Academic programs offered by the University are regularly reviewed by their faculty to ensure program quality and identify actions needed for improvement. Changes are made to existing programs through curriculum review processes of the University Curriculum Committee and the Graduate Curriculum Committee.
Broader changes are sometimes needed to adequately respond to changes in academic disciplines, student demand, societal need, or institutional context. New programs may be needed to prepare students for new and emerging fields. It may be desirable to change unit or program names to better reflect contemporary terminology of their disciplines. It may be desirable to offer programs via distance education or off campus to better meet student needs
Such broader changes may require discussions beyond the curriculum review process. Some may require fiscal analysis to determine their sustainability and impact on other programs. Some may involve review by external agencies such as the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the U.S. Department of Education, or the Higher Learning Commission.
The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost facilitates academic program changes in several ways. The office reviews implications of proposed changes to ensure that changes subsequently reviewed through the curricular review processes are affordable and sustainable. The office works with program faculty to obtain required approvals from external agencies and ensure compliance with state and federal regulations. The office also helps guide change initiators through the often extensive review process.
Review of proposals for new sequences, minors, certificates, and programs is typically the most complex. The process begins with submission of a Program Proposal Financial Implications Form to the Associate Provost.
Program administrators or faculty members considering program changes are encouraged to contact the Associate Provost early to discuss the proposal and the applicable review process.