UT Dallas Policy Navigator

Faculty Governance - UTDPP1088

Policy Statement

Section I. General Faculty

Excerpt

The following excerpt is from the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System (hereafter referred to as the Regents' Rules and Regulations), Rule 40101, Faculty Role in Educational Policy Formulation:

"Sec. 1 Board Commitment. The Board of Regents will devote its best efforts to making all of the institutions of The University of Texas System of the "first class," as the Texas Constitution directs in Article VII, Section 10. The Board will be guided in general by the best practices of the top universities in the United States and abroad, especially by the best practices of state universities in the United States.

Sec. 2 Advice on Board Policies. The Board of Regents will ordinarily seek the advice of the faculty on important matters of academic policy.

Sec. 3 General Authority. Subject to the authority of the Board of Regents and subject further to the authority that the Board has vested in the various administrative officers and subdivisions of the System, the faculties of the institutions regularly offering instruction shall have a major role in the governance of their respective institutions in the following areas:

  • 3.1 General academic policies and welfare.
  • 3.2 Student life and activities.
  • 3.3 Requirements of admission and graduation.
  • 3.4 Honors and scholastic performance.
  • 3.5 Approval of candidates for degrees.
  • 3.6 Faculty rules of procedure.

Sec. 4 Necessity of Approval by Regents. Legislation recommended by an institutional faculty, or legislative body thereof, requiring approval of the Board of Regents, shall not be effective unless and until approved by the Board. Such legislation by a college or school faculty shall not be presented to the Board until it has been approved by the institutional faculty, either directly or through its legislative body, and has received the consideration and recommendation of the institutional president, the appropriate Executive Vice Chancellor, and the Chancellor. The faculty affected will be notified by the Board, through administrative channels, of its action on recommended faculty legislation.

Sec. 5 Approval of Degree Candidates. It shall be the duty of the several institutional faculties to recommend approval or disapproval of all candidates for degrees. This duty may be delegated by affirmative vote of the institutional faculty, or its legislative body, to the respective deans or other appropriate official. Should this duty not be delegated, the institutional registrar, or his or her equivalent, shall furnish to the members of the institutional faculty a complete list of the degree candidates for recommendation.

Sec. 6 List of Degree Candidates. The institutional registrar, as soon as possible after each commencement, shall provide the secretary of his or her institutional faculty, or its legislative body, with a complete list of all successful degree candidates."

A. Authority and General Functions

The areas of authority of the General Faculty are listed above. The General Faculty, however, has delegated the detailed exercise of its powers to the Academic Senate (see Section II of this chapter). The General Faculty, however, retains the following powers:

  1. Establishment of rules of membership and procedure for itself and for school and disciplinary faculties.
  2. Election of the Academic Senate.
  3. Review, amendment, and/or repeal of all legislative actions of the Academic Senate.
  4. Summons to call the General Faculty into Special Session.

B. Membership and Privileges

  1. Membership
    1. Voting members of the General Faculty shall consist of the following:
      1. Faculty appointed half-time or more to The University of Texas at Dallas who hold the rank of Regental Professor, Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor.
      2. Faculty appointed half-time or more to The University of Texas at Dallas who hold the rank of Instructor. \
      3. Faculty appointed full-time to The University of Texas at Dallas who hold the rank of Clinical Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Assistant Professor, or Senior Lecturer,
    2. Non-voting members of the General Faculty shall consist of the following:
      1. All persons who, pursuant to the Regents' Rules and Regulations, Rule 31001, hold the following titles at The University of Texas at Dallas: Visiting Professor, Visiting Associate Professor, and Visiting Assistant Professor; Clinical Instructor, and Instructor (less than half-time appointments); Lecturer; Adjunct Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor, and Adjunct Assistant Professor; Professor Emeritus and Associate Professor Emeritus; and Research Scientists and Research Associates holding appointments outside the classified pay plan of the University.
      2. The President and Executive Vice President and Provost (Provost) of The University of Texas at Dallas, if they do not qualify for voting membership in the General Faculty under Subsection 1.a. above, shall be ex officio non-voting members of the General Faculty.
    3. Because of the common qualifications to be required for faculty called upon for graduate and undergraduate instruction at The University of Texas at Dallas, separate graduate and undergraduate divisions of the General Faculty or other legislative bodies will not be established.
  2. Privileges
    1. Those faculty members designated in Subsection 1 above shall retain their voting status while on approved leave.
    2. Each voting member, of whatever rank, shall be entitled to one vote.
    3. Nonvoting members have the privilege of attending meetings with the right to speak but without the right to vote.

C. Meetings

  1. The President of the University convenes the university community, faculty, and staff, for a "State of the University Report" each year in October. The meeting of the Senate following the State of the University Report shall begin with a meeting of the General Faculty, at which the General Faculty may consider and vote on Resolutions of the General Faculty.
  2. If there is no State of the University Address, the Senate meeting for October of each year shall also be a meeting of the General Faculty.
  3. Special meetings of the General Faculty shall be held at the call of the President or the Speaker of the Faculty or at the request of at least twenty percent of the voting members of the General Faculty, as listed on the most recent faculty roster certified by the Secretary of the Faculty, to the Speaker of the Faculty. A minimum notice of one week is required.

D. Organization

  1. The President shall be Chair ex officio of the General Faculty.
  2. In the absence of the President, the Provost shall preside.
  3. In the absence of both the President and the Provost, the Speaker of the Faculty shall preside.
  4. The Speaker of the Faculty and the Secretary of the Faculty shall be elected according to procedures described in the Bylaws of the Academic Senate. The President, to the extent possible, shall reduce the teaching load of the Speaker of the Faculty and of the Secretary of the Faculty by one course in each of the Fall and Spring semesters.

E. Legislation

  1. Definition - Legislation is any motion which:
    1. requests or recommends actions on the part of the academic administration of The University of Texas at Dallas or of The University of Texas System,
    2. establishes rules or procedures under the general authority of the faculty, as described in Rule 40101 of the Regents' Rules and Regulations, or
    3. certifies compliance with those rules and procedures.
  2. Responses and Approvals
    1. The academic administration shall respond, in due course, to all legislation directed to it.
    2. The Faculty Senate has the responsibility for suggesting, reviewing, and commenting on any revisions to the University's Handbook of Operating Procedures pertaining to general academic policies and welfare and faculty rules of procedure on a timely basis before they are approved by the President and sent to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for recommendation to the Board of Regents.
    3. All actions of the General Faculty which require the approval of the Board of Regents shall be transmitted to the Board by the President and the Chancellor, University of Texas System, in the form passed by the General Faculty, together with such recommendations as the President or Chancellor, University of Texas System, may choose to make. At each meeting of the Academic Senate, the President shall report on all actions of the Senate or General Faculty transmitted to the Board and the action, if any, of the Board on each. If final action of the Board differs from the General Faculty's recommendation, the President shall communicate these differences to the Academic Senate.
    4. The Board of Regents will notify the General Faculty of its actions on faculty legislation.

F. Rules of Procedure

  1. The General Faculty meetings shall be conducted under Robert's Rules of Order (current edition), except insofar as they may be modified by the Bylaws of the Academic Senate.
  2. At a regular or special meeting, a quorum shall consist of twenty percent of the voting members of the General Faculty. If a quorum is not present at a regular meeting, business that would otherwise have been conducted at that meeting may be discussed; the Academic Senate may decide whether the meeting constituted a valid meeting of the General Faculty. Any business conducted at a special meeting requires a quorum to be present.

Section II. Academic Senate

A. Authority and General Functions

  1. The Academic Senate, subject to review by the General Faculty, shall exercise the powers vested in the General Faculty except as retained in Section I.A., and specifically shall have the authority to consider the following:
    1. All matters of educational policy. The Academic Senate shall set up the necessary machinery and procedures for enlisting the aid of faculty in developing educational policies for the entire University.
    2. Regulations dealing with student activities.
    3. Requirements for admission, honors, or degrees.
    4. Approval of degree candidates.
    5. Catalog changes requiring approval of the Board of Regents.
    6. Reports of special and standing committees, including Committees of the General Faculty.
  2. The Academic Senate shall advise the President of The University of Texas at Dallas in regard to policy and operations in any matter affecting the general academic welfare of the University.
  3. The Academic Senate shall conduct or organize such studies as it requires to initiate legislation and may act upon any recommendations presented to it.
  4. Academic Senate may create ad hoc and standing committees of its own. All members of the General Faculty shall be eligible for appointment whether members of the Senate or not.
  5. The Academic Senate may refer any matter to a committee, or to a school or disciplinary faculty, or to the Academic Council for appropriate consideration.
  6. The Academic Senate may review, approve, or remand to the faculty of the school academic policies and procedures established by the faculties of the several schools.
  7. The list of successful degree candidates, with honors as appropriate, shall be part of the minutes of the Academic Senate.
  8. The Academic Senate may not delegate any portion of the powers listed under Section II.A.1. of this document to the Academic Council. It may, however, designate appropriate committees or officers to carry out policies which it establishes pursuant to these powers.
  9. The Academic Senate may approve the minutes of meetings of the General Faculty.
  10. The Academic Senate may meet in regular session or in caucus.
    1. At regular sessions, the President or the Provost may preside and legislation as defined in Section I.E.1. may be brought to a formal vote.
    2. At caucus sessions, the Speaker of the Faculty, or other officers designated by the Academic Senate, shall preside. Legislation approved at a caucus session shall not be transmitted to the academic administration for action unless it is subsequently passed at a regular session of the Senate.
  11. The Academic Senate shall approve procedures for elections in all faculty governance bodies at The University of Texas at Dallas as described in Section V. The procedures shall provide for secret ballots, accurate tallies of votes, and reasonably equal representation of all voting members of the faculty governance body, except that in elections for the Academic Senate, the procedure shall guarantee each School from which there are candidates at least one member of the Academic Senate.
  12. The Academic Senate may establish an executive committee which shall, at least, coordinate the actions of its committees.

B. Membership

  1. The elected members of the Academic Senate shall consist of not less than twenty-three nor more than fifty-one voting members of the General Faculty, with intermediate numbers computed so as to be as close to 10% of the voting membership of the General Faculty as possible, except that faculty members having administrative appointments at the level of Dean or higher are not eligible to serve on the Academic Senate.
  2. The elections shall be conducted according to procedures described in the Bylaws of the Academic Senate.
  3. The Academic Senate may fill vacancies according to procedures described in the ,u.Bylaws of the Academic Senate.
  4. The President and Provost are ex officio members of the Academic Senate. They are non-voting members.

C. Term of Office

The term of office of members of the Academic Senate shall run from the June 1 immediately following elections to May 31 of the following year.

D. Meetings

  1. The Academic Senate shall establish a calendar of meetings, which shall include no fewer than four meetings each academic year.
  2. The President, or the Speaker of the Faculty, or one-fifth of the voting membership of the Academic Senate by notice to the Speaker of the Faculty may call a meeting of the Academic Senate. A minimum of three days notice is required.

E. Organization

  1. The Academic Senate shall adopt Bylaws of the Academic Senate which shall govern its function.
  2. Amendment of the Bylaws of the Academic Senate, except through modification of the Resolution of Operating Procedures, shall require approval at two separate meetings of the Academic Senate.

F. Procedures for Certification of Degree Candidates

Each semester the Academic Senate receives lists of candidates for degrees in the University and certifies these candidates for receipt of the degrees. The procedures are as follows:

  1. Submission of Names of Candidates for Degrees: Two weeks prior to the Academic Senate meeting of the month immediately preceding graduation, the Provost shall submit to the Academic Senate the names of candidates for degrees and candidates for degrees with honors.
    1. The submission for undergraduate degrees may use the following suggested wording: "These students have applied for graduation and have been reviewed by the Office of Records. The Office of Records declares that all of these students will be eligible for graduation upon completion of the current semester's work at the necessary levels. I request, therefore, that the Faculty Senate certify these students to graduate upon receipt of final grades, and notification of completion of other requirements, provided that the grades are consistent with the standards for graduation prescribed by this University. I also request that the Faculty Senate certify those students designated as eligible to graduate with honors upon completion of coursework and requirements consistent with the standards for honors at the levels offered by this University."
    2. The following is suggested wording for submission of candidates for graduate degrees: "These students have applied for graduate degrees and have been reviewed by the Graduate Dean. The Graduate Dean certifies that all these students will be eligible for the degrees indicated upon satisfactory completion of the current semester's work. I request, therefore, that the Faculty Senate certify these students to receive the degrees as indicated upon receipt of final grades and notification of completion of other requirements, provided that the grades received are consistent with the standards for credit prescribed by this University."
  2. Placement on Academic Senate Agenda: The list of names of candidates for degrees are automatically placed on the agenda of the Academic Senate as soon as they are received.
  3. Report to the Academic Senate of Corrections in the List of Candidates. As soon as they are available, corrections to the list of candidates for degrees and the list of candidates for degrees with honors should be submitted to the Academic Governance Office and reported to the Academic Senate. Additions to the lists of requests to raise levels of honors above those approved require Academic Senate approval. Deletions will be noted by the Senate, and the record will be attached to the minutes of the meeting at which graduation and/or honors were approved.

Section III. Academic Council

A. Authority and General Functions

  1. The Academic Council shall facilitate communications between the Academic Senate and its Committees and between the Senate and the Administration.
  2. The Academic Council shall have the authority delegated to it by the Academic Senate, pursuant to Section II.A.8. of this document, and as provided for in the Bylaws of the Academic Senate and the Resolution of Operating Procedures.
  3. The President of The University of Texas at Dallas shall keep the Academic Council informed as far as practicable on all matters of general interest to The University of Texas at Dallas.

B. Membership

  1. The Academic Senate shall elect no more than one-third and no fewer than six of its voting membership to the Academic Council according to procedures established in the Bylaws of the Academic Senate.
  2. The Speaker of the Faculty and the Secretary of the Faculty are ex officio voting members of the Academic Council.
  3. The President and Provost are ex officio non-voting members of the Academic Council.

C. Meetings

  1. The Academic Council shall meet monthly unless the members of the Agenda Committee of the Academic Council, as defined in Section III.D.3. below, agree that a different schedule is appropriate.
  2. The President or the Speaker of the Faculty may call special meetings of the Academic Council.

D. Organization

  1. The President shall be Chair ex officio of the Academic Council.
  2. In the absence of the President, the Provost shall preside.
  3. In the absence of the President and the Provost, the Speaker shall preside.
  4. The Agenda Committee of the Academic Council shall consist of the President or the President's designee, the Speaker of the Faculty, and the Secretary of the Faculty. It shall not withhold items from the agenda but rather shall arrange them for effective discussion. The Agenda Committee may conduct business on votes of 2-1.
  5. In matters not specified by the Academic Senate, the Academic Council may establish its own bylaws.
  6. The Academic Council and Academic Council-elect shall conduct a joint meeting within three weeks of the election of the Council-elect.

Section IV. Committees of the General Faculty

A. Nomenclature and Classification

  1. By Appointment and Confirmation
    1. University committees are appointed by the President and do not require confirmation by the Academic Council, the Academic Senate, or the General Faculty.
    2. Concurrent committees are appointed by the President from nominations submitted by the Committee on Committees and confirmed by the Academic Senate.
    3. General Faculty, Academic Senate, or Academic Council committees are appointed by those bodies, respectively, and are not subject to confirmation by the President.
  2. By Duration of Charge
    1. Standing committees are committees whose charge is continuing.
    2. Special or ad hoc committees are committees whose charge is limited to a special time or task and which are discharged by the appointer at the end of that time or at the completion of that task. Ad hoc committees of the Senate are distinct from ad hoc review committees for promotion and tenure.
  3. By Function
    1. Action committees are those whose charge requires them to act on behalf of the Senate and in a manner consistent with Senate policy, returning to the Senate, if necessary if that policy may be unclear. Only concurrent committees, or other bodies specifically mentioned in this document, can be action committees.
    2. Advisory committees are those whose charges are strictly investigatory and/or advisory in nature, requiring return of recommendations to the Senate for action.

B. Concurrent Committees

  1. Formation and Dissolution
    1. The formation of Concurrent Committees and their membership, procedures, and Chair must be approved by the President and the Academic Senate.
    2. The Academic Senate shall, consistent with state and federal laws, Regents' Rules and Regulations, and The University of Texas System policy, establish the charge for each Concurrent Committee including description of the membership. Charges, which require approval by 2/3 of the total voting membership of the Academic Senate and by the President, shall be published as Serial Policy Memoranda issued by the President.
    3. At least the following shall be Standing Concurrent Action Committees at The University of Texas at Dallas:
      1. the Committee on Qualifications of Academic Personnel;
      2. the Committee on Educational Policy;
      3. the Library Committee;
      4. the Committee on Student Life;
      5. the Committee on Faculty Standing and Conduct; and
      6. the Core Curriculum Committee.
    4. Any deletion from the list in Section IV.B.1.c. requires a 2/3 vote of the total voting membership of the Academic Senate and concurrence of the President.
  2. Appointments: The President will not appoint anyone to a faculty position on a Senate committee whom the Senate has not nominated. If the President declines to appoint a Senate nominee, the Senate will select a new nominee in the same manner as used for the initial appointment unless specified otherwise in the charge of the concerned committee. For Concurrent University Committees, Senate approval is considered advisory to the President. The President may appoint faculty not recommended by the Senate. If appointments to Concurrent University Committees are declined, the Senate will not seek a replacement unless asked to do so by the Committee's RUO (the Provost).
  3. Replacing Committee Members: If a member of a Concurrent Committee misses two consecutive committee meetings, the member will be contacted by the Chair of the committee to ascertain whether he or she still wishes to serve. If the chair determines a replacement is needed he/she will notify the Chair of the Committee on Committees.
  4. Committee on Committees
    1. As soon as possible after June 1, the Speaker of the Faculty shall convene the Academic Council to appoint the Committee on Committees.
    2. The Committee on Committees should develop expeditiously the nomination lists for each of the Concurrent Committees, including nominations for Chair and Vice Chair, and should transmit them to the Academic Senate prior to September 1.
  5. Other Committees
    1. Concurrent committees, Academic Senate Committees, and the Academic Council may establish subcommittees, which may not be action committees.
    2. The Council for Undergraduate Education shall act on behalf of the Senate in establishing procedures for review and evaluation of degree plans of candidates for undergraduate degrees at The University of Texas at Dallas, and in implementing Academic Senate policy in regard to standards of conduct and performance for such degrees.

Section V. School and Disciplinary Legislative Bodies

A. Schools

  1. Faculties of the Schools and Departments of the University shall organize themselves for purposes of establishing academic and curricular policy for that School or Department, consistent with the policies of the Academic Senate and the General Faculty.
  2. Faculties of the Schools and Departments shall determine their own voting membership but may not exclude any voting member of the General Faculty administratively assigned to that School or Department and teaching courses for which it is responsible.
  3. The Bylaws of each School or Department shall be subject to procedural review and approval by the Academic Senate and the President.

B. Other Groups: Other groups within the University, such as disciplines, which desire recognition as a faculty governance body must do so in accordance with procedures established through joint agreement of the President and the Academic Senate.

Section VI. Academic Governance Support

A. Publication of Bylaws

Each legislative body may establish bylaws which, after review as to compliance with the Handbook of Operating Procedures and approval as required by the Regents' Rules and Regulations, shall be published as part of the Handbook of Operating Procedures.

B. Academic Governance Office

  1. The academic administration shall provide an Academic Governance Office and staff support in the form of an Academic Governance Secretary, and assistants as necessary.
  2. The Academic Governance Secretary shall:
    1. maintain a file of items to be submitted to the Agenda Committee of the Academic Council;
    2. inform the Speaker of the Faculty and the President simultaneously of requested agenda items to be considered for Academic Council meetings;
    3. maintain a calendar for Academic Governance;
    4. publish in advance the times and places of Academic Senate meetings in campus publications of general circulation, and will establish a permanent room semester by semester with 40 extra chairs for visitors to the meetings;
    5. distribute Academic Council and Academic Senate minutes to the Academic Council and Academic Senate, official depositories, and to those faculty members who indicate to the Academic Governance that they wish to receive copies;
    6. prepare the letters of appointment for University and Concurrent Committees;
    7. seek names of candidates from designated officers for student places on University and Concurrent Committees which require student appointees;
    8. distribute a University and Concurrent Committee membership list two times a year, September 1 and January 1 to all Deans, Associate Deans, Department Heads, and members of the Academic Senate;
    9. provide the incoming Chair of each University and Concurrent Committee with that committee's approved charge and advise him or her of the material to be filed for the committee in the Academic Governance Office;
    10. maintain the files of University and Concurrent Committees;
    11. maintain a file of operating procedures of University and Concurrent Committees; and
    12. maintain a history of the role and scope and of the membership for the preceding five years of each University and Concurrent Committee.
  3. The duties of the Academic Governance Secretary may be amended by agreement of the President and the Academic Senate.

Policy History

  • Issued: December 14, 1982
  • Revised: April 21, 1983
  • Revised: April 16, 1984
  • Revised: May 29, 1984
  • Revised: July 16, 1986
  • Revised: June 25, 1987
  • Revised: February 1, 1992
  • Revised: May 30, 1996
  • Revised: November 14, 1997
  • Revised: September 1, 1998
  • Revised: December 11, 1998
  • Editorial Amendments: September 1, 2000
  • Editorial Amendments: May 9, 2002
  • Revised: September 16, 2002
  • Revised: September 25, 2002
  • Revised: July 13, 2005
  • Editorial Amendments: June 7, 2006
  • Editorial Amendments: February 21, 2007
  • Revised: June 12, 2008
  • Revised: July 29, 2012
  • Revised: March 21, 2014
  • Revised: May 2, 2014