Information for New and Continuing Faculty
- General Info
- Phones, Voicemail and Faxes
- Postal Mail and Packages
- Email Aliases
- Clerical Support
- LaTeX Typesetting Service
- Grant Proposals
- Computer Support
- Office Supplies
- Faculty Files
- Faculty Lounge, Daily Tea
- Department Coffee
- Lactation/Quiet Room
- Teaching Assignments
- Class Rosters, Grade Submission etc
- First-day Handout
- Final Examinations
- Miscellaneous Tips
- Administrative Items
- Instructional Services available to Students
- Instructional Services available to Faculty
- Odds and Ends
Department Chair: Alan Reid (471-0117, chair@math)
Associate Chair: Alexis Vasseur (471-2363, vasseur@math)
Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies: Ray Heitmann (471-1130, heitmann@math)
Assistant Chairs: Jane Arledge, Mark Daniels
Assistant Director: Lori Hamilton (471-0119, hamilton@math)
Faculty Coordinator: Guillerma Romero (471-1109, gromero@math)
The University of Texas at Austin
Mathematics Dept. RLM 8.100
2515 Speedway Stop C1200
Austin, TX 78712-1202
The University of Texas at Austin
Department of Mathematics
2515 Speedway, RLM 8.100
Austin, TX 78712-0257
- Main dept phone: (512) 471-7711
- Main dept fax: (512) 471-9038
- UT Police: (512) 471-4441 or 911
- We check the fax machine periodically and will put faxes in your physical mailbox.
SpaceThe department occupies parts of floors 8 through 13 of the RLM Hall. Administrative offices are located on the 8th floor. The main office is 8.100. Department classrooms are 9.166, 10.176, 11.176 and 12.166. Department computer labs are 7.122, 8.118, 9.120, 10.130 and 13.138.
You obtain an authorization form from the department through Guillerma Romero (RLM 8.128) or Linda Porras (RLM 8.150).
You pick keys up from the University Keys office located in the Service Building. Photo ID is required.
Phones, Voicemail and Faxes
The Department's Main Switchboard number is (512) 471-7711. However, each office has a direct telephone number with Smart Voice voicemail. Problems with Voice Mail should be addressed to Linda Porras, 8.150. Information about voice mail can be found at this site http://www.utexas.edu/its/voicemail/.
Local Calls: UT phone numbers starts with 471 or 475 or 232. To call a number within UT, you can simple dial 1-xxxx (for 471-xxxx) or 2-xxxx (for 232-xxxx) or 5-xxxx (for 475-xxxx). To place a call to Austin metro area, dial 9, followed by the phone number.
Long Distance Calls: Most of you will receive an individual access code for making long distance business calls. Please protect this number. Once each month, you will be given a list of all calls made on your access code. You will be asked to identify the calls as either grant (if you have one), or departmental. STATE LAW PROHIBITS CHARGING PERSONAL LONG DISTANCE CALLS TO YOUR OFFICE PHONE; they must be made collect or billed to your home number,if you use your office phone.
To make a long distance call from your office telephone dial '8' and wait for a stutter dial tone. Next dial your access code and wait for another dial tone. Then enter the Area Code and number. You must always use the area code even when it is the same as ours.
8 (wait for dial tone) + Access Code (wait for dial tone) + Area Code + Number
Another idiosyncrasy of our system requires us to hang up for at least two seconds between calls, otherwise, the first call will be put on hold and will continue to ring the first number called.
Fax Machine: The Department has a FAX machine for your use. It is located in the Mathematics Department front office (RLM 8.100). Eva can assist you. Our FAX number is (512) 471-9038.
Postal Mail and Packages
- Outgoing - Outgoing mail is taken down for pickup around 1:45 PM each day. There are boxes for your outgoing departmental mail in 8.100 just inside the front door.
Important Note - For those of you who have grants, please put your grant account number for postage on letters and packages you mail out from the Department. Eva can assist you with this.
- Incoming - There is one U.S. Mail delivery each day, usually in the middle of the morning.
- Campus Mail - Campus Mail (mail from other U.T. departments) comes once each day around 10:00 AM. Outgoing campus mail should be posted in the special envelopes provided for this purpose for easier sorting and routing. Remember to write the Mathematics Department Mail Code (C1200) on all outgoing Campus Mail.
- Personal Stamped Mail - You may put your personal, stamped mail in the wooden mailbox located on the wall outside the Machine Room of the Main Reception Office (RLM 8.100). This mail is usually picked up around NOON each day.
- There is an on-campus post office, located just south of the UT Union building. Ask people near there for directions, it is a little hard to find.
- Outgoing - Outgoing mail is taken down for pickup around 1:45 PM each day. There are boxes for your outgoing departmental mail in 8.100 just inside the front door.
Requests for duplicating are to be placed in the request box in the mailroom. Please allow 48 hours turn-around time (do not count weekends) except in extreme emergency. More time is needed for large projects.
Should you wish to duplicate your own tests and class materials, we have two copy machines available in our Mail Room for faculty and T.A.'s to run their own tests and class notes if they desire. Eva can assist you if you need help.
A copy machine is also available in the PMA Library. See Guillerma Romero(8.128) to obtain the code number required to operate the machine. Charges for use of this machine are billed to the Department. We ask that you use the Library copy machine ONLY when materials may not be taken from the Library. It is less expensive to run them on our machines.
Duplication of Preprints - The Mathematics Department has a very limited budget for processing preprints, but we will do our very best to help you. If you have a grant or if there is someone working in your area who has a grant, please see if he/she might be willing to pay for multiple copies of your preprints. For faculty who do not have grants, we ask that you do not make more copies than you absolutely need for a project.
There are two heavy duty document scanners located in RLM 8.100, a Xerox 4260 Workcenter and a Ricoh IS300e. They scan documents into combined PDF and email it to you. Instructions on operations are printed on the scanner. If you cannot find your email address listed on the scanner, check with Maorong Zou (mzou@math) and he will add your name to the scanner. Eva can assist you if you have problems.
fac All math faculty, including postdocs. prof All Full Professors asscprof All Associate Professors asstprof All Assistant Professors inst All Instructors lect All Lecturers grad All Math Graduate Students office All office staff department All members of the departmental, including graduate students gripe Your computing support staff
- If you have an appropriate grant, you can purchase items less than $500 and get reimbursed later. However, you WILL NOT be reimbursed for sales tax. Instead, you need to use the university's tax-exempt status to avoid paying sales tax in the first place. At some merchants (e.g. OfficeMax), you can just tell them you're a UT faculty member making a university purchase, and they won’t charge sales tax. For most merchants, you need to have a tax-exempt form. You can get this form from the department accounting office, or download and print one from here.
- Turn in receipts for reimbursement to the department accounting office Linda Gianoly (RLM 8.112), along with the account number that you're charging the purchase to.
- Denise D. Berry, our IT purchaser, can buy computer related things for you, her office is 8.132.
- When you receive a shipment that purchasing ordered for you, give the packing slip to Denise D. Berry or whoever does the accounting for the purchase in question.
- UT has a campus computer store that has good educational software discounts. Web site: http://www.campuscomputer.com/.
- UT has some campus software licenses. For info, see http://www.utexas.edu/its/sds.
The Department of Mathematics employs several clerical assistants (when available) to aid the staff with routine clerical duties. Jobs performed by these students include: assisting in the machine room, assisting with preparation of faculty teas, answering telephones, running errands, filing and helping people at the counter in the main office. These students provide invaluable help for the faculty and staff.
The department also provide dedicated staff for accounting and purchasing.
LaTeX Typesetting ServiceMost researchers these days prefer to typeset their own papers, editing as they go. But for those of you who want or require typesetting help, our TeX specialist Margaret Combs (RLM 8.124) can assist you with the following:
- Guidance on some of the finer points of TeX/LaTeX
- Reformat your original TeX/LaTeX input with any specialized journal required style files
- Complete typesetting from your original handwritten manuscripts (please follow a few courtesy rules)
- Clearly indicate upper/lower case letters, Greek symbols, etc.
- Submit original only (no photocopies)
- Do not use red ink on yellow paper
All grants are administered by the Department and it is important that we know if you plan to submit a grant (NSF, etc.). Your budget will be prepared by one of our accounting staff, after consultation with you. Once you have the budget, you will do all of the submission yourself. If you choose this option, please note that all grants *must* be submitted via our Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP). It is vital that you also supply the Department with a complete copy of your submission.
The Department of Mathematics operates a state-of-the-art computer network for education, research, and departmental administration. This is predominantly a UNIX-based system consisting of Linux PC's, servers, and Apple Macintosh desktops. The Department also has a 46-node dual Opteron cluster for research computing.
Each office in the department is equipped with at least one networked computer and shared offices generally have more. In addition, there are five 24x7x365 departmental computer labs available for general use, including a 40-seat instructional laboratory for the undergraduate mathematics program. All labs are equipped with a printer, and the undergraduate computer lab includes a projection system. A color printer is provided for faculty and graduate students in RLM 8.100. Access to wireless networking is provided throughout the RLM building for faculty, students, staff, and registered departmental guests.
The University's Informational Technology Services provides extensive on-campus computing facilities for students. In addition, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the J. J. Pickle Research Campus in north Austin maintains several multi-processor high performance computing clusters. The Institute for Computational Engineering & Sciences (ICES) maintains a Visualization Lab for education and research as well as other facilities and equipment for computational research.
Your UT Math network account can access all Linux systems on the department network. For computer related questions, send an email to gripe@math, in the rare case when email is not available, call the front office 471-7711.
- Your email address is YOUR_USERNAME@math.utexas.edu
- Your home directory is /home/YOUR_USERNAME
- Your home page is http://www.ma.utexas.edu/users/YOUR_USERNAME, your web folder is /home/YOUR_USERNAME/public_html
- Our SMTP/IMAP/POP server is mail.ma.utexas.edu. To setup email clients on your personal computers, see http://www.ma.utexas.edu/services/computing/FAQ.php for instructions.
- To connect to UT Math network, you need a SSH client (Unix has 'ssh', Windows has 'putty'). If you don't remember specific hostnames, you can just use math.utexas.edu, it will send you to one of our lab computers.
- To change your password, use the command yppasswd from a terminal window.
- More information on the UT Math computing environment (e.g. mail servers, web server, etc.) is available on the department web pages http://www.ma.utexas.edu/Computing/faq.html
The department offers limited support of Windows and Mac OS X laptops.
Office SuppliesEva Hernandez (Main Office, 8.100) is in charge of ordering office supplies such as pens, pencils, papers, stationary, tape, staples, etc. She will help you get your new office equipped.
Any time you are to be absent from the campus on an ordinary work day, you are required to file a request for travel authorization form containing the following information:
- Date of Departure
- Date of Return
- Classes missed, listed by number, and name of the faculty member who will be responsible for each class. Please note: TA's may not take your class except for the purpose of administering a test; in this case a faculty member must still be listed. Graduate students with the rank of Assistant Instructor are considered to be faculty members and may be listed.
- Purpose of the Trip
a. If on State Funds, how will The University benefit?
b. If on Grant Funds, how will the trip enhance your research?
This information is required whether or not you are traveling on University Funds. This will then be forwarded to the appropriate administrative officials for approval. You may find the online travel request form at: https://www.ma.utexas.edu/dev/math/Administration/Business_Forms.html or paper forms outside the main office. Please fill out and submit travel requests two weeks prior to travel. Travel arrangements can be made through University approved travel agencies: http://www.utexas.edu/services/travel/contact.html or other outside agencies. The University approved agencies are authorized to direct charge University accounts with approved Request for Travel Authorization document information. Airfare purchased elsewhere will be reimbursed upon return from your trip. Please consult with Linda Gianoly (RLM 8.112) for details.
Faculty Travel Grants are available to faculty once per year in the amount of $1200. Check for eligibility, details and form: http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/ftg/home.html.
Reimbursement for travel (especially for visitors coming to UT) is a hassle, especially the first time you do it. This is especially true if you're paying with state funds. Some accounts can't be used for travel, others can, and yet others require special approval. Travel reimbursement is easier if you're paying for it with grant or gift funds.
To schedule a conference trip and have everything paid for in advance, after you fill out that form, ask accounting for the RTA and DOC ID for your trip. Then you can call the UT travel agent, Navigant, to have everything purchased from your account: 512-459-8203 or 800-798-0292
If you're hosting a visitor whose expenses will be paid by UT, you need to fill out UT Math visitor Authorization form, available from https://www.ma.utexas.edu/dev/math/Administration/Business_Forms.html . This form must be filed 2 weeks prior to the visit. Visitors can either pay for their own travel and get reimbursed.Similarly, some hotels (e.g. ATT Conference Center, Double Tree Guest Suites, Extended Stay America, Hilton Garden Inn Downtown or B&Bs Austin Folk House, Star of Texas Inn, Woodburn House, La Mansion on Judges Hill) can be direct-billed to the department.
Faculty may sometimes miss a class due to illness or other problems. Faculty are responsible for finding a substitute, especially so for absences that last more than one class. If you find yourself with such a problem you might write other faculty currently teaching the course or those who have recently taught it.
Two files are maintained for each faculty member on our staff:
- Personnel File
- Faculty Teaching Evaluation File
Each faculty member is responsible for keeping these files continually up to date. The files are used in determining salary increases, contract renewals and promotions.
One of the most important items in the personnel file of regular faculty members is the Vita. Margaret Combs (RLM 8.124) will assist you in keeping your biographical information up to date. You will need to send a brief version of your Vita to Colleen Morgan (ugradcoord@math) by the first class day of the semester after any major changes -- by law this Vita will be posted along with your handout on UT's web site each semester.
Release of faculty academic/personnel files to individual faculty members
Policy: Only the President is authorized to release Faculty Academic Personnel files. The President's Office of The University of Texas at Austin will, on written request, make available to an individual faculty member, all the information in the individual faculty member's personnel folders except for (1) individual letters of recommendation, and (2) correspondence to and/or from EEOC.
Procedures: All requests are to be directed to the Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Kevin P. Hegarty, Custodian of Records. The request should indicate all departments with which the faculty member has been associated.
Faculty Lounge, Daily Tea
The Vaughn Lounge is the faculty/graduate-student lounge located on the 12th floor adjacent to the elevators (12.104). It contains a refrigerator and sink for your use. Copies of Math. Reviews, Notices, etc. are placed there for your use. There is also a bulletin board on which information is posted regarding conferences, grants, awards, etc. The Vaughn Lounge is open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.
The Mathematics Department offers coffee for its employees. The coffee machine is located in the main office, RLM 8.100. Single cups may be purchased for 50 cents. Please supply your own average-sized coffee cup. It is courtesy to make a new pot of coffee if you drink the last in a pot. Any of the staff can show you how to do this.
Lactation/Quiet RoomA Lactation Room/ Quiet Room in RLM is available to nursing mothers and others who require rest for medical reasons related to a non-contagious condition. The room is private, lockable, and furnished with a small couch, a chair, a small table suitable for a breast pump, a phone, and provides a grounded-circuit electrical outlet. There is also a mini fridge, computer, and other amenities. RLM 8.200 room is on the 8th floor of RLM near the elevators and the Physics Laboratory office. The door is labeled "Physics Quiet Room".
Current UT students, faculty, and staff may use the room. The key is available for 2-hour checkout from PMA Library in RLM 4.200. The key must be returned and checked in by the time the library closes. Library hours vary with the academic calendar. See the PMA Hours for the current schedule.
Ray Heitmann (heitmann@math), is in charge of teaching assignments.
It's worthwhile reading over the graduate and undergraduate program information that's available from the department main page. People in the department tend to refer to courses by number, so it's good to be generally familiar with the requirements, etc.
Here is a list of the textbooks to be used in the Math Department's core undergraduate courses.
If you are scheduled to teach one of these courses, please refer to the corresponding text when planning for the upcoming semester unless you have personally discussed an alternate selection with the textbook coordinator Guillerma Romero in RLM 8.128. Book orders from the Math Department are sent to the University Co-op and Austin TXbooks stores, both on Guadalupe Street next to the University. See Guillerma Romero if you need a desk copy for the course you are teaching.
Faculty Authored Texts
Each year the department will approve the list of faculty authored texts as required by law. If you are the author of a text or other material that could be sold to students please let Guillerma Romero know so your name can be added to the list. The current list may be downloaded here. In addition there is a form titled "Authorization to use Textbooks Written by a Member of the Staff at UT Austin" on the Provosts website.
Class Rosters, Grade Submission, etc
Most class-related paperwork is handled through UT Direct (the online paperwork system accessed via your UT EID). You just log on to UT direct, and there's a menu entry for Blackboard, where you will find your classes. UT direct URL: https://utdirect.utexas.edu/utdirect/ . A very useful feature there is the class photo roster, available under Links/CLIPS on the Blackboard entry page.
The first-day handout, which is mandated by state requirements and University rules, must spell out in fairly explicit terms how the various activities in a course (tests, homework, final exam, class participation, etc.) contribute to the determination of a final course grade. This applies to Graduate as well as Undergraduate courses. Do not make the mistake, however, of being too specific in this regard. You are, to a great extent, bound by the grading policy you announce in the handout, so you want to afford yourself some leeway for dealing with exceptional cases in an ad hoc fashion. It is strongly recommended that you include in this document a statement outlining your policy concerning make-up tests. As per the 8/2/11 email from the Vice Provost's office, the syllabus must contain the following items:
• The course number and title • The instructor’s name, office location, and office hours • If there are teaching assistants for the class, their names, office locations, and office hours • An overview of the class, including prerequisites, the subject matter of each lecture or discussion, as well as the academic/learning goals for the course and how they will be assessed • Grading policy, including whether attendance is used in determining the course grade (please note that all undergraduate courses are now graded on a plus/minus letter grade basis) • A brief descriptive overview of all major course requirements and assignments, along with the dates of exams and assignments that count for 20 percent or more of the class grade • A list of required and recommended materials, such as textbooks, image collections, audio and audiovisual materials, supplies, articles, chapters, and excerpts as appropriate, identified by author, title and publisher. • Final exam date and time (can be found ) • The class web site, if any • A notice that students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259, In addition, we recommend that faculty include the following information on their course syllabi: · A notice regarding academic dishonesty. UT Honor Code (or statement of ethics) and an explanation or example of what constitutes plagiarism (Link to University Honor Code: http://registrar.utexas.edu/catalogs/gi09-10/ch01/index.html) · A notice regarding accommodations for religious holidays. (Sample statement—“By UT Austin policy, you must notify me of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.”) For additional suggested templates and guidance on writing an effective syllabus, please refer instructors to materials available on the CTL website: http://ctl.utexas.edu/teaching-resources/design-your-course/create-your-syllabus/
The Department and CNS requires the handout to (also) contain:
This course makes use of the web-based Quest content delivery and homework server system maintained by the College of Natural Sciences. This homework service will require a $22 charge per student for its use, which goes toward the maintenance and operation of the resource. Please go to http://quest.cns.utexas.edu to log in to the Quest system for this class. After the 12th day of class, when you log into Quest you will be asked to pay via credit card on a secure payment site. You have the option to wait up to 30 days to pay while still continuing to use Quest for your assignments. If you are taking more than one course using Quest, you will not be charged more than $50/semester. Quest provides mandatory instructional material for this course, just as is your textbook, etc. For payment questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Information about drop dates; for example:
DEADLINES FOR DROPPING A COURSE: If you drop a class on or before February 1, the class will not show up on your transcript. If you drop a class after that date, the course will show up on the transcript with a “Q” grade. After April 2, it is not possible to drop a course except for extenuating (usually non-academic) circumstances.
Submitting syllabi and vitae:
Please email a copy of your first-day handout for each course you teach and a short vita to email@example.com by the first class day. Talk to Colleen Morgan if you have questions (ugradcoord@math). According to state legislation, the short vita should contain:
a list of significant professional publications relevant to the academic positions held including full citations (in whatever format/style is appropriate for the instructor’s discipline) for significant professional publications such as books, chapters, refereed articles, juried performances, works of art, and other scholarly work the faculty judge relevant to the academic positions they held (note: “citation” refers to the publication source of each entry, not a citation index).
You can file an absence/failing report on any student in your class at any time. Go to the CLIPS menu and access your class. Click on "absence/failing report" and you will be presented with a list of your students and you can list any of ten reasons for the report using the drop down menu.
How does the Absence/Failure report work?
For each student selected, you may choose up to three standard messages from a list of ten and include comments or suggestions for improving his/her performance or attendance. Once submitted, a secure email message detailing this information is sent to the student, the student's advisor and a report is sent to the dean's office.
Behavior Concerns Advice Hotline (BCAL)
If you are worried about the behavior of a student or co-worker, you can find advice by calling the number below. In a crisis where there is immediate danger, call 911.
or call 512-212-5050.
The permission of the Chair is necessary if you wish NOT to give a final examination in an undergraduate course. The department is obliged to report any dispensation from the requirement of having a final exam in such a course to the Dean, who insists that we present a compelling reason to justify the omission of the final, especially when the course in question is a large service course with a heavy enrollment of freshmen and sophomores. Final exams need not, however, be comprehensive exams.
In no course where a final exam is given should there be any deviation from the officially scheduled date, time and place for the exam. Final exam dates and times can be found at this location: http://registrar.utexas.edu/students/exams. The locations of final exams are set by Official Publications when set, will be listed on UT Direct and will also be posted outside RLM 8.100 sometime late in the term. In particular, no "last" midterm that has the semblance and de facto impact of a final exam is permitted. A student is guaranteed that the final exam for any course, which has one, will be administered at the scheduled time and in the appointed place. By the same token, in registering for a class a student commits himself or herself to being present for an exam at that time. Naturally, allowances can be made for individual exceptions, circumstances warranting, at an instructor's discretion. Nevertheless, a generally reluctant attitude is advised towards students seeking privileged final exam times, particularly early ones.
The two class days prior to finals are official pre-final no-class days, on which all classroom activity, including review sessions, is prohibited. However, you may hold office hours on the dead days.
With regard to tests or other organized class activities (e.g., review sessions) arranged by you or by your TA at irregular (= non-class) times: be extremely accommodating towards individuals unable to participate in such activities because of academic, work or family obligations. Students are only required to be available for officially designated class functions, as indicated in the Course Schedule. Unless extra provisions are made to extend to them all the benefits that derive from the special activity, students excluded by prior commitments from partaking in the occasion may raise the objection -- and might well find sympathy for their protest with the Dean -- that those who are able take part in the activity enjoy an unfair advantage in the course. In the case of a test administered outside the regular class period, the opportunity for a make-up must be provided.
Class length: MWF -- 50 minutes, starting on the hour; TTh -- 75 minutes, starting as scheduled. Please refrain from beginning lectures early. If you find yourself slipping unavoidably into what soccer enthusiasts call "stoppage time", please allow students who are headed for other classes the next hour to leave on time, lest your rambling on cause them to disrupt said classes by arriving late or, heaven protect us from such extremes of long windedness, to miss the classes entirely.
To request a classroom change, see Colleen Morgan (cmorgan@math) RLM 8.140. To reserve a more spacious room in which to give tests, see Eva Hernandez (ehernandez@math) in RLM 8.100.
Do your utmost to cover the syllabi, especially in courses upon which follow-up courses hinge in a critical way. This directive applies in particular to the courses M408C,D,K,L,M,N,S. Syllabi may be found at: http://www.ma.utexas.edu/academics/courses/syllabi/.
Submit tests and other duplication projects with a 48-hour lead-time if you expect to have them when you need them. The department's copying budget is not flush enough to absorb the expense of reproducing excessive amounts of material, whether it be for diagnostic or review or enrichment purposes, beyond the ordinary needs of a course (e.g., first-day handouts, tests). These can be posted on Blackboard (https://courses.utexas.edu/webapps/login/) Before submitting any large special project for copying, please check it out with Jan Baker (RLM 8.148).
Adds and drops
Don't get involved in the departmental add/drop process at the beginning of the term. JUST SAY NO to students who entreat you to write special notes requesting that they be allowed to add your class, although you are free to sign an official, Advising Center-issued "Permission to Add Form" if one is presented to you by a student.
The College policies on adding and dropping classes can be found at:
In short, students do their own adds/drops via ROSE (online) until the 5th class day.
From Days 5-12 they add classes in the Advising Center, RLM 4.101, but can still drop via ROSE.You will receive an email detailing add/drop information at the beginning of the semester.
Beware the pitfalls of the insidious "X"' ("Incomplete") grade
Barring a few exceptional cases that arise too seldom to warrant commentary here, the only circumstances under which an "X" grade may properly be assigned are the following:
In the last case the symbol "X" is thus used to convey the message "contact me ASAP". Be adamant in refusing to hand out "bleeding-heart incompletes", which struggling students frequently seek as a means to gain a temporary reprieve from a looming bad grade, hoping thereby to avert some academic unpleasantry that receiving such a grade would entail (e.g., scholastic probation, loss of a scholarship). Above all, do not fall for that deceptively seductive line: "If you give me an "X", I'll attend Dr. Gehirntod's section of this course next term. He can just let you know the grade I earn, and then you can use that grade to clear the incomplete." Such a practice is explicitly forbidden by the General Information Catalog. Moreover, it is seldom the case that an incomplete is really the solution to the problem confronting the student. A student who, for whatever reason (e.g., extended health problems), has missed a significant portion of a course -- in some -- -- mathematics courses absence for as little as a week can be -- -- devastating -- is not a candidate for an "X". An individual in this situation should seek relief from his or her Dean, not from the instructor of the course. The Dean has access to much more information about the student and has the authority to make an exception.
A maximum of one semester, if it is merited, is allotted for removal of an "X", after which it automatically changes to an "F". An instructor is always free to impose a shorter, more specific deadline. Students don't understand this and often simply assume they can wait a whole semester before dealing with the "X". To help the department avoid certain administrative hassles associated with incompletes, we plead with you to take the following steps whenever you assign an "X": fill out an "incomplete agreement form", stating precisely both the method whereby and the time frame within which the incomplete is to be removed; have the form signed by the student involved; leave a copy of the form on file with Eva at the front desk; adhere strictly to the terms spelled out in this agreement. The removal of an incomplete -- or any change of grade, for that matter -- is effected by filling out and submitting a change of grade form.
- (a) with all other coursework complete, a student is absent from the final exam for a valid, well documented reason or
- (b) a student has taken and passed the final exam, but left some part (in principle, a small part) of coursework unfinished or
- (c) something is amiss with a student's final exam -- say, -- there is a reason to suspect the student of cheating on the exam -- creating a hesitancy on the part of an instructor to assign a course grade before further consultation with the student.
- (d) a student who has a grade of C- or better but fails a course due to the final, may request a retake of the final. If the professor agrees, they should assign an X until the retake is graded.
Teaching evaluations are mandatory in all organized courses, undergraduate or graduate. They are extremely important in considerations related to reappointment, continuation and promotion. Participation instructions will be sent to the faculty by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) via email when the forms are available for students. (If you wish to conduct the survey earlier than the last two weeks of the semester, you can talk to Colleen Morgan, Undergraduate Coordinator (ugradcoord@math.) The deparmental default is for the surveys to be adminstered electronically; please see Colleen Morgan (ugradcoord@math) if you have questions. The results of the survey are reported automatically to the department and are available online for public view as some point after the semester ends. You may view your own (and others') results via https://utdirect.utexas.edu/ctl/ecis/results/index.WBX).
In processing complaints and resolving disputes, the sequence of individual involvement, as needed to settle the matter, goes as follows:
If there is no question of academic dishonesty, the proper line of appeal is
1. Faculty member in charge of the course
2. Departmental ombudsperson
3. Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies
4. CNS Dean
If there is a question of academic dishonesty, the proper line of appeal is
1. Faculty member in charge of the course
2. Dean of Students Office
There is more information about academic integrity at
Please note that academic matters are never referred to the University Ombudsperson offices.
If there is a problem with your TA, please contact Sandra Catlett (TA/AI Coordinator/RLM 8.144) or Professor Dan Knopf (Graduate Advisor/RLM 8.146).
If there is a problem involving graders, please see Colleen Morgan (RLM 8.140).
The department has no preordained standards for grade distribution (i.e., we set no quotas for the percentage of any specific letter grade in any course).
TA and grader workloads
TAs and graders are students first, employees second. The duties for the TA assigned to your course can be found at . The assignment of TAs and graders to courses is a complicated and time-consuming business. Please do not make it more complicated by pressuring Sandra to assign a particular individual as your TA or grader.
Tentative teaching schedules can be found on the bulletin board outside of RLM 8.140. These may change as circumstances warrant, so please check them regularly. Request forms for Fall and Spring teaching assignments for the next year will be circulated to continuing faculty in October.
"Conference course" is the local name for an individual instruction or reading course (as opposed to an "organized course", which means a class taught in lecture or seminar mode with an officially scheduled time and location for class meetings). If you agree to supervise a student in such a course, it is recommended that you clarify in writing what work you expect the student to do in order to get credit or to receive a specific letter grade. Graduate conference courses are given exclusively on a credit/no credit basis, despite what a student might tell you to the contrary. Lecturers are forbidden by Graduate School rules to supervise graduate-level conference courses. Please see Colleen Morgan (ugradcoord@math) if you have undergraduate conference course questions, or Sandra Catlett (scatlett@math) for graduate conference course questions.
Open Records Policy and Posting of Course Grades
Under existing University policy, the final grade a student receives in a course is part of the confidential record of that student. Both the State and the Federal Open Records laws prohibit the release of any personally identifiable confidential record unless such release has been authorized in writing by each individual involved. Furthermore, the Federal Law states:
"Personally identifiable" means that the data or information includes (a) the name of a student, the student's parent, or other family member, (b) the address of the student, (c) a personal identifier, such as the student's social security number or student number, (d) a list of personal characteristics which would make it possible to identify the student with reasonable certainty, or (e) other information which would make it possible to identify the student with reasonable certainty.
In summary, the Provost's Office policy prohibits the disclosure of any confidential student information in a personally identifiable manner, which now include name, student identification number, social security number or a portion thereof, without the student's written consent.
Faculty may continue to use student specific password protected systems (such as UT Direct and its applications) to communicate academic work grades or other confidential information to individual students. Students may also access their final course grades using UT Direct services called CLIPS, or QUEST. Information about CLIPS and e-grade book can be found at the following site. http://registrar.utexas.edu/staff/
Instructional Services available to Undergraduate Students
Instructional Services available to Faculty
- Center for Teaching and Learning, http://www.utexas.edu/academic/ctl/
- Dean of Students Office (e.g., for dealing with academic dishonesty issues, for services available to students with learning disabilities), http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/.
- If you have a case of academic dishonest that requires any form of punishment, you must fill out and submit the appropriate form, http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/documents.php
- The department has a camcorder and a monitor available for instructional purposes. See Eva Hernandez in RLM 8.100.
- Microphones are available by completing a sign-up sheet. Please see Eva for these needs. Since we must pick up microphones elsewhere on campus, please let us know at least two days in advance.
Graders are hired for varying numbers of hours per week to assist faculty with grading homework papers; see the Undergraduate Grader Policy. They will begin work normally one week after class starts. Your grader will be contacting you before this date. Please post your office hours on your door ASAP, so that the grader may contact you. Colleen is the grader supervisor. Please see her immediately if you have any difficulties during the session: i.e., not turning in papers on time, misgrading, etc.
NOTE: University regulations prohibit undergraduate graders from grading test papers.
GRADERS ARE NOT TO USE DEPARTMENT EQUIPMENT,(i.e., COPY MACHINES).
Odds and Ends
- It is a department tradition to erase the blackboard at the end of a lecture.
- Please check your mailbox and email on a regular basis.