UT Dallas Faculty Handbook

Instructional Policies

Minimum Faculty Academic Workload Requirement

Statutory Requirement: State law requires the Board of Regents to adopt rules concerning faculty academic workloads. Texas Education Code Section 51.402 recognizes that important elements of workload include classroom teaching, basic and applied research, and professional development. Workload for the faculty members of the institutions of The University of Texas System is expressed in terms of classroom teaching, teaching equivalencies, and presidential credits for assigned activities. It is expected that every faculty member will be regularly engaged in scholarly research or creative activities, in serving on faculty committees, and in interacting with students in various extracurricular ways. The one aspect of a faculty member's duties for which a minimum level of activity has been defined, however, is direct instruction.

Undergraduate Academic Advising for Non-majors

The Dean of Undergraduate Education is responsible for organizing, administering, and monitoring undergraduate advising for students who have not declared a major and for those who are not seeking a degree.

Undergraduate Academic Advising for Majors

Academic advising is an integral part of each faculty member's teaching responsibility. Careful, informed advising should help students formulate and implement their plans for the baccalaureate degree. The advisor's responsibility is to explain degree requirements and to oversee a student's progress, and equally important, to assist the students in exploring areas particularly suited to their interests or career goals. Academic advising, in short, should help students learn to use the resources of the University to fulfill their special educational aspirations.

The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education within each school is responsible for organizing, administering, and monitoring undergraduate advising. Generally, that function should be based upon the following procedural model.

  • The Office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education (or other appropriate office) will retain a file (physical or electronic) for each undergraduate student registered in the College. This file will include all pertinent information regarding the student's past academic record, current status, and future academic plans. (For example, the file should contain transcripts of past college work, upper-level evaluation of courses taken elsewhere, letter of admission, record of deficiencies, grade reports, notice of academic probation or suspension, notice of special honors such as College honors list, grade changes, drops and adds, individual instructor's requirements for making up incompletes, and the degree plan.) The file should also contain any petition waiver or agreement regarding fulfillment of degree requirements; such extraordinary arrangements are the responsibility of the Associate Dean and are not valid unless signed by the Associate Dean or his/her designate.
  • All new students should first proceed through the Associate Dean's office (or other appropriate office) during their first registration. At that time, each student will be assigned an advisor, in most cases temporary, who will briefly explain the degree program, the meaning of any deficiencies and how they may be made up, and distribute any material pertaining to the degree requirements which the programs provide for their students. A preliminary degree plan will be devised, signed by the advisor, and sent to the Associate Dean's office (or Program office) for the student's permanent file.
  • After registration, and during the first semester at UT Dallas, the Associate Dean will assign each student a permanent advisor, who will remain the student's advisor during the student's career at UTD. The student will be informed of his/her advisor and instructed to contact him or her for an appointment as the need arises. The student and advisor, or someone under the supervision of the advisor, will meet during the first semester for the purpose of more fully explaining the degree requirements and discovering the student's academic plans and career goals. The student should be advised that the Catalog governs requirements; and advising should conform to it. The student may also be offered information about support services such as career development and financial aids, and should be advised about the possibilities for graduating with honors.
  • The Office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education (or other appropriate office) should ensure that each student has been assigned an appropriate advisor and that he/she has been advised during the first semester. Advice should be accessible to students throughout the semester; and students should be strongly urged to seek advice each semester.
  • Upon completion of 75 semester credit hours, the student must meet with his/her advisor, or someone under the supervision of the advisor for the purpose of completing an official degree plan. The advisor should ascertain that all degree requirements have been fulfilled, that deficiencies have been made up, and elective and interdisciplinary requirements have been met. The advisor will then sign the degree plan in preparation for the application for graduation.
  • The Associate Dean will check the final degree plan and application for graduation (and honors, if pertinent) and forward them to the Registrar's office.

Graduate Academic Advising

This activity is coordinated by the Dean of Graduate Studies and administered by the schools either by the Dean of Graduate Studies or the department/program head or the program areas within a school.

Policy on Office Hours

It is essential that students have access to faculty members for individual consultation. Faculty members are expected to maintain regular office hours and conference periods most advantageous to students and to post such hours on their office doors.

Outside Employment and Consulting

The policies of The University of Texas at Dallas regarding consulting and outside employment are contained in UTDPP1091.

Conditions on the Grade of Incomplete

The Academic Council and Senate, with the concurrence of the President, adopted the procedures concerning assigning the grade "Incomplete" by members of the faculty. These procedures can be found in the on-line catalog from "incomplete" in the alphabetical indices of each online catalog.

Policy on Scholastic Dishonesty

Official policies on scholastic dishonesty are stated in UTDSP5003.