APS 1010 - Program Discontinuance When No Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty Face Dismissal

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Policy Profile

Policy Title: Program Discontinuance When No Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty Face Dismissal
APS Number: 1010
Effective: July 1, 2009
Approved by: President Bruce D. Benson
Responsible University Officer: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Responsible Office: Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
Policy Contact: Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
Supersedes: N/A
Last Reviewed/Updated: July 1, 2013
Applies to: All campuses

Policy Snapshot

Brief Description:  Provides an abbreviated process for discontinuing degree programs when no tenured or tenure-track faculty face dismissal

I.  Introduction

This administrative policy is designed to facilitate flexible academic planning and implementation by providing an abbreviated process for discontinuing degree programs when no tenured or tenure-track faculty face dismissal.

II.  Policy Statement

A.  Definition

For purposes of this APS, "program" refers to a degree program, department or division of instruction, school or college, or other program unit. Other program units include those that are engaged in research or academic pursuits, whether or not such programs lead to a degree (for example, a track in a degree program, an institute, a laboratory, etc.).

B.  Process for Discontinuance

If the dean, the vice chancellor, the program review committee, or the majority of the faculty of a department or equivalent academic unit offering a degree program determine that the degree program should be discontinued (because it meets one or more of the criteria for program discontinuance described in Section C of this policy) and that no tenured or tenure-track faculty will face dismissal as a result of the program discontinuance, the dean and the department/unit head should discuss the possibility of discontinuing the degree program. ("Unit is used in this policy to refer to academic units that are equivalent to departments, as is the case for some colleges and schools that are organized into units that function as, but are not called, departments.)

If both agree, the dean, acting on behalf of the department, should obtain the approval of the vice chancellor for academic affairs and the chancellor. If the chancellor approves the decision, then it is forwarded to the president and the Board of Regents for approval. If the Board approves, the president's office notifies the Colorado Commission on Higher Education of the degree's termination.

If there is no agreement between the dean and the department/unit regarding discontinuance, then the party proposing discontinuance may submit a request for discontinuance to the vice chancellor for academic affairs. This request must include justifications based on the criteria for termination (detailed in Section C of this policy) and must address personnel issues. The vice chancellor for academic affairs will (1) constitute a review committee, or (2) ask the existing campus program review committee to evaluate the proposed discontinuance and make a recommendation to the chancellor. (If the program review committee originated the recommendation for termination, then it should not serve as the evaluation committee for the vice chancellor.)

Once the decision has been made to terminate a program, the unit granting the degree must admit no new students to the program and must make provisions to allow students currently in the program to complete the degree (within a maximum of four years from the date of the discontinuance decision).

C.  Program Closure Considerations

A non-exclusive list of considerations that may lead to discontinuance for educational reasons includes:

    1. The long-term state, regional and national needs for such academic or research efforts; or
    2. The existence of similar academic or research efforts at other academic or research institutions; or
    3. The quality of the campus' program in terms of the (a) faculty and staff, (b) students, (c) accreditation or program review, or (d) research and other facilities (library collections, laboratories, field support facilities, etc.); or
    4. The importance of the program as a support for, or as an integral part of, other campus or University academic and research programs; or
    5. The importance of the program as fundamental to a university education; or
    6. The importance of the program to the state or region in terms of its cultural, historic, political, economic, or other social aspects; or
    7. The importance of the program to the state or region in terms of its geologic geographic, environmental, or other physical aspects; or
    8. Other relevant factors that indicate that the program cannot be maintained for academic reasons.

A non-exclusive list of considerations that may lead to discontinuance for budgetary constraints, resource allocation or other financial reasons includes:

    1. Actual or projected revenues and costs of the program including both direct and indirect costs;
    2. Potential cost savings from elimination of the program;
    3. Efficiency of program operations in relation to revenues and expenditures (and credit hours and research dollars);
    4. The program's contribution to the campus' fiscal health;
    5. Performance data related to the program such as the cyclical nature of the discipline's relevance, multi-year trends and projections for enrollment, retention, completion, placements, impacts on other programs and capacity data such as student/faculty ratios, courses taught by tenure/non-tenure-track, research productivity, programmatic cost benefit analysis, ability to generate income; or
    6. Other relevant factors that indicate that the program cannot be maintained due to budgetary constraints, resource allocations, or other financial reasons.

A non-exclusive list of considerations that may lead to discontinuance for strategic realignment reasons includes:

    1. Centrality of the program to the campus mission;
    2. Role of the program in the campus or college strategic plan (academic master plan);
    3. Ability of the program to enhance the campus' reputation in the state and nation;
    4. Excellence of the program or its promise for future excellence in teaching, research, or both;
    5. Cost of investing in the program to achieve and maintain excellence;
    6. Uniqueness of the program to the state, CU System, and the relevant geographic area;
    7. Marketplace demand for the program;
    8. Program's role in supporting other key programs at the campus; or
    9. Other relevant factors that indicate that the program cannot be maintained for strategic realignment reasons.

History

  • Initial Policy Effective: March 1, 1997