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NDUS Procedures

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SUBJECT: 400s: Academic affairs EFFECTIVE: September 12, 2012
Section: 403.1 Academic Requests

  1. The vice chancellor for academic affairs shall keep current a listing of all campus programs approved by the State Board of Higher Education. Chancellor approval is required to change a program title if the change does not involve program content or objectives. Campuses shall file a request for a program title change with the vice chancellor of academic affairs, who shall review the request with the academic affairs council. Academic program requests shall be submitted electronically. These procedures govern approval of new programs or changes to existing programs involving program content or objectives:

  2. Preliminary Request: Announcement to system office

    1. Campuses shall announce their intent to develop a formal new academic request prior to making a significant investment in developing a new program regardless of method of delivery.

    2. The announcement shall address the:
      1. Type of funding necessary to implement the proposal
      2. Relationship of the proposal to the campus mission
      3. A one-line description of the program
      4. A short paragraph on relationship to the Roundtable

    3. The announcement shall be submitted as a one-line document on email on the standard template to the System Office ( with the addition of at least a one-paragraph statement regarding the relationship of the proposal to the campus mission and a short paragraph on how the proposal meets the 2000 Higher Education Roundtable recommendations, including employer demand.

    4. The System Office will log the academic request in the "Programs Under Consideration" log.

    5. The program will be reviewed by system office academic staff.

    6. Upon review from system office, the request will enter into Stage I.

  3. STAGE I: Announcement

    1. Academic requests shall be distributed to CTEC (two-year programs only) and Academic Affairs Council members as part of the meeting agendas. Although requests may be distributed simultaneously, all two year campus Stage I requests must be discussed by CTEC before they are discussed by AAC.

    2. CTEC (two-year programs only) and AAC will discuss announcements including issues of duplication and make a formal recommendation which addresses these issues.

    3. The announcement will be placed on the agenda of the Chancellor's Cabinet for a formal recommendation to the Chancellor.

    4. The Chancellor shall approve or disapprove the announcement and notify the SBHE of that action. Upon receipt of such notice, a Board member may request Board discussion of the proposal in advance of the submission of a Stage II request, in which case such proposal shall be placed on the next regular Board meeting agenda. Absent a request for discussion by a Board member within 30 days of notice of the Chancellor's action, Stage I requests will not be placed on Board agendas.

    5. The announcement shall remain on the "Programs Under Consideration" log for two years if it receives the approval of the Chancellor or Board. If no action has taken place at the end of two years, the request shall be removed from the log.

    6. Coordination of Doctoral Program Development

      1. Prior to a Stage I request, NDSU and UND shall provide to the other institution information regarding a doctoral proposal. If NDSU or UND objects to a proposal on the basis of duplication or significant overlap, the institution making the proposal shall consider adjustments designed to remove the cause for concern. If the institution making the proposal does not make any changes, or the other institution is not satisfied with the changes, the institutions shall submit the matter to an external consultant selected jointly by the institutions. The institutions shall each pay one-half of a consultant's fee and costs. The external consultant shall, following the consultation with institution officers and the Chancellor, submit a recommendation concerning the proposal to the institutions and the Chancellor. A consultant's recommendation is not conclusive and institutions are not required to follow a consultant's recommendation; however, whenever a consultant is retained the consultant's recommendation shall be attached to a Stage II request. The Chancellor shall consider a consultant's recommendation before making a recommendation to the Board.

      2. Academic areas which may be considered for development into doctoral programs only at NDSU include: Food Safety, Natural Resources Management, Transportation and Logistics, Conservation and Environmental Sciences, Emergency Management Services, Music, Genomics, Bioengineering, English: Practical Writing, and Applied Economics. Academic areas which may be considered for development into doctoral programs only at UND include: Neuroscience, Space Studies, Earth System Science, Nursing, Physical Therapy, School Psychology and Atmospheric Sciences.

  4. STAGE II: Formal Request

    1. Submit an electronic version of the new program request to the AAC listserv in a proposal format which includes:

      1. The Academic Affairs Request Cover Page.

      2. A one-page executive summary which addresses the need for the program, program objectives, cost and funding resources for implementation and maintenance of program, accreditation information if applicable, relationship of the program internally and externally to the campus, articulation opportunities, viability and plans for assessment of the program

      3. An in-depth review of the areas covered in the executive summary (see #2 below). All program requests must clearly identify the relationship of the proposed new program with the 2000 Higher Education Roundtable recommendations found in the final Roundtable report.

    2. The following information describes the minimum to include in the complete proposal.

      1. Program Objectives: Describe the objectives of the proposed program including any special strengths and/or unique features and relate them to the institutional mission, approved role and scope statement, and long-range academic plan as applicable.

      2. Cost and Resources: Estimate the cost of implementing and maintaining the program. Also, describe existing resources (equipment, facilities, personnel, library materials, etc.) that are available to support this program. Identify any additional resources which will be required now or in the future.
        If no new state funds are being requested, an Academic Request Budget worksheet for Proposals Which Do Not Involve New State Funds is to be completed and submitted. Academic Request Budget Worksheet for Proposals Which Do Not Involve New State Funds

        If new state funds are being requested (i.e. in addition to tuition) the budget information should be expanded to reflect the FTE information and the budget over an entire program delivery cycle.

      3. Accreditation Requirements: Respond to the following questions if applicable: Does the institution plan to seek the approval of a professional accreditation association? If yes, does the proposed program meet the requirements of that association?

      4. Relationship of the Program

        1. To the institution: Describe the relationship of the proposed program to existing programs. If appropriate, describe inter-departmental, inter-college, or other intra-institutional relationships

        2. To the System: Describe the relationship of the program to the other System institutions. Is the program collaborative in design? Does the proposed program duplicate or augment others in the System? Is there potential duplication of other program client bases?

        3. To the region: List programs elsewhere in the region which have a similar title or offer similar instruction and explain any major distinctions between the proposed program and other programs. List the institutions, public or private, which offer them. (Note: Region is defined on the basis of the clientele to be served and the nature and scope of the program involved.)

      5. Relationship to the Roundtable Recommendations

        1. Economic Development Connections: Direct connections and contributions of the University System to the economic growth and social vitality of North Dakota. How does this program contribute to economic growth. How does this program meet the information, training, and technology development and transfer needs of businesses, industries, and communities? What are the career opportunities? What are the workforces need of employers and salary?

        2. Education Excellence: High quality education and skill development opportunities which prepare students to be personally and professional successful, readily able to advance and change careers, be life-long learners, and knowledgeable contributing members of an increasing global, multicultural society. How do the students, employers and professional organizations have input into the curriculum of this program? What "practice experience" in business and industry will this program provide?

        3. Flexible and Responsive System: A University System environment responsive to the prioritized needs of its clients and serves as a model of a flexible, empowering, competitive, entrepreneurial, and rewarding organization for a new economy in a rural state. How has flexibility been expanded? How is this program being responsive to the employer community?

        4. Accessible System: A University System which is proactively accessible to all areas of ND and seeks students and customers from outside the state. It provides students, business, industry, communities, and citizens with access to educational programs, workforce training opportunities, and technology access and transfer - and does so with the same performance characteristics as described in the "Flexible and Responsive" cornerstone. Who is being served by non-traditional means? How is access being provided? What is the number of resident and non-resident, part-time and place-bound learners who will be able to take advantage of the increased access to education and training opportunities?

        5. Funding and Rewards: A system of funding, resource allocation, and rewards that assures quality and is linked to the expressed high priority needs and expectations of the University System - assures achievement of the expectation envisioned. How does this program contribute to the economic development generation of the state, matching the expectations of the University System with the revenue generation capacity of the state and System? Does this program include interagency collaborative arrangements? Partnering arrangements with the private sector? Increased research investments beyond general fund sources?

        6. Sustaining the Vision: A structure and process which assures the University System for the 21st century, as described by these cornerstones, remains connected, understood, relevant, and accountable to the present and future research, education, and public service needs of the state and its citizens - sustaining the vision. How does this program work toward the proposed vision?

      6. Program Requirements: List the program course requirements. Include in the lists of existing and new courses: course discipline/prefix, course number, course title, and the number of semester hours offered for the course.

      7. Viability: Provide an estimated number of students who will enroll and complete each year in the new program; or the number of students /clients who will be served each year in distance education and/or center requests.

      8. Program Assessment/Evaluation: Describe the plan for evaluating the success of the proposed program. Who will do the evaluation? What will be the basis of the evaluation? When will it occur? How will the results be acted upon?

      9. Program Delivery: Describe the plan for delivering this program. Will the program delivery be traditional or distance education? If the program is to be offered through a distance education medium? What is the medium (e.g. IVN, Internet, video tape exchange)? Approval to deliver a program off-campus does not guarantee times, dates, and receiving sites for any distance education medium; e.g. if IVN is the medium of choice, see attached IVN Approval Policy to select times, dates, and sites. See NDUS Procedure 404.1.1.

      10. Request Notification: Unless there is a vote by the Academic Affairs Council to suspend the rules, all formal requests must be postmarked or sent by electronic means to Council members by the proposing campus at least 10 working days prior to an Academic Affairs Council meeting in order to be placed on the agenda for consideration.

      11. New Prefix Requests:

        1. If the new program requires courses with prefixes not already approved for campus use, the initiating campus must formally request that the new prefix be approved as part of the Stage II Request process. The Stage Two Request Form may also be used to request a new prefix for courses that are not part of a program, or campuses may email their request directly to the Director of Articulation and Transfer

        2. Colleges must request new prefix designators for upper and lower division courses separately. Universities must request new prefix designators for undergraduate and graduate courses separately

        3. If a prefix has already been approved for degree credit, there is no need for additional prefix approval for non-degree credit courses; but if a campus has requested prefix approval to offer non-degree courses only and later decides to offer degree courses under the same prefix, a second prefix request must be made for the degree courses.

    3. Distance education approval for delivery of approved programs (programs offered off-campus, including online programs). Refer to abbreviated Stage II section #5.

    4. Program delivery option continuations and expansions can be one of four types:

      1. Requests to offer a new (non-existing) program off campus shall follow Stage II.

      2. Requests to renew off-campus delivery without ongoing approval shall use Program Delivery Option Update Notice.

      3. Request to change delivery methods or sites of programs with ongoing approval shall provide a Program Delivery Option Update Notice (attached) to the Council.

      4. For coordination, inventory, federal reporting and coding purposes the Chancellor's approval is required before existing approved programs can be advertised as complete programs available off campus or through e-learning mechanisms including "online" or other non-site specific (i.e. webcast, TV Broadcast) mechanism. This includes individual campus programs and programs available through the NDUSO. These requests will use the Procedure 404.1 Format Outline for Program Approval Delivery Format.

      Note: A Stage II request, not a Distance Education Update Notice, must be used for any request requiring new state funds.

  5. Abbreviated Stage II: Campuses shall announce or request academic changes using an abbreviated format in identified areas. Requests and announcements will be placed on the Stage II log.

    1. An abbreviated request requires approval, shall be placed on the Stage II log and include a cover letter to the Chancellor and an abbreviated executive summary that contains the following items:

      1. academic cover sheet
      2. rationale
      3. cost
      4. alternative program delivery
      5. viability
      6. duplication
      7. effective date

      Abbreviated requests should be submitted for:

      1. program termination
      2. program delivery change(s)

    2. An abbreviated announcement that does not require approval, shall be placed on the Stage II log and shall include a letter to the Chancellor.

      Abbreviated announcement requires a letter that provides rationale and effective date. Announcements should be submitted for:
      1. Course inventories and titles (prefix)
      2. Program title change
      3. Department/college name change

  6. Distribution of Stage II Academic Requests: The System Office shall place academic requests on the Chancellor's Cabinet agenda and, if required, on the SBHE agenda. If no new state funds are being requested, a mission change is not involved, and the request has the Chancellor's recommendation and unanimous support of the AAC, the item will be placed on the Board's consent calendar.

Approved by the Chancellor

Reference: SBHE Policy - 403.1  

Related Document: Academic Request Forms

Chancellor's Cabinet Meeting, June 2001
Chancellor's Cabinet Meeting, November 2001
Chancellor's Cabinet Meeting, February 2002
Chancellor's Cabinet Meeting, November 2003
Chancellor's Cabinet Meeting, September 2004
Chancellor's Cabinet Meeting, August 2, 2006
Chancellor's Cabinet Meeting, December 6, 2006
Chancellor's Cabinet Meeting, November 4, 2009
Chancellor's Cabinet Meeting, September 12, 2012
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