College of Liberal Arts

This caption describes the image above.


Our college’s breadth, depth and adaptability make it ideally suited to the needs of a diverse state with a growing, dynamic economy and a rich history. The liberal arts prepare students to understand and learn from that history, to analyze problems from multiple viewpoints, and to draw upon knowledge from a range of cultures past and present. It prepares them to be creative and flexible leaders, citizens and workers, dedicated to making the world a better place for everyone.

The value of the liberal arts extends beyond our majors. Every student who attends the university, regardless of major, will take classes in our college during their undergraduate years as part of their core curriculum — classes in rhetoric and writing, the humanities, American and Texas history and government, and courses in a variety of behavioral and social sciences.

This is what distinguishes a liberal arts education at a public research university: the exposure to leading scholarship and teaching in a variety of disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences, and the opportunity to explore ideas across those disciplines in classrooms, laboratories and in our communities. 

More Resources                              

 Research Administration in Liberal Arts

  • What to Expect Here

    1. Not an Abridged Resource

    • This site is not a condensed, quick-shot way to scoot around the myriad policies and processes required of Research Administrators in CoLA; it DOES provide summaries (where possible), for when you just need a quick nudge about where to go or what to do.

      Summarized content appears at the top of a page or topic, flagged with references to 'Short' or 'Summarized,' followed by detailed information split into manageable sections.

    2. Layman's Terms over Policy-speak

    • There are plenty of resources at the university that break down all the rules and steps using language that isn't readily understood by someone new to UT, or new to Research Administration, or whose speciality lies elsewhere. We rely on plain-speak throughout this site to bring clarity (as opposed to brevity).

    3. Pop-Up Links - to Limit the Rabbit Hole Effect

    • Why is this important? Popup links are typically annoying when browsing the internet. But with this webpage's specific purpose, popup windows will help combat the rabbit hole effect that happens so often, when we're on the prowl for policy, process and procedure. With pop-up links, you can stay on point and decide which links to open, which are relevant to what you need, which you want to tuck below for later, and which to dismiss as you continue using this resource. Popup links will be marked accordingly so you'll know what to expect.

      In the case of stepping through certain resources, such as the *Define page, the popup feature allows you to open a floating window to log into *Define, while the instructions remain visible in the background. Let us know what you think about this aspect of navigating the site!

    4. Thought-Provoking Content, Occasional Humor

    • This resource contains instances of humor, not to lower the level of professionalism we bring to our jobs everyday, but to acknowledge that we, as administrative personnel, are people with unique personalities, not human calculators, and problem solvers, exchangable in our uniformity.

      Some sections contain commentary, occasionally thought-provoking in nature, not for the purpose of devaluing our university -more toward critical thinking and fostering discussion. There's also some historical content, to share what's come before in order to better understand what's here now, and perhaps what's taking shape for the future. All content subject to amendment to ensure an inclusive, positive, welcoming and helpful experience.

    5. The Step-by-Step Approach. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • A key deliverable for this site is to go beyond what is already available at the university. There are instances where the official how-to or guidelines feel dated or don't seem to fully flesh out what we need in a given moment in order to accomplish (quickly) the task at hand, or to understand why we do what we do. 

    6. A Resource Tailored for Us

    • Why this site? Because it's made for research admins, by research admins - built around tasks we need to accomplish, not offices that manage some portion of them. Anyone is welcome to read, learn, use, and contribute to the information here, though primarily, the focus is on unit-level research administrative personnel.  We hope it is useful.
  • New Research Administrators - Click Here!


    We're glad you're here. You, and the job you're doing, are important, needed and appreciated.

    Depending on how new you are to research administration at UT, you may be feeling overwhelmed. That's normal in our line of work. You step into the job expecting it to be a unique and interesting opportunity in an educational environment, which it is, but the cold hard truth staring you in the face on day 1 (and many days after that) is:

          I have no idea what to do
          I barely know where to park and how to find my office, let alone what's required of a... request to change
          someone's assignment in the (huh?) Workday system, whatever that is...
          OMG What on EARTH is this *Define thing?!
          I've got a TON to learn and ZERO clues on how or where to jump in!

    Take a deep breath. Look through the resources on this site.

    If you can't find what you need, reach out for some help

  • HOW DO I...?  (When You Don't Know What It's Called)

    How to find what you need
    When you don't know what it's called. 

    Accounting Actions
    Correct a Transaction (non-salary/fringe) on an Account | *Define - VT5, VT6
    Correct Salary and/or Fringe on an Account  |  Workday Costing Allocation Change
    Understanding Unit Codes  |  AskUs Unit Code Info (opens new tab)
    Find Dept/Unit Main Unit Code |  Dept Look-Up
    Find PI (sub) Unit Codes  |  *Define GG5 (with main unit code)
    Find Accounts in a Unit Code  |  *Define GG5 (Input B for accts in PI unit code)
    See Account Balances  |  *Define GB2 (w/8 digit budget group/acct#)
    See Account Transactions  |  *Define GT1 
    See Authorized (manual document) Signers on an Account  |  *Define GB1
    What is an Electronic Office Manager  
    Find Out Who is My Electronic Office Manager  |  Online EOM (popup)
    Find Allowable Expense Types/Object Codes in an Account | *Define - GO7
    See *Define Documents I'm Working On  |  *Define YMM (Your Inbox)
    Determine if Subaccount Transfers are Allowable  |  *Define CA3 (notes screen) or Award Docs
    Transfer Funds From one Subaccount to Another | Subaccount Transfers (Not for Sal & FB)
    See List of Unreconciled Transactions on my Accounts  |  *Define LR2
    Assist / Certify Salary for PIs  |  Salary Certification
    Reconcile My Accounts | *Define - LRM
    See State Maximum Allowances for Per Diem and Lodging  |  *Define GG1
    Process Travel Authorization/Change, or Reimbursement  |  *Define VE5, VE6, VP5

    HR How-To |  Workday Resources
    Change Funding Source for Someone's Assignment in Workday  |  Coming Soon...
    Confirm Someone's Supervisor/Report-To Structure  |  Workday Training: QUAL Navigating
    See My Own Workday Roles (impacting access to functions)  |  Workday Training: QUAL Navigating
    Find Out Who is My Visual Compliance Officer  |  Check w/ Dept/Unit Admin Mgr
    Calculate fringe benefits  |  OSP FB Guide (popup)

    Researchy Things 
    Keep track of spending on PI Projects/Awards | Award Mgmt & Budget Projections
    See Details About One of My Sponsored Projects | UT-RMS Grants Module (popup)
    Assist with salary certification  |  Salary Certification (popup)
    Set up a contract for a vendor
    Learn about cost share and tracking requirements
    Reimburse someone for meal/entertainment expenses
    Handle a purchase request
    Submit a study participant Cash Advance request
    Understand sponsor reporting requirements
    Learn about compliance for sponsored awards
    Gain understanding of Indirect costs and direct costs

    Student Stuff 
    Know the Difference Between a TRB and a Scholarship
    Submit a Tuition Reduction Benefit request
    Process 'Gap Coverage' of Grad Student Tuition  |  *Define SS2
    Apply a Tuition Waiver to Cover ISSS Fee for a Graduate Student  |  *Define SS2
    Process a GRA assignment in Workday
    Help Students with Questions About Waivers
    Provide Guidance About Registration Issues
    Which Position Type/Title to Give a Student
    Assist Student with Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant
    Process a Scholarship or Fellowship
    Respond to Student Questions about Insurance

    Travel Take-Away's
    Reimburse a Non-Employee for Only Travel Expenses | Travel Resources
    Submit a Travel Cash Advance Request from a Student or PI | Cash Advances
    Book Airfare, Lodging and Other Travel Logistics | Travel Arrangements
    Process a Travel Authorization or Reimbursement | Travel Resources
    Handle International Travel for PIs and Students | International Travel
    Seek an Exception for First/Business Class Airfare 

  • Direct Processing & CBS Requests

    Direct Processing & CBS Requests

    There are 2 ways to process financial requests at UT: 

    1. Direct Processing
    2. Indirect Processing

    Direct processing is the point A to point B method; the admin processes and the college approves.

    Electronic documents in *DEFINE (popup) are how you accomplish point A to point B processing. *Define is frequently the only way to create transactional documents for processing, including travel authorizations and reimbursements, meal/entertainment reimbursements, transaction corrections, and other non-travel reimbursements are all processed via *DEFINE (popup) documents. The difference with direct processing is that you, the admin, are getting out of line and doing it yourself. 

    • The biggest difference and benefit is that direct processing makes less stops and takes less time. Well... less time after you get past the initial first steps and fly through *Define like the processing Jedi Master that you were destined to be...
    • Another benefit is that the admin gains the ability to directly view the routing of the document. You know exactly where the document is and you can contact the approver directly if need be. *Define serves as a massive dashboard with tons of information at your fingertips. 
    • The personal benefit to be gained from getting a handle on *Define and FRMS processing is that you add to your strengths and marketability when considering advancement and growth opportunities. 
    • An additional benefit is that improved efficiency within the unit improves the relationship between the researchers and departmental administration. It's a win-win!

    Indirect processing is the work-around way to get financial requests processed, with online forms that are sent to another group who processes the requests as described about in direct processing.

    CBS (Central Business Service) Requests are processed by the CBS team in the CoLA Finance group. CBS is a long-standing benefit unique to CoLA and continues to serve as a resource for administrative personnel who lack training with direct processing, or who are new to their jobs, or have sufficient advance notice on requests to be processed, and for research personnel who don't have access to a dedicated research administrator.

    A very large percentage of units in CoLA rely solely on CBS to process all of their adminsitrative documents. To preserve this resource, we need to lessen the amount of requests that flow through the pipeline. We're looking to find a better balance between both kinds of processing in CoLA. 

    ** RSO Award Services Encourages Direct Processing **

  • I am required.
    I am required.

Other Contacts