Chapter 8 – Regulations for Students
8.85.10 New Programs. In this section the term “program” shall be understood to include any curriculum or University sponsored activity requiring the assignment of one or more faculty to serve in a teaching, research, or service capacity and intended to result in the conferral of a certificate or other credential or of an undergraduate or graduate degree. Section 8.90 covers the review and approval of centers, including partnerships, bureaus, institutes, and similar entities. #11-12–25
8.85.11 A coordinating and review committee (see 8.85.12) shall be responsible for receiving a proposal for a new program, for notifying the appropriate units of the University of the proposal, for calling for comment on the proposal, for setting deadlines for receipt of comment, for evaluating the proposed program, for insuring that all required information is included or appended to the proposal, and for forwarding the proposal, or a revised version of the proposal, with its report and recommendations, to the Faculty Senate for subsequent action. In its report to the Senate, the coordinating and review committee shall indicate whether it recommends approval or disapproval of the proposal and may recommend a ranking of the proposal according to categories described in 8.85.30. #11-12–25
8.85.12 Normally, the Curricular Affairs Committee, the Graduate Council, and the Council for Research shall serve as the coordinating and review committee respectively for proposals for new undergraduate degree programs, for new graduate degree programs, and for new centers, including partnerships, bureaus and institutes. If questions arise as to the appropriate committee to serve as the coordinating and review committee for a proposal for a new program, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee shall determine which committee has responsibility. The Executive Committee may establish or recommend establishing a special committee to serve as the coordinating and review committee for a proposal. #11-12–25
8.85.13 Proposals shall be prepared using formats and criteria specified by the RI Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner and kept on file in the office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. #11-12–25
8.85.14 A proposal submitted to the coordinating and review committee (section 8.85.11) shall have included the following steps:
Step 1: Prior to developing a complete proposal for a new academic program, a brief pre-proposal form describing the program and its likelihood of success, centrality to the mission of the university and consistency with the Academic Plan, shall be completed by the proposer(s). It will be provided by the proposer(s), department chair(s) (if applicable) and academic dean(s) to the Joint Committee on Academic Planning (JCAP) for review. If the program is not consistent with the Academic Plan, the proposer(s) will be urged to reconsider the idea and may submit a revised pre-proposal. All communications between JCAP and proposer(s) will be copied to the appropriate coordinating and review committee. While JCAP endorsement is not required for the proposer(s) to continue development of the complete proposal, it is strongly recommended.
Step 2: While the complete proposal is being developed within the college, the proposer(s) shall seek consultation with the Office of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment and Accreditation (SLOAA) in preparation of its plan for student learning assessment and thereafter obtain approval by the Learning Outcomes Oversight Committee (LOOC) of its plan. The proposer(s) shall also obtain a library impact statement following proper review by the University Libraries and seek written comment from other university departments and programs perceived impacted by the proposal. After the library impact statement and comment from other departments are obtained, the proposer(s) shall complete the budget analysis using the approved RI Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner forms (https://www.riopc.edu/page/academic_program/). Review and verification by the Office of Budget and Financial Planning is required.
Step 3: Following completion of the above steps, the proposal submitted by a college shall have been approved in accordance with the college’s established procedures and with approval of the Dean, before submission to the coordinating and review committee. If more than one college is proposing the new program, approval must be obtained from each prior to submission to the coordinating and review committee. #11-12–25
8.85.15 The coordinating and review committee shall insure that all departments, colleges, or other units potentially involved or affected by a proposal for a new program, including the Council of Deans, are informed of the proposal and are given time to comment or otherwise respond. Unless otherwise sanctioned by a special act of the Faculty Senate, the coordinating and review committee shall allow at least thirty (30) and no more than forty-five (45) calendar days for responses after notification. #11-12–25
8.85.16 Unless an extension of up to thirty (30) calendar days has been authorized by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the coordinating and review committee shall submit its report on the proposal to the Faculty Senate for action no later than thirty (30) calendar days after the deadline set for receipt of responses on a proposal. If a report has not been submitted within the specified time, the proposal may be submitted directly to the Faculty Senate for action. #11-12–25
8.85.17 The coordinating and review committee may require changes in the format of and may recommend substantive changes in a proposal before forwarding it to the Senate for action. The coordinating and review committee shall make comments submitted in response to a proposal available for inspection, indicating in its forwarding report to the Senate the persons and/or groups who have submitted comments and where the comments are on file and available for review. #11-12–25
8.85.20 Evaluation Criteria. In conducting their review, the coordinating and review committee shall evaluate the proposed program primarily according to the following criteria, listed in order of importance and explained in more detail in the Manual sections indicated: centrality of the program to the mission of the University of Rhode Island (8.85.21); extent to which the program would contribute to the University’s fulfillment of its teaching, research and service responsibilities, (8.85.22); relationship of the program to the developmental plans of the University (8.85.23); projected cost effectiveness considerations (8.85.24). #11-12–25
8.85.21 The first criterion–centrality to the mission of the University of Rhode Island–is of major importance. The mission of the University of Rhode Island is embodied in its name and consists of two components — one being those responsibilities that distinguish it as a University (not a state or community college or technical institute) and the other being those local and regional concerns that derive from its being “of Rhode Island.” A program is considered as being central to the mission of this University as an institution of higher learning to the extent it fulfills both aspects of the University’s mission. #11-12–25
8.85.22 A second criterion of major importance is the extent to which the program contributes to the University’s fulfillment of its three main responsibilities: to provide the opportunity for education at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels; to conduct research and other scholarly and creative activities; and to serve the people of the state by making knowledge, information, and expertise available to individuals, to other educational organizations, and to business, industry, and government. #11-12–25
8.85.23 A third criterion of major importance is the relationship of the program to developmental plans (e.g., Academic Plan) of the University. Is the program inside or outside the areas where greater emphasis is envisioned? #11-12–25
8.85.24 A fourth set of criteria related to cost/effectiveness considerations, shall include the following:
a. How is the program projected to compare with others based on cost/revenue relationships (overall cost and income and per student)?
b. How is the program projected to compare with others based on numbers of students served (majors, etc.)?
c. How is the program projected to compare with others considering student-faculty ratio?
d. How is the program projected to compare with others in terms of employment opportunities and placement of graduates?
e. Are there special facilities or equipment needed or uniquely available for the program?
This set of criteria shall be applied uniformly to all programs as far as such criteria are relevant. #11-12–25
8.85.30 Classification of Programs for which funding is required. When new programs are approved by the Faculty Senate, approval may be classified as follows: approval Class A will mean that the program is deemed to be of such merit as to justify the recommendation of the immediate allocation of funds for its implementation; approval Class B would recommend that proposed new programs compete for resources on an equal basis with all other University activities; approval Class C would recommend funding of the proposed new program should additional funds be made available to the University. #05-06–21 #11-12–25
8.85.31 Programs for which no new funding is required. When the proponents of a new program, including a certificate program, assert that the new venture can be administered entirely with existing funds, the proposal shall follow all procedures outlined in sections 8.85.13 – 8.85.17, additionally including a five-year plan demonstrating that existing funds are sufficient for carrying the program. Prior to that plan being presented to the Faculty Senate Curricular Affairs Committee or the Graduate Council, it shall be reviewed and approved by the appropriate department(s) and college(s) whose participation is necessary for the program to be offered successfully. The plan shall also include a Budget and Financial Planning Office review. No classification under 8.85.30 is required. #05-06–21 #11-12–25
8.86.10 Academic Program Review. In this section the term “program” shall be understood to include academic departments, as well as any curriculum or University sponsored activity requiring the assignment of one or more faculty to serve in a teaching, research, or service capacity and intended to result in the conferral of an undergraduate or graduate degree or of a certificate or other credential. #05-06–22
8.86.11 The primary purpose of the academic program review shall be to assess both the academic quality and the financial aspects of a program. The academic program review shall be used to inform decision-makers with regard to resources in academic departments and programs and to provide the University with information that will lead to improved program focus and quality. In addition, it is intended to help the University gain greater degrees of efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of the academic curriculum. #05-06–22
8.86.12 During the course of the academic program review and during the formulation of the review instrument, an Academic Program Review Committee shall help coordinate the steps of the review, shall lead in the formulation of the evaluation instrument, and shall continue to modify previous instrument versions or develop new instruments to accommodate the changing needs of the faculty and administration (see sections 5.86.10 – 5.86.11 on the Academic Program Review Committee). #05-06–22
8.86.13 The report, prepared as a result of an academic program review, shall be available to the University Community; however, responses to the evaluation instrument submitted by individual participants shall remain confidential. #05-06–22
8.86.14 The program director or chair and the Dean or academic administrator to whom the program director or chair reports shall meet with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs to examine and discuss the results of the review as soon as feasible, but no longer than one hundred and eighty calendar days following the dissemination of the results. The Academic Program Review Committee shall serve in an advisory capacity during this process. #05-06–22
8.86.20 Focused Review of an Academic Program. Focused Reviews outside the Academic Program Review process outlined in sections 8.86.10 – 8.86.14 are allowed. A Focused Review of a program may be requested by a department chair or college dean associated with the program, or the Dean of the Graduate School for any graduate program. The rationale for the review shall be in writing and clearly describe how the review falls outside the APR process. The written rationale should be distributed to the program, the department chair, the dean of the college(s), the Dean of the Graduate School for graduate programs, and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs shall have the final decision whether a rationale justifies a focused review. The rationale should reflect substantive concerns about program quality and/or integrity, and/or a consistent pattern of deviation from established program or university policy, standards, or procedures. A copy of the rationale should also be sent to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee as a notification of review rather than an invitation to participate. #13-14–3
8.86.21 In this section the term “program” shall be understood to include curriculum or University sponsored activity requiring the assignment of one or more faculty to serve in a teaching, research, or service capacity and intended to result in the conferral of an undergraduate or graduate degree, certificate, or other credential. #13-14–3
8.86.22 While the Focused Review is outside the Academic Program Review process, any data gathered during the process outlined in sections 8.86.10 – 8.86.14 shall be available to the Focused Review Committee. #13-14–3
8.86.23 Any program identified for a focused review shall have at least a three member Focused Review Committee appointed to oversee and coordinate the review of that specific program. The dean of the college associated with the program being reviewed (in consultation with the Dean of the Graduate School for any graduate program) shall appoint two faculty members, and the program being reviewed shall appoint a third faculty member. No member may be a person who directly oversees the program. A faculty member appointed by the dean will chair the committee. #13-14–3
8.86.24 The focused review committee may decide that outside reviewers should be consulted in a particular review or that a recent accreditation review document prepared by the program can serve as a component of the focused review. University and/or external staff with relevant expertise also may be called to participate. Outside reviewers shall be selected in consultation with the dean. #13-14–3
8.86.25 The focused review committee shall create a written report of its assessment of the program and any other relevant findings and submit it to all recipients of the rationale in 8.86.20. The program director, associated chairs and/or deans, and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs may request a meeting with the focused review committee and interested parties. The program has 15 calendar days from the release of the report to submit a written response to all recipients of the rationale. #13-14–3
8.86.26 No later than 30 calendar days following the receipt of the response from the reviewed program, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with the dean associated with the program and the graduate dean (for graduate programs) shall provide to the program director, associated chair and dean, and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee a written response to the report. In general, the written reports of the focused review committee and the response of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs shall be made available upon request to any interested parties. Any individual or group of standing in a particular program review may request that some portions of the report, especially those relating to specific personnel issues, not be made public. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs shall have the final authority to decide whether or not to withhold any portions of the report from public distribution. #13-14–3
8.86.27 The dean associated with the program in consultation with the graduate dean, when appropriate, shall oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the review. #13-14–3
8.87.10 Abolition of Programs. When a recommendation for abolition of an existing program is initiated by an appropriate college or university committee or administrative official, the recommendation shall be reviewed by the appropriate college dean, college curricular committee, and college faculty if the program is housed in a college; and in any case by the appropriate Faculty Senate Committee(s) (Curricular Affairs Committee and/or Council for Research) or Graduate Council, the Faculty Senate and the President. Review of the proposal for abolition by college or Senate committees below the level of the Faculty Senate shall result in a Statement of Opinion that shall be attached to the proposal as it proceeds through subsequent review steps, but shall not result in denial or approval of the recommendation, nor stop the proposal from proceeding to the Faculty Senate. The originator of the recommendation may, however, withdraw the proposal if convinced by review at any level that the recommendation should be withdrawn. Curricular committees and college faculties shall address budgetary issues as well as academic issues in their review. The Graduate Council shall be included for review of graduate programs according to its established procedures. The originator shall present the recommendations to the Faculty Senate for its deliberation. Committees that have reviewed the proposal and have attached Statements of Opinion shall present the findings of their review to the Faculty Senate. Approval of the recommendation for abolition shall require the approval of the Faculty Senate and the President in the same manner as other legislative actions, as provided for in sections 10.2 to 10.6 of the Faculty Senate By-Laws.
8.87.11 Any program recommended for elimination shall be maintained until currently enrolled students (including University College students who have indicated preference for the program in writing prior to the President’s signature of the recommendation for elimination) have completed the program, except that in no case shall this period of maintenance exceed the normal period of transit through the program by more than one year. Notification to students contemplating enrollment in the program shall be made at the time the President authorizes elimination of the program, but not sooner. For the purpose of providing adequate notice to prospective first-year students, elimination must be authorized prior to June 1 of the year previous to the final entering class.
8.87.12 Suspension of Programs. The President has the prerogative of suspending admissions of students into degree granting programs. The President shall notify the University Community, including Admissions Officers, and the RI Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner as to the reasons for and the effective date of program suspension, taking into account students already admitted for study. In concert with policies of the RI Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner, programs may be maintained in a state of suspension for a maximum of 6 years. Programs may be removed from suspension by the President at any time prior to the expiration of the time limit. The President may appeal to the RI Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner for a three (3) year extension beyond the prescribed time limit. After the time limit for program suspension has been reached, procedures for program abolition set forth in Section 8.87.10 shall be followed. #06-07–40
8.88.10 Degree Programs on the Providence Campus. Departments planning to offer existing degree programs at the Providence Campus must develop and approve a plan for offering and staffing courses and advising students. Once approved by the academic department, this plan should be forwarded simultaneously to the appropriate college curriculum committee and to the Dean of the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education for review and approval, following which undergraduate programs shall be forwarded to the Curricular Affairs Committee and graduate programs to the Graduate Council for approval. Actions taken by the Curricular Affairs Committee and Graduate Council shall be reported to the Faculty Senate for information. #04-05–9