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Section 3: Program Discontinuance

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Discontinuance of Academic Programs (P.S. 11-05)

The discontinuance of an academic program means that the sequence of instruction in that academic area will no longer be offered in a form which will lead to a degree or a certificate. For purposes of this policy document, an academic program is defined as a sequence of courses leading to a bachelor's, master's or professional degree, a formal degree option, a minor, a certificate, or a credential. It does not refer to the department(s) or other administrative unit(s) that may offer the courses involved. Portions of the curriculum may be retained if they are related to other programs.

Program discontinuance may be requested for a variety of reasons. Typically, programs are discontinued when they no longer serve student or societal needs, or when the University cannot provide the resources to offer them. What is important to the process is that the reasons for the proposed action be made explicit and that affected parties have an opportunity to present alternative views and proposals. This requires a process of notification and hearing which will involve several parts of the faculty governance process.

Because program discontinuance means the elimination of instructional areas it has two important characteristics: first, it represents an educational policy judgment and, second, it represents a resource allocation decision. Although the final authority to make either of these decisions rests with the President of the University and his or her designees, traditionally faculty are more involved in the making of educational policy while administrators make resource allocation decisions. In the case of program discontinuance, both faculty and administrators must participate fully before final decisions are made by the President.

The responsibility for recommending to the President a course of action in any of those situations rests primarily with the faculty. The responsibility for carrying out any course of action decided upon rests with the administration.

As far as possible, the university shall not take any administrative action leading to the de facto or official discontinuation of an academic program before the discontinuance process is completed.

Section 3: Program Discontinuance
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