PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS AT DALLAS
Robert Mong has served as the President of the University of North Texas at Dallas and its College of Law since 2015. Under his leadership, the school has undergone transformational growth in enrollment, retention and number of graduates. During his tenure, the school also has expanded its facilities on both the southern Dallas campus and its downtown Dallas law school. Through UNT Dallas' various community service activities in urban Dallas County, the school also has increased its visibility and influence.
The school operates with a compelling vision to provide its students with a pathway to social and economic mobility. UNT Dallas works diligently to keep student costs affordable and contain debt. A recent national study ranked UNT Dallas as having the lowest debt upon graduation among all public universities in the United States.
UNT Dallas also has built strong partnerships with area school districts and with the Dallas County Community College District. The school is a partner with the Dallas Independent School District for Early College High Schools at Sunset, Lincoln and Seagoville high schools. UNT Dallas also was the most active four-year partner in the creation of the Dallas County Promise, an effort to provide free tuition to all seniors at 43 area high schools.
Since joining UNT Dallas, Mong has actively recruited dynamic talent to the campus to complement existing staff. Among those brought to UNT Dallas include Dr. Betty Stewart, Provost and Executive Vice President; Dr. Monica Williams, Vice President for Advancement, Marketing and Communications; Dr. John Gasko, Dean of the School of Education and its Emerging Teacher Institute; Nakia Douglas, Executive Director of TRIO and Precollegiate Programs; Cynthia Perez, Director of External Affairs; and Paul Corliss, Chief Communications Officer. Each has brought a unique set of skills and talents to propel the school's strategic mission and vision.
During Mong's tenure, UNT Dallas introduced its first residence hall and opened the UNT Dallas Rail Station on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit's Blue Line. The campus also enjoys robust DART bus service. Construction on the $63 million Student Center is scheduled to be completed this spring and the state-of-the-art, 136,000-square-foot facility will instantly become UNT Dallas' largest and most iconic building. UNT Dallas earned reaffirmation of its accreditation from the SACSCOC. The College of Law received provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association in June 2017, and the law school will move into the former Dallas City Hall in the summer of 2019 after a $71 million restoration is completed on the historically significant building.
The school has received in the last three-and-a-half years an unprecedented number of grants from federal and state government, corporations such as Toyota, Wipro, Texas Instruments and Kellogg's, foundations and individual philanthropic donors. We also sent our first students to medical school and on to an Ivy League graduate school.
Before joining UNT Dallas, Mong worked as a journalist for more than 40 years, most of it at The Dallas Morning News, where he served as managing editor and later as editor-in-chief. He also gained considerable business experience as the paper's general manager, and as CEO of the Messenger-Inquirer, a daily newspaper in Owensboro, KY. Throughout his business and journalism career, higher education was Mong's principal outlet for volunteer activities. He was a national leader by creating joint appointments between universities and The Dallas Morning News. These included arrangements with SMU, the University of Texas at Austin, UT-Arlington and UT Dallas. He also has chaired the national board of visitors at the Manship School at Louisiana State University since 2000.
Mong served as a Pulitzer Prize juror multiple times, including once as chair of the Gold Medal Public Service Committee, and once as chair of the Photography committee. During his time in Dallas Morning News management, the paper won nine Pulitzer Prizes and was named finalist 16 other times. In 1999, the Columbia Journalism Review named The News one of the five best newspapers in America based on a survey of peers.
From 1998 until 2015, Mong chaired The Dallas Morning News Charities that raised millions of dollars for the homeless and hungry in North Texas. He also was the prime mover in winning a grant from the Knight Foundation creating the Hispanic Families Network that trains Hispanic parents to use their social networks to promote the importance of early childhood education.
His awards include the National Empathy Award, given by the Volunteers of America annually to a journalist who has made their community a better place to live. Mong also helped create the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference at the University of North Texas, and served on the committee that started the Dallas Festival of Ideas.
He currently co-chairs the Southern Dallas Task Force of the Dallas Regional Chamber, a committee that raises visibility of business and entrepreneurial efforts in southern Dallas County.
He graduated from Haverford College in 1971, where he attended on a Scott Paper Company Scholarship. He received the Archibald MacIntosh Award for Scholarship, Integrity and Academic Achievement; was captain of the varsity football team both junior and senior seasons; and captain of the varsity baseball team his senior season (a he holds the 10th all-time highest career batting average of .357).
He also attended Stanford University's Executive Program in the Graduate School of Business.
Mong is married to former Los Angeles Times reporter Diane Reischel. They have two adult children -- Eric, 28, graduated from medical school and begins his residency in neurosurgery; and Elizabeth, 25, received a master's degree from Brite School of Theology, and is a middle school special education teacher.