Policy 1446 – Academic Program Discontinuance

Revision Date: 7/1/2013

Responsible Office: Office of the President/Provost

Reference: Board of Supervisors – University of Louisiana System, Policy and Procedures Memoranda

One of the primary goals of a university is to promote and maintain high quality academic
programs. Consistent with this goal of academic excellence, each university should
adopt policies and procedures to provide for regular, periodic review of all academic
programs. Occasionally, for educational and/or budgetary reasons, it may be in the
university’s best interest to discontinue an academic program. Such a decision should
be made after consultation with the appropriate faculty groups and in accordance with
the policies outlined below.

  1. Definitions

    1. Academic Program: A degree program, option, concentration, minor, department, school or college, or
      other academic unit such as a center or service area.

    2. Externally-Initiated Directive: A formal directive issued by the Board of Regents or the UL System Board of Supervisors
      to discontinue an academic program.

    3. Internally-Initiated Directive: A proposal to discontinue an academic program which originates from the institution

    4. Program Discontinuance: The formal termination of an academic program by the Board of Regents or the UL
      System Board of Supervisors.

  2. Review and Approval Process

    1. Internally-Initiated Proposals

      1. Proposed program discontinuance shall be based on educational need, resource allocation,
        budget constraints, or combinations of educational strategies and financial considerations.

      2. Both quantitative and qualitative data will be analyzed in relation to the university’s
        strategic plan prior to formalizing final recommendations.

      3. There shall be faculty participation in considering the possible discontinuance of
        an academic program.

      4. Diligent effort shall be made to review and discuss proposals with the members in
        the department or program, students enrolled in the department or program, the department
        chair, the dean of the school or college, and the Provost.

      5. The University President shall make recommendations for final actions.

      6. All plans for program discontinuance will be submitted by the institutional president
        to the UL System President no later than 60 days from the institutional president’s
        final recommendation.

      7. Approval by the UL System Board of Supervisors and the Board of Regents as applicable
        shall be required prior to the termination of any program.

    2. Externally-Initiated Directives

      The directive should include the effective date and scope for any program discontinuance.
      At that time, the Board of Supervisors and/or the Board of Regents shall provide the
      institution with the necessary implementation procedures and guidelines in accordance
      with the specific directive.

  3. Termination of Faculty

    Timing for phasing out programs and displacing faculty members will be based on institutional
    needs, including analysis of reasonable time for enrolled students to complete their
    degree program and budget constraints.

    1. Non-Tenured Faculty

      A faculty member without tenure who is terminated for reasons of program discontinuance
      will be given notification consistent with Board RULES.

    2. Tenured Faculty

      1. Termination of Appointments of tenured faculty may occur as the result of program
        discontinuance. Unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise, termination order
        shall be based on faculty rank and seniority.

      2. Recommendations on termination of appointments of individual faculty members will
        be made by the university president in consultation with appropriate faculty and administrators.

      3. All plans for termination of individual appointments will be reviewed and approved
        by the System President and the Board of Supervisors prior to implementation.

      4. Unless there is a compelling academic reason to do otherwise, no appointment of a
        faculty member with tenure will be considered for termination until the appointments
        of faculty members without tenure in the program have been considered for termination.

      5. Tenured faculty whose appointments are to be terminated shall receive not less than
        two full academic semesters/three full quarters notice prior to termination. Notice
        shall be provided no later than the first scheduled day of classes of the semester/quarter
        of such notice.

      6. However, in the event that any of the following budgetary conditions occur:

        1. an institution receives notification from the UL System Office of a 15% or more pending
          reduction in state appropriations to the institution effective the next budget year,


        2. an institution receives notification(s) from the UL System Office of reductions in
          state appropriations to the institution in the existing budget year that, in the aggregate,
          are 7.5% or greater, the following abbreviated or shortened notification periods will

          1. for actions that are to be effective the spring semester/quarter, or winter quarter,
            notice shall be provided no later than August 15;

          2. for actions that are to be effective the fall semester/quarter, notice shall be provided
            no later than January 15.

            This paragraph (lll(B)(6)) shall expire on June 30, 2014. Any notice(s) given prior
            to this date in conjunction with this paragraph shall remain in effect.

      7. In all cases, the notification letter may be sent before actual Board of Supervisors’
        approval is granted. However, the termination from employment may not occur until
        the Board of Supervisors has approved on its minutes, such termination of programs,
        as well as the termination of the specific employee(s).

  4. Obligations to Tenured Faculty

    1. Before terminating the appointment of a faculty member with tenure because of program
      discontinuance, reasonable efforts will be made to find another position within the
      university for which the faculty member is academically qualified, where a position
      is available.

    2. Assistance will also be provided by the System office for possible relocation to another
      campus within the System or to another institution within the state. Inter-campus
      transfers will be made if mutually acceptable.

  5. Other Rights of Tenured Faculty

    If a program is reinstated within three years from the effective date of discontinuance,
    tenured faculty members who were terminated as a result of this action will be considered
    for reinstatement.

  6. Other Rights of All Faculty

    1. To the extent possible, faculty members will be provided counseling regarding employment
      opportunities outside of the university.

    2. A faculty member whose appointment is terminated for reasons of program discontinuance
      has the right to appeal claims of denial of due process rights to a university-wide
      committee established for this purpose.

    3. No appeal will be considered by the Board of Supervisors.

  7. Notification to Students

    1. Before terminating a degree program, reasonable effort will be made to allow students
      to complete such program.

    2. Program or campus transfers will be made if mutually acceptable to the student and
      the receiving department.

    3. Students will be provided advising assistance with respect to their academic program

    4. Students will be notified of program closure and timing for phasing out programs.