7. NEW ACADEMIC UNITS AND ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
a. Actions that Require Approval by the Council of Chief Academic Officers and President and Chief Executive Officer: The following types of action require approval by the Council of Chief Academic Officers and the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Regents. Action is approved when the campus receives written notice from the President and Chief Executive Officer.
i. Concentrations (also called "minors"): A concentration may not exceed 24 credit hours at the baccalaureate level; 12 credit hours at the master's level; 18 credit hours at the doctoral level. Graduate certificate programs are not considered concentrations, and are determined at the campus level. Approval of academic concentrations (or “minors”) is motivated by: (1) a desire to ensure sufficient resources to offer a quality program and (2) a need to monitor the proliferation of new programs within the Kansas public postsecondary system. In many cases, development of a new concentration is the first step in the creation of a full degree program, hence the need for review and approval. In cases where degree programs already exist, neither of these two motivations apply. Hence, institutions do not need approval to establish an academic concentration in an area of study with a previously Board-approved degree program.
ii. Changing the name of an existing unit or degree title or consolidating two or more units or degrees in one unit or degree or splitting a unit or program into two or more units or programs.
b. Actions Requiring Approval by the Board: The following types of actions require approval by the Council of Chief Academic Officers, the Council of Presidents and the Board of Regents:
i. New schools, departments, and those institutes and centers requiring new state funding.
ii. New degree programs
iii. Extension of an approved degree program to a higher degree level, e.g., Associate Degree to Bachelor's Degree.
iv. New major under an existing degree name.
c. Approval of New Academic Program Proposals
(1) When the Board considers the establishment of a new degree program or major, information regarding its need, quality, cost and means of assessment become paramount. The minimization of unnecessary program duplication is a high priority of the Kansas Board of Regents.
(2) State universities must submit a complete program proposal to board staff and enter the proposed program into the Program Inventory Database. Once board staff receives a complete program proposal and the program is entered into the Program Inventory Database, the proposal will be available electronically for institutions to view. All institutions shall be automatically notified of the proposed program by email through the Program Inventory Database. Institutions with concerns, comments or objections to the new program must state those in writing to Board Staff within 45 calendar days of notification of the proposed program. During the 45 day calendar comment period, the list of concerns, comments and objections will be compiled by Board staff and forwarded to the state university for follow-up. The state university proposing the program is expected to communicate with other institutions filing concerns, comments or objections to minimize or eliminate the identified issues. Final proposals must include evidence that concerns, comments or objections have been addressed. This process is designed to make the approval process more transparent, improve proposals and reduce potential conflict related to unnecessary duplication. The 45 day calendar period shall run concurrently with the approval procedures for new academic program proposals.
The Board President and Chief Executive Officer, or designee, shall determine if each proposed program is similar to others in the state and may serve the same potential student population. A similar program is one that has a like CIP code, title, content or competencies. If the President and Chief Executive Officer, or designee, determines that one or more similar programs exist, the following information included in the program proposal narrative shall be taken into account: the ability/inability to offer the program collaboratively, the level of student interest in the program, existing and future labor market demand, and availability of clinical sites, if applicable.
Board staff shall compile, analyze and make recommendations to the Board on the information provided in the program proposal narrative. The recommendations and information provided shall be reviewed by the Board Academic Affairs Standing Committee to determine whether the program represents unnecessary program duplication before forwarding the proposal to the full Board for action.
ii. Procedures for Approval of New Academic Programs
After a complete program proposal is entered in to the Program Inventory Database, it shall be reviewed and considered as a first reading by the Council of Chief Academic Officers at its next regularly scheduled meeting. During the review, Council members may question the representative of the proposing institution regarding the proposed program. Council members will also consider any comments, suggestions or concerns received by Board staff. In addition, Council members will consider how the comments, suggestions and concerns have been addressed.
(1) The Council of Chief Academic Officers shall review and consider the proposal as a second reading at its subsequent regularly scheduled meeting. The Council shall make one recommendation based on a majority vote according to the following voting categories:
(a) Recommended: Proposed program merits implementation according to institutional and State priorities.
(b) Not Recommended: Proposed program does not merit Board approval at this time.
(2) The Council of Chief Academic Officers shall convey its recommendation in writing at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Council of Presidents. If the vote of the Council of Chief Academic Officers is unanimous, the Council may convey its recommendation to the Council of Presidents on the same day it is made.
(3) The Council of Presidents shall consider the proposal and forward its recommendation to the Board of Regents.
(4) The Board of Regents shall act on the proposal at its next regular meeting.
d. Application Procedure for New Academic Programs
i. State universities shall enter the proposed program into the Program Inventory Database.
ii. State universities shall complete and submit the “Basic Program Information” Form, which shall include the following:
(1) Proposing institution;
(2) Title of proposed program;
(3) Degree(s) to be offered;
(4) Anticipated date of implementation;
(5) Responsible department(s) or unit(s); and
(6) Center for Education Statistics, Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code associated with the program.
iii. State universities shall submit to Board Staff a "Program Proposal Narrative" and include responses to the following:
(1) Program Justification. Program proposals shall establish clearly the need for the proposed program. Need for a proposed program shall be judged on the basis of the following criteria:
(a) Is the program central to the mission of the institution? What are the locational and comparative advantages of the program?
(i) The proposed program shall be centrally related to the Board approved Mission Statement of the institution.
(ii) The proposal shall discuss and compare similar programs in other institutions in the Regents system and related programs in the same institution.
(iii) The proposal shall discuss and compare similar programs in the region and compare their quality with the program under consideration.
(iv) The proposal shall demonstrate why the program should be located at the proposing institution.
(v) The proposal shall consider and demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of the program being a freestanding, cooperative or joint program including collaborative degree options.
(vi) The proposal shall state where the institution ranks the proposed program in its list of priorities. The proposal shall state how this determination was made.
(b) What is the student demand for the program and what are the characteristics of the students who will participate in the program?
(i) The volume of student demand for the proposed program shall be demonstrated through some form of disciplined survey analysis.
(ii) Student demand shall be demonstrated to be at a sufficient volume to justify the program. Normally three years after inception of the program, doctoral programs should have five students, master’s programs should have 20 students, and baccalaureate programs should have 50 students.
(iii) Describe the characteristics of the pool from which the students will be drawn.
(iv) Describe the procedures and criteria for admission into the proposed program.
(c) What is the demand for graduates of the program?
The proposal shall demonstrate specific job opportunities including labor market demand data at both the local and state level. The proposal shall also demonstrate other post-collegiate experiences for graduates of this program.
(2) Curriculum of the Proposed Program. Program proposals will be expected to describe the curriculum of the proposed program and shall be judged on the following criteria:
(a) Describe the more important academic objectives of the proposed program, including the range of skills and knowledge future graduates will possess.
(b) The course work required of all students who major in this program shall be described.
(c) Internships and practica required of students in this program shall be described.
(d) If clinical are required, are sufficient sites available?
(3) Program Faculty. Program proposals shall establish clearly the requirements, costs and quality of the faculty for the program.
(a) Faculty Qualifications
(i) The instructional staff shall consist of a sufficient number of permanent faculty appropriately qualified for the level of instruction. Three years after inception, programs should be staffed according to the following guidelines:
Bachelors Program – 3 faculty with Ph.D. or appropriate terminal degree;
Masters Program – 3 additional faculty with Ph.D. or appropriate terminal degree;
Specialists and Doctoral Programs – 2 additional faculty with Ph.D. or appropriate terminal degree.
(ii) The proposal shall list all instructional staff who will teach in the proposed program. The list shall include the title of each instructional staff member, his or her highest degree awarded, and whether he or she is tenured or on the tenure-track.
(iii) The proposal shall differentiate core faculty from others who teach in the program.
(iv) The instructional staff shall consist of faculty whose academic specializations are appropriate to the new degree program.
(v) The instructional staff shall consist of faculty whose academic, instructional and scholarly accomplishments suggest that the proposed program will be of high quality and appropriate to the institution’s mission, role and aspirations.
(vi) Identify other teaching requirements outside the proposed program assigned to core faculty. Also identify the proportion of their assignments devoted to the proposed program.
(vii) The number, qualifications and rank of proposed new faculty shall be identified.
(viii) The cost of proposed new faculty shall be identified, along with expected timelines for their employment by the institution.
(b) How many graduate assistants will serve the program?
The proposal shall identify any necessary graduate positions and budgeted salaries.
(4) Academic Support. Program proposals shall establish clearly the requirements, costs and quality of the academic support services for the program.
(a) What are the academic support services for this program?
The advising services, library, audio-visual and academic computing resources shall be of sufficient volume and quality to support the program effectively.
(b) What new library materials and other forms of academic support are required beyond normal additions?
(i) The expected number of library acquisitions shall be identified with anticipated costs.
(ii) New or enhanced forms of academic support shall be identified with the anticipated costs.
(c) What new supporting staff will be required beyond normal additions?
The proposal shall list support staff requirements and budgeted salaries.
(5) Facilities and Equipment. Program proposals shall establish clearly the requirements, costs and quality of the facilities and equipment for the program.
(a) What are the anticipated facilities requirements (existing, renovated or new)?
(i) Space requirements shall be sufficient to the instructional and laboratory needs of the program. The facilities needed for the delivery of a high quality program shall be itemized.
(ii) Renovated or new facilities shall carry a fiscal note, identifying necessary work and additional costs.
(iii) Sources of funding for renovation and new construction shall be identified.
(b) What new equipment will be required beyond normal additions?
(i) Equipment requirements shall be sufficient to the instructional and laboratory needs of the program. A statement shall be made about the equipment needed for the delivery of a high quality program.
(ii) The proposal shall itemize available inventory, including equipment condition and life-span.
(iii) The proposal shall itemize new equipment needs.
(6) Program Review, Assessment and Accreditation. Program proposals shall establish clearly the institution’s plan to monitor, maintain and enhance the quality and effectiveness of the program.
(a) What program review process or evaluation methods will be used to review the program?
(b) What student learning outcomes measures will be used to assess the program’s effectiveness?
(c) What are the institution’s plans regarding program accreditation?
(i) The program shall identify the specialized accrediting agency where applicable.
(ii) The proposal shall identify institutional plans to have the program accredited, including timelines and projected costs of achieving and maintaining accreditation.
e. Expedited Program Approval
This expedited program approval process is designed to allow state universities to respond quickly to distinct opportunities to meet workforce, economic or other special needs.
i. Request for Approval
To request approval to offer a program under the expedited approval process, a state university shall enter the proposed program into the Program Inventory Database and submit a “Statement of Intent” to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Statement shall be limited to two pages and shall:
(1) Justify the need for expedited implementation by demonstrating that the program:
(a) has a direct and immediate impact on meeting workforce, economic, or other special needs and/or has been directly requested by a corporate, industrial or public entity;
(c) meets all the requirements of Board policy on off-campus delivery of academic courses and programs.
(2) Describe the proposed program, including:
(a) an overview of the program and curriculum;
(b) the title of program, responsible department(s), degree(s) to be offered and CIP code;
(c) the anticipated date of implementation; and
(d) any new required resources and how those will be funded.
The Vice President for Academic Affairs will review the “Statement of Intent” and, if approved, shall electronically submit the Statement to the Council of Chief Academic Officers and Council of Presidents. The Councils shall have fourteen calendar days to review and comment on the proposed program.
The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall review the proposed program and any comments received, and provide a recommendation to the Board President and Chief Executive Officer for final consideration.
ii. Annual Report
By December of each year following a program’s implementation, state universities with programs approved using the expedited approval process shall provide the Vice President for Academic Affairs an annual update on the program. The update shall include:
(1) a brief description of program’s progress; and
(2) a description of any problems and/or barriers to success.
This report shall be provided until a final decision is made on program continuation.
iii. Final Recommendation
Five years after the program’s implementation, the university shall provide the Vice President for Academic Affairs a report on its progress and recommend that it either be placed in the regular program array or be discontinued. The report shall include information on:
(1) number of Faculty;
(2) number of Majors;
(3) number of students on schedule to graduate in six years;
(4) resources expended; and
(5) whether the program is meeting workforce and/or economic needs.
The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall review the information provided, and provide a recommendation to continue or discontinue to the Board President and Chief Executive Officer. If continued, the program shall be placed in the university’s regular program review cycle for reporting to the Board.
f. Requests for New Doctoral Programs: Because doctoral education requires a substantial commitment of resources in the areas of instruction and research, doctoral education will primarily occur at the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and Wichita State University.
i. Acknowledging that special or distinct opportunities for doctoral programs may arise, the Board may consider proposals for doctoral programs at Emporia State University, Pittsburg State University and Fort Hays State University under exceptional circumstances. Prior to the preparation of the New Program Proposal and undergoing the degree approval process, the proposing regional university must provide the Board with a "Statement of Intent" to develop a doctoral program. The “Statement of Intent” should be no more than two pages long. The “Statement of Intent” must demonstrate all three of the following:
(1) The proposed program will be distinct within the state university sector;
(2) The institution has a distinct research infrastructure and capacity in the proposed program area; and
(3) The proposed program captures a special or distinct opportunity that will justify an exception to the Mission, Role and Scope of the regional university.
The “Statement of Intent” will be posted on the New Program Alert System and forwarded to the Council of Chief Academic Officers and Council of Presidents for their respective review and recommendation to the Board.
Once the Board has approved the "Statement of Intent," the proposing regional university may submit a new academic program proposal for consideration.
ii. When any institution proposes a new doctoral program the Board of Regents shall employ three external consultants selected by the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Board to review the requesting institution's ability to deliver the proposed program and to review all similar programs in the system, if there are any. The criteria in section A.7.d. shall be followed by the consultants in determining the quality of the proposed program. The Council of Chief Academic Officers, the Council of Presidents and the Board shall review the consultants’ report before a final decision regarding the proposed doctoral program is rendered. All expenses of the special review shall be borne by the proposing institution. Cost of subsequent reviews related to deficiencies shall be borne by institutions found to have deficient areas.
g. Requests for Professional Practice Degree Programs: Since professional practice degree education requires a substantial commitment of resources in the areas of instruction and support, professional practice degree education will primarily occur at the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and Wichita State University.
i. The Board may consider proposals for professional practice degree programs at Emporia State University, Pittsburg State University and Fort Hays State University under exceptional circumstances. Prior to the degree approval process, the proposing regional university must provide the Board with a “Statement of Intent” to develop a professional practice degree program. The “Statement of Intent” will be posted on the New Program Alert System and forwarded to the Council of Chief Academic Officers and Council of Presidents for their respective review and recommendation to the Board. The “Statement of Intent” should be no more than two pages long. The “Statement of Intent” must demonstrate all three of the following:
(1) The proposed program will be distinct within the state university sector and/or align with professional association standards;
(2) The proposed program will be consistent with the Mission, Role, and Scope of the institution or justify why the proposal merits an exception; and
(3) The proposed program will be cost-effective and will not financially impact the quality of other programs.
Once the Board has approved the “Statement of Intent,” the proposing regional university may submit a new academic program proposal for consideration.
ii. When any institution proposes a new professional practice degree program, the Board of Regents shall employ three external consultants selected by the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Board to review the requesting institution’s ability to deliver the proposed program and to ensure that the proposed program is not unnecessarily duplicative of existing professional practice degree programs in the State. The criteria referenced in section A.7.d. shall be followed by the consultants in determining the quality of the proposed program. Before a final decision regarding the proposed professional practice degree program is rendered, the Council of Chief Academic Officers, the Council of Presidents and the Board shall review the consultants’ report. All expenses of the special review shall be borne by the proposing institution. Cost of subsequent reviews related to deficiencies shall be borne by institutions found to have deficient areas. Institutions do not need to undergo consultant review to establish a professional practice degree program in an area of study with a previously Board-approved doctor’s degree program.
h. Associate Degree Programs: The roles of the state universities and the State's community colleges and technical colleges should be clearly differentiated. Therefore, the Board of Regents discourages the state universities from offering associate degrees in academic or technical programs where the baccalaureate is available; provided, however, that the Board acknowledges that student demand and community needs may engender requests for associate degree programs, particularly in areas of technology education. Requests by state universities for associate level programs shall be considered through the new program approval process.
i. Program Discontinuance and Merger
i. In discontinuing any existing academic program, each state university shall follow its own Program Discontinuance Policy as approved by the Board of Regents.
ii. State universities that discontinue degree programs as a result of mission differentiation will be allowed to retain funding associated with those programs to improve the quality of remaining programs.
j. Centers, Institutes and Bureaus
i. The following general criteria apply to all centers, institutes and/or bureaus established in the state university system after June 28, 1995, with the sole exception of administrative and clinical units that are nonacademic in nature:
(1) Purpose: Establishment of such a unit should enhance the visibility of a given subject or activity. Each unit shall provide an exact and detailed description of its scope.
(2) Resources: Sufficient resources should be provided for any unit to meet the goal of increased visibility.
ii. Centers of Excellence established pursuant to K.S.A. 74-8106 or seeking funding pursuant to K.S.A. 74-8106 should have state and nation-wide recognition and should be unique within the State. Such Centers of Excellence require consideration and approval by the Centers of Excellence Committee created by the Board of Regents.
The Kansas Board of Regents believes that accreditation is an important indicator of institutional and program quality but that it must be balanced by considerations such as the relationship of accreditation to institutional mission, role, and aspiration, as well as the costs associated with accreditation visits and recommendations.
i. Board approval is required when any state university seeks accreditation for any program that it does not hold. Board approval shall be preceded by a formal proposal to the Board to seek accreditation. Where a program at any state university is unaccredited, Board approval must be obtained and granted prior to beginning the accreditation process. The proposal should include information on the accrediting agency and a table of costs associated with accreditation.
ii. The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall provide the Board with a report on the accreditation status of the state universities and their accredited programs each year. The report shall include information on a) whether the institution or the program is accredited for the full term of accreditation and b) whether the institution or the program has received full accreditation status or is on probationary status.
iii. Copies of all final accreditation reports shall be mailed to the Board office upon their receipt from the accrediting agency.
l. Reciprocal Agreements
i. The Board is authorized to enter into and implement reciprocal agreements with other states and colleges and universities of other states for the mutual utilization of educational facilities to permit access for residents of the State of Kansas to courses of collegiate, graduate, or professional study not offered by any of the institutions under control of the Board. All such agreements are to be approved by the Attorney General and filed with the Secretary of State. (K.S.A. 74 3219 and 3220)
ii. The Board is authorized to enter into and implement reciprocal agreements with governing boards of colleges and universities in other states or countries for pursuing courses of collegiate, graduate or professional study. All such agreements are to be approved by the Governor and filed with the Secretary of State. (K.S.A. 74 3221)
iii. The Board realizes that it should not expect the State to provide educational programs in all academic areas. As a result, existing reciprocal agreements and contracts for guaranteed admission (K.S.A. 76 721a) that provide education opportunities in dentistry, optometry, osteopathy and veterinary medicine shall be continued to avoid the development of such costly programs within the Kansas higher education system.
iv. The Chair of the Board shall be authorized to execute all such reciprocal agreements on behalf of the Board, subject to approval of the agreement by Board counsel as to legal form, without formal Board action.