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Admissions and Registration Committee

 

The committee met periodically throughout the 2011-12 academic year.

At the first meeting of the year, Kedra Ishop, director of admissions, presented an overview of the criteria and deadlines of the general application process and the impact the top 10 percent rule has had on admissions to the University. Shelby Stanfield then gave a quick overview of the 15 different core functions of the Registrar’s Office, involving administrative issues, which directly affect students.

As a result of suggestions made by last year’s committee the Admissions Office hosted an information session specifically for UT faculty with high school juniors and seniors. The committee was informed that both sessions had been very successful and that the Admissions Office intended to hold them again next year.

During the year, the committee concerned itself with the difficulties of recording multiple majors. This is an issue of some concern especially to small departments who think that the number of their majors gets under-reported. Shelby Stanfield emphasized that the Registrar’s Office regards multiple majors as simultaneous majors and realizes that a “second” major does not reflect a lesser effort or expenditure of resources on the part of either the student or department involved. After a meeting with Kristi Fisher and Lincoln Holmes from the Office of Information Management and Analysis, it was determined that the University does gather data on second and third majors, but that there is no mechanism in place to report more than one major per student to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In fact, in an effort to increase the four-year graduation rate, the THECB would like to discourage students from declaring second majors. Since the reluctance to recognize multiple majors is a facet of the THECB, it is not clear that the Admissions and Registration Committee has any further role to play in this issue other than to register the opinion that actively discouraging multiple majors could make the University look less attractive to industrious and adventurous students.

The committee also discussed the role of the Graduate and Undergraduate Education Accreditation Boards in identifying low-producing majors at UT. It was reported, that the THECB was comparing UT’s criteria for low-producing programs with those of 25 institutions we would not normally consider our peer institutions, such as The University of Alabama. This is worrying because the threshold of what counts as “low-producing” in every one of these institutions is somewhat higher (i.e., a department has to produce more majors to avoid the label) than it is at UT. The elimination of “low-producing” programs leaves other programs as low-hanging fruit for future elimination. As a result of the discussion, it was decided that the committee should express the opinion that all programs should receive more comprehensive evaluation than a head count of primary majors in its annual report, but that, as things stand at the moment, the issue does not fall under the remit of the Admissions and Registration Committee.

                                                                                                    
Lesley Dean-Jones, chair