Sac State University Policy Manual

Modification in, Suspension of, or Deletion of Existing Programs

Policy Administrator: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Authority: FS 13/14-17; FS 13/14-117
Effective Date:1-22-99; June 19, 2014; July 9, 2014
Updated: June 19, 2014; July 9, 2014
Index Cross-References:
Policy File Number: FSM00010.htm


  1. General Policies

    1. Additions of minors, concentrations, options, specializations, or emphases subsumed under existing degree programs and certificate programs, when largely composed of existing course offerings, will be treated for review purposes as modifications in existing programs. *

    2. Changes in programs normally are initiated at the Department level.

    3. Modifications, suspensions or deletions in programs follow the established university approval process, which includes faculty review at the department and College levels, Faculty Senate review as well as administrative review and approval.

    4. The programmatic and resource review responsibilities of departments and Colleges in regard to their program modifications, suspensions or deletions are essentially the same as those associated with course proposals.

    5. Resources to support program changes normally come from the College/Department requesting the change. Each request for a change in program should be accompanied by a statement from the Dean indicating that the College will accommodate changes in the program within its existing resource allocations or a statement indicating that additional resources will be needed. The latter statement should include a description of the level and nature of additional funding the College will seek for the program changes.

  2. Nonsubstantive Program Change Proposals

    1. Nonsubstantive program change proposals are normally those that:

      1. do not increase or decrease the required units in a program;

      2. carry no supplemental funding request;

      3. have no identified fiscal or programmatic impact on another academic unit's offerings.

    2. Nonsubstantive program modification proposals are listed, circulated, and approved upon the recommendation of the appropriate curriculum committee by the Associate Vice President in the same manner as course change proposals.

    3. Nonsubstantive program modification proposals challenged through the above review process for substantive or jurisdictional reasons are given further consideration and given to the appropriate Senate's curriculum committee for review and recommendation.

  3. Substantive Program Changes

    1. Substantive program changes are those that involve one or more of the following:

      1. increase or decrease the number of units in the major or the degree program;

      2. carry a programmatic or fiscal impact on another academic unit's offerings;

      3. change substantially the character or the purpose of the program;

      4. require additional resources to implement;

      5. are judged to be substantive changes by College/university review bodies or appropriate administrator.

    2. Substantive program changes shall follow the guidelines noted at the end of this section entitled "Procedures for Submitting Substantive Program Change Proposals" and shall use Form B.

    3. Substantive program change proposals are also listed and circulated.

    4. Substantive program modification proposals are directed to the Senate's appropriate curriculum committee for review (fiscal/budgetary impact and curricular impact) and recommendation. Information on fiscal/budgetary impact shall be provided by the Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.

    5. The Senate's appropriate curriculum committee recommends to the Senate the approval (or disapproval) of proposed program changes.

    6. When the Senate recommends approval of a program change, the President may consult the Council on University Planning concerning the significance of the program and its feasibility given other University priorities. This step may become particularly important if significant resources are required to implement the new program.

    7. The final decision on whether to implement an approved program change rests with the College Dean based on a judgment of the impact the change will have on other existing College programs given the resources available to support the change.

    8. Only University approved changes in programs will be reflected in the University catalog.

  4. Procedures for Submitting Substantive Program Change Proposals

    1. Complete Form B.

    2. Indicate programmatic or fiscal impact which this change will have on other academic units' programs, and describe the consultation that has occurred with affected units. Attach a copy of correspondence with these units.

    3. Provide a fiscal analysis of the proposed changes.

      1. How will the above changes be accommodated within the department/College existing fiscal resources?

      2. If the proposed changes will require additional resources, describe the level and nature of additional funding the College will seek for the program changes.

      3. What additional space, equipment, operating expenses, library, computer, or media resources, clerical/technical support, or other resources will be needed? Estimate the cost and indicate how these resource needs will be accommodated.

    4. List side by side the old program requirements as presented and the new program requirements as they will be presented in the University catalog. Use your exact current catalog copy; present exact catalog copy for proposed modifications. Show corresponding courses on the same line marking blank lines where appropriate with an "++++++." The following is an example:

      Department of Solid States wants to make the following changes in its undergraduate major:

      Proposed Changes:

      Itemize Each Change:

      1. Add to required lower division courses: SSG 63
      2. Delete from required lower division courses: SSG 52
      3. Reduce the number of required upper division units from 15 to 11 by no longer requiring SSG 151.
      4. The degree program also requests that the option of Transistor Biology be deleted, a new option in the Crystallization of H20 be approved and the option of Solid States with Lego be retained.
      NEW PROGRAM

      1. Required Lower Division Courses: 10 units
        SSG 45 Anatomy of Solid States (3 units)
        ++++++++
        SSG 63 Solid States
        SSG 80 Topics in Solid States Genetics (4 units)


      2. Required Upper Division Courses: 11 units
        SSG 132 Evolution of Solid States (3 units)
        +++++++++



      3. Additional Upper Division Requirements
        +++++++
        Option Crystallization of H20 (list of courses) Option Solid States with Lego (8 units)  (list of courses)
      OLD PROGRAM

      1. Required Lower Division Courses: 10 units
        SSG 45 Anatomy of Solid States (3 units) SSG 52 Heredity in Solid States (3 units)
        +++++++
        SSG 80 Adv. Solid States Genetics (4 units)


      2. Required Upper Division Courses: 15 units
        SSG 132 Evolution of Solid States (3 units)
        SSG 151 Solid States Life Cycle (4 units)


      3. Additional Upper Division Requirements: Option Transistor Biology (8 units) (list of courses)
        ++++++++
        Option Solid States with Lego (8 units) (list of courses)
      Revised: 1-22-99

  5. New Options, Concentrations, Special Emphases and Minors

    1. Each new option, concentration, special emphases, and minor is subject to the campus review and approval process. Executive Order No. 602 (July 15, 1993) delegated the authority to approve options, concentrations, special emphases, and minors to the President.

    2. While each campus may have unique definitions, an option, a concentration, and a special emphasis are all defined for purposes of system review as an aggregate of courses within a degree major designed to give a student specialized knowledge, competence or skill.

    3. A minor is a formal aggregate of courses in a designated subject that is distinct from and outside the student's degree major, consisting of 12 or more semester units, of which at least six must be upper division (Section 40500 (c) of Title 5).

    4. The campus approval process for new options, concentrations, special emphases or minors is the same as the review for new programs.

    5. The information required for review and approval of a proposed option, concentration, special emphases, or minor is less detailed than for a full degree major program.

  6. Procedures for Submitting Proposals for New Options, Concentrations, Special Emphases and Minors

    Requests for approval of an option, concentration, special emphasis, or minor are to follow the format below. Submit fifteen copies of the proposal to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.

    1. Complete Form B.

    2. Name of the campus submitting the request, the full and exact title of the proposed aggregate of courses, and whether it is an option, concentration, special emphasis, or minor.

    3. Full and exact title of the degree major program under which the aggregate of courses will be offered, where applicable.

    4. Options, concentrations, or special emphases already existing under the degree major program for which the new aggregate of courses is proposed.

    5. Department(s) to offer the aggregate of courses and name of contact person.

    6. Purpose of the proposed aggregate of courses.

    7. Need for the proposed aggregate of courses.

    8. List of the courses, by catalog number, title, and units of credit, as well as total units to be required under the proposed aggregate of courses.

    9. New courses to be developed. Include proposed catalog descriptions and course classifications.

    10. List of courses, by catalog number, title, course classification, and units of credit as well as total units to be required for the major in which the proposed aggregate of courses is to be included. Show a two-year scheduling pattern of these courses and indicate the number of additional courses and sections of classes that will be required to implement the program.

    11. List of all present faculty members, with rank, appointment status, highest degree earned, date and field of highest degree, and professional experience, who would teach in the proposed aggregate of courses.

    12. Indicate according to the questions below the resources needed to implement the program change.

      1. How will the above changes be accommodated within the department/College existing fiscal resources?

      2. If the proposed changes will require additional resources, describe the level and nature of additional funding the College will seek.

      3. What additional space, equipment, operating expenses, library, computer, or media resources, clerical/technical support, or other resources will be needed? Estimate the cost and indicate how these resource needs will be accommodated.

    13. Provide catalog copy for the proposed new concentration, emphasis, option or minor, using the standard catalog copy format.

  7. Discontinuation of Existing Programs

    1. The discontinuation of an existing program is normally initiated at the Department level.  In this circumstance, faculty will recommend to the President discontinuation of existing programs only after appropriate action by the Faculty Senate and its duly constituted committees charged with reviewing and evaluating program.  Such action includes, but is not limited to, consultation with faculty of the academic unit offering the program, with appropriate administrators, and with others directly involved in the offering of the program.  In case of a decision by the University to discontinue a program, reasonable provisions are to be made to ensure enrolled students the opportunity to complete the program.  Discontinuation of degree programs, majors, minors, options, concentrations, and special emphasis do not require the Chancellor’s consent; however, the Office of the Chancellor must be informed in writing about the action taken by the university (AAP-91-14).

    2. The de-funding of a program, or a reduction in resources to a level at which the program would not be viable, is considered to be a de facto program discontinuation.  Similarly, elimination of admissions for a program with managed admissions (e.g., a graduate program, or an impacted undergraduate program), or a reduction in allocated admissions for such a program to a level at which the program becomes unsustainable, also constitutes a de facto program discontinuation.  In instances such as this, see section H.2. for procedures to follow.

  8. Procedures for Requesting Discontinuation of Existing Programs

1. Requests for discontinuation of existing programs are to follow the format below. Submit fifteen copies of the request to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.

a. Complete Form B.

b. Reasons for the Program Discontinuation.

c. Indicate any programmatic or fiscal impact discontinuation of the program will have on other academic units' programs. Describe the consultation that has occurred with affected units.

d. Provisions to ensure currently enrolled students have a reasonable opportunity to complete the program.

e. Indicate what resources will be freed up or shifted to other programs as the result of the program discontinuation.

2. Procedures for de Facto Discontinuation Appeals

    If, in the determination of the program faculty, the defunding or elimination of admission occurs as described in section G.2. above, then the faculty in the affected academic unit may pursue the following appeal procedure.

    a. The program coordinator and/or Chair of the affected academic unit requests a written explanation from the party responsible for taking the action that the program faculty feel initiates a de facto discontinuation. If this explanation satisfies the program faculty, the process ends.

    b. If the explanation in (a) is not considered satisfactory by the program faculty, they may send their complaint (including the response received in (a)) to the Provost, with a copy sent to the Faculty Senate, requesting a further explanation or decision by the Provost.  If this decision or explanation satisfies the program faculty, the process ends.

    c. If the decision of the Provost provided in (b) is not considered satisfactory by the program faculty, they may request action from the Faculty Senate.  This request should take the form of a recommendation requesting a specific resolution to the problem which might, for example, include that the formal program discontinuation process be followed (as described in H.1.), or that funding or admissions be returned to the affected program.  If the Faculty Senate chooses to act, such a recommendation would be sent to the President.  If the Faculty Senate chooses not to act, the process ends.

    d. A final decision is made by the President.

I. Suspension of Existing Programs

  1. The suspension of an existing program is normally initiated at the Department level. In this circumstance, faculty will recommend to the President suspension of existing programs only after appropriate action is taken by the Faculty Senate and its duly constituted committees charged with reviewing and evaluating programs. Such action includes, but is not limited to, consultation with faculty of the academic unit offering the program, with appropriate administrators, and with others directly involved in the offering of the program. If the University decides to suspend a program, reasonable provisions will be made to ensure enrolled students the opportunity to complete the program. Suspension of degree programs, majors, minors, options, concentrations, and special emphasis do not require the Chancellor’s consent; however, the Office of the Chancellor must be informed in writing about the action taken by the university (AAP-91-14).
  2. Programs can be suspended for a maximum three years. Departments can reactivate programs at any time during the initial three-year period (see procedures below). If a program is not reactivated, then Academic Affairs will inform the department that the maximum suspension period is approaching during the final semester of the three-year program suspension. At this point departments can choose to request in writing to Academic Affairs an extension of the program suspension for a maximum of two additional years, reactivate the program (see procedures below), or discontinue the program (see procedures below). At the end of the extension period, Academic Affairs will inform the department that their choice is either to reactivate (see procedures below) or discontinue the program (see procedures in policy). In extraordinary cases where accreditation is required, departments may seek an extension beyond the maximum suspension period by requesting in writing to Academic Affairs an additional extension.

J. Procedures for Suspension and Reactivation of Existing Programs

1. Procedures for Suspension

Requests for suspension of existing programs are to follow the format below:

    a. Complete Form B.

    b. Provide reasons for the Program Suspension.

    c. Indicate any programmatic or fiscal impact suspension of the program will have on other academic units’ programs.

    d. Describe the consultation that has occurred with affected units.

    e. Explain provisions to ensure currently enrolled students have a reasonable opportunity to complete the program.

    f. Indicate what resources will be freed up or shifted to other programs as the result of the program suspension.

2. Procedures for Reactivation

A suspended program can be reactivated through a formal written request to the Curriculum Subcommittee and Academic Affairs through the typical college academic curriculum approval process following the format outlined in number 1 above with appropriate word changes.