This document is a statement of the University of Wisconsin System (UW System) Policy on Array Management: Program Planning, Delivery, Review, and Reporting in the UW System. This document provides guidance on academic degree program array management actions, including approvals of new programs, review of program suspensions and eliminations, individual and lateral program reviews, as well as other required reporting and approval items at the Board of Regents or UW System level. Such items may include, but are not limited to, revisions to institutional missions, establishment of new schools or colleges, and the extension of programs to other sites, including international sites.

Overview of Academic Program Actions Reporting

This table describes the various academic program actions that require approval or reporting to UW System. All submissions should be directed to Academic Programs and Educational Innovation at afgp@uwsa.edu. All items will be reported to the Board of Regents upon request.

Institutional Action System Admin Action Board of Regents Action Notice Period Required Documentation
1. Establish New Academic Degree Program
a. Approval to Plan A I Notice of Intent memo, see Section 2.2
b. Degree Authorization A A 8+ weeks Authorization documents. See Section 2.3. See also Section 2.5 for Associate Degrees; Section 4 for Professional Doctorates; and Section 5 for Collaborative Degrees
c. Degree Implementation I I 4+ weeks Implementation memo, see Section 2.4
2. Eliminate an Academic Degree Type I I 4+ weeks Written notification, see Section 3.1
3. Rename an Academic Degree Program I I 4+ weeks Written notification, see Section 3.2
4. Redirect an Academic Degree Program I I 4+ weeks Written notification, see Section 3.2
5. Suspend Admissions to an Academic Degree Program I I 4+ weeks Written notification, see Section 3.3
6. Eliminate an Academic Degree
Program
I I 4+ weeks Written notification, see Section 3.4
7. Distance Delivery
a. Offer an Academic Degree Program via 100% Distance Delivery I/A* I 12+ weeks Written notification, see Section 3.5.2
b. Add Distance Delivery to an Academic Degree Program I I 4+ weeks Written notification, see Section 3.5.3
c. Add Face-to-Face to a 100% Distance Delivery Program I I 4+ weeks Written notification, see Section 3.5.4
8. Add Direct Assessment Competency-Based Delivery to an Academic Degree Program I/A* I 12+ weeks Written notification, see Section 3.6
9. Extend an Academic Degree Program to an Additional Location
a. In Wisconsin I/A* I 12+ weeks Written notification, see Section 3.7.1
b. Outside of Wisconsin, including International I I 4+ weeks Written notification, see Section 3.7.2
10. Create, Change, or Eliminate a Cooperative or a Dual Consortial Degree Program  I I 4+ weeks  Written notification, see Section 5
11. Collaborative (Consortial) Academic Degree Programs
a. Dissolve Collaborative Program and Reauthorize as Independent Programs A A 12+ weeks Written request, see Section 5
b. Dissolve and Eliminate Collaborative Program I I 4+ weeks Written notification, see Section 5
c. Withdrawal of One or More, But Not All, Partners I/A* I 12+ weeks Written notification, see Section 5
12. Reviews
a. First Review of an Academic Degree Program I I 20 working days Written reports, see Section 6.1
b. Regular Review of Academic Degree Programs I I Information requested as part of annual reporting, see Section 6.1.2 and Section 7.1
c. External Accreditation I I Information requested as part of annual reporting, see Section 6.1.3 and Section 7.1
d. General Education Programs I I 20 working days Posted on institutional website and written notification, see Section 6.1.4
e. Systemwide Reviews I I Conducted as necessary, see Section 6.2
f. Low-Degree-Producing Academic Degree Programs I I Information requested every five years or as necessary, see Section 6.3
13. Reporting
a. Annual Program Planning, Review, and Array Management Report I I Information requested annually, see Section 7.1
b. Credit Certificates and Submajors N/A N/A N/A Institutions are encouraged to enter these in MajorMania, see Section 7.2
14. Schools and Colleges
a. Establish a School or College [1] A A 12+ weeks Written request, see Section 8.2
b. Rename or Eliminate a School or College A I/A* 12+ weeks Written request, see Section 8.3
15. Establish or Alter an Institutional Mission A A Written request, see Section 9

A=Approval Required
I=Information Only
I/A*=Information Only; however, if there are concerns expressed by UW institutions and/or systemwide issues and/or Board of Regents approval is required, then Approval Required
[1]=Chapter 36.09 (1)(gm), Wis. Stats. applies to creation of some schools and colleges

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

1.1 Scope

UW System Administrative Policy 102 (SYS 102), Policy on University of Wisconsin System Array Management: Program Planning, Delivery, Review, and Reporting provides detailed guidance on academic degree program array management actions, including approvals of new programs, review of program suspensions and eliminations, individual and lateral program reviews, as well as other required reporting and approval items at the Board of Regents (BOR) or University of Wisconsin System (UW System) level. Such items may include, but are not limited to, revisions to institutional missions, establishment of new schools or colleges, and the extension of programs to other sites, including international sites.

The goals of systemwide array management include the provision of appropriate academic degree programs (program) to meet student, community, state, and employer demand; minimizing unnecessary duplication of programs; and offering programs effectively and cost-efficiently.

Chapter 36, Wis.Stats., codifies responsibilities for systemwide array management, such as monitoring academic quality, and establishing and maintaining access to educational programs.

Regent Policy Document (RPD) 4-12, Academic Program Planning, Review, and Approval in the UW System, delineates the program planning framework.

SYS 102, Policy on University of Wisconsin System Array Management: Program Planning, Delivery, Review, and Reporting elaborates on RPD 4-12 and represents the principal policy guiding the University of Wisconsin System Administration (UWSA) and the University of Wisconsin institutions (UW institutions) in operationalizing all activities related to systemwide array management.

1.2 Managing the Array: Participants and Roles

Within the scope of Chapter 36, Wis.Stats., the BOR, the UWSA, and the UW institutions have specific roles in program planning, approval, delivery, implementation, reporting, and review.

1.2.1 The Board of Regents

Chapter 36, Wis. Stats., gives the BOR the authority to “ensure the diversity of quality undergraduate programs.” In fulfilling this statutory role, the BOR has oversight over the UWSA and the UW institutions “to ensure that these entities meet their respective roles and responsibilities.” As a steward of the UW System’s overall resources, the BOR is also responsible for ensuring a balance between access to education and cost-effectiveness in the development and maintenance of programs. The BOR requires the UWSA and the UW institutions to follow the specific principles, guidelines, and practices described in RPD 4-12. SYS 102, Policy on University of Wisconsin System Array Management: Program Planning, Delivery, Review, and Reporting operationalizes these principles, guidelines, and practices. New academic degree program proposals must be submitted, at the recommendation of the President of the UW System, to the BOR for approval and must be approved by the BOR prior to implementation.

1.2.2 The UW System Administration

The UWSA is responsible for managing the UW System’s academic degree program array in alignment with BOR policy. Management of the array entails: consulting with the UW institutions in the planning of new programs; monitoring and analyzing the current array, including degree productivity, distance education offerings, and modes of delivery; working with the UW institutions in identifying gaps in the current array to address changing and emerging workforce and societal needs; and supporting the BOR and the UW institutions in bringing new programs to the BOR for approval. The President currently delegates this work to the Office for Academic and Student Affairs (ASA). Specifically, the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs and Educational Innovation (APEI) and System staff work collaboratively with the UW institutions to ensure the development and implementation of high-quality degree offerings. APEI develops and implements broad guidelines and specific criteria, priorities, analyses, and procedures for comprehensive planning and program review decisions.

1.2.3 The UW Institutions

Chapter 36 Wis.Stats., also delineates specific roles for Chancellors and faculty in academic program planning. The Chancellors of the UW institutions, in consultation with their faculties, are responsible for designing curricula congruent with their distinct missions, setting degree requirements, determining academic standards, instituting criteria for eliminating and suspending programs, and establishing grading procedures. Specifically, the faculty of each institution, subject to the responsibilities and powers of the BOR, the President, and the Chancellor, has primary responsibility for academic and educational activities.

Each institution appoints a program planning liaison in the institution’s Provost’s Office, who is typically an Associate Provost and who is broadly familiar with program planning and review processes. This liaison is responsible for communicating all UWSA and BOR rules and policies to the institution’s constituents, for screening and finalizing all written and supporting materials in accordance with UWSA and BOR policies and formats, and for acting as the main contact for all actions regarding SYS 102, Policy on University of Wisconsin System Array Management: Program Planning, Delivery, Review, and Reporting.

2. Approval Process for New Academic Degree Types/Programs

2.1 Overview of Approval Process

The policies outlined in this section are intended to guide academic degree program (program) approval as determined by the University of Wisconsin System Administration (UWSA) and the Board of Regents (BOR). Each University of Wisconsin institution (UW institution) has its own internal processes for developing, approving, and reviewing new programs. It is recommended that the institutional capital planning staff be consulted as part of the process. Good practice dictates that UW institutional leaders informally update Academic Programs and Educational Innovation (APEI) via afgp@uwsa.edu about nascent and emerging ideas for new programs to allow for consultation and exchange of information that may be relevant to the early planning process.

2.1.1 Definition of a New Academic Degree Program (Major)

New programs are defined as:

  1. Any program that will conclude with the conferral of a degree at the bachelor degree level or above in any field or major not previously offered; generally speaking, new programs are also majors. Included within this definition are existing submajors (also called minor, concentration, track, or emphasis) that a university or college wishes to elevate to a stand-alone degree program.
    1. Associate Degrees do not require BOR approval but do require approval by the Associate Vice President (AVP) of APEI. Associate Degrees can only be conferred as an Associate of Arts, an Associate of Science(s), or an Associate of Arts and Science (see Section 2.5).
  1. Any existing program that is altered to such an extent that a change in the first two digits of the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code or any change to the major code is required.
  1. Any program authorized at one degree level that will be offered at another level, either in addition to, or in place of, the existing program.
  2. Any program authorized at one degree type of BA/BS or MA/MS that is adding another type within the same degree level if curricular changes made to the program will impact more than 50% of the degree requirements (see Section 3.2 for Redirecting).

Notes:

  • Special conditions apply to doctoral degrees, particularly professional practice or clinical doctorates at comprehensive institutions (see Section 4).
  • Additional considerations apply to collaborative degrees (see Section 5).
  • The degree name and type on the student’s diploma and transcript should match the approved program name and type.

2.1.2 Outline of the Approval Process

The approval process for a new program has three steps as described below:

Step 1: Approval to Plan

The first step involves requesting approval to plan a new program. During this step, the institution submits a Notice of Intent that serves as a request to start the pre-Board planning process at its institution. The AVP of APEI must authorize the request to plan in order for the process to continue to the next step.

Step 2: Degree Authorization

If the request to plan is approved by the AVP, the institution moves to the authorization step, which can last as little as a week or as long as three years, depending on the readiness of the institution. During this period, the institution is authorized to prepare the appropriate documents which include the Request for Authorization to Implement a Degree, a Letter of Commitment from the proposing institution’s Provost, and a Cost and Revenue Projections for Newly Proposed Program spreadsheet.

Step 3: Degree Implementation

If the BOR authorizes the new program, the institution moves to the final implementation step of the process.

2.2 Approval to Plan

2.2.1 The Notice of Intent Document

The intended audience for the Notice of Intent is UW Chancellors, Provosts, and their staff members, as well as UWSA administrators and staff. Once formally submitted to APEI, the Notice of Intent becomes a public document.

The Notice of Intent should be up to three pages in length and include the following information:

  • The name of the proposed program, the institutional setting, the mode of delivery, and institutional contact information;
  • A description of the new program that includes anticipated program and learning outcomes;
  • Sufficient information about content and program level so that reviewers can understand how the program may relate to other offerings;
  • Existing or anticipated resources required to deliver the program;
  • Information on other required approvals to offer the program beyond the BOR (such as accreditation bodies, including the Higher Learning Commission [HLC]) should be included;
  • Evidence of how the new program aligns with the institutional mission, strategic plan, and existing academic degree program array and a link to the institution’s academic strategic plan; and
  • A rationale that clearly defines the need for the new program, including market and student demand in the context of local, regional, and systemwide programs. The rationale should include evidence that the program will not produce unnecessary program duplication. Unnecessary is defined as the addition of an academic degree program that is already offered by 50% or more of the UW institutions when there is a lack of convincing evidence that student demand exists to financially support and sustain its addition.

2.2.2 Process for Approving the Notice of Intent

2.2.2.1 Distribution of the Notice of Intent

After completing preliminary institutional planning processes, the proposing institution’s Provost sends the Notice of Intent to APEI and to the Provosts at all University of Wisconsin System (UW System) institutions via pprnoticeofintent@maillist.uwsa.edu.

2.2.2.2 Comment Period

  • Institutions have 10 working days to review the Notice of Intent and respond to the proposing institution’s Provost with the following:
  • Opportunities for potential collaboration;
  • Concerns, including questions of duplication; and/or
  • General comments regarding other aspects, such as the compatibility of the proposed program with the institution’s mission.

Institutions may request from the proposing institution’s Provost additional time to respond, typically no longer than 10 working days. Concurrent with the institutional review, the AVP of APEI conducts a review of the Notice of Intent, focusing on overall systemwide array and other matters in accordance with BOR and UWSA policy.

2.2.2.3 Review of Comments

Within five working days of the end of the comment period, the proposing institution’s Provost compiles all responses and forwards them to APEI and to the Provosts at all the UW institutions via pprnoticeofintent@maillist.uwsa.edu. If an institution has not responded with comments or concerns by the end of the comment period, this is interpreted to mean that it has no serious concerns or issues with the program being proposed.

2.2.2.4 Addressing Concerns

Within 20 working days after the end of the comment period, if there are concerns, issues, or opportunities for collaboration, the proposing institution’s Provost must consult with those institutions raising them. By the end of the 20 working day period, the Provost at the proposing institution and the Provost(s) at the institution(s) raising the concerns, issues, or opportunities for collaboration must submit separate statements to APEI and to the other Provosts via pprnoticeofintent@maillist.uwsa.edu that outline how the concerns, issues, or opportunities for collaboration will be addressed.

If facilitated resolution is requested by one or more of the Provosts, the AVP will determine the appropriate manner in which to proceed with the request(s).

As part of the decision-making process, APEI may request additional data from the UW institutions regarding the proposed program and existing programs in similar areas.

2.2.2.5 Notification of Approval/Denial of Request

If no concerns, issues, or opportunities for collaboration have been raised by the institutions or upon completion of facilitated resolution or upon receipt of institutional data, the AVP will, as expeditiously as possible, approve or deny the request to plan the new program. In their role as the staff to the BOR, the AVP will take into account systemwide concerns in making its decision.

If approved, the institution enters into the Degree Authorization period. The Degree Authorization automatically expires three years after the date of the APEI memo.

If the request for approval to plan a new program is denied, the institution may appeal to the Vice President (VP) of the UWSA Office for Academic and Student Affairs. The decision of the VP is final.

2.3 Degree Authorization

2.3.1 The Request for Authorization to Implement a Degree Document

The intended audience for the Request for Authorization to Implement a Degree document includes the members of the BOR, administrators, and other interested parties. The Request for Authorization to Implement a Degree is a public document. The Request for Authorization to Implement a Degree document must follow the UW System BOR format.

The Request for Authorization to Implement document should be eight to 10 pages in length and must address foundational elements: who, what, where, when, and why. The use of technical jargon should be minimized and acronyms should be clearly defined. The document should be written to convey the purpose and need for the proposed program; the benefits of the program to the institution; the ability of the institution to carry out the program; and the likely value to, and impact on, students and the residents of Wisconsin. The BOR template with format, requirements, and details can be found by downloading the Request for Authorization to Implement a Degree form.

2.3.2 The Institutional Letter of Commitment

The Letter of Commitment is submitted by the institution’s Provost. The letter should be addressed to the President of the UW System (copied to the AVP of APEI) and affirm that:

  • The program has been designed to meet the institution’s definition and standards of quality and will make a meaningful contribution to the institution’s select mission, overall academic plan, and academic degree program array;
  • There is institution-wide support for the program, including institutional governance approval;
  • The necessary financial and human resources are in place and/or have been committed to implement and sustain the program; and
  • Program evaluations are in place.

2.3.3 The Cost and Revenue Projections for Newly Proposed Program Spreadsheet

The purpose of the Cost and Revenue Projections for Newly Proposed Program spreadsheet is to document the financial sustainability of the program. The spreadsheet shows projected revenues and indicates how new or existing resources will be (re)allocated to offset the program costs. The projection will cover a five-year period.

2.3.4 Process for Degree Authorization

The proposing institution’s Provost (or institutions’ Provosts in the case of a collaborative program) submits all authorization materials, including the Request for Authorization to Implement a Degree, the Letter of Commitment, and the Cost and Revenue Projections for Newly Proposed Program spreadsheet as described above to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu at least eight weeks in advance of the BOR meeting at which the institution requests that the proposal be considered. APEI will work closely and extensively with the institution on finalizing the documents to prepare them for submission to the President and the BOR.

The President decides whether or not to recommend the proposed program to the BOR for approval. The BOR decides whether or not to authorize the program. The BOR’s policies can be found here.

The AVP of APEI notifies the institution of the BOR’s decision and provides instructions about implementation. Authorizations that are not implemented three years after the date of BOR approval will automatically expire. APEI will send a reminder six months prior to the expiration date. If an institution wants to request an extension, the Provost sends a formal request to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu no later than three months before the expiration date. Extensions may be granted for a period of no more than one year.

2.4 Degree Implementation

At least four weeks in advance of the desired implementation term, the proposing institution’s Provost notifies APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu of the following:

  • The implementation year and term for the approved program;
  • The academic year in which the first review of the program will occur and the date by which the institution will submit the results of the first review to APEI; and
  • If HLC or other accrediting agency approval of the new program is required. If accreditation(s) and/or approval(s) are required, upon approval, a copy of the notification letter(s) is sent to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu.

Once all of the above information is received, APEI sends a memo acknowledging the start date of the program, the date the program will be reviewed, and the CIP and major codes assigned to the program. Policy Analysis and Research provides information to the UW Higher Education Location Program (UW HELP) for posting on the UW System Majors and Other Academic Programs Database (MajorMania).

2.5 Associate Degrees

Adding an Associate Degree at a UW institution that is not currently approved to offer an Associate Degree requires approval by APEI. Once an institution is approved to offer an Associate Degree, it may offer the Associate of Arts, the Associate of Science(s), and/or the Associate of Arts and Science degrees.

At least 12 weeks before the desired effective date when the institution wants to offer an Associate Degree, the Provost provides the following information to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu:

  • A clear description of the Associate Degree the institution wishes to add;
  • A brief rationale for the action;
  • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies;
  • If HLC approval will be needed; and
  • The desired effective date.

APEI will contact the institution regarding any questions or clarifications. The AVP of APEI approves or denies the request as expeditiously as possible.

If the addition of an Associate Degree requires HLC action, APEI should be notified via afgp@uwsa.edu.

2.6 Institutional Quality Control

The UW faculty, with oversight by Deans, Provosts, Chancellors, and higher education accreditation agencies, are responsible for developing, implementing, and reviewing high‐quality program offerings in ways that leverage academic strengths and respond to emerging workplace and societal needs. See Section 6 for information on Reviews.

3. Existing Academic Degree Types/Programs

Changes and updates will be recorded in the Central Data Request (CDR) database, maintained by Policy Analysis and Research, using the date stated in the memo issued by Academic Programs and Educational Innovation (APEI). The functionality of the CDR does not permit retroactive entry of data.

3.1 Eliminating an Academic Degree Type

Eliminating an existing academic degree type of B.A., B.S., M.A. or M.S. requires written notification at least four weeks prior to the desired effective date. The elimination of other degree types usually represents the elimination of an entire academic degree program (see Section 3.4).

The Provost provides the following information to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu:

  • A clear description of the action to be taken;
  • A brief rationale for the action;
  • The potential impact on students currently enrolled;
  • The potential impact on faculty and academic staff;
    • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
    • The desired effective date.

APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after receipt of the information.

3.2 Renaming or Redirecting an Academic Degree Program

3.2.1 Renaming an Academic Degree Program

Renaming a program requires written notification at least four weeks prior to the desired effective date.

Curricular changes may not exceed 30% of the requirements for the program and the entire major code must remain the same. It is assumed that no changes will be made to the CIP code. If there will be a change to the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code, the institution should consult with their APEI Program Planning, Review, and Array Management liaison via afgp@uwsa.edu.

The Provost provides the following information to APEI via afpg@uwsa.edu:

  • The name change;
  • A brief rationale for the change;
  • Confirmation that the above renaming criteria have been met;
  • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
  • The desired effective date.

APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after receipt of the information.

3.2.2 Redirecting an Academic Degree Program

Redirecting a program requires written notification at least four weeks prior to the desired effective date.

Curricular changes to the program’s degree requirements may not exceed 50%; the entire major code must remain the same; and the first two digits of the CIP code must remain the same. Generally, such revisions are reflective of a change in market demand for new or shifting career paths.

The Provost provides the following information to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu:

  • The nature of the redirection;
  • Confirmation that the above redirection criteria have been met;
  • A rationale for any change to the CIP code and/or change in curriculum;
  • The potential impact on students currently enrolled;
  • The potential impact on faculty and academic staff;
    • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
    • The desired effective date.

APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after receipt of the information.

3.3 Suspending Admissions to an Academic Degree Program

3.3.1 Background

Suspending admissions allows an institution to temporarily remove a program from the systemwide academic degree program array and, if appropriate at a later date, reinstate the program when demand and resources justify the continued operation of the program without Board of Regents (BOR) approval.

While in suspension, the program in question is not included in the systemwide array or listed in the University of Wisconsin System Majors and Other Academic Programs Database (MajorMania). Institutions should not “unpublish” a program in MajorMania or the institution’s catalogue without also submitting notification of program suspension.

Continuing students will count as a part of institutional degree productivity.

3.3.2 Process to Suspend Admissions

Suspending admissions to a program requires written notification at least four weeks prior to the desired effective date.

The Provost provides the following information to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu:

  • The rationale for the program suspension;
  • The potential impact on students currently enrolled;
  • The potential impact on faculty and academic staff;
  • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
  • The desired effective date.

APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after receipt of the information

3.3.3 Reinstatement of Admissions to a Suspended Program

Officially suspended programs can be reinstated at any time during a period of five years.

Reinstating admissions to a suspended program requires written notification at least four weeks prior to the desired effective date.

The Provost provides the following information to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu:

  • The rationale for reinstatement;
  • The resources available to support faculty, staff, labs, equipment, etc.;
  • Projected enrollments and student demand;
  • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
  • The desired effective date.

APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after receipt of the information.

3.3.4 Elimination of Suspended Programs

Programs suspended for a period of five years will be automatically closed and eliminated from the CDR database. At any time during this five-year period, a UW institution can send written notification to permanently eliminate the program (see Section 3.4). The period of five years begins on the date of the APEI notification memo that is issued per Section 3.3.2. APEI will notify institutions six months prior to the elimination date. Upon closure, the institution may not enroll new students.

3.4 Eliminating an Academic Degree Program

3.4.1 Principles for Evaluating Academic Degree Program Elimination

In evaluating programs for possible elimination, consideration should be given to the following:

  • The quality of the program in the areas of teaching and learning, and the contributions of its faculty in research, creative activity, and service;
  • The contribution of the program to the mission and strategic plan of the institution, the overall quality of academic offerings, and the strategic plan of the institution;
  • Student demand for the program as measured by student enrollment, retention, graduation trends, and applicable variables;
  • The resource implications of retaining or eliminating the program;
  • The uniqueness/redundancy of the program within the institution and across the UW System;
  • Opportunities for collaboration with other programs within the institution or at other UW institutions; and
  • The impact of program elimination on systemwide array and student access to programs.

3.4.2 Process for Elimination

Eliminating a program requires written notification at least four weeks prior to the desired effective date.

The Provost provides the following information to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu:

  • A brief description of the program elimination;
  • A brief rationale for the change;
  • The potential impact on currently enrolled students;
  • The potential impact on faculty and academic staff;
    • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
    • The desired effective date.

APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after receipt of the information

3.5 Distance Delivery of an Academic Degree Program

3.5.1 Background

For new programs, UW System Administration (UWSA) and BOR approval are required. UW institutions must follow the process detailed in Section 2.

UWSA adopts the Higher Learning Commission’s (HLC) current definition for distance delivery and correspondence delivery. If a student can earn the degree by taking 50% or more of the work in distance courses as defined by the HLC, the program is considered a distance delivery degree program.

The UWSA’s primary roles in distance delivery matters are to minimize unnecessary duplication of, and competition between, programs (systemwide array management); to maintain accurate records of distance delivery degree programs throughout the UW System; to review opportunities for the efficient use of resources systemwide; and to ensure that requirements for delivering programs to citizens of other states are met. Information about state authorization requirements can be found at http://wcet.wiche.edu/.

3.5.2 Offer 100% Online Delivery

Offering an existing face-to-face degree program via 100% distance delivery (whether or not the face-to-face delivery is being eliminated) requires written notification at least 12 weeks prior to the desired effective date.

The Provost provides the following information to APEI and all Provosts via pprnoticeofintent@maillist.uwsa.edu:

  • A brief description of the existing program that will be offered via 100% distance delivery;
  • Whether the program will continue to be offered via face-to-face delivery, and the percentage that will be offered via face-to-face delivery;
  • A brief rationale for the change, including opportunities that will be made available to students;
  • The potential impact on students, including an assessment of any changes in costs;
  • The potential impact on faculty and staff;
  • Information on how any lab courses required for the degree will be handled;
  • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
  • The desired effective date.

Provosts have 10 working days to review the information and respond via pprnoticeofintent@maillist.uwsa.edu if there are concerns.

If no institutional concerns are raised, and if there are no systemwide concerns, APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after the end of the Provosts’ review. If there are institutional or systemwide concerns, the AVP of APEI will determine the appropriate manner in which to proceed and will issue an approval or denial memo in an expeditious manner.

3.5.3 Offering 50% or More, But Less Than 100%, of an Existing Academic Degree Program via Distance Delivery

Offering 50% or more, but less than 100%, of an existing academic degree program via distance delivery requires written notification at least four weeks prior to the desired effective date. It is assumed that face-to-face delivery will continue.

The Provost provides the following information to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu:

  • A brief description of action(s) to be taken;
  • The percentage of the program that will be offered via distance delivery and the percentage of the program that will continue to be offered via face-to-face delivery;
  • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
  • The desired effective date.

APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after receipt of the information.

3.5.4 Add Face-to-Face Delivery to an Existing 100% Distance Delivery Program

Adding face-to-face delivery to an existing 100% distance delivery program requires written notification at least four weeks prior to the desired effective date.

The Provost provides the following information to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu:

  • A description of the action to be taken;
  • The percentage of the program that will be offered via face-to-face delivery and the percentage of the program that will continue to be offered via distance delivery;
  • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
    • The desired effective date.

APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after receipt of the information.

3.6 Direct Assessment Competency-Based Delivery of an Academic Degree Program

3.6.1 Background

For new programs, UWSA and BOR approval are required. Institutions must follow the process detailed in Section 2.

UWSA adopts the Higher Learning Commission’s (HLC) definition for direct assessment, competency-based delivery. A complete list of the characteristics of programs requiring HLC approval, along with the screening form and substantive change application, may be found here.

UW institutions that seek to offer Direct Assessment Competency-Based programs should refer to the guidelines specified in the U.S. Department of Education’s Dear Colleague Letter.

3.6.2 Process for Direct Assessment Competency-based Delivery

Offering an existing academic degree program where 100% of the degree can be obtained via direct assessment competency-based delivery (such as the UW Flexible Option) requires written notification at least 12 weeks prior to the desired effective date.

The Provost provides the following information to APEI and all Provosts via pprnoticeofintent@maillist.uwsa.edu:

  • A brief description of the program;
  • A description of how the intended learning outcomes for the major or degree are equivalent to those in the existing program;
  • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
  • The desired effective date.

Provosts have 10 working days to review the information and respond via pprnoticeofintent@maillist.uwsa.edu if there are concerns.

If no institutional concerns are raised, and if there are no systemwide concerns, APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after the end of the Provosts’ review. If there are institutional or systemwide concerns, the AVP of APEI will determine the appropriate manner in which to proceed and will issue an approval or denial memo in an expeditious manner.

APEI should be notified via afgp@uwsa.edu when HLC approval has been obtained.

3.7 Extending an Academic Degree Program to an Additional Location

3.7.1 Extending an Academic Degree Program to an Additional Location in Wisconsin

Extending an academic degree program to another UW institution/campus, or to another county in Wisconsin, requires written notification at least 12 weeks prior to the desired effective date.

The Provost provides the following information to APEI and all Provosts via pprnoticeofintent@maillist.uwsa.edu:

  • The details of the program extension;
  • A brief rationale for the planned extension;
  • The degree name(s) and type(s), and the address(es) of the additional location(s);
  • For programs that will operate within a county in which another UW institution/campus is located, the notice must include details about any cooperative or collaborative arrangements;
  • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
  • The desired effective date.

Provosts have 10 working days to review the information and respond via pprnoticeofintent@maillist.uwsa.edu if there are concerns.

If no institutional concerns are raised, and if there are no systemwide concerns, APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after the end of the Provosts’ review. If there are institutional or systemwide concerns, the AVP of APEI will determine the appropriate manner in which to proceed and will issue an approval or denial memo in an expeditious manner.

APEI should be notified via afgp@uwsa.edu when HLC approval has been obtained.

3.7.2 Extending an Academic Degree Program to an Additional Physical Location Beyond Wisconsin, including International Locations

Extending a program to an additional physical location beyond Wisconsin requires written notification at least four weeks prior to the desired effective date. UW System Administrative Policy 120 (SYS 120), Regarding Offering On-Site Undergraduate and Graduate and Other Instruction Programs may apply.

The Provost provides the following information to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu:

  • The details of the program extension;
  • A brief rationale for the planned extension;
  • The degree name(s) and type(s), and the location of the additional location(s);
  • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies;
  • If authorization to operate is required by the jurisdiction in which the additional site is located; and
  • The desired effective date.

APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after receipt of the information.

APEI should be notified via afgp@uwsa.edu when HLC approval has been obtained.

3.7.3 Closing the Delivery of an Academic Degree Program at an Additional Physical Location

Closing the delivery of an academic degree program at an additional physical location requires written notification at least four weeks prior to the desired effective date.

The Provost provides the following information to APEI via apgp@uwsa.edu:

  • A brief rationale for closing the additional location;
  • The potential impact on students;
  • The potential impact on faculty and staff; and
    • The desired effective date.

APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after receipt of the information.

4. Establishing Professional Doctoral Programs at Comprehensive Institutions

These principles and guidelines are in addition to all other established requirements and guidelines for the approval of a new academic degree program (program) (see Section 2). These guidelines apply to University of Wisconsin (UW System) institutions within the comprehensive mission cluster. For institutions within the doctoral cluster, UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee, these guidelines do not apply.

4.1 Principles

4.1.1 Enhance Access to Professional Degrees

The goal of offering professional doctorates at the comprehensive institutions is to provide high-quality professional doctoral degrees in fields where there are clearly defined market needs. Professional doctorates should be offered as a response to the evolution in a field such that a professional doctorate is necessary to continue to serve a population of students that may have previously been served at the master’s level.

The development of professional doctorates may also respond to the needs of place-bound students, regional employer needs, space limitations in UW-Madison or UW-Milwaukee programs, or a clear demonstration that UW-Madison and/or UW-Milwaukee cannot fulfill the identified need.

Professional doctorate programs do not include Ph.D.s. Only UW institutions within the doctoral cluster can offer Ph.D. programs.

For new and emerging fields of study that do not exist at the master’s level within the UW System, the professional doctorate will be offered through UW-Madison and/or UW-Milwaukee.

4.1.2 Enhance Efficiencies and Avoid Unnecessary Duplication

Collaboration with other institutions will remain a key consideration in the development of new professional doctorates. In the case of collaborative programs, the proposal should demonstrate that the institutions have the capacity and logistical ability to jointly offer the program. The proposal should also include evidence that the professional degree does not unnecessarily duplicate already existing or similar degrees at other UW institutions. Unnecessary is defined as the addition of a doctoral academic degree program that is already offered by 50% or more of the UW institutions when there is a lack of convincing evidence that student demand exists to financially support and sustain its addition.

4.2 Criteria and Process for Establishing Professional Doctorates

A request to establish a professional doctorate must follow the approval processes outlined in Section 2.

Upon approval to plan, the Request for Authorization to Implement a Degree document must also address how the proposal meets the following criteria:

  • Professional doctorates should be offered at institutions that have pre-existing infrastructure, and faculty capacity and expertise to support the doctoral level program.
  • The proposal should demonstrate that the proposed professional doctorate is high-quality in terms of the rigor of its curriculum, program objectives, and its available resources, including faculty and facilities;
  • Delivery of programs should ensure that the state’s workforce needs are addressed and that students have reasonable access to the education necessary to meet those needs;
  • The degree should prepare students for professional practice in a specific field. The proposal should demonstrate that the degree is necessary based on new practice requirements, accreditation requirements, or for licensure in the professional field of study;
  • The proposal should demonstrate that the doctoral degree does not reduce the integrity of the institution’s undergraduate mission, does not take away resources devoted to undergraduate education, and does not undermine the strength of undergraduate academic degree program array offerings;
  • The proposal should assure that offering a professional doctorate will not result in the significant shifting of undergraduate teaching load from faculty to adjuncts and/or instructional academic staff;
  • The proposed professional doctorate should be carefully targeted to align with the goals, select mission, and strategic plan or direction of the specific institution. The program should also align with the UW System’s mission and strategic plan;
  • Professional doctorate proposals should demonstrate national, regional, and local market needs in specific professional fields; and
  • Program pricing for a professional doctorate at an institution should be competitive with peer institutions and aligned with market demand.

4.3 Mission Modification

The request to offer a professional doctorate in an institution’s academic degree program array may result in a review by Academic Programs and Educational Innovation of the institution’s select mission prior to authorization by the Board of Regents.

5. Academic Degree Program Partnerships Offered through a Consortial Agreement

5.1 Background

Academic degree program (program) partnerships, including those with international institutions or organizations, support efforts to manage competition for resources and avoid unnecessary duplication of programs. (Unnecessary is defined as the addition of an academic degree program that is already offered by 50% or more of the University of Wisconsin institutions (UW institutions) when there is a lack of convincing evidence that student demand exists to financially support and sustain its addition.) Such programs are offered through a consortial agreement between institutions. Staff members at partner institutions work together on the development, implementation, administration, and/or delivery of the curriculum and program.

Institutions must comply with accrediting standards and federal regulations relative to the provision of contractual or consortial agreements. Definitions of contractual and consortial agreements, core components, and criteria for programs offered through such an agreement may be found in the Higher Learning Commission’s (HLC) Criteria for Accreditation standards (CRRT.B.10.010). Conditions governing written agreements to provide educational programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education (CFR Section 668.5) may be found in the Department of Education policy.

For the purposes of University of Wisconsin System (UW System) program planning, consortial program partnerships involve two accredited institutions of higher education and fall into three categories.

  1. A collaborative academic degree program is a program that is authorized by the Board of Regents (BOR) to be jointly offered by more than one UW institution. Each degree-granting institution involved in the collaboration has the authority to grant the degree. The institutions establish a consortial agreement to administer the degrees and provide a proportion of the educational program.
  2. A cooperative degree program is an academic partnership in which one or each institution is independently authorized to grant the degree. The degree that was authorized by the BOR was not contingent on the partnership. Two or more institutions or organizations establish a consortial agreement to provide a proportion of the educational program.
  3. A dual degree program is one that involves two or more programs offered by two or more institutions that the student pursues concurrently. Each of the institutions offers a proportion of the educational degree program that is common to both degrees.

5.2 Key Factors to Consider in Planning an Academic Degree Program Partnership through a Consortial Agreement

When planning a program partnership that will be offered through a consortial arrangement, in addition to HLC and Federal Department of Education requirements, institutions are encouraged to consider the following key questions.

A. Program Faculty

Instructional

  • What will the curriculum be for this program?
  • Which faculty will teach in this program?
  • What delivery methods will be used?
  • If the institutions’ practice differs, what grading system, etc., will be used?
  • How will student learning outcomes be assessed and how will this program be evaluated?

Academic Administration

  • How will student recruitment and advising be administered?
  • What are the admission criteria for students seeking to enter this program?
  • How will the scheduling, timetable, cross-listing, etc., in various program locations be accomplished?
  • How will faculty, staff, and student assistants be hired and promoted?

B. Administrative Staff

Financial Administration

  • What funding model will be used and how will tuition be set to support that funding model?
  • How will students in the program be counted (full-time equivalency and headcount)?
  • How will segregated fees and, if applicable, United Council fees, be determined for students in the programs?
  • How will program costs and revenues be distributed?

Financial Aid

  • Which institution is the “providing” institution for financial aid purposes?
  • If the institutions have different term lengths, what impact will that have on financial aid?

Admissions/Registration/Transfer

  • What will be the institutional admission criteria/prerequisites?
  • How will admissions to the program be handled?
  • How will student data from the program be reported to UW System and others?
  • How will the program resolve calendar differences?
  • How will the program resolve enrollment and registration issues?
  • How will the program conduct marketing and recruitment?

Student Support Services

  • Academic and Career Advising
  • How will students in the program receive advising?
  • How will advisors be trained to serve students in the program?
  • Disability Services
  • How will students in the program receive or access disability services?
  • How will disability services for students in the program be funded and reported?
  • Student Conduct

Which institution will pursue disciplinary action when students are involved in academic or non-academic misconduct allegations? (e.g., location of incident? faculty institutional affiliation?)

  • Health Services

How and where will students in the program have access to student health and counseling services?

  • Information Technology

Will students obtain a university ID, an ID number, and associated rights at each institution?

  • Library Services

How will students use the library resources at each institution?

  • Recreational Sports/Athletics/Unions

How and where will students access these services?

C. Conflict, Mediation, and Dissolution Planning

  • How will the institutions manage academic and administrative program disputes that arise due to disagreements over curricula or program administration?

5.3 Cooperative or Dual Degree Consortial Programs

If a new program partnership results in a new cooperative or dual degree program but does not comprise a new program, the institution reports the new partnership to afgp@uwsa.edu at least four weeks prior to the effective date. Institutions also report updates, such as changes and eliminations, to afgp@uwsa.edu at least four weeks prior to the effective date.

5.4 Collaborative (Consortial) Academic Degree Programs

5.4.1 Collaborative Academic Degree Programs or Joining an Existing Collaborative Program

If a program partnership comprises a new program, or in cases where a UW institution seeks authorization to grant a degree as part of an existing collaborative program, the institution(s) must follow the approval process for a new program (see Section 2).

5.4.2 Dissolution of a Collaborative Academic Degree Program

5.4.2.1 Dissolution in Conjunction with Authorization of One or More New, Independent Programs

The dissolution of a collaborative program and the simultaneous re-authorization of one or more of the degrees as independent programs require the approval of the University of Wisconsin System Administration (UWSA) and the Board of Regents (BOR). The dissolution and authorization(s) are accomplished through a single resolution by the BOR.

See Section 5.4.3 if the collaborative is to be dissolved with no reauthorization(s). See Section 5.4.4 if one or more, but not all, institutions wish to withdraw from the collaboration.

5.4.2.2 Process for Dissolving a Collaborative Program and the Simultaneous Re-Authorization of One or More as Independent Programs

Dissolving a collaborative program and the simultaneous re-authorization of one or more of the degrees as independent programs requires written notification at least 12 weeks prior to the BOR meeting at which the institution(s) requests that the proposal be considered.

The Provosts at the UW institutions involved in the collaboration jointly provide the following information to Academic Programs an Educational Innovation (APEI) and all Provosts via pprnoticeofintent@maillist.uwsa.edu:

  • A brief rationale for the change;
  • The potential impact on currently enrolled students;
  • The potential impact on faculty and academic staff;
  • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
  • The desired effective date.

Provosts have 10 working days to review the information and respond via pprnoticeofintent@maillist.uwsa.edu if there are concerns.

APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after the end of the Provosts’ review. If there are institutional or systemwide array concerns, the Associate Vice President (AVP) of APEI will determine the appropriate manner in which to proceed and will issue an approval or denial memo in an expeditious manner.

5.4.2.3 Dissolution Documents

If approved to move forward, the Provosts at the UW institutions involved in the collaborative program are jointly responsible for assembling the documents listed below and submitting them at least eight weeks in advance of the desired BOR meeting to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu for review and approval by officials at the UWSA and the BOR.

The documents that are reviewed and approved by the UWSA for submission to the BOR are listed below:

  1. A request for dissolution and authorization of independent programs.

The request must be a single document that is co-written and jointly submitted by the Provosts of all institutions involved in the collaborative program. The request must clearly outline:

  • the background information regarding the current partnership, including enrollment, and graduation data over the past 10 years, or life of the program if the program has been active for fewer than 10 years;
  • the justification for the dissolution;
  • confirmation that the dissolution of the collaborative program and the establishment of an independent program have been approved by the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies at all institutions involved in the collaborative program;
  • verification from the appropriate professional accrediting bodies (if applicable) of the process to re-accredit independent programs;
  • a detailed plan as to how students currently enrolled in the program would be transitioned to independent accredited programs, without loss of credit or time to degree; and
  • convincing evidence of:
    • sufficient student and market demand to support one or more independent programs;
    • the capacity of each institution to sustain an independent program, in terms of faculty and staff, facilities, technology, etc.; and
    • sufficient existing resources at each institution in the collaborative program requesting authorization to offer the program independently.
  1. A letter from the Provost at each institution involved in the collaborative program affirming support for the dissolution and the authorization of independent programs.

  1. A Cost and Revenue Projections for Newly Proposed Program spreadsheet for the independent programs.

5.4.3 Dissolution without Authorization of New, Independent Programs

The dissolution of a collaborative program without the subsequent authorization of any degrees as independent programs is treated as an elimination of the programs (see Section 3.4). The notification must be jointly submitted.

5.4.4 Withdrawal of One or More, but not all, Partners

The withdrawal of one or more, but not all, of the partners in a collaborative program requires written notification at least 12 weeks prior to the desired effective date. If more than one institution wishes to withdraw, the notification must be jointly submitted.

The institution(s) withdrawing from the collaborative will no longer be authorized to offer the program and it will be treated as eliminated at this institution(s) (see Section 3.4). The remaining institution(s) will continue to be authorized to collaboratively or independently offer the program. If the withdrawing institution(s) wishes to independently offer the program, but is not currently authorized to do so, the institution(s) must follow the approval process for a new program (see Section 2).

The Provost(s) provides the following information to all of the institutions in the collaboration, and APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu:

  • A brief rationale for the change;
  • A detailed plan as to how students currently enrolled in the program would be transitioned into another institution within the collaborative without loss of credit or time to degree;
  • The potential impact on faculty and academic staff;
  • Confirmation of the approval of the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
  • The desired effective date.

If there are no concerns from the other institutions in the collaborative, APEI will issue the notification memo within 15 working days after receipt of the information. If there are concerns from the other institutions in the collaborative, the AVP of APEI will engage in facilitated discussion with the institutions involved.

5.4.5 Conflict and Dissolution Planning

UW institutions will work collegially through any conflicts or disagreements regarding the dissolution of, or withdrawal from, a collaborative program. If a mutually satisfactory resolution is not reached, an institution(s) can request facilitated resolution by the AVP of APEI by sending a written request to afgp@uwsa.edu.

5.5 Transfer Agreements

5.5.1 Background

There are two types of articulations: course-to-course and program-to-program. UW System Administrative Policy 135 (SYS 135), UW System Undergraduate Transfer Policy contains policies that govern course-to-course articulation agreements and UW System Administrative Policy 140 (SYS 140), UW System Guidelines for Articulation Agreements between UW System Institutions and WTCS Districts contains policies that govern program-to-program articulation agreements. In the UW System, transfer information is available on the Transfer website.

  1. Course-to-Course

Typically, a receiving institution agrees to accept a course (or set of courses) from another institution as a course (or set of courses) or for elective credit at the receiving institution. These credit equivalencies are recorded and maintained in the institution’s Student Information System and in the UW System Transfer Information System.

  1. Program-to-Program

More often, articulation agreements reference formal agreements between institutions that allow credits earned in a specific program to be applied to a specific program at the receiving institution. These program-to-program transfer agreements allow a student to earn credits in a program (or earn an associate degree) at one institution and transfer at an advanced level to the receiving institution. These agreements may be between two institutions or may encompass multiple institutions. See SYS 140, UW System Guidelines for Articulation Agreements between UW System Institutions and WTCS Districts for guidelines and here for a listing of articulation agreements.

6. Review

6.1 Types of Institutional Review

University of Wisconsin institutions (UW institutions) conduct or undergo a number of academic degree program reviews. These include first reviews, recurring reviews, external accreditation, and general education program revisions.

6.1.1 First Review of an Academic Degree Program

In its implementation notification, the UW institution informs Academic Programs and Educational Innovation (APEI) when it anticipates completing the first review of the new program. Within 20 working days of the completion of the first institutional review of a new academic degree program (program), institutions submit a one-page narrative to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu summarizing the results of the review. If the external or institutional review bodies identify areas of concern, the Associate Vice President (AVP) of APEI will follow up with the institution about its action plan for addressing the concerns.

6.1.2 Regular (Recurring) Review of Existing Academic Degree Programs

Each institution is responsible for comprehensive and intensive re-examination of all academic programs. The review should lead to recommendations that a program be:

  • Continued in its present form;
  • Changed in form or direction, meaning a redirection of a program (see Section 3.2);
  • Consolidated with other programs, meaning a redirection of a program (see Section 3.2); or

6.1.3 External Accreditation

As a means of demonstrating that educational quality has met standards external to the institution, UW System institutions must be accredited by a regional accrediting agency. In addition, some programs (e.g., social work and engineering) must be accredited by a professional accrediting agency or association. Accreditations are reported APEI as part of the Annual Program Planning, Review, and Array Management Report (see Section 7.1).

6.1.4 General Education Programs

Information regarding general education program requirements should be posted on the institutional website. When revisions are made to the requirements, the UW institution should immediately post the revisions on the institution’s website. Within 20 working days of substantive revisions to the requirements, the UW institution notifies all and APEI via pprnoticeofintent@maillist.uwsa.edu. The notice should include a link to the webpage where the information is posted.

6.2 Systemwide Reviews

The Board of Regents (BOR) may periodically request institutions to provide information about program evaluation, metrics of quality, and outcomes. If necessary, an external reviewer might be charged with conducting a lateral review of one or more programs across the UW System.

6.3 Monitoring Low-Degree-Producing Academic Degree Programs

6.3.1 Background

Undergraduate programs offered by more than 50% of all UW institutions are those that are reviewed for degree productivity. The degree productivity expectation is no less than 25 graduates over a five-year period, excluding all world language programs and individually designed programs. The review period for new programs in this category begins six years after the program’s implementation.

6.3.2 Process for Low Producing Programs

6.3.2.1 Institutional Review

UW institutions review and address low-degree-producing programs, based on mission and resources.

For all low-degree-producing programs, institutions may establish and follow more stringent policies or guidelines than those outlined in this section.

6.3.2.2 UW System Review

APEI conducts a review of all undergraduate majors in the UW System for degree productivity at least every five years as part of its responsibility for systemwide academic degree program array management. This review may be conducted separately or in conjunction with other UW System reviews of programs.

Programs that do not meet the degree productivity minimum expectations as described above are provided to UW institutions. Institutional responses are due to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu within 20 working days upon receipt of the information.

If an institution wants to retain a low-degree-producing program, the Provost provides a brief justification for continuing the program. The justification should include plans to increase enrollment, combine the program with another program, or offer the program in partnership with another institution. In addition, low-degree-producing programs that were previously identified as low-degree-producing and continue to be low-degree-producing must also provide a description of the strategies that were employed to increase enrollment and provide a Cost and Revenue Projections for Newly Proposed Program document for the most recent academic year.

APEI will respond after a review of the information. The response will be included in the University of Wisconsin System Annual Program Planning, Review, and Array Management Report to the BOR (see Section 7.1).

If the institutional response is to suspend or eliminate a low-degree-producing program, no justification is necessary (see Section 3.3 and Section 3.4 for information on suspension and elimination).

7. Reporting

7.1 University of Wisconsin System Annual Program Planning, Review, and Array Management Report

At the end of the academic year, Academic Programs and Educational Innovation (APEI) validates, collects, and collates data for the previous academic year from each University of Wisconsin institution (UW institution). The data may be submitted to the Board of Regents.

Each UW institution confirms that APEI has accurately recorded the information provided by the institution and submits any additional required information not previously reported. The data requested from each institution include institutional recurring program review activity; accreditations; program changes; current program collaborations; and any new programs in the planning stage.

All data are submitted electronically to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu on the forms provided.

7.2 Credit Certificates and Submajor Information

The University of Wisconsin System Administration recognizes the approval requirements set forth by the Higher Learning Commission.

Institutions are encouraged to publish current submajor and certificate program information within the UW System Majors and Other Academic Programs Database (MajorMania) in order to provide a complete picture of what UW System has to offer.

8. Schools and Colleges

8.1 Background

Chapter 36.09(1)(gm)1. Wis. Stats. “The board shall not create, except as specifically authorized by the legislature in each instance, any new college, school or its functional equivalent if such college, school or functional equivalent has academic programs at the graduate or professional, post-baccalaureate level.”

Chapter 36.09(1)(gm)1. Wis. Stats. “For the purposes of this paragraph, college or school means an academic unit below the institutional level but above the departmental level, including but not limited to a graduate school, law school, medical school, social work school, architecture school, business school and a public administration school.”

Chapter 36.09(1)(gm)2. Wis. Stats. “For the purposes of this paragraph, a new college or school shall be deemed to have been created if an administrative position of dean or its functional equivalent is established and if a new instructional program, separate and distinct from the programs currently available at that institution, is established.”

Chapter 36.09(1)(gm)3. Wis. Stats. “This paragraph does not apply to the redesignation or reorganization of existing colleges or schools if accomplished through the reclassification of existing positions or the restructuring of existing organizational entities.”

8.2 Establishing a School or College

In all cases, establishing a college or school requires approval by the UW System Administration (UWSA) and the Board of Regents (BOR). UWSA staff work with the institution to determine if the state statute applies in its particular case.

The Provost sends a memo to Academic Programs and Educational Innovation (APEI) via afgp@uwsa.edu at least 12 weeks prior to the desired effective date that includes the following information:

  • The rationale for establishing the college or school;
  • The administrative structure of the college or school;
  • The redirection of campus resources to establish the college or school;
  • Confirmation of the approval by the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
  • The desired effective date.

The Associate Vice President (AVP) of APEI responds with a memo copied to the Provosts and program planning liaisons.

8.3 Renaming or Eliminate a School or College

Renaming or eliminating a school or college requires approval by the UWSA.

The Provost sends a memo to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu at least 12 weeks prior to the desired effective date that includes the following information:

  • The rationale for renaming or eliminating the college or school;
  • Confirmation of the approval by the appropriate institutional governance body or bodies; and
  • The desired effective date.

The AVP of APEI responds with a memo approving or denying the request, copied to the Provosts and program planning liaisons. In some instances, the BOR needs to approve the renaming of a school or college.

9. Establishing or Altering Institutional Missions

9.1 Background

The University of Wisconsin System (UW System) Board of Regents (BOR) establishes and oversees UW System and institutional missions for each of the System’s 15 institutions. The following policies and statutes are of relevance:

Chapter 36.01(2), Wis. Stats. This establishes the mission for the UW System. The BOR is directed to establish a mission statement for each UW institution (Chapter 36.09(1)(b), Wis. Stats.). The statute directs the BOR to establish a mission that specifically defines the types of academic program each institution will offer and to establish policies and practices to implement institutional mission and programming.

Chapter 36.09(1)(b), Wis. Stats. “The board, after public hearing at each institution, shall establish for each institution a mission statement delineating specific program responsibilities and types of degrees to be granted.”

Chapter 36.09(1)(d), Wis. Stats. “The board shall establish policies to guide program activities to ensure that they will be compatible with the missions of the institutions of the system. To this end, the board shall make all reasonable effort to provide night courses.”

Regents Policy Document (RPD) 1-1 adopts the statutory UW System mission language indicated in Chapter 36. RPD 1-2 contains the approved mission for the University of Wisconsin System Administration (UWSA) and core mission statements for the doctoral institution cluster and the university institution cluster.

Within the framework of mission statements, the BOR delegates responsibilities to the institutions and the UWSA, respectively. Institutional program planning cannot deviate from nor expand upon an institutional mission statement without BOR approval.

9.2 Process for Establishing or Altering Institutional Missions

  1. The institution notifies Academic Programs and Educational Innovation (APEI) at afgp@uwsa.edu of its intent to establish or alter its mission statement. The rationale and an analysis of the impact on the UW System must be included.
  1. The institution develops the mission statement with wide institutional input and appropriate institutional governance approvals. The institution’s Provost regularly updates APEI during this process.
  1. The institution notifies the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of its intent to alter its mission statement.
  1. Prior to formal submission, it is recommended that the Chancellor or Provost forward a copy of the draft select mission statement to APEI at afgp@uwsa.edu for consultation. The Associate Vice President (AVP) of APEI examines whether the language and format of the revised mission meet the statutory requirements. The AVP provides feedback and works with the institution to prepare the materials needed for formal submission to the UW System President and the BOR.
  1. The Chancellor sends the mission statement, marked with the date at which it was approved by institutional governance, to APEI at afgp@uwsa.edu, the President, and the Vice President (VP) for Academic and Student Affairs (ASA) at least 12 weeks in advance of the desired BOR meeting for the first reading. The AVP will assess the functionality of the mission and whether the statement contains the statutorily required components, including a listing of the general degrees offered by the institution and a general description of academic programs or areas of focus of the institution. After receiving all materials, the AVP works with the institution to prepare the materials needed for submission to the BOR. Materials submitted must include:
  • A Microsoft Word (not PDF) copy of the current or original mission statement;
  • The revisions to the current mission as a document with tracked changes or strikeouts;
  • A clean copy of the revised mission statement with the date at which it was approved by institutional governance; and
  • A cover letter from the Chancellor addressed to the UW System President, explaining the rationale for the changes, the scope and the impact of the changes, and a request to place the mission revision on the BOR’s agenda.

Upon formal submission of a request to alter a select mission, the AVP of APEI, the Office of General Counsel, and the VP of ASA review the request. The AVP reports summative findings and recommendations to the UW System President.

If approved by the UW System President, the AVP works with the institution to prepare the background materials for submission to the BOR.

  1. The Chancellor or the Provost presents the mission statement at a meeting of the BOR for initial review (first reading). No action is taken at this time.
  1. The institution conducts a public hearing on campus with a member of the BOR presiding. The Executive Director of the BOR should be contacted about organizational details and Regent selection for this task. This meeting should be widely publicized, including publication in the Wisconsin State Journal, and allow input from any individual who requests to be heard, including members of the institutional administration, faculty, staff, students, and the general public.
  1. The Chancellor submits a memo to the Office of the President (copied to the AVP of APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu and the VP of ASA) summarizing the outcomes of the public hearing.
  1. Upon approval of the UW System President, the institution presents the final mission statement to the BOR for a second reading and final approval. Materials must be submitted to APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu at least eight weeks in advance of the desired BOR meeting. Materials submitted must include:
  • A cover letter from the Chancellor;
  • A Microsoft Word (not PDF) copy of the current or existing mission;
  • A copy with tracked changes; and
  • A clean copy of the proposed new mission.
    1. Upon approval by the BOR, the institution secures approval from the HLC to alter its mission statement, and notifies APEI via afgp@uwsa.edu of the effective date.
    2. The Office of the Board of Regents maintains the official record of all UW System mission statements.

10. Reference

10.1 Reference Materials

The following materials can be found at https://www.wisconsin.edu/program-planning/:

  • Template – Request for Authorization to Implement a Degree
  • Template – Cost and Revenue Projections for Newly Proposed Program
  • Pricing Policies
  • Annual Program Planning, Review, and Array Management Report
  • Academic Information Series (ACIS)
  • Academic Planning Statements (ACPS)
  • Link to the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board (EAB)

10.2 Document Revision History

  • ACIS-1 August 1984
  • ACIS-1.1 October 1987
  • ACIS-1 September 1992
  • ACIS-1 November 10, 1995
  • ACIS-1 December 1998
  • ACIS-1 May 2000
  • ACIS-1 August 2002
  • ACIS-1 July 2003
  • ACIS-1 June 2006
  • ACIS-1 May 2008
  • ACIS-1 June 2009
  • ACIS-1 December 2009
  • ACIS-1 April 2010
  • ACIS 1.0 September 2012
  • ACIS 1.0 July 01, 2016
  • ACIS 1.0 renamed SYS 102: Policy on University of Wisconsin System Array Management: Program Planning, Delivery, Review, and Reporting (formerly ACIS 1.0) on October 01, 2016

This document replaces ACIS 1.0., revised September 2012. This document also replaces:

  • ACIS 1.1 and ACIS 4
  • ACPS 1 and 1.1
  • Approval for Distance Delivery, November 2013
  • Establishing Professional Doctorates, March 2014
  • Guidelines for Academic Program Suspension, November 2009
  • Monitoring Low-Degree-Producing Programs, July 2010
  • Planning Collaborative Programs, December 2012
  • Principles for Academic Program Consolidation and Elimination, April 2003

10. 3 Related documents: