The University Record, March 1, 1993

Standard Practice Guide spells out program closure procedures

The recommended procedures for discontinuing academic programs outlined in Standard Practice Guide 601.2 are as follows:

1. From time to time, the Dean and/or Executive Committee of a School or College or the governing faculty of that unit or the Vice President for Academic Affairs may consider that a particular program may no longer be viable, or may be more effective if reorganized in some way. Periodic program reviews may also lead to a similar conclusion. In all such cases, an independent assessment of the quality and viability of a program by a peer review should then take place prior to recommending that a program be considered for discontinuance. In identifying a review committee, the Dean and/or Executive Committee should consult with the faculty and should consider a mechanism that would include colleagues outside the University community as well as faculty within the School and University. In cases where there is a dispute within the School or College concerning the constitution of an appropriate peer review group, the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will consult both the parties and will determine the composition of the peer review group. Such reviews will be conducted so that there will be maximum opportunity for early and meaningful consultation with faculty and students and timely action in relation to admissions, appointments, and the budget cycle.

2. The Dean and Executive Committee of each School or College may then, after consultation with the governing faculty, recommend to the Vice President for Academic Affairs that a program be considered for elimination. They will also notify the members of the program and the governing faculty when such a recommendation has been formulated.

3. With the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean, if he has not already done so, should then set up a consultative process with the program, the governing faculty, and other affected parties, both inside and outside the program, discussing with them the factors used to determine the proposed “phase out” of the program and other alternatives which may be proposed for reorganization of the program. In appropriate cases, consultation with other institutions may be arranged.

4. The Vice President shall also submit such statements of financial exigency as may be included in the recommendation for assessment to an ad hoc committee, with members from the Office of Academic Affairs, the Budget Priorities Committee, and SACUA.

5. The results of the various reviews and recommendations should then be forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

6. The review of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will be made in a prompt and timely fashion, bearing in mind the effects of prolonged debate on the individuals and units involved. Full opportunity will be provided during the review for public and private consultation and the receipt of written comments.

7. In the light of these discussions, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will make a decision on the future of the program, which shall be brought as a recommendation to the Regents.