2007 Reaffirmation Teams :: - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams

2007 Reaffirmation Teams - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams

The legal authority and operating control of the institution are clearly defined for the following areas within the institution's governance structure: Institution's mission.

Compliance Judgment



The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) has a clearly defined mission that has been legally authorized by the State of Texas, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and The University of Texas System (UT System) Board of Regents.

Legal Authority

An Act of the Regular Session of the 61st Texas Legislature established The University of Texas at Dallas in 1969 [1]. Section 2 of that Act granted the Board of Regents of UT System “…the authority to prescribe courses leading to such customary degrees as are offered at leading American universities, and to award such degrees…[including] baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees….” This authorizing legislation further stipulated that, “approval of these programs, their expansion, and initiation of other programs shall be recommended by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System and approved by the Coordinating Board.”

Chapter 61 of the Texas Education Code (TEC) establishes the THECB [2]. TEC Section 61.051 states that “[t]he board shall represent the highest authority in the state in matters of public higher education and is charged with the duty to take an active part in promoting quality education in the various regions of the state.” Chapter 65 of the TEC codifies authority for administration of the UT System and its Board of Regents [3]. TEC Section 65.11 designates the Board of Regents as the governing body of UT System [4]. The legal authority to authorize the mission of UT Dallas, therefore, clearly rests with the THECB and the UT System Board of Regents.

TEC Section 61.0511 requires every university or other institution of higher education to establish a mission statement that addresses the three essential components of higher education: teaching, research, and service [5], and THECB requires that “[a]s 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 [6].” The most recent review under this statute occurred in November 2003, and the next review is scheduled for November 1, 2007 [7]. In addition, in 2003, UT System established an annual compact process that requires component universities to develop “agreements between the Chancellor of The University of Texas System and the presidents of each of the System’s academic and health institutions that summarize the institution’s major goals and priorities, strategic directions, and specific tactics to achieve its goals [8].” This process annually reaffirms UT Dallas’ mission.

UT Dallas recently completed a university-inclusive process of self-evaluation [9] that resulted in the publication of a revised mission statement and a comprehensive strategic plan. The UT System Board of Regents approved the mission statement on June 2, 2006 [10]. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the new UT Dallas Mission Statement on October 26, 2006 [11]. At the recommendation of SACS Vice President Rudy Jackson, the mission statement from the strategic plan was sent to SACS President Belle Wheelan [12]. Dr. Wheelan deemed the revision of the mission statement as a non-substantive change [13].

Mission Statement

UT Dallas’ current mission statement is: “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 [14].”

Based upon this mission statement, UT Dallas has established the following goals. UT Dallas aspires to be:

  • A first-rank public research university with focused centers of excellence, prepared to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing, technologically-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.

To accomplish these goals, the newly developed strategic plan [15] sets forth six interlocked and deliberately overlapping initiatives. These initiatives 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:

  1. Discovering Tomorrow’s Inventions Today
  2. Preparing Students for Tomorrow’s Challenges
  3. Managing Change in a Constantly Changing Society
  4. Securing the Safety of the Future
  5. Improving the Health and Quality of Life of Individuals and Society
  6. Making a Great City Even Greater

The objective of these initiatives is to transform UT Dallas into a dynamic, intellectual, research force that has a 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. Over the next ten years, these initiatives will provide a roadmap for UT Dallas’ future.

Supporting Documents

Footnote Document
[1]Texas Legislative Service House Bill No. 303 Establishing UT Dallas in 1969
PDF Document, 6 Pages, 190.33 KB (law1013)
[2]Texas Education Code 61 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
PDF Document, 92 Pages, 385.82 KB (bylaw1054)
[3]Texas Education Code 65 Administration of The University of Texas System
PDF Document, 9 Pages, 27.74 KB (bylaw1055)
[4]Texas Education Code 65.11 Board of Regents
PDF Document, 1 Page, 10.06 KB (bylaw1057)
[5]Texas Education Code 61.0511 Role and Mission Statement
PDF Document, 1 Page, 9.31 KB (bylaw1044)
[6]THECB 5.24 Criteria and Approval of Mission Statements and Tables of Programs
PDF Document, 2 Pages, 14.12 KB (rule1022)
[7]Memo to Provost Wildenthal From Roger Alford, THECB re: Statutory Four Year Review of Degree Programs, Mission Statement, and Table of Programs
PDF Document, 3 Pages, 62.67 KB (email1020)
[8]UT Dallas Institutional Compacts 2004-2006 at the UT System Office of Strategic Management Website
PDF Document, 1 Page, 30.50 KB (statement1253)
[9]Background of the UT Dallas Strategic Plan Process
PDF Document, 1 Page, 11.07 KB (statement1181)
[10]To Dr. Malandra Regarding UT System Approval for New Mission Statement
PDF Document, 2 Pages, 97.01 KB (correspondence1000)
[11]To Provost Wildenthal Regarding THECB Approval of New Mission Statement
PDF Document, 2 Pages, 91.49 KB (correspondence1001)
[12]To Dr. Wheelan Regarding New Mission Statement
PDF Document, 4 Pages, 101.83 KB (email1000)
[13]From Dr. Wheelan Regarding New Mission Statement
PDF Document, 2 Pages, 123.22 KB (email1001)
[14]UT Dallas Mission Statement
PDF Document, 2 Pages, 11.70 KB (statement1017)
[15]UT Dallas Strategic Plan
PDF Document, 25 Pages, 137.29 KB (plan1033)
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