Patrick Pluscht joined UNT World from the University of Alabama System in 1997 to help Dr. Philip Turner (retired) start distance education at UNT. Since then, Pluscht has served in various leadership positions at the university, on the boards of professional organizations and on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board advisory committee related to learning technology. At UNT, he currently serves on a small, but mighty, team known as DSI Growth that identifies and promotes programs ready to grow online.
What is your favorite aspect of your job ?
I’ve always enjoyed opportunities to connect people and ideas across an organization to accomplish outcomes that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. My current supervisor in DSI Growth is convinced that I’m friends with most people on the UNT campus, which can be partially attributed to my longevity at UNT and my native extroversion. But it’s also a reflection of my passion for being a connector. I’m a strong believer in “We’re better together” and that makes my current role promoting online enrollment growth a really good fit.
What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World?
I’d like to see more mentoring opportunities for staff across UNT World. I’m amplifying this idea from Dr. Adam Fein, UNT Vice President for Digital Strategy & Innovation, who is exploring mentoring possibilities for our division with the recognition that we have robust mentoring programs for faculty and students at UNT, but not for our staff.
What is your proudest work moment?
Awards and recognition are really nice, but my proudest moments have been related to creating experiences where individuals can share their stories with community members – whether to challenge them, enlighten them or inspire them.
What is your proudest non-work moment?
My proudest non-work moments are related to my three children. Lydia, Caroline and Julian each have academic, athletic and creative accomplishments they’ve worked hard to achieve, but what makes me most proud is when I witness them being kind and generous and standing up for social justice and for those without a voice. It gives me hope for the future.
What fact about you might surprise your colleagues?
I’m kind of an open book, but maybe not everyone knows I am an amateur magician, I shot coaches’ film for the Alabama Crimson Tide Football program under Gene Stallings in the early 1990s, and I have fond memories of skydiving and scuba diving while at the University of Alabama.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE...
Place to visit?: San Francisco Bay Area or most anywhere in Europe
Hobbies?: Collecting vinyl records (since high school) and taking sunset photos
Thing to do?: Attend live music shows or festivals with friends