2007 Reaffirmation Teams
3.4.11 - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams
For each major in a degree program, the institution assigns responsibility for program coordination, as well as for curriculum development and review, to persons academically qualified in the field. In those degree programs for which the institution does not identify a major, this requirement applies to a curricular area or concentration.
All academic degree programs, all majors and concentrations, and all academic certificate programs offered by The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) are coordinated by the university faculty from that discipline as well as the dean of the larger academic unit. These faculty members (academic administrative officers) are highly qualified in their specialized areas and are individuals whose competence, as with all other faculty members, has been judged in terms of their highest earned degree, related publications and work experience, professional recognition and licensure, and demonstrated excellence within their field. Competencies and qualifications of faculty are discussed in the response to Principle 3.7.1 .
The organizations of UT Dallas’ seven schools (School of Arts and Humanities, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, The Erik Jonsson School Engineering and Computer Science, School of General Studies, School of Management, and School Natural Sciences and Mathematics) vary greatly. For instance, in Arts and Humanities, the most interdisciplinary of all schools, there are no departments or divisions-instead, there are majors (at the undergraduate level) and concentrations (at the graduate level) in history, literature, arts and performance, and arts and technology. Area coordinators, who are elected members of the school’s executive committee, coordinate the scheduling of classes, the development and review of the curriculum, and the assessment efforts. On the other hand, both Engineering and Computer Science and Natural Sciences and Mathematics have established departments with department heads who serve at the disposal of the dean. Even in this instance, however, there is a variance-in Engineering and Computer Sciences, each program has a program head, who is only in rare cases the actual department chair. All the remaining schools also have program heads. In the smallest of all the schools, General Studies, the dean actually serves as the program head overseeing the master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. A list of the programs and the designated individuals responsible for the programs is supplied in the supporting documents ; full credentials for all faculty including those overseeing programs are available in UT Dallas’ Credentials Navigator .
Section 1 of Series 30501 of The University of Texas System (UT System) Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations requires annual evaluation of all UT System employees to be used for the improvement of performance, promotion consideration, and merit salary review . As such, every faculty member submits an annual review narrative that discusses his or her research, teaching, and university service (which in the case of an academic administrative officer such as an area coordinator or program head includes his or her administrative responsibilities for oversight of the area or program) . The academic administrative officer meets annually with the dean to discuss his or her performance and to set objectives for the coming year .
The qualifications and performance of academic administrative officers are also reviewed periodically. Section 3 of Series 31101 of the Regents’ Rules requires that all academic administrators below the level of president receive periodic evaluations that include faculty, staff, and student input . Policy Memorandum 97-III.22-79, Procedures Governing Periodic Performance Evaluation of Tenured Faculty , puts this requirement into practice at UT Dallas . To simplify the schedule of the review of academic administrators and to provide substantial feedback, every academic administrator at UT Dallas is formally reviewed three years after the initial administrative appointment and at least every six years thereafter. In 2006-07, the department head of Mathematics and the deans of Behavioral and Brain Science, Management, General Studies, and Engineering and Computer Science (a third year review) were reviewed under this policy, using a newly developed web-based system with individualized tokens to simplify (and thereby to gain more) input from constituents . Additionally, the program head for teacher’s certification, and the program head for the undergraduate programs in General Studies, and six program heads/area coordinators in Behavioral and Brain Science were reviewed, but still by the old process of using e-mail to collect the information   . In all cases, the review is comprehensive and includes input from faculty, staff, and students, and, where appropriate, alumni, community leaders, and other sources identified in the charge from the provost. Comments by full-time faculty members in the appropriate academic unit provide the faculty’s response to the academic administrator’s performance in that unit. Faculty members in an academic unit are encouraged, moreover, to provide information to an academic administrator’s supervising officer at any time regarding that academic administrator’s performance. The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost houses the results of the evaluations of the deans; the results of the tenure-system faculty reviews are housed in the Office of the Provost’s Faculty Records Office. Additional information regarding the review of academic administrators is available in the responses to Principles 3.2.8  and 3.2.10 .
The bylaws of each school provide the policies and procedures by which curriculum is developed for programs and by which the curriculum is reviewed       . When new programs are developed, the academic administrative officers work closely with the faculty to produce detailed proposals that must undergo the approval process detailed in the responses to Principles 2.7.2  and 220.127.116.11 , which include the approval not only of the Committee on Educational Policy  and the Academic Senate  but also UT System officials  and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)     .
Each academic administrative officer has direct responsibility for working with the faculty to annually assess the area under his or her supervision. Therefore, the academic administrative officers participate in the Academic Assessment Committee  and have been appointed primary authorities over their areas within UT Dallas’ web-based assessment tool, AT6 . The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost’s assessment team is responsible for training the academic administrative officers on how to use AT6 and on the fundamentals of program and curriculum assessment. In conjunction with the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), the assessment team runs frequent workshops on best practices in assessment to ensure that the administrative officers are qualified to perform the assessments .