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Summary of noteworthy campus happenings

SACS REAFFIRMS ACCREDITATION

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaffirmed UT Arlington's accreditation in December. The SACS approval means the University has met the criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education and SACS, which administers the accreditation process for colleges and universities in 11 states. The three-step reaffirmation process, which occurs every 10 years, began in 2004 and involved every aspect of the University. "Accreditation on numerous, performance-driven standards means that we are maintaining our rigorous standards and that we have documented our accomplishments," UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo said. "Our commitment to institutional accountability and quality improvement has been reaffirmed." SACS-accredited universities are required to devise a quality enhancement plan (QEP) to enhance student learning. UT Arlington's QEP focuses on active learning for critical thinking. Active learning puts students at the center of the learning process, making them partners in discovery, not passive receivers of information. Active learners are "hands-on" learners. The reaffirmation extends the University's accreditation until 2017. The next step is a QEP impact report in 2012.

NO BETTER VALUE

A recent survey ranked the College of Business Administration the No. 1 value for the money among area graduate business schools. Arlington-based Decision Analyst asked more than 900 adults living in 27 North Texas counties for their first and second choices for the schools they thought offered the best value. Participants were either planning to attend graduate business school or were already graduates. The survey asked questions about, among other things, the "brand image" of the schools.

ART OF DISCOVERY

Art and art history Associate Professor Mary Vaccaro began a one-year senior fellowship in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in September. The Metropolitan awarded 56 fellowships this year to pre-doctoral students, senior scholars and conservators from the United States and around the world. Fellows undertake study and research at the museum or abroad for periods ranging from two months to a year. Dr. Vaccaro, a specialist in Renaissance art, was selected after submitting her book proposal on the use and exchange of drawings in 16th-century Parma, Italy. Last summer while collecting digital images of drawings for a database to aid her study of artists in Parma, she identified the respective author and function of various drawings that had previously been mis-attributed or cataloged as anonymous. She recently identified a mis-attributed design that has been in the Met since 1880.

BY THE NUMBERS

Enrollment increased to 24,863 last fall, up 0.2 percent from fall 2006. New freshmen increased 6.3 percent, new transfers 2.1 percent and graduate students 20.2 percent. After several semesters of decline, international student enrollment grew almost 12 percent. "Our growth shows this is a great university with exceptional faculty who continue to attract students of the highest quality," interim Provost Ron Elsenbaumer said. UT Arlington continues to be one of the most diverse universities in the nation. African-American enrollment was up more than 13 percent, Hispanic enrollment more than 3 percent and Asian enrollment almost 1 percent. For the 2006-07 academic year, the University awarded 5,770 degrees, the most in a decade. Doctoral degrees conferred rose from 104 in 2005-06 to 123 in 2006-07.

HUB OF ACTIVITY

Each year, Texas recognizes the top 25 state agencies with the highest percentage of expenditures with historically underutilized businesses (HUBs). Of 183 reporting agencies, UT Arlington's HUB program ranked in the top 25 for the 2006-07 fiscal year. The University has increased its expenditures to HUBs by 110 percent during the past 2½ years. In 2006-07, 25 percent of UT Arlington's expenditures were contracted to minority- and women-owned businesses.




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