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D 11313-11320



Dean Brent L. Iverson in the School of Undergraduate Studies has filed with the secretary of the Faculty Council the following changes to the School of Undergraduate Studies section in the Undergraduate Catalog, 2014-2016. On June 3, 2013, the college and the dean approved the changes. The secretary has classified this proposal as legislation as being of general interest to more than one college or school (but not for submission to the General Faculty).

The Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review recommended approval of the change on January 29, 2014, 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 UT System.

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 February 21, 2014.
Dean P. Neikirk

Dean P. Neikirk, Secretary
General Faculty and Faculty Council

Posted on the Faculty Council website on February 7, 2014.


  1. Type of Proposal: New Certificate Program.

  2. Scope of Proposed Change:
    a. Does this proposal impact other colleges/schools?
    If yes, then how?
    Students pursuing the certificate will potentially take courses offered by the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Communication, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the School of Architecture, the College of Natural Sciences, and the School of Social Work.
    b. Will students in other degree programs be impacted (are the proposed changes to courses commonly taken by students in other colleges)?
    If yes, explain?
    c. Will students from your college take courses in other colleges? Yes
    If the answer to 2a, 2b, or 2c is “yes”:
      How many students do you expect to be impacted?
    Only students pursuing this certificate program (expect ten to fifteen graduating in any give year, once the program is fully underway).
      Impacted schools must be contacted and their response(s) included:

    College of Liberal Arts:
    Person communicated with: Richard Flores
    Date of communication: June 3, 2013
    Response: Approves of proposed certificate.

    College of Communication:
    Person communicated with: Mark Bernstein
    Date of communication: June 3, 2013
    Response: Approves of proposed certificate.

    LBJ School of Public Affairs:
    Person communicated with: Edwin Dorn, representing Robert Hutchings
    Date of communication: June 4, 2013
    Response: Approves of proposed certificate.

    School of Architecture:
    Person communicated with: Nichole Weidemann
    Date of communication: June 18, 2013
    Response: Approves of proposed certificate.

    College of Natural Sciences:
    Person communicated with: Judith Quinney
    Date of communication: June 3, 2013
    Response: Approves of proposed certificate.

    School of Social Work:
    Person communicated with: Vicki Packheiser
    Date of communication: June 3, 2013
    Response: Approves of proposed certificate.

  3. Official Certificate Name: Undergraduate Certificate:  Public Policy Bridging Disciplines Program

  4. Proposed Implementation Date: Fall 2014

  5. CIP Code (administrative unit awarding the certificate): 44.0501

  6. Statement of Objective:
    The Public Policy BDP introduces students to the development and implementation of public policy.  Students will learn about substantive policy issues, become familiar with how policies are made and carried out, and develop an understanding of the complexities and uncertainties of the political process.  The program will be beneficial to students who aspire to positions in policy-relevant institutions such as government agencies, legislative offices, think tanks, and advocacy groups, and it will teach students who plan to work in business or nonprofit organizations how government works.

    This BDP focuses on how change happens:  how did a journalist’s inquiry into the effects of agricultural chemicals give rise to the environmental movement; how did a black woman’s refusal to yield her bus seat to a white man galvanize the civil rights movement; how did a diplomat’s cable about Russian history give rise to the policy of containment? Students will learn about the policy-making process, beginning with the point when someone senses a problem or an opportunity and begins to press the matter.  They will then walk through the processes by which that sense of a problem is turned into a public policy issue through research, mobilization, the engagement of political leaders, and in some instances, the passage and implementation of new policy.

    Our approach offers three advantages for the teaching of undergraduates.  First, it introduces students to the idea that the way an issue is framed today is largely the result of the way an earlier set of issues was addressed, so a full understanding of the issue requires an awareness of roads not taken.  For example, most of the students in a race policy class have heard about Rosa Parks, but few of them are aware that the leaders of the Montgomery Bus Boycott did not initially demand the desegregation of buses.  If the city’s leaders had responded positively to the initial demands, the boycott would have ended uneventfully and Martin Luther King, Jr. may well have lived out his life as a Baptist preacher.

    Second, this approach is empowering; it helps students appreciate the role that a few people armed with information and determination can play in bringing about change.  That message is consistent with one of the University’s tag lines: “We don’t change the world.  We change people, and they change the world.”

    Third, we place as much emphasis on practice as on theory.  Some of the instructors will be people who actually have been involved in political movements and who personify the leadership skills needed to bring about change.  As part of our emphasis on the practice of policy making, we will expose students to policy documents – laws, regulations, budgets, court decisions – not just secondary analyses. 

    The Public Policy faculty panel, which will oversee this certificate, will work with students to tailor their course work to fit their interests, and to identify research and internship opportunities. BDP certificates combine courses that fulfill core requirements, electives, and a limited number of courses counting toward students’ majors with unique research and internships. With planning, the BDP should not add time to students’ UT careers. Rather, the BDP certificates are designed to help students choose the courses they already have to take in an integrated way, giving them the opportunity to develop a secondary area of specialization.

    Our goal is to have the Public Policy BDP approved for recognition on students’ official transcripts.  We would like to begin recognizing the Public Policy BDP on transcripts for students who graduate in Fall 2014.  The Public Policy BDP certificate has been approved by the BDP Steering Committee, the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee, and the Interim Dean of Undergraduate Studies. This change affects pages 25-26 of the 2012-14 Undergraduate Catalog. 

    Although the Public Policy BDP will rely on courses from a variety of departments, this certificate will not have a significant effect on other colleges/schools or departments. BDP students have the opportunity each semester to request seats in courses that they plan to count toward their BDP certificate, and the BDP office in turn contacts department chairs to request seats in these courses.  Typically, we only request a few seats (if any) in any given course for a semester, and the BDP office never guarantees that any student will have access to any specific course.  Before we list any course as part of the BDP certificates, we contact the faculty teaching those courses to ensure that the course is appropriate to include.

    For most parts of the Public Policy curriculum, students will be able to choose from among a variety of courses to satisfy any given requirement, and as a result, no one course is overloaded with demand.  The only exceptions are the BDP 101 course, which is offered through the BDPs, and the P A 325: Intro to Public Policy course.  Dr. Edwin Dorn, who is on the faculty panel overseeing this certificate, is developing the P A 325 course specifically for this BDP, and Dean Robert Hutchings supports the LBJ School offering this course regularly as part of its contribution to this program.

  7. Number of Students Expected to Receive the Certificate Each Semester:  Approximately ten to fifteen, once the program has been operating for several years.

  8. Number of Hours Required for Completion(Please note if there is a minimum or maximum number of hours): A minimum of nineteen credit hours is required for completion of the certificate.

  9. List Faculty on the Certificate Program Faculty Committee
    Name of Faculty Member College/Department Title at UT Austin Highest Degree and Awarding Institution
    Edwin Dorn* (committee chair) LBJ School of Public Affairs Professor Ph.D., Yale University
    Kevin Bacon LBJ School of Public Affairs Adjunct Professor M.S., London School of Economics
    Bruce Buchanan* College of Liberal Arts/Department of Government Professor Ph.D., Yale University
    Norma Cantu* College of Education/Department of Educational Administration Professor J.D., Harvard University
    King Davis* College of Liberal Arts/Department of African and African Diaspora Studies Professor Ph.D., Brandeis University
    Angela Evans LBJ School of Public Affairs Clinical Professor M.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison
    James Galbraith* LBJ School of Public Affairs and College of Liberal Arts/Department of Government Professor Ph.D., Yale University
    Barbara Hines School of Law Clinical Professor J.D., Northeastern University
    Madeline Hsu* College of Liberal Arts/Department of History and Center for Asian American Studies Associate Professor Ph.D., Yale University
    Bryan Jones* College of Liberal Arts/Department of Government Professor Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
    Jane Lincove* LBJ School of Public Affairs Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of Southern California
    Natalie Stroud* College of Communication/Department of Communication Studies Associate Professor Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
    Jeremi Suri* LBJ School of Public Affairs and College of Liberal Arts/Department of History Professor Ph.D., Yale University
    Angela Valenzuela* College of Education/Departments of Educational Administration and Curriculum and Instruction Professor Ph.D., Stanford University
    Name of Faculty Member College/Department Title at UT Austin Highest Degree and Awarding Institution
    Stephen Reese* Chair Comm/Journalism Associate Dean Professor Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison
    John Daly* Comm/CMS Professor, Texas Commerce Bancshares, Inc. Centennial Professor in Business Communication Frank A. Liddell, Sr. Centennial Professor in Communication Distinguished Teaching Professor Ph.D., Purdue University  
    Martin (Randy) Cox Comm/CMS Senior Lecturer M.A., University of Texas at Austin
    Keri Stephens* Comm/CMS Associate Professor Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
    Robert Jensen* Comm/Journalism Professor Ph.D., University of Minnesota
    Kris Wilson Comm/Journalism Senior Lecturer Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder

  10. Academic Course Requirements Use this table to identify the courses that qualify for this certificate program.
    Course Abbreviation and Number Course Title SCH
    BDP 101 Public Policy: Race, Immigration, Citizenship
    P A 325 Introduction to Public Policy
    Various 6 credit hours connecting research or internship experience (see number 11 below for details)
    Various 9 credit hours additional courses in a strand (see number 11 below for details)

  11. Other Certificate Requirements:
    All students are required to complete the following requirements:
    1. At least nineteen credit hours of course work, to be distributed as follows:
      1. Foundation Courses:  Four credit hours of foundation courses that introduce key concepts and skills/theories related to the interdisciplinary study of Public Policy. Students take both of the following courses:
        1. Forum Seminar (one credit):  BDP 101: Public Policy: Race, Immigration, Citizenship; or another course approved by the Public Policy faculty committee.
        2. Public Policy Foundation Course (three credits):  P A 325: Introduction to Public Policy; or another course approved by the Public Policy faculty committee.
      1. Connecting Experiences:  Six credit hours of coursework in undergraduate research and/or internships that connect students’ Public Policy BDP to their major field. Connecting Experiences are designed to be individualized based on the student’s interests and goals, and a variety of course numbers offered through the BDPs (BDP 320, 320F, 321, and 321F) and in departments across the University may be used.  All students must write a 3-5 page essay reflecting on the experience, in addition to the academic requirements specified by the faculty member supervising the student and assigning a grade.
      2. Courses in a Strand:  Nine credit hours of approved courses in a strand that allow students to focus their remaining BDP course work.  Students will work with their BDP advisor and the faculty panel to design an interdisciplinary strand that allows them to pursue their interests, and at the same time exposes them to multiple areas of concern related to public policy.  In designing their strand, all students must choose courses from two or more of the following categories:  Communication Policy; Community and Urban Policy; Economic Policy; Education Policy; Race, Immigration, and Citizenship; Science and Technology Policy; and Other Public Policy.  The attached curriculum sheet for Public Policy lists the currently approved courses for each category.  The faculty committee for the Public Policy BDP approves new courses that may count toward the certificate each semester, and the committee may also approve student petitions to count unlisted courses on a case-by-case basis.
    1. A 3-4 page integration essay in which students reflect on what they have learned and accomplished through their BDP experience.  These essays will be reviewed by members of the BDP faculty panel.
    2. Students must earn a grade of at least C- in each of the courses taken to fulfill BDP requirements and the cumulative grade point average in all courses counting toward a student’s BDP certificate must be at least 2.0. All but one of the courses taken to fulfill BDP requirements must be taken on the letter-grade basis.
    3. At least half of the required course work in the BDP certificate must be completed in residence at The University of Texas at Austin.
    4. Completion of the requirements of a major.

  12. Give a Detailed Rationale for Change(s): 
    The Public Policy certificate is a new addition to the Bridging Disciplines Programs, and it will begin accepting applications from students in Spring 2013.  Each of the other eleven BDPs has already received approval to be recognized on student transcripts, and we would like to have the Public Policy certificate also recognized. 

    The Public Policy certificate was developed in response to student interest in learning more about this topic at the undergraduate level, and faculty interest in offering such a program.  Although some of the other BDP certificates have included options for students to study policy issues related to the particular BDP topic (e.g. the Environment or Social Inequality, Health, and Policy), we believe there is a need for a program that teaches students about the process of effecting change through policy more broadly, and that foregrounds the theory and practice of public policy.

    Approver: Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee
    Date June 3, 2013
    Approver: Lawrence D. Abraham
    Title: Interim Dean of Undergraduate Studies
    Date June 3, 2013

To view the edited version of the catalog changes click the PDF link at the beginning of this document.