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The Undergraduate Catalog: Degree Program Changes
and flow chart (PDF)

Final Approval

  • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)
  • For substantive changes, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

Description

Undergraduate degree program changes are changes to degree programs or degree titles that must be approved or acknowledged by the THECB. These are

  • adding a degree program or degree title;
  • increasing the number of hours required by a degree program;
  • deleting a degree program or degree title;
  • renaming a degree program or degree title; and
  • moving a degree program or degree title from one academic unit to another.

Questions about the procedures described here should be directed to the provost’s office. All correspondence and contact with The University of Texas System (UT System) should be coordinated through the provost’s office.

Approval and Notification Process

Key to Abbreviations

a. Department
b. College
If necessary,
c. Affected colleges
d. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
e. Office of the General Faculty (OGF)
f. Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review (CUDPR)
If necessary,
g. Educational Policy Committee (EPC)
h. Office of the General Faculty (OGF)
i. Faculty Council (FC)
j. Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP)
k. Provost (acting on behalf of the president)
l. Executive vice chancellor for academic affairs (EVCAA)
m. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)
n. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
o. Provost
p. Office of the General Faculty (OGF)
q. Office of Information Management and Analysis (IMA)
r. Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP)


a. Department
Each department, center, or academic program follows its own process, within any guidelines established by the college, and sends the proposed change forward by the college’s deadline. The process and the paperwork involved vary among the colleges. Those planning a change should consult their dean before proceeding; they should begin the approval process as long as possible before they expect the change to appear in the undergraduate college.

b. College
The faculty of the college considers the change via the process established by the college. If the faculty, the college curriculum committee, if any, and the dean approve the change, the dean sends forward the documents listed below. If the program to be changed is offered by more than one college, all the colleges must approve the change.
  1. Faculty Council proposal
    The Faculty Council (FC) proposal consists of (a) an impact statement and (b) the text of the undergraduate catalog, showing the change in legislative style. Impact statement templates and examples of marked-up catalog text are available through by the Office of the General Faculty (OGF) Catalog Changes page.
    • One purpose of the impact statement is to document the response of other colleges affected by the proposed change. If the change affects another college (including the School of Undergraduate Studies), step c below is required.
    • After completing step c if necessary, the college dean sends the proposal to OGF.

    For a change to be included in the undergraduate catalog, the proposal must be submitted by the deadline given on the OGF Catalog Changes page. The deadline is normally in September of odd-numbered years.

  2. School/major code questionnaire, if necessary
    The school/major code identifies the degree program a student is enrolled in or seeking admission to. A new code is needed when a degree program is created and when an existing program is renamed or moved to another academic unit. The dean submits a school/major code questionnaire to the Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP) to provide the information OP needs to create the code.
  3. Undergraduate catalog copy
    In the fall of even-numbered years, OP provides online instructions for preparation of catalog copy. The college must ensure that all planned changes are made on the catalog copy and submitted for approval as described here. The college must also submit any related course inventory changes through the Request for Change in Course Inventory system.
          Copy for the undergraduate catalog is due to OP by November 1 in odd-numbered years.
  4. THECB paperwork
    • To add a degree program:
    • To increase the number of hours required by a degree program: No THECB form is needed, but the college should include a detailed justification for the increase in the impact statement that is part of the FC proposal described above; the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs will include the college’s justification in the letter he or she sends to the THECB (step l).
    • To delete a degree program or degree title: No THECB form is needed; instead, the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs will describe the proposed change in the letter he or she sends to the THECB (step l).
    • To add a degree title for an existing degree program or
      To rename a degree program or degree title or
      To move a degree program or degree title to another academic unit:
      • If the change will result in no new costs, or in a reduction in cost, no THECB form is needed; instead, the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs will describe the proposed change in the letter he or she sends to the THECB (step l).
      • If the change will result in new costs, the dean submits the Administrative Change Request Form to the provost. If the cost over the first five years following the change will be $2 million or less, the dean also submits the Certification Form for Administrative Changes (“Administrative Change Certification Form”).2
If necessary,
c. Affected colleges
  • If the proposed change affects another college’s students or resources, the proposing college consults the affected college; if it affects the core curriculum or other basic education requirements, the proposing college consults the School of Undergraduate Studies (UGS).
  • The proposing college adds the affected college’s response, including any specific concerns, to the impact statement before submitting the FC proposal to OGF as described in step b. The Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review (CUDPR) will consider the affected college’s response when reviewing the proposal as described in step f.
d. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
SACS-COC is interested in a variety of changes and follows a variety of processes and timelines; in some cases, the process must begin a year before the change is implemented. A degree program change may be a substantive change as defined by the commission—“a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope” of the institution. If so, SACS-COC must either approve the change or be notified of the change before it is implemented. A college planning a degree program change should consult the University’s SACS-COC accreditation liaison as early as possible about the documents that should be prepared. SACS-COC’s policy and procedures on substantive changes are published by the commission
     The SACS-COC accreditation liaison works with the college and the SACS-COC staff to determine whether the change is substantive as defined by SACS-COC, whether SACS-COC must approve it or simply be notified, the procedures that should be followed, and the paperwork that should be submitted. The liaison ensures that the president submits to SACS-COC the required letter of notification or, for approval, the required application.

e. Office of the General Faculty (OGF)
OGF does the following:
  • Assesses the Faculty Council proposal for thoroughness and clarity and requests corrections or more information from the college if necessary.
  • Classifies the proposal as exclusive or general. Legislation will be classified as exclusive only if it appears to have no impact on students, faculty members, staff members, or administrators outside the proposing college. All other legislation submitted by a college will be classified as general. (Categories of legislation are defined in the Faculty Council rules.)
  • Prepares the proposal for CUDPR.
  • Provides the proposal electronically to all CUDPR members, with copies to the college staff members who worked on the proposal.
f. Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review (CUDPR)
CUDPR, an ad hoc committee of the General Faculty, consists of representatives of each college, the provost’s office, the Office of Admissions, OP, the Office of Information Management and Analysis (IMA), OGF, and the Educational Policy Committee (EPC). The vice provost for undergraduate education serves as chair.
     CUDPR considers “issues of the educational quality of degrees and also looks at possible implications of degree changes on course demand and graduation rates, impacts on other programs (e.g., service courses), and other such issues.”3
     CUDPR also considers whether the Faculty Council proposal adequately describes the proposed change. If it doesn’t, CUDPR clarifies the proposal or returns it to the dean for clarification.
     CUDPR meets to consider proposals. The representative of each college explains the college’s proposals and answers questions; additional college representatives may attend for this purpose.
     CUDPR may take any of the following actions:
  • Recommend approval of the proposal as submitted.
  • Recommend approval of the proposal with minor changes (that is, changes that the college’s representative can approve without consulting the college).
  • Suggest nonminor changes to the college. In this case, CUDPR returns the proposal to the college for reconsideration. The college may accept the changes, request further changes, or withdraw the proposal. If any further changes that result are substantive, the chair or the college representative presents the updated proposal for reconsideration at the next CUDPR meeting; if they are not substantive, the college representative or the CUDPR chair reports them to OGF.
  • Recommend disapproval of the proposal.
OGF records CUDPR’s action, including any changes to the proposal, in the meeting minutes.

If necessary,
g. Educational Policy Committee (EPC)
The EPC representative to CUDPR may refer the proposal to EPC if he or she thinks that it is likely to generate considerable discussion among the faculty or that it raises educational policy questions.

h. Office of the General Faculty (OGF)
OGF
  • makes any changes approved by CUDPR and formats the proposal as General Faculty legislation;
  • posts the legislation on the FC Web site for five days if it has been classified as exclusive, or for ten days if general, and notifies FC members of the posting by e-mail.4
For a change to be included in the undergraduate catalog, the legislation must be posted online no later than the deadline given on the OGF Catalog Changes page. The deadline is normally in February of even-numbered years.

i. Faculty Council (FC)
  • If no protests are received by OGF in the established time, the legislation is approved. OGF transmits it to the provost.
  • If one or more protests are received, the legislation is placed on the agenda for the next FC meeting.
    • If the legislation is approved, OGF transmits it to the provost.
    • If the legislation is disapproved, OGF reports disapproval to the college dean.
For a change to be included in the undergraduate catalog, the legislation must be approved by the Faculty Council and forwarded to the provost no later than the deadline given on the OGF Catalog Changes page. The deadline is normally in March of even-numbered years.

j. Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP)
In consultation with the college and with the vice provost as needed, OP edits the catalog copy submitted by the college to ensure (1) that all degree program changes proposed for the catalog have been approved by the Faculty Council, and (2) that all degree program changes approved by the FC are included in the catalog.
     OP also ensures that degree program changes have been approved by the provost before they are published; any changes not approved by the provost at press time will be omitted from the catalog. An academic change will not be published unless it has gone through the approval process described here.

k. Provost (acting on behalf of the president)
The vice provost for undergraduate education handles proposed undergraduate degree program changes. The vice provost or provost may consult the president, and the president may consult the chancellor, the regents, or the THECB.
As part of his or her consideration of the proposal, the vice provost will refer the change to the SACS-COC accreditation liaison if the college did not do so (step d).
  • If the vice provost has no objection to the proposal, he or she forwards the appropriate paperwork to the EVCAA. The appropriate paperwork for each kind of change is listed below.
  • If the vice provost objects to the proposal, he or she reports the objections to the Faculty Council or the Faculty Council Executive Committee (FCEC). This body may5
    • Withdraw the proposal. In this case, OGF adds this information to the FC legislative status report.
    • Reaffirm approval of the proposal as is. In this case, the vice provost forwards the appropriate paperwork to the EVCAA.
    • Modify the proposal in response to the vice provost’s objections. In this case, OGF modifies the FC legislation. The vice provost forwards the appropriate paperwork, including the modified legislation, to the EVCAA.

Documents the provost sends to EVCAA:

  • To add a degree program
  • To increase the number of hours required by a degree program: Recommendation letter, FC legislation, and detailed justification of the increase
  • To delete a degree program or degree title: Recommendation letter and FC legislation
  • To add a degree title for an existing degree program or
    To rename a degree program or degree title or
    To move a degree program or degree title to another academic unit
For a change to be included in the undergraduate catalog, the vice provost must forward the proposal no later than the deadline given on the OGF Catalog Changes page. The deadline is normally in April of even-numbered years.

l. Executive vice chancellor for academic affairs (EVCAA)
The associate vice chancellor for academic planning and assessment forwards the appropriate paperwork to the THECB assistant commissioner for academic affairs and research. The appropriate paperwork for each kind of change is listed below.
  • To add a degree program
    • If the program is in engineering: Recommendation letter, FC legislation, and New Program Request Form
    • If the program is outside engineering and will cost more than $2 million over five years: Recommendation letter, FC legislation, and New Program Request Form
    • If the program is outside engineering and will cost $2 million or less over five years: Recommendation letter, FC legislation, and New Program Certification Form
  • To increase the number of hours required by a degree program: Recommendation letter, FC legislation, and detailed justification of the increase
  • To delete a degree program or degree title: Recommendation letter and FC legislation
  • To add a degree title for an existing degree program or
    To rename a degree program or degree title or
    To move a degree program or degree title to another academic unit:
    • If the change will result in no new costs, or in a reduction in cost: Recommendation letter and FC legislation.
    • If the change will result in new costs of more than $2 million over five years: Recommendation letter, FC legislation, and Administrative Change Request Form
    • If the change will result in new costs of $2 million or less over five years: Recommendation letter, FC legislation, and Administrative Change Certification Form
m. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)
  • To add a degree program:
    • If the program is in engineering or will cost more than $2 million over five years or requires more than 120 hours of coursework, the THECB staff reviews the proposal and makes a recommendation on approval.
    • If the program is not in engineering, will cost $2 million or less over five years, and requires no more than 120 hours of coursework, the THECB staff posts the degree request for public comment through the Proposal Tracking System. If there are no comments within thirty days, the THECB staff adds the degree program to the THECB’s degree program inventory and the assistant commissioner for academic affairs and research notifies the University that the program is approved; if there are comments, the THECB staff reviews the proposal.
  • To increase the number of hours required by a degree program: The THECB staff reviews the proposal.
  • To delete a degree program or degree title: The THECB staff updates the THECB’s degree program inventory and the assistant commissioner for academic affairs and research notifies the University that the change has been made.
  • To add a degree title for an existing degree program or
    To rename a degree program or degree title or
    To move a degree program or degree title to another academic unit
    • If the change will result in new costs of more than $2 million over five years: The THECB staff reviews the proposal.
    • If the change will result in new costs of $2 million or less over five years: The THECB staff updates the THECB’s degree program inventory and the assistant commissioner for academic affairs and research notifies the University that the change has been made.
n. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
For some substantive changes, notification of SACS-COC is sufficient; most substantive changes must be approved by SACS-COC before they are implemented. If approval is required, the proposal may be referred automatically to the Commission on Colleges for review and approval at its next scheduled meeting, or it may be reviewed by a commission staff member. The staff member may recommend approval by the commissioner or referral to the Committee on Compliance and Reports. If the proposal is referred to the committee, the committee may approve it, defer approval and seek more information, or deny it. A site visit by a Substantive Change Committee may be required.

o. Provost
The provost notifies the college dean and others on campus of the THECB's response.

p. Office of the General Faculty (OGF)
OGF informs the Faculty Council of the response. They also notify college staff members who were involved in the approval process.

q. Office of Information Management and Analysis (IMA)
IMA updates the mainframe degree/major code table as needed and notifies OP.

r. Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP)
Using the information provided by the college on the school/major code questionnaire, OP updates the mainframe school/major code table as necessary and notifies the appropriate offices.


1The THECB requires the New Program Request Form for engineering programs and programs that will cost more than $2 million over their first five years; it requires the New Program Certification Form for nonengineering programs that will cost $2 million or less over their first five years. However, the provost’s office and the UT System Office of Academic Affairs review the New Program Request Form as backup material for the New Program Certification Form. Therefore, a college or school requesting a nonengineering program costing under $2 million must prepare both forms.
2The THECB requires the Administrative Change Request Form for changes involving engineering programs and changes that will cost more than $2 million over the first five years; it requires the Administrative Change Certification Form for changes involving nonengineering programs that will cost $2 million or less over the first five years. However, the provost’s office and the UT System Office of Academic Affairs review the Administrative Change Request Form as backup material for the Administrative Change Certification Form. Therefore, a college requesting a change to a nonengineering program that will cost under $2 million must prepare both forms.
3Source: Documents of the General Faculty, D 1188, approved by the Faculty Council March 19, 2001.
4The OGF staff may make minor corrections and updates to the legislation after it has been posted. If they do so, they notify OP that the online document has been changed.
5Source: Handbook of Operating Procedures, Chapter 1, Section III(E) .

 


  Updated 2013 February 22
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