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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

REQUEST TO RECOGNIZE THE TEXAS INTERDISCIPLINARY PROGRAM ON THE OFFICIAL UNIVERISTY TRANSCRIPT


Dean Randy Diehl of the College of Liberal Arts and Dean Mary Ann Rankin of the College of Natural Sciences has filed with the secretary of the Faculty Council the request to recognize the Texas Interdisciplinary Program on the official university transcript. The change will appear in the in the College of Liberal Arts chapter and the College of Natural Sciences in the Undergraduate Catalog, 2010-2012. The associate deans of each college approved the changes in July and September of 2008. The secretary has classified this proposal as legislation of general interest to the university.

The Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review approved the request on a no protest basis on February 17, 2009, and forwarded the proposed changes to the Office of the General Faculty. The Faculty Council has the authority to approve this legislation on behalf of the General Faculty. The authority to grant final approval on this legislation resides with the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.

If no objection is filed with the Office of the General Faculty by the date specified below, the legislation will be held to have been approved by the Faculty Council. If an objection is filed within the prescribed period, the legislation will be presented to the Faculty Council at its next meeting. The objection, with reasons, must be signed by a member of the Faculty Council.

To be counted, a protest must be received in the Office of the General Faculty by noon on March 4, 2009.


Greninger Signature
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council


This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council web site on February 18, 2009. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.


REQUEST TO RECOGNIZE THE TEXAS INTERDISCIPLINARY PROGRAM ON THE OFFICIAL UNIVERISTY TRANSCRIPT


NAME OF PROGRAM TO BE CONSIDERED FOR APPEARANCE ON THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY TRANSCRIPT:
Texas Interdisciplinary Plan (TIP) (undergraduate academic certificate)

STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVE: Allow students with majors in the College of Liberal Arts or the College of Natural Sciences to have the TIP certificate recognized on the official University transcripts. Add the statement, “and recognition on their official university transcript,” and the sentence, “The IP must be completed in conjunction with or within one year of an undergraduate degree, and at least half of the IP course work must be completed in residence at The University of Texas at Austin.” to the TIP program outline in the College of Liberal Arts chapter (page 318) and the College of Natural Sciences chapter (page 486).

NEED (EXPECTED DEMAND): There are approximately 300 students are currently participating in the Texas IP.

ACADEMIC COURSE AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS:
General requirements
Completion of six courses, eighteen semester hours, as follows:
  • Critical Thinking Seminar: Undergraduate Studies 303 (Thinking about Thinking Across the Disciplines), Philosophy 311, Natural Sciences 311, Liberal Arts 302, or Natural Sciences 302. Selected courses may be substituted on a petition basis.
  • Critical Writing Seminar: Rhetoric and Writing 309K or 309S. Selected courses in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing may be substituted on a petition basis. Three additional courses from an interdisciplinary topic list prescribed by the Texas IP, or an interdisciplinary topic list designed by the student, including at least three semester hours of upper-division course work. These courses are submitted with the proposal and must be approved by members of the Texas IP Faculty Panel.
  • Senior Capstone Seminar: Liberal Arts 371 or Natural Sciences 371. Each student will have a faculty mentor who will serve as consultant in the student's area of interest. The Seminar will be devoted to the conventions and requirements of academic research and writing.
Additional requirements
  • Approval of written proposal by IP Faculty Panelists.
  • Approval of Capstone research proposal by UT Austin faculty member.
CERTIFICATE PROGRAM ACADEMIC COMMITTEE (Designate committee chair):
Vick, James, Ashbel Smith Professor and Distinguished Teaching Professor, mathematics, director of IP Faculty Panel
Banner, Jay, Chevron Centennial Fellow In Geology, research fellow, geological sciences
Birkholz, Daniel, assistant professor, English
Bonevac, Daniel, professor, philosophy
Carter, Mia, associate professor, English. Will become director in fall 2009.
Cherwitz, Richard, professor, communication studies
De Lozanne, Arturo, Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor, molecular cell and developmental biology
Englehardt, Elizabeth, associate professor, American studies
Davis, Diane, associate professor, rhetoric and writing
Davis, Janet, associate professor and chair, American studies
Draper, Moon, lecturer, Plan II, biology
Ferreira-Buckley, Linda, associate professor and chair, rhetoric and writing
Gonzalez-Lopez, Gloria, associate professor, sociology
Hillis, David, Alfred W, Roark Centennial Professor in Natural Sciences, integrative biology
Kalthoff, Klaus, professor, molecular cell and developmental biology
Linder, Randy, associate professor, integrative biology
Newman, Martha, associate professor, history; director, religious studies
Roncador, Sonia, assistant professor, Spanish and Portuguese
Ruszkiewicz, John, professor, rhetoric and writing
Sadun, Lorenzo, professor, mathematics
Sosa, David, associate professor and chair, philosophy
Starbird, Michael, Distinguished Teaching Professor, mathematics
Stevenson, Keith, associate professor, chemistry and biochemistry
Thompson, Shirley, assistant professor, American studies
Wilson, Clark, Wallace E. Pratt Professor in Geophysics and Wilton E. Scott Centennial Professor, geological sciences
Winslade, William, adjunct professor, philosophy and Plan II

COLLEGE/SCHOOL APPROVAL PROCESS:
David Laude, Associate Dean
College of Natural Sciences
Date: September 21, 2008
Richard Flores, Associate Dean
College of Liberal Arts
Date: July 22, 2008

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROGRAM:
Principles and goals of the Texas IP
The IP is founded on three main principles: 1) all IP students should be adept at critical thinking and writing; 2) students should be encouraged to study how experts from different disciplines approach a common subject; and 3) there is value in requiring students to articulate an area of interest, design a program of study, and persuade faculty, in a written proposal, that they have a coherent and defensible plan.

The Texas IP seeks to combine the flexibility of a small college with the faculty and resources of a major research university. Students who participate in the Texas IP commit to an elective program of study outside their major, one that requires a substantial investment of thought and work. They receive extensive advising to help them articulate an interdisciplinary interest of appropriate scope, to identify appropriate courses that meet their needs, and to write a proposal that will be reviewed and, ultimately, approved or denied by members of the IP Faculty Panel.

Description of IP Curriculum
The common curricular components of every IP Curriculum are the Critical Thinking and Critical Writing courses and the Capstone Seminar. The common extracurricular components are a written topic proposal that is approved by members of the Texas IP Faculty Panel, and a Capstone research proposal that is approved by a UT Austin faculty member.

Each topic proposal must answer these questions:
1. Describe your topic of interest. What academic disciplines does it cross over?
2. Why are you interested in studying this topic?
3. What is one specific question in this area that interests you, and why does it merit academic study?
4. Explain how each of your proposed courses fits into this topic. What do you hope to learn from each?

Students have until their fourth long semester at UT Austin to complete their proposal. (A sample proposal is included as Appendix A.)

The IP also has dedicated funds to support students interested in research, internships, conferences, and study abroad opportunities associated with their topics. One student studying The Culture of West Africa recently returned from Ghana, where she completed a course on Urban Ethnomusicology. Two others studying Medical Ethics took courses last fall with the International Program on Medical Practice and Policy in Copenhagen. During summer 2008, IP students, supported partly by IP funds, took courses, complete internships, and attended conferences in Canada, Denmark, England, France, Italy, Mexico, Russia and Spain.

Because IP topics–including those such as Medical Ethics and Forensic Science, which have been developed in consultation with the IP Faculty Panel–require written proposals describing each student's particular interest, students must identify and argue for the inclusion of specific courses in their topic list. Thus, course lists vary. Since the proposal review process includes the 3 proposed name of study, we request that transcripts for graduates who complete an IP Curriculum include the following language: “Texas IP Interdisciplinary Curriculum in [approved name of study].”

We have been gratified by the number of students who have eagerly committed to the work required to pursue an interdisciplinary area of interest that they themselves develop and design. Recognition on transcripts will be a welcome acknowledgment of sustained and coherent intellectual engagement outside their major.



UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG TEXT
Pages 318 and 486.

TEXAS INTERDISCIPLINARY PLAN (TEXAS IP) CURRICULUM

The Texas Interdisciplinary Plan (Texas IP) curriculum allows students to pursue an integrated course of study with a focus on the development and application of critical thinking skills. The eighteen-semester-hour program of study is designed to complement the student’s major with an interdisciplinary sequence of courses that may encompass the humanities, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and the arts. Students have the opportunity to present an original work in a capstone seminar. Those who plan to pursue the Texas IP curriculum should apply to the program adviser for admission no later than the end of their sophomore year. For more information, see http://www.utexas.edu/tip/TexasIP/.

Students who complete the requirements for the Texas IP curriculum receive a certificate and recognition on their official university transcript. The IP must be completed in conjunction with or within one year of an undergraduate degree, and at least half of the IP course work must be completed in residence at The University of Texas at Austin. The requirements are

1. Critical Thinking Seminar: Liberal Arts 302, Philosophy 311, Natural Sciences 302, or Natural Sciences 311. Selected courses may be substituted on a petition basis.
2. Critical Writing Seminar: Rhetoric and Writing 309K or 309S. Selected courses in the Division of Rhetoric and Writing may be substituted on a petition basis.
3. Three additional courses, including at least three semester hours of upper-division coursework, from an interdisciplinary topic area prescribed by the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan; or, with approval of the Texas IP Faculty Advisory Panel, a three-course interdisciplinary topic area designed by the student.
4. Senior Capstone Seminar: Liberal Arts 371 or Natural Sciences 371.


In the College of Liberal Arts, the Texas IP curriculum may be used to fulfill the minor requirement in the Bachelor of Arts, Plan I, with the exception of majors in Latin American studies, if all eighteen semester hours are completed. Spanish majors pursuing the Hispanic linguistics concentration are also excluded from using the Texas IP curriculum for the minor. Final approval of the Texas IP minor coursework rests with the College of Liberal Arts associate dean for academic and student affairs or the associate dean’s authorized representative.

In the College of Natural Sciences, the Texas IP curriculum may be used to complement any major. Some courses that are required by the Texas IP curriculum will also fulfill degree requirements established by the student’s major department and given later in this chapter; however, some of the eighteen hours of coursework in the curriculum may be in addition to the number of hours required for the degree.