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  • Policy Number: SP.05.001
  • Version: Original
  • Drafted By:
  • Approved By: Richard R. Rush
  • Approval Date:
  • Effective Date:
  • Supersedes:














This policy provides categories of decision variables and a set of processes and procedures to be used in considering the discontinuation of academic programs. Academic programs covered by this policy include undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and credential programs.

Should it be necessary to consider the discontinuation of an academic program, a determination will be based upon a review of the following:

a. the importance of the program to the University's mission;

b. the quality of the program; and

c. the demand and cost effectiveness of the program.

In considering a decision to discontinue a program, no one category should necessarily be deemed more crucial than any other; nor, likewise, is deficiency, or low rating, in any one category necessarily sufficient for program discontinuance. A decision to discontinue a program should not be based solely on quantitative
measures, but on a holistic assessment of the program in terms of all of the decision variables, within a process that is broadly consultative and collegial.

Decision Variables

Importance to the Institution
  1. The extent the program promotes the mission of the university.
  2. The extent the program is central to the curriculum of a program area or to the university.
  3. The extent to which the program advances the university’s diversity.
  4. The extent to which the program contributes to a balanced curriculum.
  5. The extent the program provides a special service to the community.
Quality of the Program
  • To what extent the quality of the program justifies continuance in its present form. Program quality may be assessed by program review, external review, or accreditation review. The variables for evaluating program quality may include:
    • demonstrated ability of the faculty to offer and maintain a current and rigorous curriculum;
    • access to resources adequate to develop the sufficient breadth, depth and coherence of the program;
    • demonstrated ability to attract and retain well-qualified faculty;
    • the quality of the program's faculty as demonstrated by participation in appropriate scholarly, creative and/or professional activity.
  • To what extent the program's excellence and standing in its discipline enhances the reputation of the university.
Cost Effectiveness and Demand for the Program
  1. To what extent the program is cost-effective relative to disciplinary norms and compared to similar programs at comparable institutions. The measurements presented shall include student-faculty ratio; total cost per FTEF; and total cost per FTES. Other discipline specific variables may also be used.
  2. To what extent the present and projected demand for the program is sufficient. Demand for the program may be measured by one or more of the following:
      • the number of completed applications for admission;
      • the FTES generated in lower division, upper division, and/or graduate level courses;
      • the number of students who completed the program;
      • the anticipated need for graduates of the program.


For undergraduate and graduate degrees, and credentials, the process involves program faculty, the dean of faculty, the provost, the academic senate, and the president of the university or his/her designee. This process shall be completed within one calendar year from the initial recommendation.

A. Initiation of Program Discontinuance Procedure
A written request for the review of an academic program for the purpose of determining whether program discontinuance is warranted may be made by any one of the following parties:

  1. the chair of the degree program with the written approval of a majority of the tenured/tenure-track faculty in the program;
  2. the dean of faculty or the provost or the president
  3. the academic senate; or
  4. a majority vote of the Academic Program Review Committee.

Such a request shall be submitted in writing to:

  1. the provost for academic affairs;
  2. the dean of faculty;
  3. the academic senate; and
  4. all tenured and probationary faculty who teach in the program.

The letter making this request must clearly indicate the specific reasons for the suggested program discontinuance. If within 14 calendar days1 of receipt of this letter by the provost for academic affairs, none of the individuals or parties listed in (1) through (4) above has objected to the proposed discontinuance in writing to the provost for academic affairs, a recommendation for discontinuance will be sent to the president. If within 14 calendar days of receipt of the letter requesting program discontinuance at least any one of those parties has objected to discontinuance, then the following procedures must be followed before a
recommendation for program discontinuance can be made to the president. "Calendar days" exclude the summer break and the breaks between semesters wherever the term is used in this document.

B. Appointment of an Ad-Hoc Program Discontinuance Review Committee

Within 14 calendar days of receipt of a letter objecting to a proposed program discontinuance from one of the parties listed above, the senate executive committee in consultation with the provost for academic affairs shall appoint a Ad-Hoc Program Discontinuance Review Committee to conduct a special program review focused on issues related to potential discontinuance. The committee shall consist of:

  1. five tenured/tenure-track faculty: one selected by the faculty who teach in the affected program, three from different disciplines and the chair of the curriculum committee;
  2. the dean of the faculty, who will serve as a nonvoting member

C. The Ad-Hoc Program Discontinuance Review Committee is responsible for deciding to what extent to involve appropriate constituencies such as additional program faculty, representative students of the program, etc.

D. At the end of the review, the Ad-Hoc Program Discontinuance Review Committee shall report its recommendation to the academic senate for action.

E. If the program is to be discontinued, students will be able to complete their course of study at CSUCI. Procedures shall be set up by the program. The procedures shall include:

  1. Preparation of an official list of students enrolled in the program;
  2. Establishment of a cut-off date for adding students to that list;
  3. Notification to all students on the list of the following alternatives:
        • the date by which program requirements must be met;
        • other programs offered by the university to which the student may wish to transfer;
        • similar programs offered by nearby institutions.



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