Honors College Dean returns to teaching

Honors College Dean returns to teaching

March 10
00:03 2015

Steven James / Senior Staff Writer

After taking on the role of honors program director in 1994 and then Honors College dean in 2005, Gloria Cox will be returning to full-time teaching as an associate political science professor to help teach classes and return to her research interests.

Cox earned her Ph.D. in political science from the University of South Carolina in 1984. She said she is looking forward to returning to her research which have focused on privacy and security, mainly the identifiable information government agencies hold about individuals.

“In those days, the primary value was making sure that government agencies did not share information with one another and that individuals preserved for themselves certain aspects of life that were beyond government scrutiny,” Cox said.

 “I am already thinking about ways to study the issue again in its modern context. That may prove to be a challenge.” 

gloria_cox

Dean of Honors College Gloria Cox

Cox has been at UNT since 1990 and said she gave up full-time teaching in 2005 when the honors program became a college. Cox  will officially step down May 31.

“The decision to have an honors program and then an honors college was made at higher administrative levels, and it was not a sudden decision,” Cox said. “Over time, UNT followed the national trend, which was to establish an honors college. Such a college has benefits for students as well as the institution, so I think the Honors College has been a good thing for UNT and will continue to be.”

Cox said nearly 2,000 students are currently enrolled in the Honors College, an increase from 700 in 2005. Other than helping create the Honors College, Cox also helped in the creation of Honors Hall, UNT’s first honors dorm.

“In honors, the emphasis is on a broad-based education that will serve the student in whatever he or she pursues,” Cox said. “Whether the individual goes into a doctoral program in the humanities or to dental school, the ability to think, write and speak well will be useful.”

In order to be eligible for admission to the Honors College, an incoming freshman must score at least a 1200 on the math and verbal sections of the SAT or a 27 on the ACT, accumulate a 3.75 GPA and complete an essay that follows one of the prompts on the application form, according to the college’s website. For incoming transfer students, a minimum college GPA of 3.35 is required, in addition to less than 72 credit hours by the start of the student’s first semester.

The Honors College also provides students with undergraduate research opportunities, scholarships and social events that help students interact and network with other students and professors.

“UNT’s Honors College has an excellent reputation,” Cox said. “It is highly regarded by deans and directors who work with Honors. I hope and believe that, over time, it will come to be seen as one of the nation’s finest.”

Marketing director Diana Dunklau said she will miss Cox’s dynamic personality as well as her energy.

“She’s got a very dry sense of humor and sees the humor in life,” Dunklau said. “She was always trying to find ways to get Honors more integrated on campus, make sure everyone knew there was an Honors College, try to bring more people in.”

Cox’s replacement will be Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science Dean Glênisson de Oliveira, who will act as interim dean until a permanent replacement is found.

Dunklau said since de Oliveira came to UNT in January, he has shown appreciation for the talents and the hard work of people in the Honors College.

Senior academic counselor Sean Ryan said he remembered walking to Cox’s office sometimes to ask her to sign things, but staying for nearly 45 minutes conversing about politics.

“I’ve worked for Dr. Cox for five years now, and I think that she is somebody who has kind of inspired me to serve our students and provide a really rich undergraduate experience through the honors curriculum that we offer,” Ryan said. “She’s still on campus and I’m sure that I’m still going to see her and be able to have those conversations with her.”

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