2 September 2014

Dear Deans:

As the new academic year begins and Faculty Council starts to consider academic program revisions we would like to remind you that the UT Austin Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) specifically allocates to the Faculty Council authority to consider all matters of educational policy. Except for those matters that are specifically delegated to the Graduate Assembly, the Faculty Council is also charged with establishing the necessary procedures for enlisting the aid of the faculty in developing educational policies for the entire University. On March 22, 2010, the Faculty Council endorsed the following minimal standards for college and school governance procedures with respect to the development of educational policy:

  1. Colleges and schools have at least one annual meeting.

  2. The curriculum committee ought to either be elected by the faculty or, if the curriculum committee is appointed by a chair or a dean, the curriculum changes ought to be circulated to the full college faculty for approval, protest, or no protest.

  3. The college and school faculty vote on and be made aware of these procedures.

We would like to thank you for responding to our past requests for your faculty governance procedures. We have posted this information on the web with a convenient link on the Faculty Council main home page called “EDUCATIONAL POLICY FORMULATION GOVERNANCE.

We respectfully request that your college or school review these posted procedures and either confirm that they are still current or provide us with any updates. We look forward to working with you in the upcoming semester on your academic program revisions.

A formal letter containing this message is in campus mail.


On behalf of the Faculty Council Executive Committee,
Dean P. Neikirk, Ph.D.
Secretary, General Faculty and Faculty Council

16 September 2010

University of Texas at Austin
Educational Policy Formulation Governance

The University of Texas’s Regents’ Rules state in Rule 40101, “Faculty Role in Educational Policy Formation,” that ”the faculties of the institutions regularly offering instruction shall have a major role in the governance of their respective institutions in the following areas:

3.1 General academic policies and welfare.
3.2 Student life and activities.
3.3 Requirements of admission and graduation.
3.4 Honors and scholastic performance.
3.5 Approval of candidates for degrees.
3.6 Faculty rules of procedure.

Additionally, The UT Austin Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) 2-1110 specifically allocates to the Faculty Council “authority to consider the following:”13

  1. All matters of educational policy. Except for those matters that are specifically delegated to the Graduate Assembly (see revised HOP 9-1240)14, the Council shall establish the necessary procedures for enlisting the aid of the faculty in developing educational policies for the entire University.
  2. Regulations dealing with student activities.
  3. Requirements for admission, honors, or degrees except to the extent such authority is specifically delegated to the Graduate Assembly (see revised HOP 9-1240)14.
  4. Approval of degree candidates.
  5. Catalogue changes requiring approval of the UT System Board of Regents except to the extent that such authority is specifically delegated to the Graduate Assembly (see revised HOP 9-124014).
  6. Reports of special and standing committees, including the committees of the General Faculty, with the exception of the Rules Committee.1
To provide clarity in how this role in formulation of Educational Policy is enacted in each of the colleges and schools at The University of Texas, the Faculty Council has surveyed the units and requested information about the units’ governance, especially in relation to curriculum development. It has also requested the date of the faculty’s approval of these processes. Below is a summary of these reports.

Although several colleges/schools have internal unit processes for approving graduate programs, overall, the Graduate School supervises these curricula. The procedures for graduate educational policy formulation are in the revised Handbook of operating Procedures 9-1240.14

A. School of Architecture
      The School of Architecture holds monthly faculty meetings (during the long sessions). All faculty members (tenure-stream and adjunct) are invited and encouraged to participate. The dean chairs this meeting and the dean’s executive assistant takes minutes. Prior to each meeting, an agenda is distributed electronically to all faculty members through an SOA list serve. Topics are suggested by faculty, staff, and the dean. All faculty members with voting rights are allowed to vote, if something calls for a vote. Proxy votes are not allowed. The faculty is notified of any major curricular changes at faculty meetings and they are provided with an opportunity to discuss changes prior to implementation.
     The SOA charter was approved by the general faculty in January of 2003.2

B. McCombs School of Business
     Undergraduate Academic Program Committee. The committee is responsible for bringing to the faculty policy issues related to the BBA academic programs, such as the BBA core courses, interdepartmental program, and self-review and coordination of departmental programs. The committee shall review proposed curriculum changes, academic standards, enrollment control, and such other areas that affect the academic quality of the undergraduate degree. The committee shall specify standard reports and periodic analyses essential to their policy deliberations and for the periodic distribution to the faculty. They will also review related administrative procedures of the Dean’s Office to ensure that they reflect the policies established by the faculty.
      Membership: Faculty members of standing committees . . . shall be elected by the faculty at its last regular meeting in the Spring semester. Nominations for these committee positions shall be made by the Dean and the department chairmen. Any faculty member may at the meeting for the election place names in nomination for the committee positions. No more than two members of any one department shall serve on any one standing committee.
If [a curricular] item is deemed to be a major change, then it must be voted on in a regular or special faculty meeting. The proposal must be circulated to the faculty at least one week before the meeting.
     Most recent approval was 30 November 2009.3

C. College of Communication
     The College’s faculty has not approved this educational policy formulation. procedure. Moreover, this procedure does not conform to the Faculty Council’s resolution that college/schools have annual faculty meetings and that it have an Educational Policy Formulation Committee that is elected by faculty, or, if chairs or the dean appoint the committee members, curriculum changes are circulated to the full college faculty for approval or protest.
     Typically the department chairs bring forth proposals from their departments after consultation with their faculty. In each case the changes at the undergraduate level are approved by department committee and voted on by the department faculty. Minor changes may be approved by a subgroup of the faculty with the approval of the chair, with changes to the graduate curriculum also requiring approval by the graduate studies committee. The proposed changes are brought to the Administrative Committee, which includes the Assistant and Associate Deans for Student Affairs, and voted on ensuring that it meets and works in the overall degree plan criteria already in place.
On October 11, 2013, Dean Hart provided the following information:
  1. We have two all-College faculty meetings each year.
  2. The College’s faculty voted overwhelmingly on September 19, 2011 to retain our long-standing procedures (i.e., a Dean-appointed curriculum committee).
  3. We don’t do a great job of circulating proposed curriculum changes to the entire faculty but we’ll try to do so in the future.
D. College of Education
     Faculty who sit on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee are recommended by their department chair to the Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Student Affairs with one or two faculty representing each undergraduate education program.Curriculum changes recommended by either the Kinesiology and Health Education Undergraduate Advising Committee or the Applied Learning and Development Advisory Committee are presented to the Undergraduate 74510`Curriculum Committee for approval, before being sent to the Dean.
     When the Dean has reviewed and approved the changes, they are sent electronically, on a no-protest basis, to the voting faculty of the College. If there are no protests, the Dean gives final approval to the legislation and forwards it to the Office of the General Faculty. If changes are recommended, they are returned to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for further review and discussion. For major legislation, a reasonable number of protests could trigger a called meeting of the general faculty of the College to vote on the legislation. The Dean has never overruled the faculty on proposed curriculum or academic changes. 
     Approved by College of Education faculty on April 22, 2010.4

E. Cockrell School of Engineering
     The College’s faculty approved its educational policy formulation procedure at its spring 2011 meeting. It was received by the Office of the General Faculty on April 26, 2011.
    The Degrees and Courses Committee serves as the school’s curriculum committee. Consideration of general academic policies and curricular changes typically originates in the departments. Once vetted and approved at the department level, the department representative on the Degrees and Courses Committee presents the changes to the committee for discussion and a vote. This vote represents a committee recommendation to the dean on minor changes and to the school faculty on major changes. Should a negative vote by the Degrees and Courses Committee occur on major changes, a department can choose to either withdraw changes for further discussion or move forward with a presentation to the school faculty. Catalog and curricula changes for each department are posted on the School’s website one to two weeks in advance of the faculty meeting to allow the faculty time to review the changes before the meeting. At the faculty meeting, changes are presented by the Chair of the Degrees and Courses Committee. After presentation of each department’s major legislation, there is discussion and a vote. No process exists for a priori protests on major legislation because all major legislation is presented to the faculty for discussion and a vote. The goal in considering academic policies and curricular changes in this manner is to build consensus between the faculty and school administration. The dean can overrule the faculty, although this is seen as an undesirable outcome that would only occur in rare and unusual instances (e.g., faculty opposition to a State, University, or accreditation mandate).16

F. College of Fine Arts
     On September 8, 2011, Dean Dempster notified the Office of the General Faculty that the College’s faculty approved its educational policy formulation procedure on September 6, 2011.
     Each academic unit elects one faculty member [to the Undergraduate Policy and Curriculum Committee] to serve a two-year term. The chair of each unit’s undergraduate curriculum committee, or his/her designee, also serves on the committee. Terms are staggered to allow for continuity from year to year. The Assistant Dean for Student Affairs serves as the committee chair and the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs serves as an ex-officio member. . . . Curriculum proposals in each academic unit begin with the faculty and must be approved at the departmental or school level before being considered at the college level. Proposals presented to the college by the academic unites are reviewed and voted on by the COFA Undergraduate Policy and Curriculum Committee. They are either returned to the academic unit for clarification or revision, or forwarded, with approval of the dean, to the Faculty Council for university approval or rejection.18
     Dean Dempster submitted the following summary on October 6, 2015.
  1. As dean, I or the senior associate dean meet with all the faculty of the college for a state of the college address at least once per year, though these faculty members are never massed in one single meeting, which has proved logistically unachievable.
  2. The Curriculum Committee of the college is filled by nominated or elected representatives from the faculty of each department.
  3. The collective faculty has never voted on items #1 and #2.
G. Jackson School of Geosciences
     The Faculty as a whole sets general academic policies including undergraduate curriculum requirements . . . . The Undergraduate Committee, which consists of a representative group of faculty selected by the department chair, is chaired by the Undergraduate Faculty Advisor and makes recommendations to the Faculty on undergraduate academic policies, including admission policies. Ad hoc committees, chaired by appropriate members of the Undergraduate Committee, are periodically set up to review specific undergraduate degree options and make recommendations to the Faculty for changes prior to a new undergraduate catalogue. . . . . The department has a minimum of two faculty meetings per semester, but usually at least three. Action items include academic policies, hiring of new faculty, undergraduate curriculum and programmatic issues, etc. . . . . Faculty are sent the proposed changes in writing in advance of the faculty meeting where the changes are discussed. Each proposed change is outlined in detail and information on how the changes will affect the existing programs and potential impacts on course offerings, class size, and overall enrollment are provided. For minor changes decisions are made at a single meeting. For major changes, such as adding a new degree or degree option or for changes that will impact the overall program, course offerings or class sizes, the changes may be proposed and discussed at one meeting and voted on at a later meeting. Any faculty member may request that a second meeting be held for such a vote.
     New procedures specific to the Jackson School were voted on by the members of the school when the school was formed in 2005.5

H. School of Information
     The School of Information is a Graduate program.
     The faculty last reviewed and voted on governance procedures in September 2007.6

I. School of Law
The College’s faculty has not approved this educational policy formulation procedure.
     Faculty members are appointed by the Dean to serve on the Law School’s Curriculum Committee. Proposals for major curricular changes are presented to the Dean by way of a Committee report. The Dean then circulates the Committee report to the faculty. If a matter is likely to be uncontroversial, the Dean may seek faculty approval via e-mail. In such instances, however, a faculty meeting will be scheduled if there is significant objection to the proposal. For all other matters, a faculty meeting is automatically scheduled. Faculty members who are eligible to vote can then discuss the proposed curricular changes both informally and at the meeting before a vote is taken.15

J. College of Liberal Arts
General Faculty Meetings

Each year the Dean holds either an open forum related to specific issues or provides another opportunity open to all faculty members to engage in discussion on topics related to the college. These are scheduled on an as-needed basis.  

Faculty Committees for Academic and Educational Policy   

Policy and Curriculum Committee (PCC)
Reviews policy and curricular changes, assesses college academic objectives, and makes recommendations on academic policies.  The committee consists of TNTT faculty, and is chaired by the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs who serves as a non-voting member. Committee members are appointed by the Dean.

Language Policy Advisory Committee (LPAC)
Advises the College on issues related to language policy and pedagogy.  The committee consists of faculty representatives from each language unit, and is chaired by the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs who serves as a no-voting member. Committee members are appointed by their Department Chairs as requested by the Dean.

College of Liberal Arts faculty committee information is available on our website:

Procedures for Considering Academic and Educational Policy 
The College has two bodies that evaluate and recommend changes regarding academic policy.  The first is the Policy and Curriculum Committee (PCC).  This committee reviews all catalog changes and curricular policy and makes a recommendation to the dean.  The second is the Language Policy Advisory Committee (LPAC) that reviews issues and recommends policy related to second language acquisition. Recommendations involving catalog changes are referred to the PCC and follow our curriculum and catalog procedures. All other policy recommendations are submitted to the dean for consideration.

Procedures for curriculum and catalog changes are the following:
  • Department Chairs and Center Directors are sent an official memorandum/letter in March of a "catalog year," asking them to review their curriculum and major/honors programs with their faculty.  The memo provides the departments with deadlines for submitting changes and instructions on how to submit their changes to the college.
  • The Policy and Curriculum Committee (PCC) reviews catalog changes.  The committee approves  some changes as routine; others are sent back to the department/center with feedback and resubmitted.  The committee may meet with the chair and other faculty when further clarification is required.  Once reviewed by the PCC, recommendations are made to the Dean.  Upon approval by the Committee, they are posted to the website: This constitutes a proposal's "College Approval Date."
  • An email is sent to a list serve of all college-voting faculty to view the proposed changes. Here are the instructions posted there:
"The College of Liberal Arts will post proposed curriculum changes for online review for ten business days, notifying faculty via email and inviting them to submit a rationale for any objections they might have to The faculty Policy and Curriculum Committee will review all objections, making recommendations to the Dean concerning both how to address them and in what forum. The Dean will make final decisions on proposed curriculum changes and forward the recommendation to the Office of the General Faculty.”

The end of this period for objection, and/or the resolution of those objections by the Dean, constitutes "Dean's Approval Date."

Procedures are available on our website:

Academic and Educational Policy Procedures Approval Date

April 26, 2012 .

Updated faculty goverance document submitted September19, 2014.19

K. College of Natural Sciences
     The Course & Curriculum Committee is composed of 14 faculty representing each of the following academic units in the college: Astronomy, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Computer Science, School of Biological Sciences (with additional representatives from the sections of Neurobiology, Integrative Biology, and Microbiology), School of Human ecology (with additional representatives from Nutrition and Textiles & Apparel), Marine Science, Mathematics, Physics, and UTeach. Members are appointed by the chair of the department, or director of the school, and approved by the dean prior to the beginning of each academic year. . . . . Legislative changes to the undergraduate curriculum are initially proposed, reviewed and voted upon within the home department. Changes are then brought to the Course & Curriculum committee for a college-level review. Curricular changes approved at the college-level are posted on the college website for a 30-day review period by the general faculty and advising staff of the college. Approved legislation is then forwarded by Academic Records to the Office of the General Faculty. . . . During the 30-day review period, questions or concerns about the proposed legislative changes can be emailed to Academic Records for review by the C&C committee. Faculty may also request the opportunity to discuss any concerns about the proposed legislation with the C&C committee. Final authority for forwarding college-level recommended legislative changes remains with the Dean. . . .
      Approved on a “no-protest vote” due 14 May 2010.7

L. School of Nursing
     The undergraduate curriculum committee includes the assistant dean for undergraduate programs, who holds continuous membership and serves as committee chair, three faculty (2 appointed in even years and 1 in odd years) and one undergraduate student (appointed annually). The Graduate Studies Committee makes recommendations concerning new graduate courses and changes in graduate courses.
     Proposed curricular changes are presented to the general faculty for action through a protest/no protest procedure. Recommendations are prepared by the appropriate committee or its designated subcommittee. Each recommendation must include the issue or problem involved, a brief statement of its significance and why faculty action is required, the consequence of the recommendation including both advantages and disadvantages. Faculty have five working days in which to study the recommendation and submit their protest. A minimum of five protests is necessary to return the issue to committee or subcommittee for further review and discussion by full faculty. Dean cannot overrule the faculty.
      Bylaws were amended May 1, 2015.8

M. College of Pharmacy
     [Requires divisional representation, Cooperative Pharmacy Program representation, Pharm.D. student representation, a recent UTCOP graduate representative and a practitioner representative]
  • Continuous monitoring and revision of the professional curriculum, including the implementation of curriculum changes, and the review of all professional courses on a routine (cycling) basis.
  • Review proposals for new courses, course deletions, and changes in sequence.
  • Report all proposals for all substantive curricular changes to the faculty for approval.
Responsibility: Advisory to the faculty.
Membership and Voting
  • Division representation is defined as one member and one alternative member per division/cooperative program. If the member is not present at a meeting, only then may the alternative member cast a vote on any matter.
  • The administrative faculty liaisons are voting members.
  • Student representation is defined as one appointed member and one alternative member for each of the P1, P2, and P3 classes. The most senior student member attending the meeting shall cast the single vote of the students.
  • The recent UTCOP graduate and practitioner representatives are full voting members.

Voting Procedures:

  • “Substantive curricular changes” are defined as any changes involving addition/ deletion of courses, sequences of courses, or numbers of credit hours associated with required Pharm.D. curriculum courses, the pre-pharmacy course requirements, or in the requirements for graduation in the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program (e.g., curricular programmatic requirements not associated with specific courses).
  • Written proposals for substantive curricular changes must be distributed to the Faculty at least 5 working days prior to the Curriculum Committee meeting for their review and comment through their divisional representatives.
  • Any substantive curricular change approved by the Curriculum Committee will be submitted o the faculty for approval on a no-protest basis. The curricular change will be considered approved unless, within 10 working days, protests have been received by the chair of the committee from at least 10 working members of the Faculty or >50% of the voting faculty from a single division or Cooperative Program campus. If sufficient protests are received, the item will be presented to the Faculty at the next general faculty meeting for discussion. If desired, a motion to reconsider can be made at that time and, if approved, the matter referred back to the curriculum committee for reconsideration.
  • The Committee has autonomy in all other matters (based on divisional representation and input), such as approving elective course syllabi, review of courses, changes in course content for existing courses, etc.).
Approved by the Pharmacy Faculty September 2, 2010.9

N. LBJ School of Public Affairs
The LBJ School of Public Affairs is a Graduate program.
     Approved 9 October 2006.10

O. School of Social Work
     The basic legislative body of the School of Social Work shall consist of members of the faculty in Categories 1 and 2 [General Faculty (Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, Clinical Professors, Clinical Associate Professors, and Clinical Assistant Professors); Research Professors; Faculty Administrators; Instructors or Lecturers with two semesters of service in the School of Social Work; Visiting Professors and Visiting Associate Professors who have two semesters of service at the rank of instructor or above at The University of Texas at Austin; persons awarded Courtesy Status for voting purposes]. Subject to state law, and the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System for the Governance of The University of Texas System as outlined in the form of the Handbook of Operating Procedure (HOP), Chapter 1, this legislative body shall have full authority to develop policy and decide matters of general academic policies and welfare, curriculum, program offerings, admissions and graduation, honors and scholastic performance generally, and any other academic matters of concern to the School.
     Our faculty governance procedures are reviewed and approved annually in the form of faculty and staff voting on the School’s By-Laws.11

P. School of Undergraduate Studies
     Beginning in 2010-11, the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee shall be composed of seventeen members (fifteen voting members):
  1. the dean and associate dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies, who serve as non-voting members,
  2. five representatives from the schools and colleges with the largest undergraduate populations (associate deans who are faculty members, chosen by the respective deans of Liberal Arts, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Business, and Communication),
  3. one representative from one of the remaining schools and colleges offering undergraduate degrees (an associate dean who is a faculty member, appointed to a two-year term by the dean of that school or college; every two years UGSAC selects the school or college to be represented),
  4. six members of the General Faculty at large, elected by the Faculty Council (two elected each year to three-year terms) from six different schools and colleges,
  5. one member of the Faculty Council appointed annually by the chair of the Faculty Council as liaison with the Educational Policy Committee who will also be one of the two Faculty Council Chair appointments to the Educational Policy Committee, and
  6. two students (the heads of the Student Government and Senate of College Councils).
     Each spring the Faculty Council will solicit nominations, including self-nominations, of the General Faculty for membership on UGSAC. No nominations will be accepted from the four schools and colleges represented by continuing elected members. The ballot of nominees will be made available to the voting members of the Faculty Council, and the two elected will start their three-year terms at the beginning of the following academic year.
     The flag committees overseeing writing, independent inquiry, and ethics and leadership shall be large, with a faculty representative solicited from the dean of each undergraduate school and college. These members serve renewable staggered three-year terms. The dean of UGS shall appoint one student member to each committee for a one-year term, in consultation with the president of the Senate of College Councils. The chair of the Faculty Council shall appoint one member of the Faculty Council to each committee for a one-year term.
     The remaining two committees, providing oversight of the quantitative reasoning flag and the cultural diversity in the US and global cultures flags, shall be smaller. Each shall consist of six faculty members appointed by the dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies (renewable three-year terms). The dean of UGS shall appoint one student member to each committee for a one-year term, in consultation with the president of the Senate of College Councils. The chair of the Faculty Council shall appoint one member of the Faculty Council to each committee for a one-year term.
      Flag committee chairs shall be appointed annually from the established committee membership by the dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies.
      Approved 18 June 2010.12

1UT Austin HOP Chapter 1, III. A. 1.
2Submitted by Assistant Dean Jeff Evelyn. Date last acknowledged as correct: October 6, 2015.
3Submitted by Interim Dean Thomas Gilligan. Interim Dean Laura Starks acknowledged as correct: October 9, 2015.
4Submitted by Senior Associate Dean Marilyn Kameen. Date last acknowledged as correct: October 6, 2015.
5Submitted by Dean Sharon Mosher. Date last acknowledged as correct: September 9, 2014.
6Submitted by Dean Andrew Dillon. Date last acknowledged as correct: November 5, 2013.
7Submitted by Associate Dean David Laude and Associate Dean Linda Reichl. Date last acknowledged as correct: October 31, 2013.
8Submitted by Dean Alexa K. Stuifbergen. Date last acknowledged as correct: October 6, 2015.
9Submitted by Dean Lynn Crismon. Date last acknowledged as correct: September 2, 2014.
10Submitted by Associate Dean Chandler Stolp. Date last acknowledged as correct: October 4, 2014.
11Submitted by Associate Dean David Springer. Date last acknowledged as correct: March 1, 2010.
12Approved by the president, June 2010. Date last acknowledged as correct: June 18, 2010.
13Handbook of Operating Procedures 2-1110 Faculty Council , previously HOP 1.3, last amended September 12, 2013.
14Handbook of Operating Procedures 9-1240, previously, HOP 1.C.2, last amended September 12, 2013.
15Submitted by Dean Ward Farnsworth on September 24, 2014.
16Submitted by Dean Sharon Wood on October 5, 2015.
17Submitted by Dean Roderick Hart on September 2, 2014.
18Submitted by Dean Douglas Dempster on October 6, 2015.
19Reaffirmed by Associate Dean Richard Flores October 5, 2015.