Completing the 18 Characteristics of Doctoral Programs Form
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) requires each doctoral program at a public university to provide data on 18 prescribed characteristics. Though of basic informational use, the eighteen characteristics fall markedly short of portraying the complete nature of a doctoral program. Each doctoral program at The University of Texas at Austin is unique, and persons looking for complete information are urged to consult the program’s Web site and to contact the graduate adviser or graduate coordinator for their chosen program of interest. The official reports will be published each year at http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/admissions/characteristics.html.
It is now time to begin preparation of the reports for UT Austin doctoral programs as required by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The following information describes the data required and the process for preparing and delivering it to the Graduate School. This data has been compiled in a collaborative effort between the Graduate School and the Provost's Office, and conforms to THECB's new 7-Year Program Review criteria. Because the 7-year Program Review does not affect all programs at the same time, we expect the new data to become fully available beginning in October 2012, still well ahead of the November 19 report deadline.
Your electronic report to the Graduate School is due Monday, November 19, 2012. Send your completed spreadsheet as an attachment via email to Gwen Barton. Please do not reformat the report or convert to Word or pdf.
What's New This Year?
Beginning with this year's report, the "Departmental Response" data is to be entered exactly as it is listed for your department or program in the Graduate Student Information System (GSIS) report for all three years shown. No changes or recalculations can be made to that data but departmental notations may be made in the "Comments" section about your specific situation if desired. On item 7, if you choose to indicate tuition and medical benefit amounts for 2011-12 students who are employed by the university, please note the specific amounts and your reason in the "Comments" field.
For the past several years, the focus of the 18 Characteristics Report has been to present data about the doctoral programs of the university from the perspective of the department or program. Beginning with the 2011-12 reporting year, that focus will shift to a more "THECB-mandated university statistical point of view," primarily to more closely parallel the Coordinating Board's new 7-year Program Review data. This data will be available through the GSIS.
By THECB definition, programs are included only if in existence three or more years and are defined at the 8-digit Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code level. On the GSIS reports, you will only see the last 6 digits.
Several of the 18 characteristics require the number of core faculty as a data point or as a means to calculate a data point. The Coordinating Board's definition of core faculty is as follows:
"Full-time tenured and tenure track faculty who teach 50 percent or more in the doctoral program, or other individuals integral to the doctoral program who can direct dissertation research."
We understand that for a large research university, that definition is dysfunctional. It is impossible to separate the full academic work of a faculty member into subparts. A faculty member may teach mostly undergraduate courses but at the same time be supervising several doctoral dissertations. In general, "Core Faculty" will now reflect Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) members only. There are also departments and programs that have no core faculty tied singularly to their program and who share faculty with related departments and programs. To the fullest extent possible, this has been taken into account in the compilation of the GSIS statistical data, but as in the past departmental notations may be made in the "Comments" section about your specific situation. DO NOT, however, change the GSIS data that is being made available for your 18 Characteristics Report. Simply use the "Comments" field - this is a departure from years past.
Completing the Form
Download the report form (.xls) and complete the information for your graduate program per the instructions below. The form lists the 18 characteristics ("Measures") numbered down the left hand side. Because there are changes to the report form, especially items 1, 2 and 7, please do not use last year's form, and download the new report form (.xls). IMPORTANT NOTE: Beginning with this report, the "Departmental Response" data is to be entered exactly as it is listed for your department or program in the GSIS report. Additionally, at the instruction of the Provost's Office and the Graduate School, you will enter GSIS data for all three years as shown in the GSIS report (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12) to more accurately reflect the university's new computation method of the report data. Departmental notations may be made in the "Comments" section, but none of the GSIS data can be changed.
Enter the name of your doctoral program, the doctoral degree awarded (e.g., PhD, EdD, DMA, etc.), and the Web address (URL) of your program Web site at the top of the form.
In a collaborative effort between the Graduate School and the Provost's Office, the data and statistics that have been compiled for 14 of the 18 characteristics is gathered from university internal records. This data will be posted within the GSIS system under "Graduate Program Review - 7 Year Review". When the data is released, the link to the GSIS system will be posted here and on the Advisers & Coordinators page on the Graduate School Web site. Graduate coordinators, graduate advisers and designated preparers in particular will be granted access to data for your department or program. Again, departmental notations may be put in the "Comments" field only. This should make the workload for the preparers infinitely less complex and tedious.
Item 1 - Use the data from the GSIS report "Number of Degrees Per Year".
Item 2 - Use the data in the GSIS report "Graduation Rates". THECB's definition of "first-year doctoral students" is "Those students who have matriculated as doctoral students with a doctoral degree objective."
Item 3 - Use the data in the GSIS report "Average Time to Degree" - indicate in the "Comments" field whether you select the number of years or the number of semesters to complete.
Item 4 - Use the data in the GSIS report "Employment Profile".
Item 5 - You must provide. In the "Comments" column, include either the URL for your program's admission section in the Graduate Catalog or you may copy and paste that information into the response field.
Item 6 - Use the data in the GSIS report "Percentage Full-time Students".
Item 7 - Use the data in the GSIS report "Average Institutional Support Provided". If you choose to include tuition and medical benefit amounts for 2011-12 students who are employed by the university, please note the amounts and your reason in the "Comments" field.
Item 8 - Use the data in the GSIS report "Percentage Full-time Students w/ Institutional Financial Support".
Item 9 - Use the data in the GSIS report "Number of Core Faculty". This is the number of faculty in your program's GSC. If you believe the number involved in your PhD program to be different, note this in the "Comments" field with language such as "...number at left represents faculty eligible for participation in the PhD program. The number of faculty who are currently actively involved is...." This number is critical in portraying your program as accurately as possible. See section above "On the Issue of Core Faculty."
Item 10 - Use the data in the GSIS report "Student-Core Faculty Ratio". This data was not collected prior to 2009-2010; therefore, 2009-2010 was our starting-point year.
Item 11 - Use the data in the GSIS report "Core Faculty Publications".
Item 12 - Use the data in the GSIS report "Core Faculty External Grants".
Item 13 - Use the data in the GSIS report "Faculty Teaching Load".
Item 14 - Use the data in the GSIS report "Faculty Diversity".
Item 15 - Use the data in the GSIS report "Student Diversity".
Item 16 - You must provide. There may not have been an external review. If so, note in the "Comments" field.
Item 17 - You must provide. There may, and probably will not, have been an accreditation review. If so, note in the "Comments" field.
Item 18 - You must provide. Do the best you can.