Strategic Academic Initiatives

UT campus

Contact: Linda Neavel Dickens, Ph.D., Associate Vice Provost

Mailing Address:
The University of Texas at Austin
1616 Guadalupe Street, Rm 6.422
Stop D7600
Austin, Texas 78701



The purpose of the Office of Strategic Academic Initiatives (SAI) is to advance the mission of the university by operationalizing strategic academic initiatives originating from the executive vice president and provost. The office oversees undergraduate curriculum management, including the administration of internal approvals and coordination of necessary external approvals by UT System, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC), and other regulatory bodies. Additionally, SAI has primary oversight responsibility for academic assessment and academic continuous improvement.

The charge of the office is to:

  • Provide leadership and change management support for units reporting to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, including academic, student academic support, and administrative programs.
  • Expand strategic opportunities by addressing systemic barriers to educational innovation, institutional excellence, and operational effectiveness.
  • Cultivate connections and collaborations across campus in order to promote academic excellence, optimize resources, and enhance efficacy.
  • Advocate for and facilitate processes that strengthen ongoing data‐driven planning and decision making.
  • Implement policies and procedures that facilitate operational and cultural change.
  • Assure academic program alignment with institutional compliance requirements.

The executive vice president and provost, in consultation with the chief of staff, determines the strategic priorities of the office and the projects to which office staff are assigned.



The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, professional, masters, and doctorate degrees.



The assessment and evaluation processes produce information to help programs and units investigate barriers, identify areas for improvement, and recognize best practices.

SAI Team

Meet the team.