2007 Reaffirmation Teams :: 3.5.4 - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams

2007 Reaffirmation Teams

3.5.4 - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams

At least 25 percent of the discipline course hours in each major at the baccalaureate level are taught by faculty members holding the terminal degree—usually the earned doctorate—in the discipline. (Note: Formerly part of the guidelines under 3.7.1)

Compliance Judgment

Compliance

Narrative

Over 25% of the undergraduate courses in each undergraduate discipline at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) are taught by faculty holding a doctorate or, in a few specialty cases such as the arts where professional associations have delegated other degrees as terminal degrees, the doctoral equivalent. The accompanying table, Fall Semester 2006 Organized Courses by Discipline and Faculty Terminal Degree, in the supporting documents clearly demonstrates UT Dallas’ compliance [1]. The courses in several disciplines-child learning and development, neuroscience, speech pathology and audiology, telecommunications engineering, geography, gender studies, chemistry, and geosciences-were taught 100% by faculty with terminal degrees. The disciplines with the highest percentage of courses taught by faculty with non-terminal degrees were arts and technology (61%), criminology (61%), accounting (55%), and business administration (45%). In no case were 75% of the courses taught by non-terminal degreed faculty. Overall for the university, 71% of the undergraduate courses were taught by faculty with terminal degrees in their respective disciplines; thus, only 29% of the courses were taught by faculty without a terminal degree.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) requires all Texas institutions of higher education to certify and submit statistical reports that identify the teaching assignments for each faculty member and provide demographic data, including tenure status, for all members of the teaching faculty [2]. These reports are used by the THECB to allocate state funds and to track progress in key performance measures established by the THECB to assess excellence in the state’s colleges and universities. The THECB uses semester credit hours as the unit of measurement for the extent of faculty course responsibility, thus providing a commensurate measure for courses across disciplinary areas. Data from the reports contribute to the content of the accompanying UT Dallas Table of Degrees by School Fall 2006 [3] in the supporting documents, which has been prepared from course inventory, budget, and teaching load information, as well as the THECB reports. While the data referenced in the initial table [1] demonstrate the university’s compliance with this principle, UT Dallas, nonetheless, as required by the THECB, uses semester credit hour generation data to evaluate the day to day operations of the institution when making budgetary and teaching load decisions.

The UT Dallas Table of Degrees by School Fall 2006 [3] shows the number and percentage of discipline course credit hours in fall 2006 taught by baccalaureate level major within each school as well as each discipline and breaks down those percentages based upon the credentials of the faculty. Faculty credentials are listed in two groups: 1) the faculty member has the terminal degree in his/her discipline, or 2) the faculty member does not hold the terminal degree in his/her discipline (non-terminal degree) but has significant professional or experiential credentials that, in the university’s judgment, make the person qualified to teach the course. Qualifying criteria are based on the SACS Commission’s guidelines specified in the response to Principle 3.7.1 [4]. The response to Principle 345 details the qualifications of the faculty teaching courses at UT Dallas [4], and the requisite qualifications of UT Dallas faculty can be viewed in the Credentialing Navigator [5].

UT Dallas uses the Ph.D. or other doctoral level degrees as the definition of a “terminal” degree in almost all disciplines. Two exceptions exist. In the arts, the master of fine arts is considered a terminal degree, and in the area of speech language pathology, the master’s degree is the highest clinical degree.

In the non-terminal degree category (those individuals whom the university has deemed qualified but who do not have the terminal degree in the field), acceptable professional qualifications can best be understood by looking at the undergraduate major of public affairs. This major focuses on public service most often through government service. A faculty member without a doctoral degree but with significant government service can be considered qualified based on his/her professional credentials. As such, past state legislators, city mayors, city managers (both active and retired), and judges have been credentialed to teach courses in this major. This undergraduate degree is greatly enhanced by interaction with individuals who have experience in the field wherein most of the students will work. Nonetheless, work experience alone is insufficient to credential any instructor at UT Dallas-in all cases, academic coursework and certification must be taken into account.

Hence, in the School of Management, faculty without a terminal degree but who hold an MBA, for example, and who have held senior positions as corporate officers, are considered qualified by virtue of their academic training, professional stature, and work experience. That is to say, these individuals have been credentialed on both the basis of their academic experience and their professional experience. Examples can include former company chief executive officers, chief business officers, or chief financial officers (especially if any of these individuals are certified public accountants with CPA licensure). Faculty who have been, or are, successful entrepreneurs may also be classified in this group if they have sufficient academic training.

Faculty in the non-terminal degree category whose qualifications are experiential are quite diverse. The vast majority of individuals in this group have the master’s degree in the discipline and a body of work in the field that has received substantive critical recognition.

As can be seen from the table in the supporting documents [3], UT Dallas meets the criteria that all majors at the baccalaureate level have more than 25% of the courses taught by instructors with terminal degrees. On the broader school level, in the School of Arts and Humanities, 71.3% of the credit hours were taught by instructors holding a terminal degree. The discipline within the school with the largest percentage of credit hours taught by non-terminal degree instructors was, as would be expected, Art and Performance; nonetheless 41.4% of the credit hours were taught by instructors with terminal degrees, well above the 25% threshold. In the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 87.6% of the credit hours were taught by instructors who held the terminal degree. Psychology had the largest percentage of credit hours taught by non-terminal degree instructors at only 18.1%. In the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, 64.1% of the credit hours were taught by instructors with the terminal degree. Criminology had the largest percentage in the school and in the university of credit hours taught by instructors with non-terminal degrees, 65.7%-which means that 34.3% of the credit hours were taught by instructors with the terminal degree, again, significantly above the 25% threshold. In the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, 62.8% of the credit hours were taught by instructors with terminal degrees. Computer Science had the largest percentage of credit hours taught by non-terminal degree instructors, 55.2%. In the School of General Studies, 67.7% of the credit hours were taught by instructors with terminal degrees. Interdisciplinary Studies had the largest percentage of credit hours taught by instructors with non-terminal degrees, 48.9%. Finally, in the School of Management, 55.4% of the credit hours were taught by instructors holding the terminal degree. Accounting and Information Management had the largest number of credit hours taught by instructors with non-terminal degrees, 64.2%, which remains in the acceptable range in accordance with this principle.

Supporting Documents

Footnote Document
[1]List: Fall 2006 Organized Courses by Discipline and Faculty Terminal Degree
PDF Document, 1 Page, 11.12 KB (list1074)
[2]THECB Educational Data Center, Glossary of Data Terms
PDF Document, 2 Pages, 20.67 KB (report1388)
[3]UT Dallas Table of Degrees by School Fall 2006
PDF Document, 4 Pages, 19.90 KB (table1061)
[4]Principle 3.7.1 - Qualifications (u345)
Link to UT Dallas 2007-ccr Compliance Certification Report
[5]Credential Navigator - Faculty Credentials
http://sacs.utdallas.edu/crednav/index.zog?tabset=tabset1&tab=faccredreport&rtype=faccredreport#report