March 2013

Meeting Date: 
March 20, 2013

ACA Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


SAC Ballroom


8:15   Breakfast and Social Time

Sponsored by the Undergraduate Energy Management Certificate Program (Thank you!!)


8:30   Appreciating Campus Administrators:  Former Vice-Provost Dr. Terri Givens

When accepting her award, Dr. Givens stated that advisors make professors’ jobs possible.  She noted that advisors are central to everything professors do and help to keep students the focus of the university.


8:40   Undergraduate Energy Management Certificate Program

CBA 6.432

Jessica Miller and Tanya Andrien spoke about the certificate program, housed in the Energy Management and Innovation Center in the McCombs School of Business.  They noted that the certificate is seen as a replacement for the now-defunct Petroleum Land Management degree plan.  The 18 credit hour certificate is designed for anyone interested in the energy industry, regardless of major, and is designed to integrate into a student’s degree plan.

An application is required before beginning the program so students can have access to courses.  A 2.5 minimum GPA is preferred and the application includes a short (a few sentences) statement of why a student is interested in the program.  There is currently no set application deadline, but applications should be submitted at least one week before the student hopes to register for the certificate courses.

Three of the six required courses are only offered during the summer.  These three courses are designed to be taken together over nine weeks in a cohort model.  Courses are taught Monday through Thursday with Fridays reserved for site visits, etiquette lunches, resume workshops and other professional development.  This summer cohort will fit best into the summer between a student’s sophomore and junior year, but can be taken in a different summer.

The program is currently focused on the oil and gas industries, not on renewable energy, but Jessica and Tanya noted that much of the skills and information gained through the program is relevant to renewable fields and that additional coursework on green energy sources may be added in the future.

The Undergraduate Energy Management Certificate Program is already receiving notice from professionals in the field and companies are calling to ask for graduates.

Information Sessions will be held in the coming weeks.  The program website will have dates and times as soon as they are available.  The certificate program will also have a presence at summer orientation to provide information to incoming freshmen.


9:00   Flags and Flag Petitions

FAC 22


Herpreet Singh, the Flag Petition Coordinator, shared information about Flags and the Flag Petition process.  Herpreet is part of the Center for the Core Curriculum in the School of Undergraduate Studies.  The Center for the Core Curriculum provides support for the 42 hour Common Core and the Flags.

Flags are the result of a faculty-led initiative to expose students to skills and experiences they will encounter in their professional life.  As of the 2012-2014 Catalog, three colleges have integrated all six Flags into their degree plans and the Center for the Core Curriculum hopes to have all Flags fully integrated into all degree plans for the 2014-2016 Catalog.

There are 6 Skills and Experience Flags and each has specific requirements in order for a course to carry that flag.  Those Flags are:

  • Writing (Wr)
  • Global Cultures (GC)
  • Cultural Diversity (CD)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
  • Ethics & Leadership (EL)
  • Independent Inquiry (II)

A class can carry up to three Flags and students will earn all three with the exception of the Global Cultures and Cultural Diversity Flags – a student cannot earn both the GC Flag and the CD Flag from the same course.  Flags are designed to be earned through Core requirements, major requirements and elective hours.  Students should not have to take additional coursework just to earn Flags.

Currently, Flags are assigned to courses only when the professor submits a proposal that the course carry a certain Flag.  The petition process is simple and professors are encouraged to submit proposals for classes they teach.

Classes taken elsewhere and transferred to UT do not carry Flags but students can petition that their transfer coursework have a Flag.  Students should review the guidelines for the Flag and determine if their class meets those guidelines.  Students should also meet with their advisor prior to to submitting a petition.  Dual credit and courses taken through Study Abroad are considered transfer coursework, so can be petitioned as well.  Courses taken in residence that do not carry a Flag can also be petitioned, if the student feels the course meets the Flag guidelines.  Credit earned through AP, IB or other Credit-by-Exam method cannot be petitioned.

In order to petition for a Flag students should:

  • Meet with their advisor
  • Be enrolled in the college or school from which they intend to graduate
  • Have the course already listed on their UT transcript
  • Obtain syllabus from the actual course they took

Petitions are reviewed by a faculty committee and are generally reviewed within 2 weeks.  The petition process is all online and the website offers resources for students and staff.  Herpreet is also available to answer questions or meet with students about their Flags or their petitions.


9:15   The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas

BAT 2.116


Dr. Lorraine Pangle described the Center, housed in the College of Liberal Arts, as providing the essentials of a liberal arts education to all students.  Thomas Jefferson was dedicated to the kind of education students need to become leaders in a democracy and the Certificate in Core Texts and Ideas helps to further his ideals.  The Certificate focuses on the great books, ideas and controversies that have shaped Western Civilization and can help students of any major broaden their scholarship. 

The courses teach students how to think, to examine basic questions of human nature, to ask good questions, to wrestle with ethical decisions and prepare students for leadership in an organization and in our country.  There are 4 required course areas and 2 elective courses.  Students must take a course in each of the following areas:

  • Classical Philosophy & Literature
  • Major Texts and World Religions
  • Political Philosophy in the West
  • American Constitutional Principles

Some of the course options can fulfill core or major requirements, including Government, Social Science, VAPA and the Signature Course, if students plan ahead.  The elective coursework can be used to further explore Core Texts and Ideas within their major area, such as Biology, Behavior and Injustice for a Biology student.

The certificate is great for students who like to read, are curious, are interested in religion and politics, or who want to learn to think in a broader context.  Info sessions are being offered regularly.

Dr. Pangle also described the differences in the three options to fulfill the second part of the Government Core Requirement.

  • GOV312L – Issues and Policies in American Government: each section focuses on a topic related to the specialty of the professor teaching
  • GOV312P – Constitutional Principles: Core Texts focuses on main documents that have shaped US democracy
  • GOV312R – Constitutional Principles: Challenge on Equality focuses on an underrepresented minority population in the US


9:35 UT Energy Symposium (UTES)

Erik Funkhouser spoke about the UT Energy Symposium Speaker Series and Course.  The Symposium series is designed to give entry to the world of energy- and environmental-related careers.  A leading expert comes each week to talk about energy issues and future possibilities, modeling programs at Stanford and MIT.  The UTES can be taken as a 1-credit-hour class for undergraduates and graduate students. 

Speakers are chosen from the worlds of academia, industry, non-profit organizations and other commissions.  They are world-class speakers and often use their time at the Symposium to discuss new studies and debut breaking research.  Often speakers stay after the formal talk to interact with students, answer questions and occasionally help students connect with internships and job opportunities.

The UTES provides many benefits for students including:

  • serving as an introduction or primer to the energy world, jargon and communication style
  • providing information on different pathways in energy or environmental careers
  • presenting upcoming topics and theories for research
  • accessing internship, research, networking and graduate study resources both from the speakers and from other students attending
  • offering an interdisciplinary perspective on the energy industry

To earn course credit, students must attend every lecture in a semester, post to Blackboard discussions and write research notes that connect talks to their area of study.  Students also have the opportunity to participate in a research showcase and open house to present the work they are doing as well as interact with others.  Though course credit can be earned, any student, faculty or staff can attend any of the lectures without having to enroll in or audit the course.

Speakers present each Thursday at 5:15pm in MEZ1.306.


9:50 Announcements

Psychology Advising has moved!  They can now be found in BUR 230

Computer Science Advising has moved!  They can be found in GDC 2.702