251  Approval of Academic Programs, Units, and Modifications

Approved by Board of Trustees
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division:  Academic Affairs
Responsible Office:  University Provost
Responsible Officer:  Vice Provost for Academic Programs

I. Purpose

This policy establishes the procedures and processes for the submission and approval of academic action requests for new academic programs and new academic units, and requests to modify existing academic programs at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University).

II. Introduction

A.  The Board of Trustees (Board) has the power, subject to review and approval of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), to create new academic degrees and majors, new academic units (colleges, schools, divisions, and departments), off-campus extensions of existing academic programs, and new instructional locations (THEC Policy A1.0 – New Academic Degrees, A1.1 – Academic Program Modification, and A1.3 – New Academic Units).

B.  The authority to approve all other academic actions, with the exception of those powers the Board reserves to itself, as indicated below, is delegated to the President or Provost.

C.  All proposals for changes to the University curriculum should originate with the faculty and be reviewed through an established campus review process prior to review by the Provost, President, or Board of Trustees.

III. Process

Academic actions that must be approved by the Board.

A.  The Board reserves to itself the authority to review and approve the following academic actions:

1.  All academic actions that require review and approval by THEC.

2.  To establish or abolish academic colleges, divisions, schools, and departments.

3.  Revisions to University-wide admission, progression, and graduation requirements.

B.  Academic actions approved by the Board through Interim Action:

1.  The power to approve the following academic actions through interim action is delegated to the President or the Provost.

a.  Establishment of new concentrations, minors, and certificates (less than twenty-four [24] semester credit hours).

b.  Inactivation of majors, minors, concentrations, or certificates.

c.  Terminations of majors, minors, concentrations, or certificates (either at the end of the three (3)-year inactivation period or an immediate termination).

d.  Name changes for existing academic programs and administrative units.

2.  Summaries of academic actions approved through interim action will be reported at each regular meeting of the Board.

C.  Authority to approve all other academic actions. As chief academic officer, the Provost shall have the authority to approve all other academic actions, including the following:

1.  New course proposals.

2.  Revisions to existing courses.

3.  Inactivation or termination of existing courses.

4.  Changes to policies on program admission, progression, and graduation requirements.

5.  Name change to existing concentrations within an academic program.

6.  Curriculum modifications to existing programs.

7.  Conversion of an existing degree to one hundred percent (100%) online delivery.

8.  Other non-substantive revisions to curricula of major, concentration, minor, or certificate.

IV. Procedures

A.  All academic actions that require THEC review and approval shall follow the guidelines and procedures established by THEC.

B.  All academic actions that require notification to THEC, following approval on campus, shall follow THEC reporting procedures.

C.  The Provost shall be responsible for establishing procedures for review and approval of all academic actions that do not require THEC review and approval.

V. Sources of specific criteria and forms for reporting to THEC

A.  THEC Policy A1.0 – New Academic Programs: Approval Process

B.  THEC Letter of Notification (LON) Checklist

C.   THEC New Academic Program Proposal (NAPP) Checklist

D.  THEC Policy A1.1 – Academic Program Modifications

E.  THEC Academic Program Modifications – Checklist

F.  THEC Policy A1.3 – New Academic Units

G.  THEC Policy A1.5 – Academic Actions Notifications

H.  THEC Financial Projection Form

Forms: none.

Revisions: none.

Last Reviewed: November 2022.

References: THEC Policies A1.0-A1.5.