FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Adding, Changing or Discontinuing Academic Plans FAQ

  1. What are the criteria by which proposals are evaluated?
    Six criteria are used: 
    1. congruence with the mission and priorities of the University, the college, and the department, and interrelatedness with other University programs,
    2. need and demand for the program,
    3. comparative advantage over similar programs offered elsewhere,
    4. efficiency, effectiveness, and use of resources in support of the program,
    5. program quality and assessment, and
    6. appropriate review and approval mechanisms followed during program development.
  2. What types of changes require approval by the Board of Regents? By the Executive Vice President and Provost? By the collegiate dean or system campus chief academic officer?

    Board of Regents approval is required for:

    • adding a new degree, minor, or sub-plan
    • changing a current degree or minor, including:  adding a sub-plan, changing a plan or sub-plan name, changing a degree designation (e.g., B.S. to B.A., M.S. to M.A.), changing the academic home of a plan, and merging two or more degrees or minors
    • discontinuing a plan or sub-plan
    • adding a new site for the delivery of a plan
    • offering distance delivery of all or substantially all coursework for an existing plan
    • Executive vice president and provost approval is required for:
    • formalizing a domestic or international credit-bearing agreement for an academic exchange or articulation agreement with another institution
    • changing or adding new course designators and program codes
    • Collegiate dean (Twin Cities) or system campus chief academic officer approval is required for:
    • Changing curricular details such as number of credits or required courses, course substitutions (one course is dropped and another replaces it), revised lists of electives approved for the plan, and changes that result from realignment or adjustment of course content.
  3. When can a new program start advertising, recruiting, and admitting students?
    Only after formal approval by the Board of Regents. 
  4. What types of academic offerings are covered by this policy?
    The policy covers all undergraduate, graduate, and professional credit-bearing degrees, majors, minors, free-standing minors, and certificates.
  5. How are currently enrolled students affected by changes in their programs?
    Currently enrolled students can either continue following the requirements under which they were admitted to the program or may choose the new requirements.  In special circumstances, a new requirement may be imposed on current students but only after approval by the collegiate dean or system campus chief academic officer.  If a program is discontinued, currently enrolled students are allowed to complete their programs within a reasonable amount of time to be specified in the proposal.
  6. Why do proposal authors need to consult with other programs and academic units before a proposal is submitted for review and approval?
    To avoid duplication or overlap of plans; to avoid complications when there are changes in prerequisites or related coursework in other units, or in other ways that might affect other units.
  7. How long will it take from the time a proposal is submitted by the collegiate dean to final review and approval by the Provost? By the Board of Regents?
    It normally takes less than five weeks from receipt by the Provost to review and action.  Allow up to eight weeks for review and action by the Regents.
  8. How long will it take for an approved proposal to be entered into PeopleSoft?
    Two weeks.
  9. What kinds of proposals must be reviewed by the Graduate Education Council?
    Ph.D. plans and sub-plans; master’s-level plans that are closely linked to Ph.D. plans.
  10. What kinds of proposals must be reviewed by the AHC Office of Education?
    Health sciences-related plans at all levels (bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral) from any University campus.
  11. What kinds of proposals must also be reviewed and approved by the University’s regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission?
    Proposals that offer new distance delivery of all or substantially all coursework for an existing program; proposals that offer programs at one or more international locations.

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