Guidelines for Suspending Programs

Executive Memorandum 13-057

August 6, 2013

From: Paul J. Zingg, President
Subject: Guidelines for Suspending Programs

OVERVIEW

Suspension of an Academic Program is used when an academic program needs to be examined, strengthened, and/or modified in order to effectively serve students.  Suspension of a program follows a different process and has different goals from Discontinuation of Programs. Program discontinuance should be proposed when a program is not viable or a plan for improvement has failed. While Suspension of a program is temporary, Discontinuation of a program is permanent. (See Guidelines for Discontinuing Programs, EM 01-014 and Guidelines for Budget-Induced Academic Program Elimination, EM 93-017, AS Resolution 2596-03.)  

The suspension of a program initiates the formal process of closure to new admissions and/or a cessation of advising new students into the suspended program while an improvement plan or plan to review the program is being completed. It is the commitment of the University to allow all students currently enrolled in the program to finish their degree requirements, and the plans for these students should be part of any proposal of suspension.

For the purposes of this document, the word program pertains to the following:

  • All graduate degrees
  • All Baccalaureate degrees
  • All options within a degree
  • All minor programs
  • All Certificate programs

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Program suspension starts with a faculty member or administrator bringing a request to the appropriate academic unit’s normal curriculum revision process. The request shall follow the same procedural steps as any curricular revision, with the exception of additional actions specified in the guidelines below.

 

Guidelines

Program suspension consultation will include the appropriate units within the department and college to include students, staff, faculty, and administration. If the results of the consultation warrant program suspension a proposal shall be drafted and will consist of the following:

  • A rationale describing the areas of concern
  • An improvement plan to address the areas of concern
  • A timeline
  • Evidence of consultation
  • A signature page/checklist/routing form (See Academic Department Manual)

The proposal to suspend will be submitted to EPPC for approval.  Graduate program suspensions will be referred to the Graduate Council before being forwarded to EPPC.  EPPC will notify the Provost of its recommendations. Upon approval of the program suspension, notice that the program has been suspended will be sent to students, advisors, units, and agencies involved in advising or providing information regarding programs on this campus. Under program suspension, it is the commitment of the university to “teach out” those students who are currently enrolled in the program prior to the proposed hiatus, i.e., students in the program will be allowed to complete it.  If required courses in the suspended program are eliminated, appropriate faculty in the program will identify substitute courses and help students to complete the necessary work to complete the program.  

At the conclusion of the program improvement timeline one of the following courses of action will occur:

  • Report of Program Reinstatement to EPPC
    • A representative for the program will submit a form/signature sheet with a brief report of the reinstatement to EPPC. The report will summarize the actions taken to improve the program and the outcomes leading to reinstatement.  The original plan and timeline will be submitted with the report. Notice that the program has been reinstated will be sent to the Provost.  Advisors, units, and agencies involved in advising or providing information regarding programs on this campus will also be notified.
    • Request an extension to EPPC
      • A representative for the program will submit a form/signature sheet with a brief rationale for the extension including evidence of plan implementation and a new timeline. The original plan shall be attached for reference. The Provost shall be notified of the recommendations of EPPC. Advisors, units, and agencies involved in advising or providing information regarding programs on this campus will also be notified.
      • Propose discontinuation to EPPC/Academic Senate
        • See Guidelines for Discontinuing Programs, EM 01-0104 or Guidelines for Budget-Induced Academic Program Elimination, EM 93-017.

Should a program improvement timeline extend for more than one academic year, in the second and each subsequent year of the approved improvement plan the department in which the suspended program is housed shall report to EPPC on progress made on the improvement plan.