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University of North Texas names Warren Burggren provost

Denton Record-Chronicle
June 10, 2010
The University of North Texas recently named Warren Burggren as its provost and vice president for academic affairs. He has been dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for the past 12 years.

Burggren will begin July 1, replacing Wendy Wilkins, who is leaving the university to serve as executive vice president and provost at New Mexico State University in mid-July.

He will serve roughly two years, until a new UNT president is appointed and that person appoints a provost, said UNT President Lane Rawlins.

Burggren was selected from a handful of qualified candidates for his experience, administrative background and hard work, Rawlins said.

“He is trusted by his colleagues and by those that work with him, and for as long as he’s been doing this, that’s a strong testimony,” Rawlins said. “He has such a depth of experience here, and I have so little, I thought we’d be a good team.”

After speaking with Burggren, Rawlins said it was clear the two have similar academic values.

“I like the way he communicates and his style,” Rawlins said. “It’s low-key, but he’s intense about his objectives. His attitude is that he takes his job seriously, but he does not take himself too seriously. I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Wilkins said she recommended Burggren for the position, along with several other candidates, because he was familiar with the university and has a record of being a successful administrator. By serving as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, he’s had to pay attention to UNT’s central mission, she said.

“All deans are central to UNT’s mission, but the College of Arts and Sciences serves every student that comes through the institution, and the provost typically comes from the world of arts and sciences,” Wilkins said.

During his tenure as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Burggren has had several opportunities to be provost at UNT, but the timing didn’t seem right until now, he said.

Burggren said he saw a challenge in helping UNT carry out its strategic plan to become a national research university.

“The fundamentals are just incredible at UNT, everything is in place and we can now let our breath out,” Burggren said. “We now know the cast and characters for the next year or so and the drama is over. We can now get down to the task at hand.”

With the current and projected budgetary constraints, there will likely be allocations and reallocations of money that flows through the university toward research initiatives, including building stronger science, technology and engineering programs, he said.
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