We have become good at responding to challenges while continuing to make progress on strategic initiatives. This week I update you on new faculty positions, reaffirmation of our accreditation with SACSCOC, a new speaker series, and questions around the Spring 2022 classroom experience.
New Faculty Positions
In response to this year’s growth in undergraduate enrollment, I am pleased to announce a one-time-only pre-allocation of up to 20 new positions for full-time faculty who will join TCU in August 2022. We are allocating these positions now, before the fiscal year 2023 budget is confirmed, so searches can begin soon to accelerate our teaching capacity after an historic 18 months. This unusual departure from the TCU budgeting cycle will not change our annual cycle moving forward.
To pre-allocate these positions, I have studied the growth trajectories of the TCU student body and full-time faculty body, and the resultant increases within each college of full-time faculty positions and student credit hour production. A consistent trend persists for the five years leading up to and including Fall 2020. My goal for the pre-allocation is to maintain this trend among the colleges. Deans will determine allocation within their colleges. Please direct your questions to your dean or to the faculty senate executive committee. I will work with these groups to answer questions.
SACSCOC Accreditation Process
An important milestone for any institution is renewal of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which happens every 10 years. The accreditation process is an opportunity for focused self-assessment, a yardstick to measure our progress and a map to keep us on our course. This is a long process, beginning now and culminating in 2023, under the direction of Dr. David Allen, and involves almost everyone at TCU. My office is creating a website for SACSCOC accreditation so you can follow the progress and direct any questions you may have.
Several steps have already been taken, including appointing a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) committee to identify key issues focused on learning outcomes, capability, constituencies and assessment of goals related to DEI Essential Competency. I have attached the members of the committee here.
Inclusive Excellence Speaker Series
I am pleased to announce the new Inclusive Excellence Speaker Series, co-hosted by Academic Affairs and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. You’ll read more about it in TCU Today on Thursday, but you can visit the website now to register. I encourage you to attend as many as you can. All of these initial speakers will be virtual.
Spring 2022 Classroom Experience
I have received questions about classroom capacities for spring, and I provide clarity here.
When setting enrollment caps for spring courses, we set caps that would ensure approximately three feet between students and a minimum of six feet around instructors – for all but five classrooms. These five classrooms will be moved to nontraditional spaces should COVID conditions require. For many of the other classrooms, three-foot distancing was already present using pre-COVID enrollment caps. Hence, no change would seem apparent. The three-foot capacities are reflected in Ad Astra and in the spreadsheet sent with the Registrar’s call for spring schedules. Please note that Class Search is not live at this point while the Registrar’s Office works with classroom assignments.
I want to especially thank you for Protecting the Purple by getting vaccinated. It is our strongest defense against the virus and our best chance to keep TCU a connected community. And, it shows. Our case counts are low – only 10 this week (all were off-campus students). I am hopeful we can continue this trajectory throughout the semester.
Best regards and Go Frogs!
Teresa Abi-Nader Dahlberg
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs