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Programs and Initiatives

TCU has evolved and advanced over 150 years to stay essential to our environment, community, culture and student body. The Provost leads innovative directives to restructure outdated programs and implement new ones to maintain TCU as a premier institution of higher education. These academic programs strengthen our academic profile and reputation, prepare graduates for today’s world, and ensure responsible stewardship of student tuition and donor gifts

 

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE FUNDS 

To bolster scholarship following the pandemic, in 2021 the Provost began providing Academic Excellence Funds to augment TCU’s existing support for research and teaching. Unique to each college and school, the funds support faculty, staff and students to advance their research, professional development and educational requirements to further their careers and education.

 

ADVISING

Stellic, a new academic advising software platform with predictive analysis, was implemented in 2023 to help students make informed decisions and provide faculty and professional advisors with a cohesive means to deliver student support.

 

COURSE APPROVAL PROCESS UPDATED

A new process for reviewing and approving proposed new courses, both undergraduate and graduate, was implemented in 2024 to clearly define the process for University Council, Undergraduate Council and Graduate Council, and provide a checklist to guide their review at each step. By spring 2025, all new courses must be reviewed by the new process prior to scheduling for the next semester.

 

DEI SCHOLAR FELLOWSHIP

Established in 2021, the DEI Scholar Fellowship recruits emerging scholars from a range of disciplines who are well-prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching students’ education. The Provost awards each college/school one DEI Scholar Fellowship for a total of three per year, renewable for one additional year. DEI Scholar Fellows receive a competitive annual salary and benefits, with additional support for research and professional development. The appointment is for up to two years with a focus on research and publishing.

 

FACULTY HIRING CHECKLIST

In 2019, the Provost’s Office consulted with the Office of Equity and Inclusion and College Diversity Advocates to draft a university-level hiring checklist. The eight-step Faculty Hiring Checklist, implemented in 2022, helps hiring managers and search committees attract and hire the best, most diverse faculty consistent with TCU’s high standards of inclusive excellence. The checklist encompasses the entire hiring process, step by step, from beginning to end, including committee selection, recruitment, job postings, interviews, hiring, onboarding, and submitting required documents.

 

FACULTY WORKLOAD EQUITY MODEL

To ensure that TCU has and is implementing a clear Faculty Workload Equity Model and policies for SACSCOC reaffirmation, all TCU Deans, led by Associate Provost of Faculty Affairs Francyne Huckaby, partnered in 2021 to develop a university-level, adaptable Faculty Workload Equity Model to be used as a guideline for colleges and schools to develop their individual Faculty Workload Equity Policies. The model was rolled out in 2022 with a goal that all departments will utilize the model to assess faculty work.

 

FLEXIBLE WORK ARRANGEMENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS 

In 2022, the Provost assigned a committee to look into options for a flexible work arrangement for Academic Affairs staff (excluding faculty) to strengthen the workforce and campus culture.

 

PROMOTION & TENURE POLICY UPDATED

The Promotion and Tenure Policies Review Committee, appointed by Faculty Senate and the Provost, was formed in the Spring of 2021 with a charge to “review the process and timeline for promotion and tenure and the faculty appeal process, and then make recommendations for improving the efficacy and clarity of these processes.” The committee was composed of academic affairs level leadership (Vice Provost and Associate Provost), college-level leadership (4 academic deans), faculty representatives from each college (mixture of tenure-track, professional practice, and instructor), staff representatives (2 staff members), and the TCU General Counsel. In Fall 2023, the committee submitted recommendations to the Provost for a new Promotion, Tenure and Emeritus Policy. The recommendations were reviewed by various university committees, deans, chairs, faculty senate and the entire faculty before being approved by the President’s Cabinet in Spring 2024.

 

SHARED-COST HIRING INITIATIVE

A five-year Shared Cost Hiring Initiative was implemented in 2021 to provide up to 50% funding with a cap of $50,000 for newly hired tenured or tenure-track faculty who meet TCU’s established objective of increasing the number of meritorious teacher-scholars across all disciplines from underrepresented faculty. The goal is to foster an inclusive university community, achieve greater diversity in our professorial ranks, and expand the number of teacher-scholars engaged in innovative cutting-edge research. Faculty hiring managers who wish to access the funds should contact their dean.

 

SYLLABUS TEMPLATE

In Spring 2023, the Streamlining the Syllabus Template Committee of faculty members and student representatives streamlined the TCU syllabus template by putting common information online with links from the syllabus, which greatly shortened the syllabus. Work continued on simplifying and codifying information for a required TCU syllabus template to be used across the university beginning in spring 2025. The new template includes learning outcomes, QEP outcomes (where appropriate), academic honesty and more, to keep TCU in line with SACSCOC requirements. A syllabus checklist and workshops help faculty easily adopt the new template. Click here to access the syllabus template, checklist and support services.