Curricular changes vary by kind and degree, involving either creating new programs and courses, or modifying, banking, eliminating, or reactivating existing ones. Modifications to existing courses or programs can be major or minor, and their proposal formats and approval processes vary accordingly. Flow charts depicting all stages of approval processes can be found in Appendices A and C.
The processes of course and program approval include consultation, audit, deliberation, and notification as well as action by administrators and faculty governance bodies. Information supporting and documenting these processes is incorporated into the curriculum proposal.
Consultation: Consultation involves seeking, receiving, and responding to input from academic units, administrators, and offices whose programs and functions could be impacted by changes being proposed, or who provide information regarding University policies and curriculum inventory. The extent of consultation depends on the nature of the proposal. Program faculty should discuss consultation with their dean’s office prior to submitting a proposal. The Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of the Registrar are also available for informal consultation before the formal consultation process begins. Consultation with the Registrar and affected departments is documented on the consultation form.
Audit: To expedite review of program proposals, curriculum approval bodies at the college and university levels should delegate audit functions to an individual or subgroup. These review proposals to insure their accuracy, completeness, correctness, and compliance with policies and guidelines, and request changes when necessary. Approving bodies may develop their own procedures for review of audited and expedited proposals, consistent with University policies.
Deliberation: Proposals for new programs, substantial revisions, changes which significantly impact other programs or raise issues in regard to policy or use of resources require careful review by curriculum approval bodies. The focus of deliberation should be appropriate to the extent of the proposal and the level of the approval body.
Notification/Academic Notes: Some steps in the curriculum approval process have the purpose of notification, both of faculty generally, and certain offices, particularly. Faculty across the University may have an interest in changes that are being proposed, and completed curriculum changes require record-keeping. A proposal’s initial publication in Academic Notes notifies the campus community and allows any concerns to be addressed before university-level actions are taken. The final publication of approved proposals notifies the Registrar of necessary changes to databases and provides official copy for University catalogs.