Office of the Provost

Faculty and Unclassified Staff Handbook Chapter 2 -- Academic Affairs

 

PROGRAM DISCONTINUANCE OF UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS

 Fort Hays State University has both an educational mission and a limited pool of resources with which to accomplish that mission. In order to protect and improve the quality of its work in accomplishing that mission within the limits fixed by these resources, the University may find it necessary to discontinue one or more of its programs. Such a decision to discontinue a program must be made in such a way as to ensure that the University’s mission is properly served. A request that the University consider discontinuing one or more of its programs may originate from those charged with strategic planning or academic governance, or from the Board of Regents.

Should it become necessary for Fort Hays State University to discontinue programs, all deliberations and decisions shall be guided by the following policies and procedures.

Policies

1. An academic program is any sequence of studies leading to a certificate or degree which has been approved by the Board of Regents. These programs are listed in the Board of Regents Program Inventory.

2. The decision to review one or more academic programs may be initiated either within the University or by the Board of Regents.

3. Program discontinuance may involve the elimination of a degree or certificate, or an academic unit (department or college), a program within an academic unit, or of an officially designated service entity (center).

4. The decision to recommend discontinuance of a program shall be made by the President after a process of deliberation with the Provost which complies fully with the procedure stated in the section below "Procedures for Program Discontinuance."

5. Program discontinuance may or may not bear implications regarding the reduction or reallocation of faculty positions. The principle which shall be followed in making decisions of these kinds is that faculty members will not be dismissed unless they are demonstrably unqualified for appointment with the University’s continuing programs. In particular:

 a. If a faculty member whose work was associated with a program which has been discontinued is qualified to teach sections of courses (or perhaps, to render other appropriate professional services) for which there continues to be a demand in the academic unit which formerly offered that program (for example, in other programs offered within that unit, or in general education or cognate courses offered by that unit), then that faculty member will not be terminated and that faculty position will not be reallocated to another unit within the University.

  b. If a faculty member whose work was associated with a program which has been discontinued is not qualified to perform other duties which are still needed in the academic unit which once contained that program, but is qualified to fulfill unmet needs in some other academic unit, then the University will explore the possibility of reassigning that faculty member to this other academic unit.

 6. When a program is to be discontinued, students who are in the program shall be allowed to complete their coursework in that program.

Procedures for Program Discontinuance

The President, or Provost upon delegation from the President, shall initiate the procedures described below.

1. The Provost, after consultation with the Faculty Senate President, shall appoint a duly representative faculty committee to conduct a review either of all of Fort Hays State University’s programs or of some specified subset of them. The committee will manage its work in the following ways.

  a. The criteria to be used by the committee in making this decision are those which have been used in the most recent program review. Since no fixed, single weighting of these criteria can justly represent the nature and importance of all of the University’s various programs, the committee should not weight these criteria in advance. The committee should begin its review by studying, in light of these criteria, the case made by each potentially affected unit in its most recent Program Review Report.

  b. The committee will produce a preliminary report identifying those programs which seem to be the most appropriate candidates for discontinuance. This preliminary report, together with a detailed written statement of the reasoning supporting it, shall be delivered to the appropriate representatives of each affected program.

  c. Representatives of each potentially affected program will have an opportunity to respond to the preliminary report by meeting within two weeks with the committee, and by supplying any additional information which either these representatives or the committee may consider helpful.

  d. Within two additional weeks the committee shall forward a written statement of its final recommendations to the Provost. A copy of this statement shall be given to the appropriate representative of each of the potentially affected programs. The committee shall include in the file it forwards to the Provost a copy of all the information relevant to every stage of its deliberations.

 2. The Provost’s task is to consider the committee’s report, together with any other legitimate considerations, in order to make a recommendation to the President regarding which, if any, programs to discontinue. This task shall be managed in the following ways.

  a. The Provost will produce within three weeks a preliminary report identifying those programs which seem to be the most appropriate candidates for discontinuance. This preliminary report, together with a detailed written statement of the reasoning supporting it, shall be delivered to the appropriate representatives of each affected program.

  b. Within two weeks representatives of each potentially affected program shall have an opportunity to respond to the preliminary report by meeting in person with the Provost, and by supplying any additional information which either these representatives or the Provost may consider helpful.

  c. Within two additional weeks, the Provost’s final recommendations will be forwarded in written form to the President. A copy of this statement shall be given to the appropriate representatives of each of the potentially affected programs. The Provost shall include in the file forwarded to the President a copy of the committee’s recommendations and of all the information relevant to every stage of its deliberations.

 3. The President shall consider the report of the Provost, together with any other legitimate considerations, in order to make a decision regarding which, if any, programs to discontinue. This task shall be managed in the following ways.

  a. The President shall produce within three weeks a preliminary report identifying those programs which seem to be the most appropriate candidates for discontinuance. This preliminary report, together with a detailed written statement of the reasoning supporting it, shall be delivered to the appropriate representatives of each affected program.

  b. Within two weeks representatives of each potentially affected program shall have an opportunity to respond to the preliminary report by meeting in person with the President, and by supplying any additional information which either these representatives or the President may consider helpful.

  c. The President’s final recommendations shall be forwarded to the Board of Regents. A copy of this statement shall be given to the appropriate representatives of each of the potentially affected programs.

 

Faculty Senate approval of recommendations (05-02-95).

Updated to correlate with 2008 AAUP MOA (01-03-08).

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