May 28, 2020
Dr. Santos-Hatchett at citizenship graduation

For 10 years, Dr. Sheryl Santos-Hatchett has helped to make history at UNT Dallas. Upon her retirement at the end of May, she’ll make a little more as the UNT System Board of Regents has granted her professor emeritus status.

She becomes the first UNT Dallas professor emeritus. Royal Furgeson, the inaugural dean of the UNT Dallas College of Law, was the first granted emeritus status. A faculty member must be retiring from a tenured faculty appointment, have been a member of the faculty for at least 10 years and have a record of distinguished service to be eligible for emeritus status.

“Being granted emeritus status by the UNT System Board of Regents is the highest honor for a university academic,” Santos-Hatchett said. “Being named the first emeritus professor of our campus is an institutional recognition of having devoted 10 wonderful years of my life contributing to the fulfillment of the noble mission and vision of the University of North Texas at Dallas, which will surely become the alma mater to many thousands of deserving students in the decades to follow.”

Dr. Santos-Hatchett served a significant role in the growth experienced by the School of Education and UNT Dallas today. She joined UNT Dallas in 2010 as dean and professor of the School of Education and Human Services. In 2015, she transitioned to a joint appointment as professor of Education and department coordinator of Languages and Communication in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In 2018, she was appointed professor of Bilingual Education and program coordinator of EC-12 Spanish (LOTE) teacher certification program.

“When I arrived at UNT Dallas in June 2010, Founders Hall had not yet been completed and all of our institutional accreditations were still tied to UNT Denton,” Santos-Hatchett said. “So, here I am, 10 years later, so proud of the development and accomplishments I have witnessed. This is truly a miracle university, the long-time dream of our extraordinary Senator Royce West and others who fought so hard and long to create the first public, four-year university in the city of Dallas.”

Santos-Hatchett’s colleagues describe her as very student-centric, because she has gone over and above in meeting the needs of our students from underserved and underrepresented communities. 

“For 10 years, Dr. Sheryl Santos-Hatchett has served in lead roles that have directly influenced the remarkable growth experienced today by the School of Education and UNT Dallas,” Provost Betty Stewart said. “Her energy, innovation and infectious optimism will be missed by our campus community. We wish her the best in retirement and could not be more pleased to still be able to call on her expertise, now as professor emeritus.”

In 2017, she was recognized by the Faculty Alliance with the Service Award.  In 2018, she chaired the International Education subcommittee responsible for bringing study abroad to UNT Dallas for the first time.