University of North Texas Hurley Administration Building for stock use only

University of North Texas Hurley Administration Building.

Two University of North Texas campuses are preparing to serve as distribution centers for two vaccines against the coronavirus responsible for the ongoing pandemic.

The announcement came toward the top of Thursday’s regents meeting for the university system.

The UNT Denton campus and Health Science Center in Fort Worth would likely serve as distribution centers, assuming the vaccines clear federal regulators in the near future.

Vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer must be stored in incredibly cold spaces, meaning not every facility has the option to even hold onto them long term.

Steve Maruszewski, UNT vice chancellor, estimated the Denton campus has a total of 100 cubic feet of adequate storage space, but officials are in the process of expanding that area.

Goodbye standardized tests

UNT President Neal Smatresk in his opening remarks to regents Thursday said the university is moving away from SAT and ACT test scores in its admissions process, as has been the recent trend across the country.

He said UNT would rely more heavily on class rank and GPA for admissions, which he said were often more reliable metrics.

He also made clear the university didn’t intend to raise tuition and fees this year.

The price tag of campus life

Despite an overall 4% increase in enrollment across the system, which of course leads to more incoming tuition money, the system took a sizeable financial hit from the pandemic.

Much of the lost money was due to the drastically reduced student population physically on campuses. That means less money to be made from dorms, dining facilities and retailers across campus.

That led to a $36.2 million dip from the combination of lost revenue and increased expenses.

Despite that, administrators managed to cut spending enough that no campus ended up experiencing a negative net impact.

A significant portion of those cuts came by eliminating or freezing 10% of the overall workforce across the system.

MARSHALL REID can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @MarshallKReid.

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