2007 Reaffirmation Teams
2.4 - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams
The institution has a clearly defined, comprehensive, and published mission statement that is specific to the institution and appropriate for higher education. The mission addresses teaching and learning and, where applicable, research and public service.
The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) has a clearly defined mission statement that has received approval of The University of Texas System (UT System) Board of Regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and that is disseminated to the university’s constituents. The mission statement is specific to UT Dallas, especially in light of its founding, and is appropriate to an institution of higher education. As discussed in more detail in response to Principle 2.5, the statement guides the university’s planning process .
Section 61.0511 of the Texas Education Code (TEC) requires that every university or other institution of higher education establish a mission statement “reflecting the three missions of higher education: teaching, research, and service .” UT Dallas’ mission includes serving Texas by producing high quality education and research that prepares students for life. Specifically, the mission statement reads as follows:
“The University of Texas at Dallas serves the Metroplex and the State of Texas as a global leader in innovative, high quality science, engineering, and business education and research.
The University is committed to (1) producing engaged graduates, prepared for life, work, and leadership in a constantly changing world, (2) advancing excellent educational and research programs in the natural and social sciences, engineering and technology, management, and the liberal, creative, and practical arts, and (3) transforming ideas into actions that directly benefit the personal, economic, social, and cultural lives of the citizens of Texas .”
This mission statement is particularly reflective of UT Dallas because of the university’s original founding as the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies by the founders of Texas Instruments . These individuals donated the center to the state of Texas and the UT System, and on June 13, 1969 Governor Preston Smith signed a bill  that established UT Dallas and which is codified in TEC Chapter 70 .
In alignment with its founding and with its mission statement, UT Dallas is committed to becoming:
- A first-rank public research university with focused centers of excellence, prepared to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing, technology-driven global society
- A global force in innovative, transdisciplinary research and education in emerging areas of technology, science, and learning
- A ground-breaking leader in both framing and answering the questions faced by business, policy makers, healthcare, and the public
- A synergistic partner with local industry, government, and cultural organizations as well as local K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities
- One of the most creative, innovative universities in the nation and world.
The current mission statement emerged from an intensive and inclusive process , initiated in 2005 by the new president (Dr. David Daniel) upon assuming office, which involved the university’s major stakeholders and over 200 faculty, staff, and students.
The newly developed strategic plan was developed directly from the mission statement and demonstrates through the initiatives and action items therein how the university uses the mission statement as a guide for present and future planning . The plan encompasses six strategic initiatives:
- Discovering Tomorrow’s Inventions Today
- Preparing Students for Tomorrow’s Challenges
- Managing Change in a Constantly Changing Society
- Securing the Safety of the Future
- Improving the Health and Quality of Life of Individuals and Society
- Making a Great City Even Greater
These six initiatives are interlocked and deliberately overlap each other. They transcend traditional disciplines, involve the entire UT Dallas community, and will enable UT Dallas to better fulfill its mission to serve the region and the state. The goal of these initiatives is to transform UT Dallas into a dynamic, intellectual, research force that has direct and powerful impact on the quality of the intellectual, cultural, physical, and economic life of Dallas’ citizens as well as the students at the university, and the initiatives go hand in hand with meeting face-on the challenges which UT Dallas must overcome. Over the next ten years, these initiatives will provide a roadmap for UTD’s future. In doing so, the initiatives that were generated from the mission statement will be used both to direct the budgeting process  as discussed in the response to Principle 2.5  and to determine what new degree programs will be initiated .
The new UT Dallas Mission Statement was approved by the UT System Board of Regents on June 2, 2006  , and by the THECB on October 26, 2006 . At the recommendation of SACS Vice President Rudy Jackson, the mission statement from the strategic plan was sent to SACS President Belle Wheelan . Dr. Wheelan deemed the revision of the mission statement a non-substantive change .
In order to communicate UT Dallas’ mission to its constituents, UT Dallas publishes the mission statement in its graduate catalog  and undergraduate catalog , on the university website , in its strategic plan , and in multiple printed and electronic documents such as fact brochures  and fact websites .
As part of the assessment process, each school has aligned its program mission statements to UT Dallas’ mission statement, and UT Dallas’ assessment tool and repository (AT6) links these mission statements to objectives that in turn link to the strategic plan’s initiatives. The president reports the progress towards bringing these initiatives to fruition at annual state of the university addresses for faculty, staff, and students. The strategic plan is a living document and is under constant review to ensure that it is fulfilling the mission of the university.
The mission statement is also under constant review. The THECB requires that “as provided by Texas Education Code, §61.051(e), at least every four years the Board shall review the role and mission statements, the table of programs and all degree and certificate programs offered by each public senior university or health related institution. Requests for preliminary authority for new degree programs shall be presented as part of this review. The review shall include the participation of the institution’s board of regents .” The next review is scheduled for November 1, 2007 .