4110 - New or Expanded Academic Programs
Last updated: July 01, 2009
PREAMBLE: This section outlines the process by which new or expanded academic programs come to be offered. This section appeared in the 1979 Handbook. It was changed in November, 1991, to reflect the shift of responsibility for the catalog from the Faculty Secretary’s Office to the Provost or Registrar's Office. Unless otherwise noted, the text is as of July 1996. For more information, contact the Provost's Office (208-885-6448). (ed. 7-00)
A. INTRODUCTION. The regents require the preparation and submission of a detailed analysis and evaluation of each new or expanded program that is proposed. A new or expanded program is one that will result in UI offering a new degree, certificate, major, or field of specialization within a major. The analysis and evaluation must include supporting information of many kinds, including but not limited to the following:
A-1. The need for the program should be clearly documented by requests, studies, employment opportunities, and other pertinent data. The national picture should be correlated with the state and local scenes in stating the need for a new program.
A-2. Feasibility studies should be done in most instances where new programs are requested. Desire and need do not necessarily mean that implementation is feasible.
A-3. Cost is a controlling factor in approval of a new program. The availability of funds for new programs constitutes a constraint in approving or disapproving program requests.
A-4. Potential student enrollment must be considered. A forecast of prospective enrollment is prerequisite to the approval of a new program. It should be recognized, of course, that the existence of a program tends to attract students. So, a projection of enrollment cannot be exact but it should be within reasonable limits.
A-5. UI’s capabilities should be clearly set out. Supporting programs in courses that are necessary to the successful operation of a specific program cover a wide range of prerequisite programs that must be taken into consideration in locating a program at UI.
A-6. Preferences for new program development may vary among institutions in the state system. The specific interests of the faculty, the administration, and others in establishing priorities for new programs at UI must be supported by pertinent data.
A-7. Priorities should be established. At any time, a number of new programs may be needed and seem feasible. Fiscal constraints and other criteria against which new program adoption is measured mandate, therefore, an indication of the priority for the development of the proposed program.
A-8. Based on established programs, the designation of certain institutions for development of programs in specified disciplines must be considered. Geographical location, community factors, and existing related programs will have an important effect upon program development.
A-9. The capability of UI in the various areas of new program development must also be considered. Established capability probably weighs more heavily than potential for developing future capabilities. Moreover, the capability of UI is clearly conditioned by the historical development of programs that have been authorized in the past.
A-10. Unnecessary duplication should be avoided. In some instances, similar programs may be needed in the various areas of the state. In other instances, one well-developed program will not only suffice, but will be the only program that can meet the criteria referred to above.
A-11. The interrelationships of programs are important. The ladder and lattice concepts must be developed wherever possible. Two-year programs in one institution should be so structured that they are interchangeable parts of four-year programs at other institutions.
A-12. The curricula should be developed so that they fit certification and licensure requirements. They should also be eligible for approval by national accrediting agencies.
A-13. Criteria for determining the feasibility of new or expanded programs include: (1) demonstrated need based on documented requests, organized studies, enrollment predictions, personnel requirements, and/or accreditation standards; (2) relationships of new or expanded programs to the overall and specific educational programs of UI and the state system of higher education as approved by the regents; (3) current and future capabilities of UI to make available facilities, equipment, and personnel adequate to ensure a high quality program; and (4) estimates of income and expenditures, both direct and indirect, for the program for a minimum of three years.
B. FORMAT AND PROCEDURES. The Office of the State Board of Education has devised a set of forms (available from the Provost’s Office) for use in the presentation of the supporting information called for above. Concurrently with the submission of these forms, text for catalog entries pertaining to the new or expanded program should be submitted to the faculty secretary for editing and routing. Proposed certificate programs and proposed undergraduate programs are sent to the University Curriculum Committee; graduate programs are sent to the Graduate Council and then to the University Curriculum Committee. If recommended by the University Curriculum Committee, they are presented to the Faculty Senate and, if approved, to the university faculty for action. (See also 1540 C.) (ed. 7-01, 7-09, rev. 8-07)
C. TIME TABLE FOR APPROVAL AND IMPLEMENTATION. Customarily the president presents proposals for new or expanded programs to the regents at their June meeting. For the regents to act at that time, the proposal must be presented at the April meeting (the agenda is prepared early in March). To be included on the April agenda, final action by the university faculty must be completed in February. Thus, to provide time for consideration by the University Curriculum Committee (and the Graduate Council in the case of graduate programs) and by the Faculty Senate, proposals for new or expanded programs must be in the Office of the Faculty Secretary no later than October. Experience has shown that proposals reported out of the colleges after October have had to wait about two years for implementation.