UT Dallas Policy Navigator :: Governance Administration and Mission :: UTDPP1096 (v4)

Governance Administration and Mission - UTDPP1096

Policy Statement

Governing Board and Authority

The governing board of The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) is the University of Texas Board of Regents. The University of Texas Board of Regents is established in the Texas Constitution, sections 10 through 13.

The Board of Regents was authorized to "establish and maintain a state-supported general academic institution of higher education to be known as The University of Texas at Dallas" by the Texas Legislature in 1971 (Texas Education Code Title 3, Chapter 70). This further provides that "The board may prescribe courses leading to customary degrees offered at leading American universities and may award those degrees. It is the intent of the legislature that those degrees include bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees, and their equivalents." However, no "department, school, or degree program" can be instituted without the "prior approval" of the Coordinating Board, Texas College and University System.

The legislature also provided that "The board may adopt other rules and regulations for the operation, control, and management of the university that are necessary for the conduct of the university as one of the first class." These additional rules and regulations are published as the Regents' Rules.

According to Regents' Rule 20201, the president is the chief executive officer, reporting to and responsible to the Chancellor of the UT System.


The mission of The University of Texas at Dallas approved by faculty and administration, is to provide the State of Texas and the nation with excellent and innovative education and research. The University is committed to graduating well-rounded citizens whose education has prepared them for rewarding lives and productive careers in a constantly changing world; to continually improving educational and research programs in the arts and sciences, engineering, and management; and to assisting the commercialization of intellectual capital generated by students, staff, and faculty.

Administration - President

At UT Dallas, officers of the central university administration are defined as those officers reporting directly to the president. These include the nine vice presidents and the director of the Office of Institutional Success and Decision Support – Institutional Research and Analytics Reporting. The Office of Internal Audit reports indirectly to the president and directly to the UT System.

Administrative Officers

The executive vice president and provost serves as the deputy to the president and is responsible for the formulation and implementation of education policy, providing oversight to the eleven academic deans: the eight deans of the School the dean of undergraduate education, the dean of graduate studies,the dean of the Honors College, and the dean of the library, and other programs across the campus.

The vice president of administration has responsibility for construction and maintenance of university facilities, for the safety and security of the campus, and for oversight of human resources and auxiliary services.

The vice president for budget and finance oversees financial functions, including accounting services, budgeting, financial reporting, payroll, procurement, and expense reimbursement.

The vice president for diversity and community engagement promotes the fulfillment of the UT Dallas commitment to embrace, enhance, and celebrate diversity through the efforts of faculty, staff, students, and the executive leadership.

The vice president for information resources and chief information officer provides the physical, personnel, and financial resources for information technologies that support students, faculty, and staff in accomplishing the research, instructional, and public service functions of the University.

The vice president for public affairs serves as the chief governmental and community relations liaison for the university, building relationships with state and local political officers, monitoring legislative and regulatory initiatives, and representing the university before civic and community groups and businesses.

The vice president for research oversees the office of research, which includes the office of research development, the office of sponsored projects, the office of research compliance, the office of technology commercialization, and various labs, institutes, and centers.

The vice president for student affairs oversees the division of student affairs, which serves a critical role in ensuring the education of the whole student body and provides programs, services, and support related to all aspects of campus life.

The vice president for university advancement provides strategic, collaborative leadership to organize university-wide resources in the areas of brand identity and positioning, internal and external communications, alumni outreach, marketing, media relations/crisis communications, and giving (donor relations).

Academic Organization - Schools

Academic administrators report to the Provost. These officers include the deans of UT Dallas' eight schools, the dean of undergraduate education, the dean of graduate studies, and the deans of the Honors College and the Eugene McDermott Library.

UT Dallas consists of eight schools, each headed by a dean: School of School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology; School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication; School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences; Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science; School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences; School of Interdisciplinary Studies; Naveen Jindal School of Management; and the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The schools, in turn, consist of teaching and research programs that provide the disciplinary foundations of the University. Degrees are awarded by programs.

In addition to the usual disciplinary approaches, the University has a strong commitment to interdisciplinary study at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Most faculty members teach in both graduate and undergraduate areas so that all instruction is informed by critical examination of the most recent developments in all fields.

The Office of Undergraduate Education and the Office of Graduate Studies coordinate undergraduate education and graduate studies respectively across the University; they also develop and implement educational policy.

Appointment of Administrative / Academic Officers

Section 51.948 of the Texas Education Code addresses the issue of qualified administration by requiring that before an individual can be hired as an administrative or academic officer, the governing board – the UT System Board of Regents-- "determines that the contract is in the best interest of the institution." Regents' Rule 20201 of the Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations defines the formal processes of selection and evaluation of the president of any component institution. Regents Policy UTS187 establishes guidelines and procedures for promoting diverse candidate interview pools for presidential searches and searches for other senior administrative positions.

Regents' Rule 20102 delegates to the president via the executive vice chancellor "the responsibility for the appointment and dismissal of all other administrative officers… including vice presidents and deans." In addition, UT Dallas Policy UTDPP1072, Consultation in the Selection of Certain Key Administrative Officials, outlines specific policies and procedures for the selection of candidates for leading administrative positions such as the executive vice president and provost and school deans.

Faculty Governance Organization and Shared Governance

The Regents Rules recognize the traditional areas of faculty responsibility. As stated in Rule 40101: Faculty Role in Educational Policy Formulation,

"Subject to the authority of the Board 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 component 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 generally.
3.5 Approval of candidates for degrees.
3.6 Faculty rules of procedure."

The Rules express the intent that wherever the term "faculty" is used to describe the exercise of this responsibility, it means the faculty as organized in the faculty governance system.

Section 4.9 (b) of Rule 20201 relates the responsibilities of the President to the delineation of faculty responsibilities as follows:

Sections of the Handbook of Operating Procedures that pertain to the areas of faculty responsibility as defined in Regents' Rules and Regulations, Rule 40101 titled Faculty Role in Educational Policy Formulation will be explicitly designated in the Handbook of Operating Procedures. The president, with the faculty governance body of the campus, shall develop procedures to assure formal review by the faculty governance body before such sections are submitted for approval. The formal review should be done within a reasonable timeframe (60 days or less). All amendments in the Handbook of Operating Procedures must be approved by the President and by the institution’s chief legal officer or the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel pursuant to Rule 20201, section 4.9.

The faculty governance organization is established by policy UTDPP1088 - Faculty Governance. The principal faculty governance body is the Academic Senate. The Senate is elected by the faculty in accordance with the procedures established in the Bylaws of the Academic Senate (UTDPP1007). The Senate officers are the Speaker of the Faculty, Secretary of the Faculty, and one or more Vice Speakers. The Senate also elects an Academic Council that serves as its agenda committee. Meetings of the Senate and Academic Council are chaired by the President of the university. In the absence of the President, the Provost will chair. In their absence, the Speaker shall preside. In the absence of the Speaker, a Vice Speaker shall preside. In the absence of a Vice Speaker, the Secretary shall chair. In the absence of the Secretary, the meeting may be chaired by any member of the Senate designated by the Speaker. Academic officers are invited to all senate meetings and have privilege of the floor but do not vote.

Senate rules provide for a Caucus Meeting of the Senate without administrators present, but caucus meetings cannot pass legislation. They can only recommend legislation or other action to the full senate.

The Academic Senate implements its policies through senate committees. Faculty are appointed to senate committees by the Senate. Each such senate committee has a Responsible University Official (RUO) attached to it. The committee advises the RUO on the application of senate policies on matters in the RUO's area of responsibility. In the event that the RUO disagrees with the advice of the committee, the committee chair and the RUO have standing instructions to refer the question to the Academic Council, who may in turn refer it to the Senate. Faculty also are appointed to university committees. University committees are established by the administration, rather than the Senate, usually in response to state or federal law or a mandate from the Regents. Faculty to serve on such committees are approved by the Senate but this approval is regarded as advisory to the president.

Related Policies

Texas Statutes, Education Code, Section 51.948
UT System, Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents, Rule 20201
The University of Texas System, Systemwide Policy, Regents Policy UTS187
UTDPP1072: Consultation in the Selection of Certain Key Administrative Officials

Policy History

  • Issued: 2016-01-29
  • Revised: 2017-07-21
  • Editorial Amendments: 2018-12-05
  • Editorial Amendments: 2022-07-27