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Policy for the Review of Academic Programs, Departments or Colleges for the Purpose of Possible Curtailment or Discontinuance

  1. General Statement of Policy
    This policy provides the process for evaluation that shall be followed for the review of academic programs, departments or colleges for the purpose of possible curtailment or discontinuance.

               The process described in this policy should be conducted expeditiously by all participating, reviewing, recommending, and deciding bodies. Failure to comply with the time limits may cause a forfeiture of the right to comment, review or recommend. Time limits shall be calculated in calendar days.

  2. Process for the Evaluation of Programs, Departments or Colleges
    The following process shall be followed in evaluating academic programs, departments, or colleges for possible curtailment or discontinuance.
    1. The affected unit's program director, chair, academic dean, or provost and vice president for academic affairs ("initiator") may initiate the action for possible curtailment or discontinuance. The initial recommendation, with the approval of the provost and vice president for academic affairs, if he/she is not the initiator, shall be in written form and provided simultaneously to the dean(s) of the affected unit(s), and the affected unit(s). The initial recommendation shall specify the facts precipitating the need for change, the proposed change and rationale and preliminary analysis of financial impact. This document shall also project the possible impact upon affected faculty, staff, and students; a revised human resource plan for these individuals; and the desired timetable for implementation.

    2. The initiator shall consult closely with the administrators and faculty of the affected unit(s).

    3. Upon receipt of the initial recommendation, and within forty-five (45) days, the dean(s) and the unit(s) to be affected, including the relevant college governance unit(s), shall, either jointly or separately, conduct an appropriate review of the program, department, or college, considering, among other things, the following criteria. The criteria need not be evenly weighted, nor should the list be considered exclusive.
      1. The relevancy and relationship of the program to the mission and objectives of the college and university.

      2. The overall quality of the affected unit presently and potentially.

      3. Cost and revenues associated with the affected unit.

      4. Student enrollment/productivity.

      5. The current and projected relationship to other programs, departments, or institutions.

      6. Distinctive and unique features in concept, design or implementation.

      7. Impact on women and minorities.

      8. Implications with respect to research.

      9. Impact on student needs.

      10. Placement and employment opportunities for students.

      11. Alternatives to curtailment, discontinuation, consolidation, or significant reorganization.

    4. Within fifteen (15) days prior to the expiration of the time for review, the provost and vice president for academic affairs shall notify the chairs of the Senates that materials will be sent to them for action pursuant to this policy.

    5. After review at the college level, the academic dean (including the college's governance unit(s)), and the affected unit will forward their recommendations, with all supporting documentation, within the time prescribed, simultaneously to the Faculty Senate, Student Senate and provost and vice president for academic affairs for review.

    6. Within thirty (30) days of receipt of materials, the Faculty and Student Senates shall forward their recommendations to the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

    7. The provost and vice president for academic affairs shall conduct an independent analysis of the initial recommendation (unless he/she initiated the process). Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of recommendations from the Senates, the provost and vice president for academic affairs shall review the recommendations of the dean(s), affected unit(s), Faculty Senate and Student Senate and make a recommendation of proposed action to the president.

    8. Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the provost and vice president for academic affairs' recommendations, the president shall review the recommendation of proposed action, consult any parties which are deemed appropriate, and make a final decision on whether or not the program, department or college shall be curtailed or discontinued. Upon completion of this review, the president shall make a recommendation on the matter to the Board of Visitors for action. After the Board has made its decision on the matter, the president shall inform all members of the university community in an appropriate manner.

  3. To the greatest extent possible, the status quo shall be maintained within and with respect to the affected unit(s) until such time as a final decision has been reached by the Board of Visitors and it has directed the president to take action.

- Approved by the Board of Visitors
March 11, 1991

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