I’m going to be hiring my first staff member at UNT soon (
more details to come!), and this has led me to think about recruiting people to work in Denton, Texas. I hope what’s below will help not only me but others at UNT and TWU recruiting job candidates: per the Creative Commons license attached to this posting, please feel free to adapt it for your own use.
The city of Denton is located about 40 miles from both Dallas and Fort Worth, in a region of nearly 7 million people, and even closer to two major hub airports: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field. It is home to two public universities: the University of North Texas (the largest and most comprehensive university in the region, with more than 38,000 students and 120 graduate degree programs) and Texas Woman’s University (the nation’s largest university primarily for women and the one of the ten most ethnically diverse universities in the country, with approximately 15,000 students). Like any other college town, Denton has plenty of coffee shops, yoga studios, natural-food stores, and funky eateries, but it distinguishes itself with its active music scene. Each year sees the opening of new upscale bars, restaurants, and coffee shops.
The main campuses of both universities are located about a mile from the Downtown Square, containing the historic Denton County courthouse and surrounding park and independent businesses, including Recycled, a 17,000-square-foot store selling used books, music, and film. Both campuses are quite compact and walkable, and UNT especially has a number of places to grab lunch just off campus.
The climate is generally quite sunny, and summers, while hot, tend to have low humidity.
A few cool thing about Denton:
- The city runs its own electric company, which gets about 40% of its energy from renewable sources (wind). Denton is the first city in the world to combine biogas extraction and mining for recyclables in the city landfill as additional sources of energy.
- Denton was the first city in Texas to ban fracking, though the law was preempted by a state law stripping the power of municipalities to regulate oil and gas extraction.
- You can legally consume alcoholic beverages in public (but not in glass containers), including bringing your own to the free Twilight Tunes concerts on the Downtown Square, the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, and Denton Blues Festival.
- Denton is also home to two major ticketed music festivals (Oaktopia and 35 Denton.) and the Thin Line Film Festival, which includes not only documentary film but also music and photography, and the Denton Black Film Festival.
While UNT began as a teacher-training college, it has long been known for its College of Music, the largest in the nation. While it is now a top-tier research university, in many ways UNT has the feel of an art school: an alternative student body; a strong commitment to renewable energy (100% of campus electricity!), sustainability, LEED-certified construction; and a mediocre athletic program. The first all-vegan dining hall at a college in the US (Mean Greens) is located on campus and is popular with not just students but also faculty and staff. There’s a number of other places to grab lunch just off campus.
While freshmen who just graduated from high school are required to live on campus, the university accepts a large number of transfer students. The student body is incredibly diverse, with many first-generation college students.
In 2011 UNT became the second public university in the US to adopt a campus-wide open-access policy.
The UNT Libraries
The UNT Libraries have four physical locations on campus but an even larger digital footprint, with digital-library collections including over 10 million items—many in the Portal to Texas History, which has millions of online users each year and is the largest service hub for the Digital Public Library of America. The Libraries are a world leader in web archiving, becoming the first non-federal library to participate in the Federal Information Preservation Network (FIPNet) and to be designated an affiliated archive of the National Archives and Records Administration. Since 2010, the Libraries have hosted an annual open-access symposium with speakers from around the world, and our dean of libraries is the driving force behind the Cross Timbers Library Collaborative, which brings together library staff from across the region for professional development and collaboration. The Libraries receive about $1 million per year in funding from grants and foundations.
Quite a few members of the UNT Libraries staff have been hired in the past few years. Of those who live in Denton, a good number bike or walk to work, and a handful of us can be found at lunchtime at Mean Greens.