State University of New York
Memorandum to Presidents
Date: August 26, 1983 Vol. 83 No. 11
From: Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs, Policy and Planning
Subject: Procedures for Deactivation and/or Discontinuance of Academic Programs
To: Presidents, State University of New York
This memorandum combines the policy provisions on program deactivation and discontinuance contained in two previous memoranda to campus Presidents, namely Vol. 75 No. 18 of September 22, 1975, and Vol. 76 No. 27 of November 26, 1976, and revises and replaces them. It covers the policy approved on June 23,1976, at which time the Board of Trustees adopted Resolution 76-169 directing the Chancellor to review, ratify and confirm all actions affecting academic program elimination, and to develop and implement a review procedure for the elimination of academic programs which reserves for Board action all changes affecting campus mission.
When a campus makes a decision not to admit any more students to a program but to maintain the program registration, this action is referred to as deactivation. The deactivation date is the first regular admission date as of which new students will no longer be permitted to enroll in the program. A program is often deactivated to allow time for a campus to determine whether to continue the program offering or to reorganize the program structure and/or resources.
When a campus decides to remove a program from its complement of registered programs so that credentials will no longer be awarded for its completion, this action is known as discontinuance. The discontinuance date is the last graduation date as of which credentials will be awarded for program completion.
There are several situations in which a campus determines that the deactivation or discontinuance of an academic program might be appropriate. The program may no longer be considered a viable offering. Campuses deactivate or discontinue programs in response to budgetary stringencies or internal resource reallocations on the campus. Perhaps a campus has determined to treat the program as an option or as an integrated part of another major or interdisciplinary program.
The procedure outlined below is not meant to limit the authority of the campus President or of other campus constituencies. Rather, it is intended to ensure the quality and diversity of curricular offerings within the University.
This procedure for the deactivation or discontinuance of academic programs applies to all State University campuses and to all academic programs which cannot be initiated without authorization external to the individual campus. These programs are listed in the State University of New York Academic Program Information System (APIS) maintained by our Office of Institutional Research & Planning.
A request for deactivation or discontinuance of a registered academic program is submitted in the form of a letter from the campus President to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs, Policy and Planning containing the following information:
1. The program name and degree, certificate, or diploma designation;
2. A brief description or explanation of the reason for requesting the deactivation or discontinuance of the program;
3. When appropriate, a statement of how enrollment of incumbent students and the credentials granted to them in the future will be accommodated and reported;
4. The proposed effective deactivation or discontinuance date--the date for deactivation of a program should be coordinated with the campus admissions process so that admission to the program will be closed in sufficient time. In setting a discontinuance date, the campus should be sensitive to the interests of students already enrolled in the program and honor the University's intention to give enrolled students the opportunity to complete their programs unless unusual circumstances make it impossible or inappropriate to do so.
The information requested will enable the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs, Policy and Planning to coordinate with other offices of Central Administration. Appropriate offices in the Central Administration then will review the impact of the proposal on (1) University-wide offerings, (2) campus mission, (3) campus budget, (4) campus staff and students, and (5) desirable State and public services. Special attention will be given to the proposed discontinuance of a program unique within the University. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs, Policy and Planning will provide a reaction to the campus President as soon as possible after a request has been reviewed. A minimum of 60 days lead time is required for Central Administration review of the proposal. In the event of a fiscal emergency, a shorter time frame may be accommodated.
In the case of program discontinuances, the campus recommendation, when reviewed by Central Staff and approved by the Chancellor, will be presented to the Board of Trustees for formal action. No programs may be discontinued without formal approval by the Board of Trustees. Campus Presidents will be notified promptly of the Board's action.
In cases where a campus wishes to reactivate a program which has been deactivated, the proposal to do so should be sent by the campus President to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs, Policy and Planning and will be reviewed by appropriate central offices. In the case of doctoral programs, a proposal to reactivate a program will be reviewed by the Office of Research, Graduate Studies and Professional Programs in consultation with the State University Doctoral Council. Reactivation of a doctoral program that was deactivated by State University does not require Master Plan amendment approval.
Sherry H. Penney
This memorandum addressed to:
Presidents, State-operated Campuses
Presidents, Community Colleges
Deans, Statutory Colleges
Copies for information sent to:
Vice Provost Spencer