2007 Reaffirmation Teams
3.7.5 - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams
The institution publishes policies on the responsibility and authority of faculty in academic and governance matters.
The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) clearly demarcates the responsibility and the authority of the faculty in academic and governance matters as demonstrated in the response to Principle 3.7.4  and by the policies of the university, the bylaws of the schools, and the actions of the Academic Senate and its committees. Series 40101 of The University of Texas System (UT System) Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations sets forth the responsibility and authority of faculty with regards to academic and governance . UT Dallas incorporates these policies into its own written policies in Title III  of the UT Dallas Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) and numbered policy memoranda that are included as Appendix I in the Faculty Handbook and are published on the website of the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost (Provost’s Office) .
Series 40101 of Regents’ Rules states that “the faculties of the institutions regularly offering instruction shall have a major role in the governance of their respective institutions in the following areas: general academic policies and welfare, student life and activities, requirements of admission and graduation, honors and scholastic performance, approval of candidates for degrees, and faculty rules of procedure . The UT Dallas HOP provides policies and procedures for the implementation of these provisions at UT Dallas. Applicable policy memoranda provide detailed policies for academic processes and governance at the university level.Faculty Governance in Schools
Faculty governance in the simplest sense of the term begins at the school and program level at UT Dallas. To ensure that the faculty governance works in a clear, transparent manner (especially with regards to the design, implementation, and review of curriculum and local policies) in UT Dallas’ seven schools, the Academic Senate in cooperation with the Provost’s Office formally required each school to write bylaws consistent with general university policy. The Academic Senate provided guidelines indicating general elements such as curricular oversight and pointing out the policies with which the bylaws needed to comply. Six of the seven schools have approved bylaws (the School of General Studies is currently revising its bylaws), and the bylaws are attached in the supporting documents        to demonstrate faculty involvement at the local level.
As discussed (for example) in the responses to Principles 2.7.2 , 188.8.131.52 , and 3.6.2 , degree program curriculum is periodically reviewed by program faculty, especially during the catalog cycle. Committees on teaching effectiveness such as the committees in the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences (EPPS)  and the School of Arts and Humanities (A&H)  provide school-specific standards for teaching effectiveness and help to mentor and to provide advice to full-time and part-time faculty regarding teaching quality. Similarly, all schools have a school peer review committee that is directly involved in periodic performance reviews of faculty as well as faculty personnel committees that are involved in faculty promotion and hiring. Beyond these similarities, as can be seen by the aforementioned school bylaws, the faculty in each school has great latitude in structuring the school to best serve the students in the discipline, but in all cases, formalized structures have been established and published.Faculty Governance at the University Level
As discussed above, Series 40101 of Regents’ Rules grant specific responsibilities to the General Faculty, which meets annually with the president to discuss the state of the university . The voting members of the General Faculty elect the members of the Academic Senate  . Title III of UT Dallas’ HOP specifies the authority and general functions of the Academic Senate . The Academic Senate is not restricted to tenure-system faculty but also includes nontenure-system faculty (the current secretary of the faculty is a senior lecturer ). The bylaws of the Academic Senate establish the operating procedures for the Senate .
The Academic Senate meets monthly and serves as the faculty legislative and deliberative body on all matters within the jurisdiction of the General Faculty, including oversight of the curriculum . The Academic Council, which is elected by and from the Academic Senate, meets monthly and serves as the Academic Senate’s agenda committee . Both bodies have direct access to the provost and the president, and the president chairs the meetings, though both the Academic Council and the Academic Senate reserve the right to go into executive session . The minutes of the Academic Senate are posted on its website ; these minutes demonstrate the scope of the Academic Senate’s authority and detail the actions that the Academic Senate has taken on behalf of the faculty. Sample minutes are supplied in the supporting documents    .
Among the responsibilities of the Academic Senate is the annual appointment of a Committee on Committees charged with preparing a slate of faculty nominations for appointment to university, concurrent, and Academic Senate committees to ensure faculty representation and participation . Academic Senate committees have authority to develop policies to be submitted by the Academic Senate for recommendation to the president. Lists of the university-wide and Academic Senate committees of UT Dallas, with links to charges and descriptions of the committees, are published on the Academic Senate website . The committees of the General Faculty are authorized and described in the aforementioned Title III (Section IV) . Overall UT Dallas faculty are represented by (and have membership on) fourteen Academic Senate committees  and 15 university committees . Among the most notable committees that demonstrate the responsibility and authority of the faculty are the Academic Program Review Committee , the Committee on Academic Integrity , the Committee on Core Curriculum , the Committee on Educational Policy , the Committee on Distance Learning , the Committee on Educational Policy , the Committee on Faculty Mentoring , and the Library Committee . The best documentation of the role of these committees can be found in their annual reports to the Academic Senate-sample reports for the Committee on Educational Policy are provided in the supporting documents as evidence    . The actions taken by the Core Curriculum Committee  in adding and subtracting core curriculum courses to ensure that the core curriculum represents coherent fields of study fully demonstrate the authority and responsibility that the faculty have in academic matters     .Faculty Governance at the UT System Level
In recognition of the Board of Regents’ commitment to faculty governance at the UT System level, the Regents established the Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) in accordance with Series 30401 of Regents’ Rules  to identify issues of concern and to act as a conduit for the exchange of information between Regents and the faculty and administrators of all UT System institutions . Members of the FAC are selected by the governing body of each UT component institution to serve for the length of their terms of service in their respective governing bodies . The FAC meets quarterly (usually at UT System headquarters in Austin, Texas) and annually presents formal recommendations to the Board of Regents. The minutes of the FAC detail those presentations as well as the recommendations of the FAC to the executive vice chancellors and the chancellor of UT System . A copy of recent minutes is included in the supporting documents below to illustrate how the FAC represents the faculty at the UT System level . Three speakers of the UT Dallas faculty have served as the chair of the FAC in recent years.