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Policy on Changing a "Program" to a "Department" (1997; Reviewed 2006)

The College Policy Committee understands that changing an existing program into a department is a complex process based on highly specific conditions. The Committee considers such changes serious; they should be carried out with an understanding of their impact on the whole College. The Committee does not wish to impose arbitrary rules but to offer general guidelines for reaching decisions about the formation of strong departments. The following guidelines are recommended:

The designation of an academic unit may be changed from "program" to "department" when that change is expected to enhance significantly the University’s ability to carry out its mission of education and scholarship. Such changes will be made on the recommendation of the Dean, in consultation with the program and the College Policy Committee. Issues to be considered in recommendations for departmental status will include: a) whether there is an identifiable academic discipline represented by the program; b) whether there is likely to be a long-term need for such a department that could not be equally well provided by existing programs or departments; c) whether there are sufficient resources to provide a large enough full-time equivalent (FTE) faculty to conduct the teaching, research, and administrative responsibilities of a department; d) whether there is a core number of senior faculty with greater than 50% FTE to provide a strong base for promotion and tenure decisions; and e) whether such units have departmental status in comparable institutions.