Approved by Senate, September 2011
This policy sets out the principles for the review for discontinuance (deactivation or deregistration) of academic programs. Any academic program is subject to the principles and procedures described.
Academic Program: defined in the New York State Education Regulations as the “formal educational requirements necessary to qualify for certificates or degrees [and] …includes general education or specialized study in depth in a particular field, or both.” These academic programs are represented by the program titles under which the state education department has registered the college’s degree programs. These undergraduate academic programs are referred to as areas of study or nursing, in the School for Graduate Studies as programs. Other programmatic offerings, such as residencies and concentrations within an area of study or graduate program, are not addressed in this policy. Locations of the college are not addressed in this policy
Deactivation: suspends the operation of the program while keeping it formally registered with the New York State Education Department
Deregistration: the program is eliminated.
The final authority to make an academic program discontinuance (deactivation or deregistration) decision rests with the president of the college and his or her designee. In the case of program discontinuance, both faculty and administrators are consulted before a final decision is made by the president.
The discontinuation of a program may have significant consequences for faculty and staff, as well as current and prospective students. Consideration of faculty, professional staff and classified staff interests related to such a decision must be consistent with contractual obligations, particularly Article 35 Retrenchment of the UUP contract and Article 22 Employment Security of the CSEA contract. Consideration of student interests is consistent with the SUNY and New York State Education rules requiring the college to provide an orderly, phased transition for students. The college must carefully consider proposals to end a program at the college.
The following criteria are considered in review of programs considered for discontinuation:
The proposal to discontinue a program may originate from an academic administrator and involves input from all levels. A request for discontinuance may come from the faculty of the academic area offering the program, if requested by a majority vote of voting membership of the faculty in the academic area eligible to vote. The academic area is defined as the area of study or the graduate program group led by a program chair or associate dean.
The administrator considering the discontinuance of an academic program will raise the issue with the provost, sharing evidence of previous actions related to the program, and the potential plan for notification of affected faculty and staff and their supervisors of the possibility that the program might be discontinued.
The formal consideration of the discontinuance of an academic program requires a written recommendation to the program faculty, containing information and data to constitute a reasonable rationale for discontinuing the program. It also identifies whether the action should be a deactivation or deregistration. The recommendation includes the following information, except when information is unavailable or inappropriate:
The dean, vice provost or provost, after notifying relevant academic administrators, convenes the faculty group directly affected and discuss the recommendation with that group, gathering information that may support or refute the information included in the recommendation. The program faculty have the opportunity to respond in writing to the recommendation, if they so desire.
The recommendation for discontinuation and the response of the program faculty, if provided, is sent to the appropriate standing committee of the Senate for review and concurrence or non-concurrence. The initiating administrator will provide a summary of the factors leading to the recommendation to discontinue the program and will be present at the committee meeting when the final recommendation is discussed. The administrator of the affected program and all members of the program being reviewed for discontinuation will be invited to participate and to provide information and answer questions about the recommendation.
Once the standing committee has responded to the recommendation, the initiating administrator will make a final recommendation. This will be sent to the provost along with the response from the standing committee and the program response.
The provost will review the initiating administrator’s recommendation, along with the program’s response and the response from the standing committee. The provost then makes a recommendation to the president.
Should the provost recommend the discontinuation of any program, the president will review this recommendation. If the president concurs, the Office of Academic Affairs will begin formal notification to SUNY and SED and accrediting agencies as appropriate.
The Office of Academic Affairs identifies and notifies those campus constituents and operational offices.
When the college discontinues a program, the State University of New York and the New York State Department of Education procedures and regulations for deactivation and deregistration will apply.
SUNY Policy Program Deactivation and Discontinuance
SED Section 52.1
CSEA Agreement Article 22 Employment Security
UUP Agreement Article 35 Retrenchment