I have to do, and how much actual science time will I find. How stupid are the students I will have to deal with (the less stupid the more fun this will be). So these are all really important steps in how academic people in the life sciences and similar look at an institution. I will be honest, in my little field UNT isn't really a player yet, but these are the things that make you go: hmm I should at least consider what could happen there and what I could build with this infrastructure

Edited by outoftown
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