Course Syllabus Course Information Course Number/Section CRN 11678
HCS 7355.003 SEMINAR IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Conflict Resolution John Q. Stilwell, J.D. Ph.D. Instructor
Term Days & Times Classroom
F09 We4:00PM - 6:45PM GR 4.301
Professor Contact Information Professor John Q. Stilwell, J.D., Ph.D. Only Phone 214 202 9642 (Cell) Email Addresses [email protected]
; [email protected]
Office Location None assigned on campus Office Hours By appointment at a mutually convenient time and place Other Information See Professor’s web site at www.PowersOfTen.org
Course Pre-requisites, Co-requisites, and/or Other Restrictions Graduate students must have Baccalaureate and permission of the appropriate Dean or other administrative officer having authority Course Description
Conflict Resolution in A Conflict-Ridden Society HCS SEMINAR IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES
John Q. Stilwell, J.D., Ph.D., Instructor
Wednesdays 4:00 PM - 6:45PM GR 4.301 Course Description 1. This course will be conducted in seminar fashion and much of the work will be accomplished independently by students researching case materials, writing research papers and mock mediation projects (depending on the size of enrollment) which will account for a substantial part of the final evaluation. The Instructor will provide by lecture and example most of the historical, theoretical and experiential material for student consumption. The class group work will teach theory and skills primarily of mediation, one of the many methods that will be examined as means of peaceful conflict
resolution. Graduate students will have additional, more advanced reading and research assignments which will move beyond treatment of litigation resolution through mediation and will entail critical analysis of complex community, national and international conflicts and controversies ranging from the community level to global confrontations. The dynamics of mediation in its various forms, and the analysis of roles played by parties, their advisors and neutrals, will be the subject of about two-thirds of the classes, with the balance devoted to studies of strategies adopted by groups competing for limited resources, demands of those seeking vindication and redemption of rights believed to be denied by government or other authorities, regional and global conflicts including armed hostilities. Students will be expected to examine the historical grounds and context for negotiated settlement of disputes, using examples from eras selected from times beginning with that of the “Melian dialogue” described by Thucydides and extending through modern conflicts in the Middle East, ethnic struggles in the Balkan states, various struggles for independence such as the Irish and American revolutions, and struggles for power among domestic groups committed to government overthrow. Critical analysis of the Black Power movement, the Weathermen terror campaign, Dr. King’s non-violent civil disobedience will generate case material Selections on the force of Aristotelian Rhetoric from Dr. Stilwell’s work Just Conversation: the Rhetoric of Justice in Post World War II America, which is available in the Library, are posted on his web site for reference. Graduate students will asked to submit creative application of contemporary ideas about rhetorical approaches to specific audiences to induce them to seek non-violent resolution of disputes. Knowledge will be conveyed by lectures, readings, electronic media and group mock mediations. Acquisition will be demonstrated through research and preparation of 2 short and one long paper, midterm and final examinations and skills demonstrated in mock mediations. To complete skill set for actual mediation practice, students will be encouraged to participate in a practicum conducted by Dispute Mediation Service of Dallas, El Centro Program in Dispute Resolution or other approved practicums in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area.
2. Required Textbooks and Materials. Christopher W. Moore, The Mediation Process (San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Imprint, 3rd Ed., 2003); Nolan-Haley, Alternative Dispute Resolution ( Publishing, 3rd Ed, 2008); Fisher, Ury and Patton, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving Up (Harvard Negotiating Project, Penguin Press, 1988); Roger Fisher and Scott Brown, Getting Together: Building Relationships as We Negotiate (Penguin Books, 1988, 1989); and Fisher and Daniel Shapiro , Beyond Reason; a recommended text is Korem, Dan The Rage of the Random Actor (Richardson, Texas, International Focus Press, 2005 ISBN 0-9639103-5-3). References for required reading will be provided in the Class Schedule Table, which is a major part of this Syllabus and is also posted on the Instructor’s web site. This document also provides students with an advance precis of the activities and associated readings of each class.. Instructor will also have a reserve list of books from which brief assignments may be made. Finally, some advanced course materials will be in the form of handouts available from the Instructor. In addition to provided references for advanced study they will also serve as the basis of the midterm and final examinations and may also be part of the students’ extended work in preparation of the written work of the short and longer papers to be submitted for evaluation. Students are strongly
advised to be prepared for each class by reading the assigned materials in advance. 3. Attendance. Attendance is mandatory and will be monitored. Failure to attend and participate will result in deductions from the amount of points allocated to classwork and will influence the Instructor’s decision to qualify or not students who desire Mediator qualification. One absence only, for any reason, is permitted. All students seeking qualification by the Instructor as Mediators under Texas law, will be required to keep records of the time spent outside class in preparation [readings, preparation for mock mediation and examinations] and to submit such records to the Instructor in the form provided by him for the purpose. Students will be furnished with the letter grades and grade point equivalents applicable to their final evaluation customary in BBS [An illustrative table is appended to this Syllabus]. Qualification for Mediator necessarily involves some subjective evaluation by the Instructor who is a lawyer with 46 years at the Bar of New York and 18 in Texas, and is an experienced professional in domestic and international dispute resolution. How this is accomplished will be discussed in detail as students prepare for mock mediations. 4. War metaphors are common in modern parlance, especially in situations likely to generate conflicts. This course, however, is devoted mostly to the study of more modest conflicts, and emphasizes Mediation in civil conflict resolution cases, from the schoolhouse to the workplace and occasionally to the political realm. Texas is one of the many states that mandate court-annexed mediation prior to trial and motion practice, and the Texas model can provide many case studies. Graduate students will be asked to analyze the details of certain international conflicts and apply critical thought in the context of mediation to the question of whether such conflicts are susceptible of resolution in that fashion. As an example, note that a “foundational” principle of the attributes of a mediator is that of strict impartiality and neutrality. Candidates will be asked to submit papers on such questions as “Can the U.S. ever be and “honest broker” in, say the resolution of the Palestinian question?” In aid of critical analysis of such disputes, students will make use of the computer based game “Peacemaker,” which will be supplied by the Instructor. 5. Family disputes, including violence between spouses and among parents and children, will be discussed view a view to critical thought and writing (in one of the short papers required) about whether alternative resolution fits within other statutory schemes for domestic relations. Note that at least one additional course would be required under Texas law for qualification as Mediator of family disputes. An additional 30-hours is now required under the Texas statutes. Our course work deals fundamentally with the psychology and practical application of negotiation techniques to reach peaceful settlement of disputes. Obviously, we cannot ignore that our work takes place at a time when U.S. military forces are engaged in hostilities, and U.S. economic, political and military dominance throughout the world, complicated by global communication networks of all forms of electronic media, render the country vulnerable to terrorism. Various responses of the U.S. since September 11, 2001, including the Patriot Act, the Military Tribunal Order and Justice Department and Immigration Department treatment of suspected enemy combatants and detainees for various other reasons asserted to be in connection with the war on terror, will be examined to permit students to consider all issues of dispute and conflict resolution in the context of what the nation's social contract requires of government in the way of safety and security
apparatus. Does an ongoing “War on Terror” foreclose the possibilities inherent in negotiation and methods of dispute resolution? What about other such metaphorical “wars?” Selected readings from applicable U.S. Supreme Court opinions will be offered for students wishing to pursue graduate work in the field, as will a number of readings and the instructor's lectures, designed to familiarize the student with the importance of law and rhetoric in our society in the development of extra-judicial means of handling legal disputes. Evaluative methods will include mandatory attendance, midterm and final examinations with a grade of B or better, participation and leadership in class work, submission of an extended research paper on a dispute resolution topic approved by the instructor, and two shorter papers to be shared in class on selected topics of interest (including the one on family mediation referred to above; an additional course satisfying the Texas requirement for training in family mediation is under review administratively, and may be offered in Spring 2010; use course lookup link for news of its approval.).
Professor Stilwell’s web site is http://www.PowersOfTen.org which contains the entire syllabus for the course, including a more detailed discussion of each class work along with other resources. Navigation of the web site via laptop presentation will be conducted during the first class of the semester. Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes 1. Students will acquire greater insight into the sources of human conflict in all “communities of life” beginning with the “community of self” and extending outward to worldwide conflicts (including, but not limited to, armed hostilities). Role play in an ongoing dramatized mediation will enable those desiring it to be qualified under Texas rules for the requisite basic 40-hour training as mediator in court annexed civil actions. 2. A primary Goal of the course is to understand the range of conflict resolution techniques and facilities available to disputants and professionals in dispute resolution: Mediation, voluntary and judicially annexed; bench trials, jury trials, military tribunals, internationally constituted tribunals, neighborhood convocations and arbitration, either by a sole arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators independently selected or chosen by the parties to the dispute or a combination thereof. All students will be eligible and required to participate in role play in a series of mock mediation practicums to learn the skills of a mediator, not only by acting the role, but in playing the other primary roles which will provide insight into the mediator’s difficult tasks of Listening, critically questioning, primarily through “open-ended” queries, and generating options for the disputants’ consideration. To be qualified as Mediator under Texas rules, students must participate and be subject to evaluation by the Instructor, who is a Member of the Texas Association of Mediators and a Member of the Texas Mediators Training Rountable. All graduate students must qualify in order to satisfy the requirements for successfully completing the course. 3. Graduate students will learn the application of dispute resolution processes to at least two categories of the mediation process that extend beyond the judicial system. 1) Hostile negotiations with the so-called “random actor”, with case studies of campus shooters and hostage takers; 2)Through the use of the “Peacemaker” virtual study of the Palestinian/Israeli dispute, students will learn to appreciate the how neutrality and disinterested nature of the mediation team may be overlooked, thus frustrating the process
Required Textbooks and Materials Required Texts See Paragraph 2 of the Course Description above.
Required Materials. Other required materials are reading assignments posted and updated on the detailed Class Table Schedule published on Instructor’s web site. Suggested Course Materials Suggested Readings/Texts See Class Table Schedule, below Suggested Materials See Course Description above and Class Table Schedule, below.
Assignments & Academic Calendar CONFLICT RESOLUTION - DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN A CONFLICT-RIDDEN SOCIETY CLASS SCHEDULE TABLE [An extended version is published on the web site and in frequent emails for which Students are responsible daily] - CLASSROOM GR4.208 TENTATIVE AND SUBJECT TO REVISION – CHANGES WILL BE EMAILED TO STUDENTS AND SHOWN IN RED ON THIS PAGE ON PROF. STILWELL’S WEBSITE
Class Dates Fall 2009
Class Topic Details
August 26 Class I
Admin. Introduction; Student Profiles, Introductory lecture on some ancient and modern examples of conflict and techniques of resolution and negotiation Setting the Frame: Why Humans Engage in Conflicts; "Universal" Traits; Grounding in psychology and neurobiology;Homework preparation should include study of “The SingsonWhittemore Dispute the facts of which are” on pp. 4-5 of the Primary Text Mediation Process. Overview of Mediation Process using Competing Physician Case (Primary Text, Ch. 1 and Dance Company Case (video and transcript) as comparative examples. In the short time frame of 14 classes
Sept. 2 Class II
Reading Assignment and Topic of Class Discussion . Students Must alos consult Professor Stilwell's Web Site at www.PowersOfTen.org for detailed assignments; Site will be demonstrated at first Class via laptop presentation. Read Supplemental Lecture – Class I, posted on web site. Begin readings in Getting to Yes and Negotiation texts, Getting Together and Beyond Reason. Second half of class will view video “Saving the Last Dance” Harvard Negotiation project dramatized mediation
Instructor will outline each step of the process, using case examples for illustration. Be sure to bring with you your Primary Text and materials referenced in
Sept. 9; 9/11 Commemorated Class III
for Mediation training and Instruction generally in alternative dispute resolution, context is of great importance. Thus the framework of mediation as highlighted by two cases will be our context for understanding the broad range of ADR issues.
Class I for “roadmap” of course study. Focus and purpose of Midterm exam will be explained. Evaluative methods will also be outlined and group assignments will be made for mock mediation practice.
Resume Background and Origins of Alternative Dispute Resolution; Outlines of Each Major Category of ADR methods, in addition to mediation.. Special Lecture and Video Materials will be presented to explore limits of dispute resolution in a terrorist environment
In the Term "Alternative Dispute Resolution" in this class we focus on "alternative to what?" as the central issue. In the case of civil disputes in the U.S., is it always preferable to litigation
September 16 Class IV
Rhetoric and Justice: Discuss these concepts as they apply to Negotiation and ADR; questions on jury function – threat or promise?;
Mediation: When Negotiation discloses key elements of conflict, often the "discipline" of a Mediator and the Mediation Process is Required - Negotiation Process Adversarial Model - Legal Outcomes - Lawyers and nonprofessionals -
September 30 Class VI
Preparation for Midterm Exam;
Exam will be due not later than Class time on October 8. Preparation will stress specific methods of conducting Mediation as
Discussion of Legal Methods, Court System of Justice Equilibrium; Legislative solutions Continue discussion of specific methods of dispute resolution: Negotiation - Can it be taught? Consider negotiation as a skill that has basis in human psychology and can be enhanced by studies in rational decision making, learning how to listen, and understanding and dealing with emotional responses as they arise. Using one or more of the cases previously referenced, we begin detailed discussion of the principles and practice of Mediation. Tonight the focus will be on qualities of the Mediator? Consider neutrality, trustworthiness, compassion, listening skills, ability to keep a secret. . To cultivate these skills, if not qualities, is the goal of the successful mediator. One Definition of Mediation: Short-term (half-day to full day), Voluntary (parties in control of destiny, participation not coerced – Court involvement explained)
October 7 Class VII
applied to the two principal cases: “Last Dance” and “Singson-Whittemore” With this class, we begin Practice by Mock Mediation: 3 to 4 Groups (dependent upon class size
Students will be assigned to groups which will begin mediation based on one of the paradigm cases. of settings.
October 14 Class VIII
Continuation of Mock Mediation Practice: Students must continue through p. 81 of Primary Text (end of part I) Instructor slides and lectures will cover substance of Part Two. Students should continue reading by resuming on p. 232 with Chapter 9, Defining Issues and Setting Agenda through the end of part Three on p. 294. Instructor will illustrate with randomly selected students the substance of Part Four – Reaching a Settlement the conclusion of which should take us through the end of the classwork in Class XIV on Dec. 3.
Examination Of Criteria set out in Instructor Handouts (Posted on Web Site) of Methodology of Negotiation: Determine Interests, not Positions;etc. Details of each class hereafter will be announced by email communication following the conclusion of each class, depending upon instructor’s evaluation of class progress.
October 21 Class IX October 28 Class X
Continue work of preceding class. Term Paper Proposals Due [Proposal to be accompanied by detailed outline and sources Proposal package separately evaluated as part of final grade] Continue with mock mediation practice.
Discussion of Proposal requirements and how to proceed with papers [Collaborative Project between Student and Instructor] Return to Mediator as focus of qualities required in any mediation. Introduction to other forms of dispute resolution, as annexed to court litigation in U.S. Arbitration, mini-trial; evaluative mini-trial; International Arbitration under ICDR [International Centre for Dispute Resolution] and ACR [Association for Conflict Resolution] and The American Arbitration Association [AAA] and
November 4 Class X
Dispute Resolution and Unresolvable Issues; Terrorism The Sound of One Hand Clapping; With no Other Side, With whom does one Negotiate? Short of Forceful Intervention is there no other Alternative? Cooperation at some Level Seems Necessary to Peaceful Resolution of disputes
[Informal Peer review of mock mediation practice]
Claims and Counterclaims;
similar organizations. [STUDENTS WILL EXCHANGE ROLES FROM FIRST MOCK MEDIATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH CASE HANDOUT Handouts of Readings from "Preventing Deadly Conflict, the Final Report of Carnegie Endowment. Can Mediation be effective in resolving conflicts of national interest? What of War Crimes Tribunals and Truth and Reconciliation Commissions? Compare with the ICJ. Should Serbia and the states of the former Yugoslavia be treated differently from South Africa? Are George Mitchell and Jimmy Carter good Mediators? Why or why not? Is the United States in a position to claim "honest broker" status in its efforts to build a "new middle east?" What is an "Honest Broker" anyway? What does a "broker" do? Does launching "Shock and Awe" attacks with the most destructive weapons short of nuclear warheads, followed by "regime change" constitute the lawful conduct of war? Do any of the concepts we have discussed under alternative dispute resolution apply? If you were an alien from Pluto (Mars is now a suburb of Houston) would you understand what the United Nations is or be able to comprehend its Charter?
Consider U.S. role in near
Offers and Shuttle Diplomacy Joint Sessions and Caucuses; Methodology of process explained and demonstrated
and middle east, its close ties to Israel, its strong desire to democratize the middle east, if not the world, and the conflicts generated thereby. What relationship does the U.S. have with the UN? How could it be defined in terms of the UN's role as peacekeeper? What "peace" is there to be kept.? See Postings on Web Site as directed by emails from Instructor
Nov 11 Class XII
Continue Mock Mediations as before; Emphasis: Generating Options and Solutions
Deadline for Short Papers
Continue mock Mediations as before; Emphasis on Reaching and Implementing Settlement [CONDUCT STUDENT COURSE EVALUATIONS] Finish Mock Mediation Class Participation in Event some have not concluded . Prepare for Final Exam with summary lecture and examples of queries with student participation.
Nov 25 Class XIV
Dec 2 Class XV [Last Class of Semester] Term Papers Due; Final review of role play and critiques Dec. 16
Final Exam No Extensions
Grades Due to Records Office
Chapter 12, Mediation Process Final Term Papers Due
Take Home Exam Due - No Extensions IF YOU WISH YOUR GRADE BY EMAIL YOU MUST REQUEST IN WRITING WITH YOUR PAPER SUBMISSION – BE SURE TO INCLUDE THE EMAIL ADDRESS YOU WISH TO USE FOR THIS PURPOSE
Grading Policies Acquired Knowledge will be demonstrated through (1) midterm and final examinations in which the number of points and scoring weight will be clearly outlined in the examination instructions; and (2) two short interim papers and one extended term paper ; (3) mediation skills and potential assessed by the instructor observing performance during mock mediations in class. Allocation of Grades by weight: 20% for class participation; 20% Midterm; 20% FinalExam; 40% Research Paper. The extended term paper should be based upon one of about 10 topics in dispute resolution furnished by the Instructor and should be based upon research including analysis of not less than 4 peer reviewed journals in the fields of dispute resolution, negotiation and psychology.
All graded work in the course is “open book,” and a general “honor system” will apply. Two hours and forty-five minutes will be allowed for each exam. At any time prior to the deadline for submission, students may take the exam and submit responses provided (1) the entire exam is taken at one time, not exceeding the total time limit; (2) the materials used are only those related to the course (including library and online resources); and (3) the test is taken without the presence of or consultation with any other person. By submitting the test for grading, the student represents and warrants to the Instructor that these three requirements have been complied with. Discovery of failure to comply with the three requirements will result in a grade of F. Course Policies Make-up exams Not offered. Extra Credit None anticipated; if volunteered by student, additional grade credit may be negotiated. Late Work Not accepted except under extreme circumstances. Special Assignments None anticipated Class Attendance Attendance is required, one absence permitted for any reason. Additional absences may result in a final grade penalty of up to 10% of total grade. Classroom Citizenship The nature of the “Doctor and Student” relationship is professional. Students are expected to maintain decorum and to address the Instructor as Professor, Doctor or Mister Stilwell, as they choose. The Instructor makes it a practice to address students by Mrs., Ms., or Mr., followed by last name, as appropriate. Professionalism is to be demonstrated by students by arriving on time, neatly dressed, cellphones turned off, laptops turned off or used only for note taking, or as directed for specific websites as directed by Instructor Field Trip Policies / Off-Campus Instruction and Course Activities No field trips will be required. From time to time professional visitors may be invited to meet class and engage the class in colloquies concerning various aspects of dispute resolution.
Student Conduct & Discipline
The University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Dallas have rules and regulations for the orderly and efficient conduct of their business. It is the responsibility of each student and each student organization to be knowledgeable about the rules and regulations which govern student conduct and activities. General information on student conduct and discipline is contained in the UTD publication, A to Z Guide, which is provided to all registered students each academic year. The University of Texas at Dallas administers student discipline within the procedures of recognized and established due process. Procedures are defined and described in the Rules and Regulations, Series 50000, Board of Regents, The University of Texas System, and in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations (SU 1.602, 972/883-6391). A student at the university neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of citizenship. He or she is expected to obey federal, state, and local laws as well as the Regents’ Rules, university regulations, and administrative rules. Students are subject to discipline for violating the standards of conduct whether such conduct takes place on or off campus, or whether civil or criminal penalties are also imposed for such conduct.
Academic Integrity The faculty expects from its students a high level of responsibility and academic honesty. Because the value of an academic degree depends upon the absolute integrity of the work done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student demonstrate a high standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work. Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, statements, acts or omissions related to applications for enrollment or the award of a degree, and/or the submission as one’s own work or material that is not one’s own. As a general rule, scholastic dishonesty involves one of the following acts: cheating, plagiarism, collusion and/or falsifying academic records. Students suspected of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary proceedings. Plagiarism, especially from the web, from portions of papers for other classes, and from any other source is unacceptable and will be dealt with under the university’s policy on plagiarism (see general catalog for details). This course will use the resources of turnitin.com, which searches the web for possible plagiarism and is over 90% effective.
Email Use The University of Texas at Dallas recognizes the value and efficiency of communication between faculty/staff and students through electronic mail. At the same time, email raises some issues concerning security and the identity of each individual in an email exchange. The university encourages all official student email correspondence be sent only to a student’s U.T. Dallas email address and that faculty and staff consider email from students official only if it originates from a UTD student account. This allows the university to maintain a high degree of confidence in the identity of all individual corresponding and the security of the transmitted information. UTD furnishes each student with a free email account that is to be used in all communication with university personnel. The Department of Information Resources at U.T. Dallas provides a method for students to have their U.T. Dallas mail forwarded to other accounts.
Withdrawal from Class
The administration of this institution has set deadlines for withdrawal of any college-level courses. These dates and times are published in that semester's course catalog. Administration procedures must be followed. It is the student's responsibility to handle withdrawal requirements from any class. In other words, I cannot drop or withdraw any student. You must do the proper paperwork to ensure that you will not receive a final grade of "F" in a course if you choose not to attend the class once you are enrolled.
Student Grievance Procedures Procedures for student grievances are found in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities, of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures. In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations, or other fulfillments of academic responsibility, it is the obligation of the student first to make a serious effort to resolve the matter with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or committee with whom the grievance originates (hereafter called “the respondent”). Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and evaluations. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, the grievance must be submitted in writing to the respondent with a copy of the respondent’s School Dean. If the matter is not resolved by the written response provided by the respondent, the student may submit a written appeal to the School Dean. If the grievance is not resolved by the School Dean’s decision, the student may make a written appeal to the Dean of Graduate or Undergraduate Education, and the deal will appoint and convene an Academic Appeals Panel. The decision of the Academic Appeals Panel is final. The results of the academic appeals process will be distributed to all involved parties. Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations.
Incomplete Grade Policy As per university policy, incomplete grades will be granted only for work unavoidably missed at the semester’s end and only if 70% of the course work has been completed. An incomplete grade must be resolved within eight (8) weeks from the first day of the subsequent long semester. If the required work to complete the course and to remove the incomplete grade is not submitted by the specified deadline, the incomplete grade is changed automatically to a grade of F.
Disability Services The goal of Disability Services is to provide students with disabilities educational opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers. Disability Services is located in room 1.610 in the Student Union. Office hours are Monday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The contact information for the Office of Disability Services is: The University of Texas at Dallas, SU 22 PO Box 830688 Richardson, Texas 75083-0688 (972) 883-2098 (voice or TTY) Essentially, the law requires that colleges and universities make those reasonable adjustments necessary to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability. For example, it may be necessary to remove classroom prohibitions against tape recorders or animals (in the case of dog guides) for students who are blind. Occasionally an assignment requirement may be substituted (for example, a research paper versus an oral presentation for a student who is hearing impaired). Classes
enrolled students with mobility impairments may have to be rescheduled in accessible facilities. The college or university may need to provide special services such as registration, note-taking, or mobility assistance. It is the student’s responsibility to notify his or her professors of the need for such an accommodation. Disability Services provides students with letters to present to faculty members to verify that the student has a disability and needs accommodations. Individuals requiring special accommodation should contact the professor after class or during office hours.
Religious Holy Days The University of Texas at Dallas will excuse a student from class or other required activities for the travel to and observance of a religious holy day for a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property tax under Section 11.20, Tax Code, Texas Code Annotated. The student is encouraged to notify the instructor or activity sponsor as soon as possible regarding the absence, preferably in advance of the assignment. The student, so excused, will be allowed to take the exam or complete the assignment within a reasonable time after the absence: a period equal to the length of the absence, up to a maximum of one week. A student who notifies the instructor and completes any missed exam or assignment may not be penalized for the absence. A student who fails to complete the exam or assignment within the prescribed period may receive a failing grade for that exam or assignment. If a student or an instructor disagrees about the nature of the absence [i.e., for the purpose of observing a religious holy day] or if there is similar disagreement about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the chief executive officer of the institution, or his or her designee. The chief executive officer or designee must take into account the legislative intent of TEC 51.911(b), and the student and instructor will abide by the decision of the chief executive officer or designee.
Off-Campus Instruction and Course Activities Off-campus, out-of-state, and foreign instruction and activities are subject to state law and University policies and procedures regarding travel and risk-related activities. Information regarding these rules and regulations may be found at the website address given below. Additional information is available from the office of the school dean. (http://www.utdallas.edu/BusinessAffairs/Travel_Risk_Activities.htm)
These descriptions and timelines are subject to change at the discretion of the Professor.