- Section 6-501 Rights and Responsibilities of Faculty Members as Citizens and Teachers
- Section 6-502 Course Syllabuses and Course Evaluations
- Section 6-503 Grading and Examinations
- Section 6-504 Textbooks and Other Course Materials for Student Use
- Section 6-505 Minimum Faculty Academic Workload Requirements
- Section 6-506 Work Toward an Advanced Degree by Faculty Members
- Section 6-507 Faculty Development Leave Policy
- Section 6-508 Observance of Religious Holy Days by Faculty
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Section 6-501 Rights and Responsibilities of Faculty Members as Citizens and Teachers
The teacher is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of other academic duties.
The teacher is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his/her subject, but is expected not to introduce into his/her teaching controversial matter which has no relation to his/her subject.
The university teacher is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an office of an educational institution supported by the state. When the teacher speaks or writes as a citizen, he or she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but the teacher's special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an educational officer, the teacher should remember that the public may judge the profession and the institution by his/her utterances. Hence, the teacher should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make it plain that the teacher is not an institutional spokesperson.
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Section 6-502 Course Syllabuses and Course Evaluations
For each credit-bearing course taught at the institution (except for those officially designated as "independent study" or "private lesson"), a "representative syllabus" must be made available online by the first day of the registration period for the course. This representative syllabus must include the following information: course prefix, number, and title; course content and goals, including a general description of the subject matter of each lecture or discussion; course-specific requirements (prerequisites, special meetings, equipment, materials, etc.); required or recommended readings; assessment and grading policies (assignments, examinations, reports, presentations, papers, etc., including a description of how the final course grade may be calculated); and the attendance and drop policy. In addition, the representative syllabus must also include statements on the Americans with Disabilities Act, academic integrity, student support services, and the University's Electronic Communication Policy. The "representative syllabus" will include a statement that it is an example of a syllabus that is typical for the class and that an official "day one" syllabus will be provided by the faculty member teaching the specific section of the course for which the student enrolls. Timely availability of a representative syllabus for each course is the responsibility of the college dean, department chair, or program director most directly responsible for the unit offering the class.
By the first day of the course, each faculty member teaching a credit-bearing section (except for those officially designated as "independent study" or "private lesson") must provide all enrolled students with a comprehensive "day one syllabus."Access to the day one syllabus must be provided to the departmental office and retained per the official policy as specified in the University's "Records Retention Schedule." An electronic version of the day one syllabus must be uploaded to the website(s) designated for such purposes by the Provost and will maintain the information on the website until at least the second anniversary of the date on which the institution initially posted the information. Timely dissemination and posting of a day one syllabus that meets minimum standards is the joint responsibility of the instructor of record for the class and his/her immediate supervisor (director, chair, or dean).
The day one syllabus must include instructor information (name, office number, office telephone number, email address, and office hours); basic course data (number, section and time and place of class meetings); information about the course content, goals, and learning outcomes, including a general description of the subject matter of each lecture or discussion; course-specific requirements (e.g., prerequisites, special meetings, etc.); a list of required textbooks and other course materials; required or recommended readings; descriptions of all major assignments and examinations with due dates; an overview of the grading policy including a description of how the final course grade will be calculated; and the attendance and drop policy. The day one syllabus must also include statements on the Americans with Disabilities Act, academic integrity, student support services, and the University's Electronic Communication Policy. The syllabus may optionally include information about Final Review Week, discipline-appropriate library contact(s), make-up or extra-credit work, grade grievance policy, and other information appropriate to the course or the unit in which the course is taught
Before the end of each long and short semester, every instructor of record must provide students with the opportunity to complete an evaluation of the instructor's teaching performance. At a minimum, the evaluation must include the university approved teaching evaluation questions and any College/School and department specific questions approved by the unit's faculty. The evaluation performed by students shall be conducted in a manner to insure the anonymity of the students. The evaluation of teaching effectiveness will be one of the factors given consideration in the evaluation of faculty members for renewal, merit raises, tenure and promotion decisions, nominations for awards, and other forms of performance recognition.
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Section 6-503 Grading and Examinations
Faculty members are free to develop their own methods of evaluating the performance of students in their classes, both undergraduate and graduate, but are required to make the methods of evaluation to be used known in writing in the course syllabus.
Instructors should clearly state their grading standards and examination policies and dates, if possible, in their course syllabi. This includes policies for late work, extra-credit (if applicable) and make-up exams.
At the end of each semester, final grade sheets are distributed by the department. Each faculty member is responsible for completing, signing, and turning in the grade sheets on time. Some departments may also require the completion of mid-term grade reports for freshmen.
If a student receives a grade of 'X' (incomplete), he or she must complete the unfinished course work by the date specified in the catalog. If the instructor does not submit the required paperwork by that date, the incomplete 'X' will automatically convert to an 'F'.
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Section 6-504 Textbooks and Other Course Materials for Student Use
The policy of the Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations, Series 31004, concerning textbooks and other materials prescribed for the use of students is as follows:
Although generally the individual instructor or the department should have wide discretion in the choice of materials to be used in the courses offered by the department, frequent changes in the textbooks prescribed should be discouraged and should be made only for cogent reasons.
Although the authorship of books, outlines, manuals and similar materials by members of the faculty and staff should be encouraged, the prescribed use of these for students is a responsibility that goes beyond that of the individual author. Where practical and equitable, the charge for outlines, syllabi and similar materials prescribed for the use of students should be borne by the department. Whenever an approved incidental fee includes a charge for such materials distributed through the classroom, the prices should be as low as possible, consistent with the payment of any required royalty to the author or authors.
To carry out this statement of policy, the following procedures are prescribed:
Any proposed change in the textbook of any course, within one year from the date of first adoption, shall be approved by the departmental faculty, and a statement of the reasons for change shall be transmitted by the department chair through the Dean to the Provost.
Textbooks, notebooks, manuals, or other materials for the use of students of a component institution, written or prepared by a member of the faculty of that institution, shall not be prescribed for the use of students in that institution or sold to such students until approved by the Dean, Provost and President.
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Section 6-505 Minimum Faculty Academic Workload Requirements
Each person paid full time from the appropriations item 'Faculty Salaries' shall be assigned a minimum workload equivalent to eighteen semester credit hours of instruction in organized undergraduate classes each nine-month academic year, or fiscal year at the University's option, in accordance with the following guidelines:
When a faculty member is paid partially from a source of funds other than the 'Faculty Salaries' line item, the minimum workload shall be proportioned to the percentage of salary paid from the appropriations item 'Faculty Salaries'.
Teaching assistants shall be used only when given proper guidance and supervision to ensure quality instruction. The minimum faculty workload established below does not apply to graduate teaching assistants or assistant instructors who are pursuing degrees. The President is responsible for assuring that all teaching assistants are carefully supervised.
This policy sets the minimum workload and equivalencies. UTA may enact more intensive and/or more detailed minimum requirements, following appropriate approvals. For example, an institution may set individual minimum requirements, consistent with the minimum guidelines, for a specific school or college. It is the responsibility of the institutional head to require teaching in excess of the minimum where such teaching is necessary to meet the institution's obligations to its students and to operate effectively within the faculty salary resources available. Faculty members not actively involved in a program of research and publication or in equivalent academic service should typically carry a teaching load greater than the minimum.
State law requires the adoption of rules concerning faculty academic workloads. Texas Education Code, Section 51.402(b) recognizes that important elements of workload include classroom teaching, basic and applied research, and professional development. Workload for U. T. System faculty members is expressed in terms of classroom teaching, teaching equivalencies and presidential credits for assigned activities.
Graduate Instruction. One semester credit hour of graduate instruction will be considered the equivalent of one and one-half semester credit hours of undergraduate instruction.
Specialized Instruction. One and one-half contact hours of instruction of regularly scheduled laboratory and clinical courses, physical activity courses, studio art, studio music instruction, and primary music performance organizations, such as ensembles and marching bands, for each week of a long-term semester will be considered the equivalent of one semester credit hour of undergraduate instruction.
Supervision. Supervision of student teachers, clinical supervision, and intern supervision shall be credited such that 12 total student semester credit hours taught will be considered the equivalent of one semester credit hour.
Practicum and Individual Instruction. Supervision of student practicum and individual instruction courses, such as honors programs and individual research projects, shall provide equivalency at the rate of one-tenth semester credit hour for each student semester hour of undergraduate instruction and one-fifth semester hour for each student semester hour of graduate instruction per long-term semester. In no case will individual instruction in a single course generate more semester credit hour equivalence than if the course were taught as a regularly scheduled, organized course.
Thesis and Dissertation Supervision. Graduate thesis or dissertation supervision shall provide equivalent credit hours only to the chairperson of the thesis or dissertation committee at the rate of one semester credit hour for each six total student semester hours of thesis research credit and at the rate of one semester credit hour for each three total student semester hours of dissertation credit.
Multiple Sections. A faculty member who coordinates several sections of a single course shall be given one semester hour of workload credit for each six sections coordinated up to a maximum of three semester hours of credit per semester.
Large Classes. Workload credit may be proportionally increased for teaching a large class that requires extensive grading or evaluation of students' work by the faculty member according to the following weighing factors:
Weighing Class Size Factor 59 or less 1.0 60-69 1.1 70-79 1.2 80-89 1.3 90-99 1.4 100-124 1.5 125-149 1.6 150-174 1.7 175-199 1.8 200-249 1.9 250 or more 2.0
Team Teaching. When more than one teacher participates in the instruction of a single course, the credit is proportioned according to the effort expended.
Insufficient Enrollment. A reduced workload may be granted temporarily if assigned classes do not materialize because of insufficient enrollment and when additional courses, classes, or other academic duties cannot be assigned to the faculty member. This exception may be granted for two consecutive long-term semesters only for any particular faculty member.
Administrative Assignments. Workload credit may be granted for a faculty member who is head of a department or head of a comparable administrative unit up to a maximum of six semester hours of workload credit per semester. When justified by the department/unit head and approved by the President, three hours of credit may be given to faculty members who provide nonteaching academic services to the department/unit head. In no case will the total for departmental administration, including the head, exceed nine workload credits per semester unless the organizational structure includes academic units composed of more than one academic discipline.
New Faculty. At the recommendation of the head of the department or comparable unit and upon approval of the President, up to three semester hours of workload credit for each of two semesters may be given to a newly-appointed faculty member during the first year of employment for the purpose of developing instructional materials for the courses he or she will teach.
New Course Development. At the recommendation of the departmental chair and upon approval of the President, workload credit may be granted to a faculty member involved in the creation of a new course format, or new course materials.
Presidential Credits. Academic workload credit granted by the President for all other purposes is limited to 1% of the total semester credit hours taught at the institution during the comparable (fall or spring) semester in the previous year. With the approval of the President, limited faculty workload credit (within the 1% limit above) may be granted for major academic advising responsibilities, for basic and applied research following a research work plan approved pursuant to UTA policy, for preparing major documents in the fulfillment of programmatic needs or accreditation requirements, or for duties performed in the best interest of UTA's instructional programs as determined by the President.
Faculty with Technical Rank. Instructional workload equivalents for faculty members holding technical rank may be determined on a clock-hour basis where full-time employment is equivalent to not less than 30 hours of instructionally related activities each week for contact hour courses taught on a quarterly basis.
The President has designated the Provost to monitor workloads, review workload reports, and submit the reports to the President for approval and comment, as appropriate, prior to submitting the reports to the Board of Regents through System Administration following the standard reporting format and deadlines as provided by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in accordance with Section 51.402 of the Texas Education Code and any applicable riders in the current General Appropriations Act.
Every faculty member's compliance with these minimum academic workload requirements shall be assessed each academic year. If a faculty member is found to be out of compliance, UTA shall take appropriate steps to address the noncompliance and to prevent such noncompliance in the future.
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Section 6-506 Work Toward an Advanced Degree by Faculty Members
The following University of Texas System guidelines concern work toward an advanced degree by faculty members:
A faculty member (tenured or not) may pursue an advanced degree in a component institution of the U. T. System other than the one at which he or she is employed or at another institution outside of the U. T. System. Such course work for a full-time faculty member must be approved by the head of the faculty member's department and the appropriate dean or deans and the chief administrative officer of the institution.
A nontenured faculty member who wishes to pursue an advanced degree on his or her home campus must be recommended by the head of the department in which he or she is employed, and the recommendation must be approved by the appropriate dean or deans and the chief administrative officer of the institution.
A tenured faculty member should not normally pursue an advanced degree on his or her home campus.
Depending upon the amount of course work carried by the faculty member (student), adjustments in salary may be made as deemed appropriate by the head of the institution in which he or she is employed. Any paid faculty development leave for such a purpose should be paid from faculty salaries as permitted under Legislative appropriations or from non-State funds.
In view of the need for self-improvement and increased interdisciplinary education, there should be no prohibition against faculty members taking course work which is not to be applied toward a degree.
The amount of course work allowed a full-time faculty member is normally not more than one course during the work day without advance approval of the immediate supervisor.
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Section 6-507 Faculty Development Leave Policy
Eligibility. All faculty members who have served as full-time, assistant, associate, or full professors on the UT Arlington faculty for at least two consecutive academic years and who have earned tenure by the time their leave commences are eligible to participate in the Faculty Development Leave Program.
Criteria for Ranking Proposals for Faculty Development Leave. Faculty development leaves may be awarded to eligible faculty members based on proposals for:
activities that will enable the completion or advancement of a research project to the point of submission and publication in recognized journals,
the completion and submission for publication of a scholarly book,
preparation for the integration of new techniques into the conduct of a course having identified significance to the faculty member's academic unit,
the conduct of laboratory research, documentary or site-development research and/or study at a remote location,
the completion of creative activities to a degree comparable to exhibition or performance according to the scholarly standards of the discipline,
preparation to teach a new subject area that has been identified as important to the faculty member's department, and
other scholarly or creative activities of comparable importance as judged by the University Nominating Committee.
The overriding principle upon which evaluation of proposals will be made is the potential for the achievement of a degree of excellence that surpasses the normal responsibilities of a faculty member.
Candidates for faculty development leave remain eligible for Research Enhancement Program, fellowship, or other support to assist in funding their research and travel during their leave. The approval of such support, however, is not assured by approval of the faculty member's leave.
Faculty members shall not be precluded from participation in faculty development leaves solely on the basis of the programmatic needs of their department or school. The intent of this policy is that all eligible faculty members have the opportunity to compete for faculty development leaves and the academic units should be prepared to make reasonable accommodation for their absence.
Selection Process. The President shall appoint a University Nominating Committee of distinguished members of the UTA faculty in consultation with the Faculty Senate to review proposals for faculty development leave. The Faculty Senate shall nominate four members for the committee and the President shall name three members. Members shall serve two-year staggered terms with half of the membership rotating off the committee each year. In appointing the committee, the President shall consult with the leadership of the Faculty Senate to ensure an appropriate balance of discipline representation.
The University Nominating Committee will prepare the solicitation of proposals and carry out the evaluation of those that are received. Proposals will be submitted for approval through department, center, school, and/or college channels. Heads of academic units will establish consultative procedures with faculty members in approving the proposals that are to go forward. The Nominating Committee shall determine which proposals meet all criteria for award of a faculty development leave and rank the eligible proposals. The committee's recommendations are advisory to the President of UTA.
Level of Stipend. The Texas Education Code, Section 51.101, et seq., allows eligible faculty members to be considered for a faculty development leave for one academic year at one-half of regular salary or for one-half academic year at full regular salary.
Support to the Academic Unit. Additional support for faculty development leaves will be provided to the academic unit from which a professor is selected by funding from the President's Office. This funding will be sufficient to offset the cost of hiring temporary teachers to meet the unit's course. Faculty members on leave retain their eligibility for university benefits as provided by law.
Number of Participants. The Texas Education Code limits the total number of faculty members who may be on faculty development leave simultaneously to six percent of the tenured and tenure-track faculty members. The Provost's Office will maintain the records of faculty on paid and unpaid leave to ensure legislative compliance and general oversight.
Frequency of Participation. A faculty member will not be considered for an additional faculty development leave within five years of her or his most recent one.
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Section 6-508 Observance of Religious Holy Days by Faculty
Section 51.925 of the Texas Education Code prohibits University components from discriminating against or penalizing a faculty member absent from work for the observance of a 'religious holy day' upon providing proper notice of the absence. A 'religious holy day' is a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20 of the Texas Tax Code.
To assure compliance with applicable law by the faculty member and the institution, the following provisions are applicable:
The faculty member's written list of holy days must be received by the departmental chair before the first class day of the semester. The written list must be personally delivered, acknowledged and dated by the chair or sent to the chair by certified mail, return receipt requested.
The faculty member is responsible for finding a qualified substitute for any such classes for which he or she is absent.
If the faculty member is unable to find a qualified substitute to teach classes while absent, he or she must notify all students of the cancelled class at least two weeks prior to the religious holy day to be observed.