2007 Reaffirmation Teams
3.4.10 - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams
The institution places primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of its curriculum with its faculty
The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) places primary responsibility for the quality and oversight of its educational programs with tenure-track faculty, disciplinary program heads, academic deans, and faculty governance committees. This responsibility is assigned to faculty by The University of Texas System (UT System) Board of Regents within its regulations on the formation of educational policy  and academic program approval standards  and by the university through Title III of its Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP)  and various numbered memoranda that designate specific responsibilities to committees of the Academic Senate .
The Committee on Educational Policy (CEP) is charged with reviewing the policies and procedures of all educational programs of the university, with respect to their quality, feasibility, necessity, and consistency with established academic policies, standards, and goals. The purview of the CEP specifically includes, but is not limited to, all proposals for the assignment of university credit to new courses, all proposals for new programs, all catalog materials, and other academic policy issues referred to it by the Academic Council and/or Academic Senate. The committee publishes, with the approval of the Academic Senate, calendars for submission of proposals for new programs and catalog copy for approval, and addresses other academic policies referred by the Academic Senate or that the Academic Council considers appropriate . The roles of the CEP and the Academic Senate are also addressed in the response to Principle 2.7.2 .
The Committee on the Core Curriculum (CCC) is charged to evaluate and make recommendations to the Academic Senate regarding the university-wide general education curriculum and its implications in terms of academic requirements for undergraduate admission and graduation, including transfer admission requirements . The committee, in consultation with faculty and university administrators, reviews and approves the suitability of particular UT Dallas courses that are submitted to satisfy the university’s core curriculum requirements. It may also review lower-division courses that students submit to substitute for UT Dallas core courses offered by other public colleges and universities. The committee also monitors changes in state law and rules of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to ensure that UT Dallas’ core curriculum requirements are in compliance with statewide requirements for core curriculum. In carrying out these duties, CCC seeks advice from all interested parties in the university and calls timely hearings of the faculty concerned with the core curriculum . Additional information about the role of the CCC is available in the response to Principle 3.5.1 .
All academic programs are reviewed periodically to evaluate their quality and their effectiveness in supporting the university’s mission . A standing committee, the Program Review Committee (PRC), composed of members of UT Dallas faculty and academic administration, oversees the review process. The committee functions in cooperation with the executive vice president and provost (provost), under whose auspices academic program reviews are conducted. It maintains general oversight of the review process to assure its efficacy and uniformity, and one member of the PRC, designated the PRC monitor, participates directly in the process. In addition to responsibilities as a regular member of the review team, the PRC monitor has the additional duties of conferring with and reporting to the PRC and, on the basis of knowledge acquired as a member of the PRC, helping each review team ensure consistency of its individual review with the overall review process. During each program review, the scope of the academic program is investigated, including the qualifications of the faculty, the appropriateness of student learning outcomes, the rigor of the curriculum, and the overall assessment process. The entire PRC evaluates the operation of the review process on a continuing basis and makes an annual report to the provost and Academic Senate. In this report it recommends any modifications of policy or procedure regarding reviews it considers desirable. In addition, it consults with and advises the Provost on other aspects of reviews as requested . Additional information on the program review process is available in the response to Principle 22.214.171.124 .
Ultimately, the faculty at the school and program level are responsible for the quality, content, and effectiveness of the curriculum. Each school has developed its own committee system to oversee curricular matters       , and these committees actively participate in the biennial catalog review process. The faculty are also instrumental in the development and approval of all new academic programs as documented in the response to Principle 3.4.1 . They also judge the effectiveness of the curriculum through evaluation of student learning outcomes associated with each academic degree program. The annual assessment process for each degree program requires faculty to participate in a review of the primary outcomes as well as the strategies for measuring progress toward those stated outcomes. The result is a collection of assessment reports that provide an overview of the health of each program. Minutes of faculty meetings document the discussion of possible improvements and/or changes in the curriculum to enhance student learning     . To ensure that the faculty members identify what improvements are necessary, the assessment report for each degree program includes a section for identifying closing the loop activities . For example, within the B.S. in speech-language, pathology and audiology 2006-07 program report (page 5), faculty identified two specific activities that require faculty investigation and evaluation. Specifically, the program head and faculty are charged to “investigate the difference in the students’ satisfaction reports on their attainment of learning goals reported on the exit interview and measures of student learning obtained through analysis of student performance on embedded examination questions and rubric-evaluated written material,” and the clinical faculty are asked to evaluate “students’ application of learning in the clinical realm” through “supervisor evaluation of hands on skills and written reports .” A more thorough discussion of UT Dallas’ assessment process and of its web-based assessment tool, AT6, is available in the response to Principle 126.96.36.199 .
Finally, individual faculty members, including the part-time faculty, participate in the process of developing course syllabi. The Academic Senate requires that each syllabus include course objectives that relate to the program objectives or student learning outcomes   . Individual faculty members submit their syllabi to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost’s assessment team, and the assessment team posts the syllabi online .