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Faculty Affairs News 048 -- December 3rd, 2015

Pre-Proposal Announcement: Strategic Research Appointments for Faculty

The Strategic Research Appointments for Faculty (SRAF) program is a new initiative that will enable faculty to spend time at another institution (or institutions) to conduct research while expanding their knowledge & expertise and building key partnerships. Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research the appointments aim to significantly advance our research efforts under the UTA strategic plan themes: Health and the Human Condition, Sustainable Urban Communities, Global Environmental Impact, and Data-Driven Discovery.

These appointments, which will be awarded on a competitive basis, provide support for one semester at full salary to enable a faculty member to spend time at another research institution.  Proposals for Strategic Research Appointments for Faculty need to be submitted via starting December 15th and due 11:00pm January 25th. Details available here.

increasing response to Student feedback surveys (SFS)

Access to the Student Feedback Surveys for standard 15-week courses will close at 11:00 PM on Friday, December 9, 2015 (i.e., before we enter into final exams).  Students in dynamic-dated courses will receive their SFS approximately a week before the course ends.

Now is the time to talk to your students about their role in providing effective feedback, emailing them reminders or asking them to open their Blackboard page and seeing if any remaining SFS requests are evident. Other best practices include:
1. Provide class time for the Student Feedback Surveys. Ask students to open their electronic devices (smart phone, tablet, laptop). Have them go to their Blackboard page and any pending SFSs will appear.
2. Explain the importance of Student Feedback Surveys.  Students don't often know how we use this data. Explain that the results are anonymous and confidential. The ways student feedback matters includes: (1) it can shape revisions of the course; (2) the actual survey findings determine which courses are delivered; (3) findings may determine which faculty members are appointed to teach the courses; and (4) how the faculty member might improve his or her teaching style. 

Faculty are also reminded that they must keep their own copies of the SFS for at least 6 years for tenured faculty, and at least 5 for non-tenured faculty.  The reviews are required for promotion, promotion and tenure and for Comprehensive Performance Reviews (6th year post-tenure).  Questions about SFS?

campus climate survey extended

Approximately 700 respondents have filled out the brief survey sponsored by the UTA Campus Climate Task Force to better understand issues related to the quality of work-life for female faculty and staff on campus.  Males respondents are also needed and encouraged to contribute their views on work-life balance.  All faculty can take the survey by clicking here

Responses are anonymous.The new deadline is Monday, December 7, 2015.

Center for Teaching and learning Excellence You Tube channel

Thanks to the work of CTLE Faculty Fellow Peggy Semingson, the CTLE has a growing library of videos highlighting scholars across campus on a variety of topics.  See Dr.Andy Milson talk about strategies for blocking out time for your academic wrtiting, or Dr. George Siemens discussing planning for digital writing projects.  A full list is available here.  A Blog will be coming online very soon. We're actively looking for contributors who want to share stories, offer advice, or pose provocative questions about teaching and learning. This is a great opportunity for graduate students to get involved as well. If you have an idea for a post, share it with us at or contact Peggy Semingson at

final grades

Faculty can begin entering final grades today, December 3. The deadline for filing grades for Fall 2015 is December 21 at 5 pm.  All primary instructors are required to verify that their grades extracted successfully and are accurate by going into MyMav and setting the grade approval status to "approve."

Please note that "F" grades cannot be entered on Blackboard, only through MyMav. When selecting an “F” grade, faculty will be presented with three options for the “Justification for F.” One of the following options must be selected to clarify why the student earned an “F”:

Option 1 - In attendance/performed poorly
Option 2 - Stopped attending as of ___(“date last attended” will be required)
Option 3 - Never attended or participated

The Office of Admissions and Records has created a website to assist faculty with grading, available here.

New thesis/dissertation policies

The Graduate Assembly approved a proposal allowing departments and supervising committees within departments to determine whether students may  submit a  monograph style  or manuscript-based theses  in fulfillment of master's and doctoral  degree requirements. Under this proposal, theses and Dissertations can take several forms. The canonical form  of a thesis or dissertation, the monograph, will continue to be allowed, but the decision to require that form will be made at the department and supervising committee level. Alternatively, departments and supervising committees may allow students to present a  “manuscript-based” (aka “paper-based" or "article­ based) thesis or dissertation". This type of document contains complete manuscripts that may  be in preparation for  publication, in press  or published. 

The Graduate Assembly’s also approved a policy that gives the  supervising committee the authority to make the final determination as to whether a document is acceptably formatted. Neither the Library nor the Graduate School will check the format of documents approved by the supervising committee except to verify that it is acceptable for archiving.  
These policies will take effect in Spring 2016. A  New Thesis and Dissertation Writing Guide will be posted on the Graduate School and Library  Thesis and Dissertation websites in January. For questions or more information, please contact Joe Jackson in the Graduate School at

Did You Know....

...your mobile electronic device must also be secured if you are using it for University business? The UT Arlington Information Security Office has published Security Standards and Guidelines on how to secure your University-assigned or your personal mobile device including avoiding jail breaking, and installing an anti- malware app.  The holiday season is a hazardous time for your device so please review these guidelines.

Faculty Affairs News is an online publication of the  Division of Faculty Affairs at
The University of Texas at Arlington, Box 19128, 817-272-7422.