Academic Changes and flow chart (PDF)
Executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, The University of Texas System (EVCAA)
Undergraduate academic changes are changes to a college’s degree requirements or academic policy. They affect a student’s pursuit of an existing degree, major, concentration/track/option, academic honor, certificate, etc. This category does not include changes that must be reported to or approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB); these are addressed in the descriptions of undergraduate degree program changes and undergraduate certificate program changes. Some examples of undergraduate academic changes are
- changing the requirements of an existing degree program (major) or degree title; changes range from adding a new subject to the degree program to deleting one course from a list of many courses that will fulfill a three-hour requirement;
- changing the requirements to enter, remain in, or graduate from a degree program or from the college;
- adding, deleting, or changing restrictions on electives;
- adding, deleting, or changing a track or option, including changing its name;
- adding, deleting, or changing an honors program, including changing its name; and
- establishing, changing, or dropping requirements for admission to a degree program or to the college.
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
a. Department b. College If necessary, c. Affected colleges d. Office of the General Faculty (OGF) e. Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review (CUDPR) If necessary, f. Educational Policy Committee (EPC) g. Office of the General Faculty (OGF) h. Faculty Council (FC) i. Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP) j. Provost (acting on behalf of the president) k. Executive vice chancellor for academic affairs (EVCAA) l. Provost m. Office of the General Faculty (OGF) n. Office of Information Management and Analysis (IMA) o. Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP)
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 track or option is created within a degree program and when an existing track or option is renamed. In these cases, 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. The questionnaire may be completed any time during the approval process.
- 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.
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 e.
d. 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.
e. 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 Senior Vice Provost 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.”1
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:
OGF records CUDPR’s action, including any changes to the proposal, in the meeting minutes.
- 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.
If necessary, f. 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.
g. Office of the General Faculty (OGF)
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.
- 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.2
h. Faculty Council (FC)
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.
- 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.
i. 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 academic changes proposed for the catalog have been approved by the Faculty Council, and (2) that all academic changes approved by the FC are included in the catalog.
OP also ensures that academic 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.
j. Provost (acting on behalf of the president)
The Senior Vice Provost handles proposed undergraduate academic changes. The vice provost or provost may consult the president, and the president may consult the chancellor, the regents, or the THECB.
- If the vice provost has no objection to the proposal, he or she forwards the FC legislation to the EVCAA with a letter recommending approval.
- 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 may3
- 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 FC proposal to the EVCAA with a letter that indicates the action(s) the FC (or FCEC) and the vice provost recommend.
- Modify the proposal in response to the vice provost’s objections. In this case, OGF modifies the FC legislation. The vice provost forwards the modified legislation to the EVCAA with a letter that indicates the action he or she recommends.
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.
k. Executive vice chancellor for academic affairs (EVCAA)
The associate vice chancellor for academic planning and assessment handles proposed changes. If the associate vice chancellor and the UT System staff have no concerns about the change, the associate vice chancellor notifies the vice provost that the change is approved.
The provost notifies the college dean and others on campus of the action taken by the executive vice chancellor.
m. 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.
If necessary, n. Office of Information Management and Analysis (IMA)
If the change involves an option or track that appears on a graduate’s record along with the degree program name, IMA updates the mainframe degree/major code table as needed and notifies OP.
If necessary, o. Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP)
If the college submitted a school/major code questionnaire, OP updates the mainframe school/major code table as necessary and notifies the appropriate offices.
1Source: Documents of the General Faculty, D 1188, approved by the Faculty Council March 19, 2001.
2The 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.
3Source: Handbook of Operating Procedures, Chapter 1, Section III(E).