One of the nation’s premier authorities on apparel, textiles, sustainability and international business – Jana Hawley – is joining the University of North Texas as the new dean of its College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism.
Hawley’s appointment begins Aug. 1. In her role as the college’s dean, she will have authority over research, outreach and curriculum.
“I’m excited that Jana Hawley has chosen to return to UNT and lead our college at this important time in its growth,” UNT Provost Jennifer Cowley said. “She will bring with her a wealth of knowledge from both her research and her ties to corporate retail leadership that will help UNT continue its momentum in key areas like consumer experience, data management and digital analysis. I’m looking forward to what we will achieve under her leadership.”
Hawley replaces Judith Forney, who has served as dean since 2001 and is stepping down to pursue teaching and academic interests.
Hawley previously served at UNT from 1998 to 2000, when she was an assistant professor in the then-named School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management.
Hawley comes from the University of Arizona, where she served as director of the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, as well as a professor and the PetSmart® endowed chair. During her tenure, she led the programs for retail and consumer sciences, and family studies and human development. She also was a founding unit head member for the university’s transgender studies certificate and interim director for the Take Charge America Institute, which helps high school students become fiscally-savvy consumers by teaching them about personal finance.
“I always have kept UNT on my radar and watched the growth from afar,” she said. “Dr. Forney has done a really creative job of building an outstanding program, and I want to give her kudos for that. People are watching what’s happening here. UNT’s College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism is on the national radar and is well positioned to become one of the preeminent schools in the nation.”
Hawley plans to keep the college moving forward with current initiatives while incorporating some unique ideas of her own – such as developing a professional development center for students, increasing collaboration with businesses internationally and growing the college’s research initiatives surrounding recycling and sustainability.
“The hotel and the clothing industries both have bad reputations for being hard on the environment,” Hawley said. “We have to give new attention to developing sustainable business practices so that we can take care of people and the planet and to be able to do it profitably.”
Hawley is internationally recognized for her work surrounding ethical sustainability for the apparel industry, service learning and global initiatives. Additionally, she regularly serves as a sustainability consultant for retailers and is closely connected with corporate retail leadership, including executives from Macy’s, Walmart, REI and other companies, and she is active on the Council for Textile Recycling board. Among her reach, Hawley has worked alongside fair trade organizations to create women's economic cooperatives in underdeveloped countries. She also has served as president for the International Textile and Apparel Association, worked with a recycling conference in Japan and spent time with an eco-design program in South Korea. She's also been named a global scholar to Thailand, India and Turkey; has earned fellowships with the HERS Summer Institute and the Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development; and has been named a Fulbright Scholar to India.
Prior to her current UNT appointment, Hawley held faculty positions at the University of Missouri, Kansas State University and Indiana University. She completed her doctoral degree from the University of Missouri, her master’s degree from Oklahoma State University in clothing and textiles management and her bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas.