Source:   UIC Office of Programs and Academic Assessment Website

Eliminating and Suspending Degree Programs

Eliminating and Suspending Degree Programs


The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) maintains an inventory of all approved degree programs at Illinois public and private colleges and universities. To view the inventory, see Program Inventory.

The IBHE undertakes a periodic review of all existing units of instruction to advise the appropriate governing board whether such programs continue to be educationally and economically justified. Further, it is important that the academic programs that UIC advertises to the public and potential students be active and available to them if they qualify for admission. For these reasons, it is very important that the list of approved degrees be as current and accurate as possible, and that the Office of Programs and Academic Assessment (OPAA) be aware of the status of all academic programs.

There are two pathways to deactivating a degree program. If a unit no longer has the capacity to offer an approved program, it should be eliminated. If a unit wishes to suspend admission to a program due to a temporary inability to offer it or because the unit intends to formally initiate the process of an eventual permanent elimination, it should be suspended, which requires fewer review and approval steps.

Suspending a degree program that a unit intends to ultimately eliminate may be beneficial in order to remove the program from campus publications in an expedient manner, so that students do not apply for or plan to enroll in the inactive program.

Procedures for both processes are explained below.

Eliminating a Degree Program

A proposal to eliminate a degree program should be prepared by the offering academic unit; the Format for Academic Program Changes is used for this purpose.

A sample of a proposed elimination is available for your viewing.

Review Process

Once approved by the appropriate department and college/school, the proposed elimination should be forwarded electronically to the OPAA (Dana Wright). If the program is within the Graduate College, it will be forwarded to the Graduate College for its review and approval, and then sent to the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (for action), Senate (for action), Senate�s Conference (for classification), Board of Trustees (for action) and IBHE (reported on an annual listing). All review steps must be followed before a program can be eliminated.

Suspending a Degree Program

To suspend a degree program, a memo should be emailed from the unit head or designee of the sponsoring unit to the college/school, and the college/school should forward the endorsed request to OPAA (Dana Wright). The email should, in general, follow the categories included in the Format for Academic Program Changes, and state specifically:

-the program(s) to be suspended
-the reason for suspension
-the anticipated time period of the suspension, if known

The request for suspension will be forwarded to the Graduate College for its information if the program is within the Graduate College, and to the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP) for its information.

There are no additional approvals required for suspending a degree program, except that, depending on the type of suspension, the OPAA may need to report the suspension to the IBHE.

The OPAA staff may periodically check with units on the status of various suspended programs in order to report this information to the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Responsibility of the Sponsoring Unit when Suspending/Eliminating Programs

It is the responsibility of the sponsoring unit to

-insure that continuing students who are enrolled in a suspended or eliminated degree program be allowed to complete the program until graduation or withdrawal from the program.
- insure that any other affected units are notified of the suspension/elimination (e.g., for undergraduate programs, notify the support programs, units that teach courses taken by students in the eliminated program, etc)
-insure that students who are in the middle of the application process for a future term are treated fairly (i.e., informed in writing and assisted in finding alternative degree programs).
-for undergraduate programs, notify community college advisors and counselors
-notify accrediting agencies of the status of the program, if applicable.

Responsibility of the Office of Programs and Academic Assessment When Suspending/Eliminating Programs:

Ordinarily, the OPAA will do the following upon an approved suspension OR elimination:

-Notify the Catalog Office to remove the program from the undergraduate/graduate catalog.
-Insure that the degree is removed from the degree listing advertised by the Office of Admissions
-assist units with removing the program from undergraduate and graduate (web) and print applications
-Notify the Illinois Board of Higher Education, if necessary.

Phase-Down Status

When degree programs are eliminated, continuing students are allowed to finish their degree programs until they either graduate or leave the program, but no new students are allowed to matriculate into the program. This period of time in which the program is graduating continuing students but not accepting new ones is referred to as phase-down status. The program code is modified in Banner to implement this status.

Once all continuing students have completed the degree or left the program, the program code in Banner is terminated so that no student may be admitted, register, or be awarded the degree in Banner.

OPAA monitors programs on phase-down status and suspended programs for the campus.

Questions about suspending and eliminating programs should be directed to the OPAA.