The University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT Dallas) has named Dr. Macario Hernandez as its first Chief of Staff. Dr. Hernandez was selected as the top candidate for the position after a nationwide search. He began the newly created cabinet position on July 27 and has joined the UNT Dallas leadership team, reporting directly to University President Bob Mong.
In this new role, Hernandez will serve as a key strategist representing the President in critical support roles, while focusing on local, political, school district and legislative initiatives. He also will be involved in university decision-making, administrative operations and the highest-priority work of the university.
Dr. Hernandez joined the university after spending more than 20 years as a bilingual teacher and school administrator, supporting the educational needs of K-12 students in Dallas ISD. He most recently served as principal at Trinidad “Trini” Garza Early College High School (Garza), where he led the campus to nationwide accolades including the National Title-I Distinguished School Award in 2018 and the National Blue-Ribbon Award from the United States Department of Education in 2021.
Hernandez holds a B.A. in Social Science from the University of North Texas, an M.A. in Education from Texas Woman’s University, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies in Education from the University of Texas at Austin. He currently serves as a board member of the National Latino(a) Education Research and Policy Project where he works on initiatives aimed at diversifying the teacher and administrator workforce. He formerly served as President of the local League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC 272) where he supported efforts in areas of early college high schools, racial equity, social economic mobility, ethnic studies, voter empowerment, and community school partnerships.
A native of Oak Cliff, Dr. Hernandez always had a heart for serving his community and guiding young people in a positive direction. He began his career in Dallas as an at-risk youth counselor, quickly moving into public education after he noticed the profound effect that education made on young people striving to build a better future.
“Macario brings a wide array of talents and networks to UNT Dallas. We are extremely impressed with his long and masterful work with young people in southern Dallas,” said President Bob Mong.
No stranger to UNT Dallas, Hernandez partnered with the university and 826 Dallas Project while serving as principal at Garza to publish a book, Faceless: Untold Side Effects of Culture, Race, & COVID-19, which
is a collection of anecdotal stories and poems that shine light on the lived experiences many urban youths endured during the global pandemic.
“It has been my life’s calling to tap into the lived experiences of students, staff, and faculty to find common goals and establish authentic relationships,” said Hernandez. “My strong relational, collaborative, and organic approach to engage people from multiple backgrounds in various school communities and organizations aligns tightly with the mission of the University of North Texas at Dallas: to empower students, transform lives, and strengthen communities.”
As Chief of Staff to the President, Dr. Hernandez looks forward to building authentic relationships with the UNT Dallas Trailblazer family and working together to provide students a high-quality education that will enhance their social economic mobility.
“I will proudly serve the UNT Dallas mission and vision of transforming the community,” said Hernandez. “As someone who grew up in the Oak Cliff area, I know firsthand what obstacles many students face on their college journey. I can directly relate to the student body of UNT Dallas. Their stories will continue to be respected and valued because they are rooted in their own lived experiences. Being well-informed about the pressing challenges our communities of color face due to their historical lack of social mobility, specifically in the Southern Dallas area, gives me insight into past and current issues.”
The University of North Texas at Dallas empowers students, transforms lives and strengthens communities. UNT Dallas is one of the most diverse public universities in the metroplex, the only public, 4-year university in the City of Dallas and the most affordable 4-year university in Dallas-Fort Worth. UNT Dallas includes the UNT Dallas College of Law (accredited by the American Bar Association) in Downtown Dallas and is part of the University of North Texas System. For more information, visit untdallas.edu.