:: UT QUEST FAQs

What is UT Quest™?
What is a self-directed membership organization?
How is the program structured?
Do Lecture and seminar presenters get paid?
Who puts the Lectures and Seminars together?
Does UT provide any resources?
How are finances managed?
What other Committees exist beyond Executive, Lecture and Seminar?
How can I participate in the Committee activities that seem to be the heart of Quest?
Are there other opportunities for members to participate?
Where is the program held?
How about parking?

What is UT Quest™?

It is a self-directed, membership organization for life long learning that is a part of UT Austin’s Division of Continuing Education (CE), Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UT.

What is a self-directed membership organization?

It means the member volunteers are responsible for creating their own program. The Quest Executive Committee, elected annually, has responsibility for ensuring the program meets members needs within guidelines established by the CE Dean. The Executive Committee works closely with the Dean’s staff representative, and the UT Quest™ Administrator, to ensure smooth operation of the program.

How is the program structured?

On Tuesday afternoons two Lectures on different subjects are offered during the fall, winter and spring UT Quest™ sessions.

On Thursday afternoons, two Seminars chosen from an offering of 6 possible subjects can be attended.

In contrast to a Lecture, a Seminar studies a subject in depth over the whole 6 week session.

There are no tests or required homework but often Lecture and Seminar leaders provide bibliographies and references to facilitate further study if the member so desires.

Because of the popularity of some subjects, seating for some of the Seminars may be limited and registration prior to the beginning of each session is required. There is no additional charge for this. You pay the program fee once a year. There is no registration required for Lectures. Seating is on a first come basis either in the Lectures or Seminars.

Do Lecture and seminar presenters get paid?

Our speakers are not remunerated, generously giving their time.

Many members see the possibility of being able to present a Lecture and Seminar as a significant benefit of membership. This is the co-operative part of our program.

Who puts the Lectures and Seminars together?

The Lecture and Seminar Committees respectively, both composed of member volunteers.

They establish the curriculum, subject to Executive Committee approval and select the subjects and speakers.

The chairperson of each of these committees is a member of the UT Quest™ Executive Committee.

Does UT provide any resources?

Being affiliated with UT brings the inherent benefits of academic reputation, dedicated facilities, and a sense of serious purpose.

As mentioned above, the UT Quest™ Administrator provides the bridge between the University and Quest. This role covers a wide range of responsibilities, from managing equipment and room rental to liaison with UT financial staff, and handling the minutiae involved in managing the member interface.

And then there is the significant contribution made by the UT faculty members who give their time presenting a Lecture or a Seminar.

How are finances managed?

UT requires that programs such as Quest be self-supporting, so annual program fees must cover the cost of facilities rental and UT staff support.

The Quest Executive Committee, in cooperation with UT accounting, establishes a budget for each academic year based on agreed program activities. The Quest Treasurer, a member of the Executive Committee, then monitors expenditures and income throughout the year.

What other Committees exist beyond Executive, Lecture and Seminar?

There are the Membership, Social, Web and Travel Committees, all composed of member volunteers, whose Chairpersons are members of the Executive Committee.

The Social and Travel Committees arrange a variety of optional events at an additional cost, such as end-of-session dinners and field trips respectively.

The Membership Committee is responsible for recruiting new members from the Quest waiting list and organizing welcoming activities.

The Web and Newsletter Committees are responsible for the communication links between the Executive Committee and the membership.

How can I participate in the Committee activities that seem to be the heart of Quest?

Checking the appropriate box on the Enrollment Form is the easiest way. But the best way is to contact the current Chair who can give you more information about how the Committee operates and how your skills might fit.

The value and success of UT Quest to its members depends entirely on the work of these Committees new faces and ideas are enthusiastically welcomed.

However there is NO obligation for any member to belong to a Committee. This is strictly voluntary.

Are there other opportunities for members to participate beyond attending the core Committees of Lectures, Seminars, and participating in the Social and Travel events?

Several informal Special Interest groups exist including Bridge, Books and Wine Appreciation.

There is always a need for knowledgeable people to fully exploit our website.

Where is the program held?

At the Thompson Center on the UT Austin Campus.

How about parking?

The Thompson Center has its own parking lot, a short walk to entrances of the Center, for which there is currently no charge.

When the lot is full, which may happen on occasion, discounted parking is available at nearby UT parking garages.

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