UNT Dallas Milestones


  • State Senator Royce West and Representative Helen Giddings introduced SCR 75 at Texas’ 75th Legislative Session.  The bill authorized the establishment of a commission to study the creation of an institution of higher learning to be located in southern Dallas County. The bill passed but was vetoed by the governor.
  • Not to be deterred, organizers formed the Southern Dallas County Higher Education Feasibility Task Force.  That summer the Task Force made a formal request to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to conduct the study.
  • By fall the coordinating board commissioner had appointed a special committee to coordinate the study.


  • In July the committee recommended that the study area be broadened to include Ellis County as well as southern Dallas County.
  • In September the University of North Texas was selected to be the new university’s educational partner.


  • In January the coordinating board granted permission to the University of North Texas to open the UNT System Center  at Dallas.
  • In June  the Texas Legislature and governor approved a $4.2 million appropriation to fund start-up costs and operations at the System Center.  Support for the funding was led by Senator West and Representative Giddings.


  • Dr. Virginia Wheeless, UNT’s Associate Chancellor for Planning, was appointed the System Center’s interim executive director.
  • In the fall the institution began offering degree-related programs at temporary quarters in a Dallas business park.


  • On May 8, Governor Rick Perry signed into law Senate Bill 576, which formally created an independent University of North Texas at Dallas.  Enrollment had surpassed the 1,000-students threshold, required before independent status could be triggered.
  • Dr. John Ellis Price was named UNTD’s first chief executive officer. 


  • The Communities Foundation of Texas awarded the UNT System a $500,000 planning grant to fund a high quality, professional master plan for property UNTD owned.  Consisting of 264 wooded acres, the site was ideally located just east of I-20 on what was then Houston School Road. 
  • The Legislature authorized $25.4 million for construction of UNTD’s initial academic building.


  • The master plan for UNTD’s new Dallas campus, which took 18 months to complete, was approved.
  • Ground was broken in October to begin construction of UNTD’s initial academic building—a 75,000 square foot, three-story structure.


  • The initial academic building was completed and occupied.


  • In May Governor Perry signed Senate Bill 629, which released $25 million in revenue bonds.
  • Construction got underway on a second, companion academic building.
  • Work began on Vision 2020:  A Framework for Achieving Comprehensive University Status.  The effort was spearheaded by Bain & Co.
  • Legislation establishing the UNT Dallas College of Law passed and was signed by Governor Perry.


  • The second academic building was completed and occupied.
  • In the fall UNTD welcomed its first freshman class.
  • A $5 million appropriation to fund start-up costs for the law school was authorized in the 2010-2011 state budget.


  • The UNT Dallas Commission on Building the University of the 21st Century was formed.
  • Houston School Road north of I-20 is renamed University Hills Boulevard.


  • The Commission issued its report, which made recommendations which focused on teaching, students, and affordability.


  • Senior U.S. District Judge Royal Ferguson, Jr., stepped down from his bench at the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, to become founding Dean of the UNT Dallas College of Law.
  • UNTD presented degrees to its first graduating class.
  • In June, UNTD received accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) retroactive to January 1, 2013.


  • The UNT Dallas College of Law admitted its first class


  • Former Dallas Morning News Editor in Chief Bob Mong named President of UNT Dallas


  • DART opens new UNT Dallas campus light rail station
  • Ground broken on UNT Dallas’ first residence hall, a milestone signifying the university’s continued growth
  • UNT Dallas announces record enrollment, exceeding 3,000 students for the first time


  • UNT System acquires the historic City of Dallas Municipal Building (106 S. Harwood) to become the permanent home of UNT Dallas College of Law
  • UNT Dallas College of Law receives approval for provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association
  • UNT Dallas awarded $2.58 million for TRIO Upward Bound Programs by U.S. Department of Education
  • UNT Dallas becomes a residential campus with the opening of University Hall, the campus’ first residence hall


  • UNT Dallas earned reaffirmation of its accreditation from the SACSCOC
  • UNT Dallas is ranked as the lowest debt upon graduation of any university in the United States


  • UNT Dallas opened the $63 million Student Center
  • UNT Dallas College of Law moved into the former Dallas City Hall following— a $71 million renovation on the historically significant building


  • Celebrated 10-year anniversary.
  • Launched Trailblazer Elite Program providing strategic services and resources to 18-22-year-olds who are first generation students and starting college for the first time.
  • Selected to manage Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership program which offers impactful internship opportunities to students.
  • Received approval for the Caruth Police Institute to provide Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) training to the Dallas Police Department.