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A coordinated approach to program development recognizes departmental curricular prerogatives and yet accords departmental planning with University planning at an early stage. On occasion, individual faculty members or groups of faculty develop program proposals that, quite meritorious in themselves, do not accord with what appropriate review levels understand as the mission and role and scope of the University or the established goals and objectives of particular departments and colleges or even of the University itself. At other times, new program proposals appropriate to the department’s, the college’s and the University’s self-definition are found impractical in terms of student, faculty, or financial resources. On still other occasions, new proposals developed in isolation lack the completeness and coherence necessary for rational decisions beyond their academic units.
An efficient approach to program planning helps faculty members to avoid undue effort and to direct their energies toward realistic program development. At an early stage in the program development process, the system provides faculty with a clear sense of how various review levels outside their academic unit regard their proposals in outline before the proposals are developed in detail. Review levels assess preliminary or outline program proposals to see whether they are consistent with the mission and role and scope of the University; institutional directions as defined by the goals and objectives of the academic unit, the college, and the University; demonstrate student need; and the effective use of the current resources of the University (facilities, faculty, operations, etc.). In short, efficient program planning involves two distinct cycles: first, initial endorsement as outlined above; second, through similar procedure, final review of the actual details of the program.
Proposals for new programs, degrees, or majors are submitted in preliminary or outline form to the appropriate decision-making bodies from the department level through the colleges each fall or spring, reaching the Provost and the Academic Council either by November 1 or March 1 for review. Proposals should address themselves in a few pages to the needs for and the means of implementing the proposal, all in the context of the University’s academic purposes and the proposing unit’s goals and objectives.
At each level, the proposals will be reviewed and placed in one of three categories.
Category 1. Endorsed for further development and ultimate resubmission together with full needs and means justification (Endorsement may come with some recommendation for change).
Category 2. Endorsement withheld until the relation of the proposal needs for or means of implementation, or University purposes, or unit goals and objectives is clarified (Resubmission for preliminary approval is invited).
Category 3. Endorsement denied for reasons relating to needs for or means of implementation, or University purposes, or unit goals and objectives (Resubmission for preliminary approval is not invited).
The Provost will convey endorsement decisions and recommendations to appropriate units in a timely fashion. While not a commitment of resources or a thorough curricular review, the early endorsement process will provide faculty members with proper direction and general support for their program development efforts.
All proposals placed in Category 1 during the preliminary phase will proceed again through the academic decision-making system of the University, this time with full statements of particulars, culminating in a recommendation from the Academic Council to the Provost. Those requiring approval by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education will adhere to the approval format and submission deadlines of the CBHE (See review and timeline information here).
Again, at each level, the proposals will be reviewed and placed in one of three categories.
Category 1. Approval given for implementation (without any implied commitment of resources since any such commitment is made through the regular budget process) during the following academic year, pending acceptance by CBHE for those proposals needing CBHE sanction.
Category 2. Approval postponed until the needs and the means statements are revised and improved (Resubmission for final approval is invited).
Category 3. Approval denied because the needs are unsubstantiated and/or the means are not appropriate or available (Resubmission for final approval is not invited).
Once again, the Provost will convey approval decisions and recommendations to appropriate units