2007 Reaffirmation Teams
2.8 - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams
The number of full-time faculty members is adequate to support the mission of the institution and to ensure the quality and integrity of its academic programs. In addition, upon application for candidacy, an applicant institution demonstrates that it meets the comprehensive standard for faculty qualifications.
The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) has adequate full-time faculty to ensure the integrity and quality of its academic programs. As well, it has adequate and appropriate faculty resources to support the university’s mission. In fall 2006, UT Dallas employed 567 full-time faculty members (380 tenure-system and 187 nontenure-system). The university also employed 309 part-time instructors, including administrators, part-time lecturers, and staff. The written results of tenure- and nontenure-system faculty reviews are housed and available in the Executive Vice President and Provost’s Faculty Records Office; those of part-time faculty and teaching assistants are housed in the appropriate dean’s office. Both the full-time faculty members and the part-time instructors are appropriately qualified to teach at this particular institution; details about the qualifications can be found in UT Dallas’ response to Principle 3.7.1 .
As put forth in its most recent strategic plan , the mission of UT Dallas is 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.” UT Dallas seeks to employ qualified faculty members who can contribute to the fulfillment of this unique mission. They must be effective teachers as well as high-caliber scholars, researchers, and practitioners in the fields central to the university’s mission. The policies of The University of Texas System (UT System)  and of UT Dallas  outline the basic functions of faculty; the university employs the number and type of faculty that permit the best possible fulfillment of these functions. Current faculty numbers are determined by current needs; future numbers will be larger. Imperatives 1 and 2 of the aforementioned strategic plan  outline specific goals for increasing the size of the student body and of the faculty in order to enable the university to better fulfill its mission and aspirations.Faculty Classifications and Numbers
The largest group of full-time faculty is the tenure-system faculty. This group consists of faculty members holding the ranks of professor, associate professor, and assistant professor. The vast majority of professors and associate professors are tenured. Faculty members holding the rank of assistant professor are all untenured but considered on track for promotion and award of tenure after a probationary period. Almost all these faculty members hold the Ph.D. degree, most often from major research universities in the United States or abroad. The few who do not hold a doctoral degree or appropriate terminal degree have established their eminence in their field through their research and other scholarly activities. In fall 2006, UT Dallas had 380 faculty members in this category, of whom 179 (47.1%) were professors, 107 (28.1%) were associate professors, and 94 (24.7%) were assistant professors.
Several categories of full-time nontenure-system faculty exist. One category is composed of individuals holding the titles of visiting professor, visiting associate professor, or visiting assistant professor; these are considered tenure-system equivalents. These individuals are similar to tenure-system faculty members except that they generally hold tenured or tenure-track positions at other universities and are spending some time at UT Dallas. Such faculty members visit for at least one semester but may occasionally visit for up to two years. In fall 2006, 21 individuals were in this category, of whom nine were visiting professors, three were visiting associate professors, and nine were visiting assistant professors.
The remaining full-time non-tenure faculty members are divided into three subcategories. The majority of these individuals receive yearly contracts; some may receive contracts of up to three years per The University of Texas System (UT System) Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations (Regents’ Rules) ). In fall 2006, 166 persons fit into these subcategories. Individuals in this group usually receive yearly contracts, cannot be tenured, and cannot accrue toward tenure their service in this group. Further, except for those whose titles include the word “research,” there is no requirement that individuals in this group perform research activities (although research activity is not discouraged). Most individuals in this group perform primarily teaching functions with some also performing administrative functions within their school.
The first subcategory is made up of the ranks of research professor, clinical professor, and senior lecturer III. UT Dallas also employs one full-time distinguished scholar-in-residence whose qualifications place him in this subcategory. These individuals are usually senior scholars whose disciplinary accomplishments and experience is considered parallel to tenure-system faculty holding the rank of professor. In fall 2006, 25 faculty members, or 15% of the nontenure-system faculty, were in this subcategory. The second subcategory is made up of the ranks of clinical associate professor and senior lecturer II. Generally, these individuals have experience comparable to persons holding the rank of associate professor. The title of clinical associate professor is rarely used—only four individuals had this title in fall 2006. The remaining 24 members of this subcategory carry the title of senior lecturer II; they made up 16.87% of the nontenure-system category in fall 2006. The third subcategory, which accounts for the remaining 68.63% of the nontenure-system faculty members, is made up of the ranks of clinical assistant professor, clinical lecturer, and senior lecturer I. UT Dallas employed five clinical assistant professors who worked throughout the campus. The eight individuals holding the rank of clinical lecturer all work in the clinical areas of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences which has extensive academic programs in the disciplines of audiology and hearing and speech disorders that require students to participate in clinical training. The remaining 100 persons in this subcategory hold the rank of senior lecturer I and work throughout UT Dallas’ seven schools.
UT Dallas also employs part-time faculty. In fall 2006, 150 persons were employed as part-time lecturers (49.01 full-time equivalent (FTE)). These individuals are hired on a semester-by-semester basis and specifically for teaching particular courses. UT Dallas limits these individuals to teaching no more than two courses a semester. This group encompasses two sub-categories: part-time lecturer II and part-time lecturer I. In fall 2006, 34 persons (13.16 FTE) were in the former subcategory and 116 individuals (35.85 FTE) in the latter. It is anticipated that as UT Dallas increases the number of tenure-system faculty members (per the university’s most recent strategic plan ), the number of FTE in this category will decrease. However, the diversity of the cultural and business environment of the Dallas-Fort Worth area is so rich that some highly qualified individuals with unique accomplishments will likely always be hired in this category to provide enrichment to the academic programs.
The next largest category of faculty is graduate students. In fall 2006, 85 graduate students (24.10 FTE) were the instructors of record for courses (graduate students who taught ancillary problem, review, and/or laboratory sessions are not included in the FTE count). All of these individuals are credentialed using the credentialing forms adopted by UT Dallas’ Academic Senate . The largest use of graduate students is in the area of rhetoric (basic writing skills). UT Dallas requires incoming freshman students to take a three-hour course in this area. The graduate student teachers are trained in the curriculum used and their performance is closely monitored by the director of the rhetoric program   .
The final category of faculty is staff. In fall 2006, this category accounted for 74 individuals (18.95 FTE). Of these, 26 persons (7.39 FTE) are research staff. UT Dallas is fortunate in having a talented cadre of non-faculty research scientists who work as colleagues with UT Dallas faculty in the conduct of research. The research staff enriches the graduate teaching program through individual instruction of graduate students pursuing their dissertation research, and, occasionally, teaching organized courses in specialized areas in which they are well qualified. Two individuals (1.88 FTE) in the staff category are academic administrators. This category can include deans, associate deans, and assistant deans who are still active in research activities. The majority of their instruction is conducted individually with graduate students pursuing research. Nineteen (5.71 FTE) directors of UT Dallas academic and administrative units were involved in instruction. As in the case of academic administrators, most of this instruction is conducted on an individual basis. The final 27 persons (3.96 FTE) in this category are professional staff; this group is diverse. It includes sports coaches who teach for-credit courses in their particular sport. As well, it includes professional staff members who teach the one-credit-hour course designed to orient students to the college experience that is required of incoming freshmen. Finally, it also includes clinical staff members who instruct, for example, audiology students in methods and techniques relevant to their professional training . Again, these individuals are credentialed and have been deemed qualified using UT Dallas’ credentialing process    .Primary Duties of Faculty
Series 31004, Section 4 of the Regents’ Rules defines the primary duties of faculty as teaching, research, administration, and service to the community . In addition, Series 31006 of the Regents’ Rules specify the minimum teaching requirements for faculty . UT Dallas’ Policy Memorandum 76-III.23-5, Minimum Faculty Workload Requirement , elaborates on the Regents’ minimum policy. To summarize, full-time, tenure-system faculty members (or tenure-system equivalents such as visiting faculty) are expected to teach the equivalent of 18 undergraduate semester credit hours over the course of the nine-month academic year; this is the equivalent of six undergraduate three-credit-hour courses. However, the policy counts graduate courses at 1.50 times the credit hour value of an undergraduate course. Thus, for purposes of minimum teaching requirements, a three hour graduate course is equivalent to a 4.5 hour undergraduate course. In addition, faculty members in these two categories are expected to conduct original research in their disciplines, supervise individual student research, supervise thesis and dissertation research, and provide service to their school through service on various committees. If a faculty member is paid a portion of his/her salary from non-instructional sources, then the minimum teaching requirement is reduced proportionately. For example, if a faculty member were to work full-time on a grant for one semester, then his/her minimum teaching requirement would be reduced by one half to the equivalent of nine undergraduate semester credit hours for the academic year. It should be noted that many faculty in these two categories exceed the minimum requirements since students conducting research sign up for individual research and instruction courses.
Full-time, nontenure-system faculty members and part-time faculty members have a different requirement. Full-time, nontenure-system faculty members are required to teach the equivalent of 24 undergraduate credit hours per academic year and are not expected to conduct research. Some individuals have administrative assignments which reduce their teaching requirement. Faculty in this category who receive part of their compensation from non-instructional sources also have a proportionate reduction in their minimum teaching requirements. Part-time faculty are limited to no more than six credit hours of instruction (graduate or undergraduate) per semester with most conducting only three credit hours of instruction.
Graduate student instructors and staff are not required to teach classes and thus have no minimum teaching requirements. Graduate student instructors who teach classes normally do not perform other teaching or research assistant duties. Staff members who teach classes over and above their normal duties may receive compensation above their base salary for such teaching activities.
The Regents’ and UT Dallas policies on minimum teaching requirements provide a definition of full-time work at least for the teaching portion of a faculty member’s duties. Specifically, for tenure-system and equivalent faculty members, a three-hour undergraduate course amounts to 33.33% FTE for a semester and a three-hour graduate course amounts to 50.00% FTE for a semester. For full-time, nontenure-system faculty members, a three-hour undergraduate course amounts to a 25.00% FTE for a semester and a three-hour graduate course amounts to 37.50% FTE for a semester. For part-time faculty members a three-hour undergraduate or graduate course amounts to a 25.00% FTE for a semester.Adequacy of Present Faculty Resources
The adequacy of faculty resources for instructional activities can be measured in many ways. One of the most common is the ratio of headcount students to headcount faculty. This measure makes sense in cases where most students are full-time students and most faculty members are largely involved in instructional activities. Using this measure for fall 2006, UT Dallas has a 25.6 to 1 student faculty ratio based upon 14,523 student headcount and 567 full-time faculty members.
At UT Dallas, as at many modern research universities, many students are not full-time students. Also, many faculty members are involved in research activities and therefore do not devote all of their time to teaching. Accordingly, a better measure of faculty adequacy might be the ratio of FTE majors to FTE faculty. There are several ways to define FTE majors. The data presented below is based on the assumption that a full-time undergraduate student would enroll for 15 hours of instruction per semester, that a full-time master’s student would enroll for 12 hours of instruction per semester, and that a full-time doctoral student would enroll for nine hours of instruction per semester. Overall, the 10,777.93 FTE students were taught by 605.15 FTE faculty members, giving a ratio of 17.81 to one. At the undergraduate level, the ratio in fall 2006 was 24.39 to 1 and at the graduate level 10.89 to 1 .
In order to measure better the actual classroom experience, one can also compare the number of semester credit hours taught to the number of FTE faculty who are teaching. Specifically one can look at the ratio of semester credit hours taught by faculty to the FTE faculty. At the undergraduate level campus-wide, this would indicate that the average FTE faculty taught roughly 371.67:3 or 123.89 students. Since the normal load for teaching only undergraduate students is three courses per semester, this calculation amounts to an average class size of 123.89:3 or 41.3 students per undergraduate class. Similarly, at the graduate level campus-wide, the average FTE faculty taught 116.73:3 or 38.91 class students. Since the average graduate load is two courses per semester, this calculation amounts to an average graduate class size of 39.91:2 or 19.45 students per graduate class. The three measures above indicate that UT Dallas is providing adequate staffing for its existing instructional programs   .Determining Adequacy of Faculty Resources for New Programs
UT Dallas is but one component of the UT System; accordingly, UT Dallas cannot unilaterally decide to offer a degree in an academic discipline. Instead, the process of creating new academic degree programs requires justification at several levels and approval from the UT System and state authorities.
The consideration of new degree programs usually begins with perceived needs in the urban community that UT Dallas serves. New programs in engineering, computer science, biochemistry, finance, public policy, economics, and information management have all begun with local businesses and other institutions indicating a need for trained graduates in a discipline. The relevance and cohesiveness of each program is initially assured in the proposal process leading to new programs. After being vetted by faculty in individual schools and approved by both the Committee on Educational Policy  and the Academic Senate , new degree proposals are measured by the UT System against its Board of Regents Academic Program Approval Standards . After System approval, the proposals are sent to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) where the proposals are reviewed in accordance with THECB standards for new baccalaureate and master’s degree programs  and doctoral programs . Adequacy of resources must be addressed at both the UT System level and at the THECB level . All degree programs at UT Dallas have been approved by the THECB and can be found on the THECB’s website in its list of approved programs .
Also, as noted in the response to Principles 2.7.1 , 2.7.2 , and 184.108.40.206 , UT Dallas has a regular system for reviewing its degree programs . Approximately every five years, each degree program is reviewed both by internal and external reviewers who are charged by the provost to consider the future viability of the program and the adequacy of the resources . Further, in addition to external program reviews, UT Dallas works with other specialized accrediting agencies. UT Dallas has four Engineering and Computer Science undergraduate programs that have been accredited by The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET): Electrical Engineering, Telecommunications Engineering, Software Engineering and Computer Science. The UT Dallas School of Management (SOM) has been granted full accreditation for its undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs in both business administration and accounting by the board of directors of The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). Two programs in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS), the professional doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) and the M.S. in Communication Disorders, are accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The Master of Public Affairs in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS) received accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration  in 2004 . The accreditation is valid for six years, after which EPPS will apply for reaccreditation . Finally, in 2001 the American Chemical Society (ACS) authorized the undergraduate chemistry program (B.S.) to certify its graduates; this authorization was reaffirmed in 2007.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, UT Dallas has built the budget process directly into the assessment process. The AT6 assessment system allows program heads, department heads, and deans to request funding to ensure that adequate resources are available to support programs . These requests are forwarded to the Office of the Provost, and along with the assessments in AT6, are used to ensure that UT Dallas has adequate faculty resources to ensure the integrity and quality of its academic programs and to fulfill its mission.