Guidelines for Review of the Establishment, Reorganization, or Discontinuation of Academic Organizational Units1

The University Faculty Senate has a consultative and advisory role on the academic impact of proposals that involve the establishment, reorganization, or discontinuation of academic organizational units. The Senate Council acts for the whole Senate in this matter. The Executive Vice President and Provost of the University and the Senate Council have agreed that to obtain adequate information on any proposed change for purposes of review, a common format is desirable. It is further agreed that the guidelines given below will be used as appropriate.

A. Give a brief definition of the proposal and its rationale, including the objectives that the proposal will address and/or problems that the proposal will solve. Please indicate curricular implications, faculty affected, and enrollment implications.
B. Describe significant relationships between the proposed change and other University programs and functions, including the general education function; indicate anticipated impact on all University locations.
C. List faculty consultations (including those with program heads) along with a synopsis of faculty views derived from consultations.
D. If applicable, indicate how promotion and tenure will be addressed.
E. Indicate a timetable for the proposal.
F. Indicate whether the proposal will have implications for certification, licensure, etc.2

Approved by Senate Council on January 14, 1986, and accepted by Provost and Executive Vice President William Richardson on 2/11/86.

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1For purposes of these guidelines, academic organizational unit is defined as academic department, academic division, school or college.
2It is the policy of The Pennsylvania State University to research the effect of actions and to make every reasonable effort to avoid changes on the part of the University regarding unit naming, semantic descriptions, program and course descriptions which may prevent the enrolled students and graduate alumna(ae) from qualifying for professional licenses and/or certifications. (Motion passed by the Board of Trustees, 9/16/94.) Item F was approved for inclusion by Senate Council on November 15, 1994, and accepted by Executive Vice President and Provost John A. Brighton on 12/6/94.

Senate Council Review and Response3

Upon receipt of a proposal involving the establishment, reorganization, or discontinuation of academic organizational units, review and response by the Senate Council will generally follow the guidelines given below:

A. In the spirit of the 1981 Senate action on establishing procedures for review of academic changes, the [60 to 90 day] Senate Council period for such review will begin at the first regularly scheduled Senate Council meeting subsequent to the receipt by the Senate Chair of a formal proposal for an academic change drafted in accordance with the 1986 Guidelines for such proposals (listed above). To allow for a full review period, proposals accepted at other than the August through January meetings of the Senate Council should be provided appropriate additional time for review, if necessary, in the judgment of Senate Council.
B. Senate Council action on proposed academic changes will take one of the following forms.
In accordance with our duties as prescribed in Bylaws, Article 11, Section I(d), it is the advice of Senate Council that:
1. The (proposed action) be implemented as described in the documents we have received;
2. The (proposed action) be implemented with the following adjustments or conditions;
3. The (proposed action) be implemented only if the following concerns can be resolved;
4. The (proposed action) not be implemented at the present time, or in the present form, in view of the following perceived difficulties;
5. We do not yet have adequate information to evaluate the (proposed action) and therefore request the following clarification before completing our evaluation.

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3Adopted by Senate Council on November 24, 1987, and accepted by Executive Vice Preisdent and Provost William C. Richardson on December 11, 1987.