Coffee with the President

UT Dallas President David Daniel provided updates and information about university growth and the ongoing drive to Tier One status. As part of that push, he said UT Dallas must:

  • Continue evolving into a great academic research university, which is crucial on the eventual path to Tier One status
  • Support and maintain certain fields of study to compete with other research universities and reach Tier One status, such as chemistry
  • Increase the number of tenured faculty
  • Create a larger selection of courses
  • Grow enrollment to 30,000 students — 25,000 of whom should be fulltime students
  • Increase the number of faculty members overall
  • Increase the number of buildings, parking lots and support staff

In terms of campus improvements, Dr. Daniel highlighted several key developments:

  • The new bioengineering building project will break ground in the spring of 2014
  • Construction is under way on a parking structure on the north side of campus
  • The fountain area on the north end of the main mall will undergo significant transformation in order to increase greenery and reduce the amount of concrete space

Specifically pertaining to staff, Dr. Daniel mentioned that Staff Council helped clarify how Service Awards and the awards ceremony should be handled. The recommended changes were implemented in the fall Service Awards Ceremony on Nov. 19.

In response to a question from Rita Medford (Geography and Geospatial Sciences) about the possibility of fielding a football team in the future, Dr. Daniel shared the following thoughts:

  • The university would have to build a space to hold games and events
  • The university would have to move to NCAA Division II and consequently offer athletic scholarships, which differs from its current status in NCAA Division III
  • Increased expenditures would double the student athletic fee and student services fee; currently UT San Antonio has the highest athletic fee at $250
  • A move to Division II might be foreseeable in five to 10 years

Theresa Diaz (Executive Education) asked Dr. Daniel about a program for mentoring women and incentivizing the hiring of women, specifically those who graduate from UT Dallas. Dr. Daniel said:

  • The encouraging of hiring more women has been very positive
  • Emily Toby in the Provost’s Office is a good resource in the discussion about mentoring female faculty
  • On retaining students that graduate from UTD, leaving the university often helps foster independence

Richard Mills (Materials Science & Engineering) asked about faculty teaching ratings. Dr. Daniel explained that:

  • The university uses a student survey of faculty
  • UT Dallas pays close attention to the hiring processes of faculty
  • Promotions and peer reviews are part of the tenure process for faculty

In response to a question about skateboarding behind the Clark Center, Dr. Daniel said he would talk to campus security to help monitor and respond to any problems.

Regarding a questions about exempt vs. non-exempt status for employees, Dr. Daniel said some classifications were being changed to better suit the job duties of certain employees, such as when a job calls for overtime on a continual basis. In some circumstances an employee should be eligible for overtime pay, which might necessitate a classification change. If staff members have any other questions about their employee classification status, they are encouraged to contact Human Resources or Staff Council.


Last Modified: May 29, 2015