The Academic Senate decided Thursday to revise UPS 410.103, the Curriculum Guidelines and Procedures for degree programs, to govern how many deadlines should be allotted for the process of creating new academic programs.
The Senate is planning to add in its revision an additional new-program deadline for the first Monday of April.
UPS 410.103 defines several types of undergraduate and graduate degree programs and discusses the process of approving new program proposals by faculty. It also notifies faculty of an annual deadline for the first Monday of November in order to process new programs.
“The annual deadline for submission of new degree programs is too limiting, far too limiting,” said Director of graduate studies Katherine Powers, Ph.D.
Powers argued against the language in the document and said that “potential implementation” of programs would be highly unlikely for the following academic year. She instead proposed having two deadlines for new-program proposals which she said will counter the long process to help more proposals reach fruition.
New program proposals allow for faculty to work with the Office of Graduate Studies, Office of Undergraduate Studies and General Education to form courses and programs to better facilitate student success, according to Cal State Fullerton’s curriculum development website.
The current new degree program approval process starts with faculty who have a new degree idea contacting the Office of Academic Programs for consultation and approval. It then goes in front of the CSU board of trustees before the related department develops a full proposal, according to the Office of Academic Programs website.
It must gain approval in these departments, the Academic Senate and with the university president. If the program is perceived as beneficial, then it must be submitted to the Chancellor’s Office for final review and approval.
Liberal studies professor Mark Fischer, Ph.D, said the document revision emerged from a request made from the senate in the spring of 2016 which specifically asked for a review of new programs and proposal changes.
Fischer said previous revisions “eased” the process of new program proposals which can be submitted anytime and are not limited to fall semester.
Biology professor Sean Walker, Ph.D., said that if the Senate members were worried about implementations, he did not see the reason to have deadlines at all.
Walker questioned the value of the long process and whether it was worth setting a time frame for committees to get done in an academic year.
History professor Lynn Sargeant, Ph.D., said that the problem of not having defined deadlines is that it is “disruptive to workflow” and hinders the maintenance and processing departments from being efficient.
“I agree with the comment that it does not make sense to constantly be announcing new programs throughout the year. This would give some guidance about specific announcements of programs and I think it would help the flow of marching new programs through here,” said history professor Nancy Fitch, Ph.D.