Program Discontinuation Policy

1.00 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines and standards for the discontinuation of academic programs. This policy complies with Coded Memoranda AAP-91-14 and EP&R-79-10 from the Office of the Chancellor.

This policy is intended to reflect the University's commitment to the principles, goals, and ideals described in the CSU Monterey Bay Vision Statement and its core values.

1.10 Attribution

This policy is used by permission from CSU Channel Islands and adapted for use by CSU Monterey Bay.

2.00 Definitions

Academic program: a sequence of courses leading to a degree, a credential, and/or a certificate. Academic programs covered by this policy include undergraduate and graduate degree programs, credential programs, and credit and non-credit certificate programs.

Program discontinuation: or "sunsetting," means that the university is teaching-out a program. No additional majors can declare this program as their program of study; no new students can enroll in the program's Proseminar. The program will end upon the completion of the program by students enrolled at the time of the discontinuation decision and who remain continuously enrolled. It will be removed from the University Catalog as soon as the decision to discontinue is approved.

Program suspension: an approved program into which new students are not being enrolled. A program may be "suspended" without being discontinued. "Suspension" describes a state of admissions and enrollment. For example, at the undergraduate level, a decision may be made not to enroll new students in a major, minor, or concentration for a specified period of time. At the graduate level, a decision may be made to stop admission to a graduate program. Program suspension may be initiated by a department chair or a Dean. The decision shall be made by the Dean in consultation with the Provost. The program will remain in the Catalog although the University web site will clearly identify if students are not being accepted or admitted to the program for a specific period of time. This policy is about program discontinuation, not about program suspension.

3.00 Guidelines

Program discontinuation or "sunsetting" may be initiated by faculty, college dean, or the Provost.

A program may be discontinued or "sunset" by mutual agreement of the faculty, the dean, the Provost, ASEC, and the relevant Senate committee(s). An information notice is moved from the committee to the Senate, from the Senate to the Provost, and from the Provost to the President. A discontinuation review is not necessary if the parties are in agreement.

Should it be necessary to consider the discontinuation of an academic program and the parties are not in agreement, a determination will be based upon a discontinuation review of the following variables:

  1. The significance and contribution of the program to the University's mission and vision.
  2. The academic quality, rigor, and value of the program.
  3. The student demand, student accessibility, and cost effectiveness of the program.

In considering whether to discontinue a program, no one category is more crucial than any other. A decision to discontinue a program is based on a holistic assessment of the program in terms of quantitative and qualitative assessment of all of the decision variables, within a process that is broadly consultative.

3.10 Importance to the university

A program's importance to the university will be determined by the following criteria:

  1. The extent to which the program promotes the mission and vision of the University.
  2. The extent to which the program is central to the curriculum of the University.
  3. The extent to which the program provides a service to the surrounding community and the changing needs of the State of California.

3.20 Quality of the program

Program quality shall be assessed by program review, external review, and/or accreditation review and shall determine to what extent the quality of the program justifies continuance in its present form.

The evaluation of program quality shall include:

  1. Demonstrated ability of the faculty to offer and maintain a current and rigorous curriculum.
  2. Access to resources adequate to develop sufficient breadth, depth, and coherence of the program.
  3. Demonstrated ability to attract and retain well-qualified faculty.
  4. The quality of the program's faculty as demonstrated by participation in appropriate scholarly, creative and/or professional activity.
  5. The extent to which the program's excellence and standing in its discipline enhances the reputation of the university.
  6. Demonstrated ability to attract, retain, and graduate students in a timely manner that leads to student success.

3.30 Cost effectiveness & demand for the program

A program's cost effectiveness shall be determined relative to disciplinary norms and compared to similar programs at comparable institutions in the California State University system, in California, and in other states. The quality indicators and metrics presented shall include (1) student-faculty ratio; (2) numbers of tenured/tenure-track faculty and lecturers; (3) total cost-effectiveness of staff and facility allotment; (4) total cost-effectiveness per FTEF; and (5) total cost-effectiveness per FTES. Other discipline-specific variables may also be used.

Student demand for the program may be measured by one or more of the following:

  1. The number of completed applications for admission.
  2. The FTES generated in lower division, upper division, and/or graduate level courses.
  3. The number of students who complete the program in a timely manner.
  4. The anticipated need for graduates of the program.

4.00 Program discontinuation procedures

For undergraduate and graduate degrees, and credentials, the process for program discontinuance shall include faculty, the Department Chair, the College Dean, the Academic Senate, the Provost, and the President. This process shall be completed within one calendar year from the initial recommendation.

The procedures for program discontinuation are presented in an accompanying document; see the link above.

5.00 Continuous renewal

This policy shall be reviewed in five years from its effective date to determine its effectiveness and appropriateness. This policy may be reviewed before that time as necessary.

s/Eduardo M. Ochoa, President

Effective Date: March 2, 2015

Certification of Process:

Reviewed by: Deans & Provost Group, Academic Affairs Council, Academic Senate Executive Council, Educational Planning and Policy Committee, Post-Graduate Studies and Research Committee, Senate, Associated Students, Policy Facilitation Team, Provost.