2007 Reaffirmation Teams
3.8.1 - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams
The institution provides facilities and learning/information resources that are appropriate to support its teaching, research, and service mission.
The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) provides appropriate facilities and learning/information resources to support the teaching, research, and service mission of the university. The University Libraries consist of the Eugene McDermott Library (the main library facility) , the Callier Library  at the Callier Center for Communications Disorders, and a small satellite facility called MC2 in the School of Management building  . The McDermott Library building is a multi-use facility, consisting of approximately 153,000 assignable square feet (240,000 gross square feet) . Approximately 69% of the building is currently devoted to library operations. In addition to housing library services and collections, the three main floors of the McDermott Library also house the Learning Resources Center, five computing laboratories, and some additional non-library offices such as the McDermott Scholars’ office. The basement of the library is currently occupied by student services and houses the University Registrar’s Office, the Financial Aid Office, the Bursar’s Office, International Student Services, and the Career Center. A new Student Service Facility was approved by the State of Texas Legislature (June 15, 2007). This project will free up approximately 25,000 assignable square feet by moving student service functions out of the basement to the new facility and will allow the library to expand significantly within its own building.
Two of the main floors of the McDermott Library were recently renovated to meet changing service patterns. The renovation of the third floor is targeted for 2008. This renovation along with the occupation of the basement is in line with the Library Strategic Plan, 2006-2011, which sets forth strategic initiatives to prepare for occupying additional space in the McDermott Library building, for reconfiguring seating, for reallocating collection space, and for relocating Technical Services and Special Collections .
The Callier Center Library  provides resources and services to support the undergraduate speech-language pathology and audiology (B.S.) and the graduate students in audiology (AUD), communication disorders (M.S.), and communication sciences and disorders (Ph.D.) at that location. The 1,600 square feet of the Callier Center Library contain approximately 4,000 titles. As a learning resource service, the Callier Center Library publishes news items gleaned from over 300 sources on the internet regarding research in speech, language, and hearing disorders .
The satellite facility, MC2, is located in SM2.206 in the School of Management. The room contains 204 square feet and is equipped with four workstations, one of which has Bloomberg access. This specialized workstation allows students to access current and historical financial information on individual equities, stock market indices, fixed-income securities, currencies, commodities, and futures for international and domestic markets alike. This workstation also allows access to analysts’ forecasts, news on worldwide financial markets, and audio and video interviews and presentations by key players in business and finance. Librarians take turns staffing the facility.
As seen below, as befits a university whose founding fathers founded Texas Instruments and whose mission is to be a “global leader in innovative, high quality sciences, engineering and business education and research ,” the McDermott Library is increasingly transforming itself and becoming progressively more electronic; nonetheless the McDermott Library staff continue to monitor space needs through a variety of instruments such as the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s (THECB) Space Model  and the library’s own Collection Shelving Study , which calculate the amount of open space available for materials in the circulating stack areas . Additionally, the McDermott Library also annually administers the LibQual survey  , comparing the responses from year to year  and paying particular attention to the written comments . As is the case with almost any library, the McDermott Library receives requests for more private and group study space. The president’s implementation plan for the university’s strategic plan (“Creating the Future” ) addresses the growth of the McDermott Library and provides for additional space and renovation .
The aforementioned renovations conducted during the 1990s and early 2000s improved the study space on the fourth floor by including the addition of two large, glass enclosed rooms for large group study where people can talk aloud. Lighting was improved and new study tables and chairs were purchased. Despite these improvements, not all seating is conducive to lengthy study and some types of group study space requested are not currently available. The library provides a variety of seating types, including study carrels, tables, comfortable seating, and group booths. The introduction of a variety of art work has enhanced the atmosphere of the facility. The building houses the McDermott Suite which is used by the university administration for social functions and provides the campus with an excellent venue for special events.
Two rooms in the McDermott Library merit special attention: the Library Instruction Room and the Accessibility Office. The Library Instruction Room (MC2.524) is used by the Information Literacy and Instruction Program to offer library instruction sessions. Students, faculty, and staff learn to use the library’s resources for their research needs. The room is also used by library staff for visits by vendors to view demonstrations of their products and resources. It is also used by the librarians for training sessions and webinars. The librarians use NetOp software which controls the keyboard and mouse of each of the 48 laptops in the room. An ELO screen, laser pointer, and media equipment is also available in the podium for the librarians to use to enhance the learning experience. The Accessibility Office (MC 2.216) houses adaptive technology for use by visually impaired UT Dallas students, faculty, and staff. The hardware includes a computer, Optelec ClearView 700, Braille Blazer printer, and a scanner. Software includes Open Book, Jaws, Magic, Duxbury for Windows, and Dragon Naturally Speaking. After a training session on the equipment, users have access to the room at any time the library is open in order to be able to conduct their research or to enjoy a book or periodical.
To reach beyond the physical constraints of the building, the McDermott Library has established an innovative program, “Librarians on the Loose.” This program is designed to reach students who may not otherwise be regular visitors of McDermott Library and to promote library services to these students. Developed by the reference staff of McDermott Library, this program began in January 2004 and has been a success. Twice per week during the fall and spring semesters and once per week during the summer, librarians go “on the loose” setting up temporary booths around campus. Taking advantage of wireless internet technology, librarians are able to access and demonstrate databases to students while “on the loose .”
In 2006, the McDermott Library housed 1,343,202 volumes, 2, 746,026 microform units, 6,117 videos and DVDs, 17,733 maps, and 169,629 government documents . Perhaps, more importantly in this electronic age and given UT Dallas’ emphasis on technology, the McDermott Library’s collection of electronic journals in 2006 was 27,418 and has grown to over 30,000 ; the library also owns 364,380 electronic books and through the web offers faculty and students access to many more. Additionally, the McDermott Library is a partial federal repository for federal and state government documents .
The McDermott Library staff maintains the library’s databases, servers, computers, and laptops and provides technical support for all computer equipment owned by the library. They manage five Windows servers and three UNIX servers, and maintain the proxy server for all of the library’s remote access. They also manage approximately 200 staff and patron computers and the 42 laptops that circulate. The Library’s Information Technology (IT) Help Desk for library personnel is responsible for maintaining a database to track troubleshooting, training issues, and maintenance updates.Distance Learning
The library and learning resources available for students taking distance learning are detailed on the McDermott Library’s webpage . Students have access to the Library’s electronic databases, electronic course reserves, electronic books, electronic journals, and government documents. They also have access to RefWorks, a citation manager, and they can either contact the Distance Librarian or individual librarians. Additionally, they can participate in the UT System “Ask-A-Librarian” chat reference service. For those UT Dallas students taking distance learning courses hosted by The University of Texas System TeleCampus (UTTC), the TeleCampus provides additional reference support .Special Collections
Located on the third floor of the McDermott Library, the Special Collections Department has the space and equipment to meet the needs of researchers and visitors . The Library administration established the Special Collections Department in the mid-1970s to house rare books acquired by the library. In thirty years Special Collections has grown to include the History of Aviation Collection, the Wineburgh Philatelic Research Library, and the Louise B. Belsterling Botanical Library. The display area is located in the front of the department to attract people passing by the department. The research area contains seating and a large conference table for researchers. The area contains a wide-format microform reader, scanner, printer, and a dual VHS/DVD machine connected to a television.Learning Resources Center
The Learning Resource Center (LRC) has evolved considerably since UT Dallas first admitted lower-division students. Originally housed in the Student Union with offerings of a small math lab, graduate test prep reviews, and individual appointments for math and writing, the LRC is now a multi-faceted organization providing services from many different locations on campus (though it is housed centrally in the McDermott Library). The LRC offerings now include, but are not limited to:
- supplemental instruction in historically difficult courses,
- a math lab,
- administrations of state and national exams,
- proctoring of individual exams for UT Dallas and other universities as well as exams for various credentialing and licensing agencies,
- graduate exam prep courses for the LSAT, GRE, and GMAT,
- developmental courses in reading, math, and writing,
- individual appointments for assistance with writing, statistics, and math,
- study skills course in conjunction with various academic programs that have probationary students, and
- a Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) advisor to counsel, advise, and register students who are not Texas Success Initiative/THEA compliant
The LRC currently encompasses five rooms located on the second floor of the library. Four rooms are approximately 400 square feet each and the fifth room is a little over 816 square feet.
MC 2.402 houses the administrative assistant, secretary, and data entry operator as well as office equipment such as a copy machine, laminator, and two storage wardrobe cabinets. In this office, students can register and pay for Quick THEA tests and graduate prep courses and can also make math, writing, and statistics appointments. All of the clerical, human resources, and financial records are kept in this office, and most of the questions, requests, and general information are handled in this office.
MC 2.404 houses the director of learning resources and the coordinator of special projects in a shared office. The room contains a small conference table for staff meetings.
MC 2.406 houses three staff members-the THEA advisor and two learning specialists-as well as two computers that are used for testing. Recently this room was redesigned and refurnished to comply more fully with FERPA requirements at a cost of $11,000. The room is used for proctoring online tests, advising students, scanning and scoring tests, and providing writing appointments.
MC 2.408 is the classroom where learning resource courses meet. During the long semesters, this classroom, which has 20 desks in it, has two sections of developmental writing, three sections of developmental math, and three sections of developmental reading meet in it. In addition, paper and pencil testing is conducted in this room, and supplemental instruction sessions are occasionally offered in this room as well.
MC 2.412 houses the math lab six days a week . During the summer months when the math lab is closed on Saturday, the graduate exam prep courses also meet in the math lab. This room is furnished with large tables and writing boards on two sides.Academic Computing
UT Dallas maintains multiple computer labs across campus. Information Resources administers the five labs in the McDermott Library with their 140 workstations. The maximum hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. until 2 a.m. and weekends 12 p.m. until 10 p.m. Ten additional computer labs with a total of 413 workstations are also available for students across the campus. Some of these labs are managed by individuals schools (the School of Management and The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science have the largest number of workstations, 129 and 150 respectively); others are managed by Information Resources .
The campus wireless network is available throughout most of the campus and focuses on open areas where students have access to seating and electrical power. Access to this network requires a valid NetID, but otherwise is constantly available. This network extends to the on-campus student housing.
Learning Management Systems have been employed at UT Dallas since 2002 for both WebCT and Blackboard systems. WebCT is the enterprise level service, consisting of a load-balancing clustered system and supported as a primary service by Information Resources .
Students and faculty have technical support available to them through the Information Resources’ Help Desk services, either by phone, e-mail, online chat, or walk-in . Hours of operation vary by service but all are available from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Server, networking, and telephone support from central Information Technology is provided to all departments in support of their missions in education and research and in coordination with departmental staff assigned to these services. The space allocations for Information Resources have recently expanded slightly to provide additional work space for a group of employees dedicating significant parts of the work week to the implementation of a new PeopleSoft system for student records. Additionally, the vice president and chief information officer has been reconfiguring his space to align more fully with a newly redefined organizational structure.