Source:   UIC Office of Programs and Academic Assessment Website

Review Beyond the Campus


Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE)

The IBHE is primarily responsible for reviewing and acting upon proposals to establish new degree programs and centers and institutes, to set up off-campus degree sites, to change the name of an instructional unit or a degree title, and upon proposals to create new units of instruction (department, school, college, or other subunit) or to change the status of an existing unit (e.g., a department or departments to a school or the consolidation of several units into a single new unit).

The approval by the IBHE of a new Ph.D. program is a more complex process and is described in a separate section. The review process for the other types of proposals described above is as follows. All proposals that require IBHE action are submitted to the IBHE by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (OVPAA) through the BOT. The OVPAA will make certain that the proposals for new degree programs, centers and institutes, and off-campus degree sites are in the proper IBHE format and adequately respond to the issues and concerns of the IBHE.

Once the OVPAA is satisfied that the proposals are in order, they are forwarded to the IBHE by the BOT after BOT approval. With the exception of the Ph.D., all proposals are reviewed by the BHE staff. More often than not, the IBHE staff, after careful examination of a proposal, will react to the proposal in writing by asking for clarification of parts of the document, requesting additional information and data and, in general, challenging the rationale and conclusions of the proposal.

The proposing unit will prepare responses to the IBHE and submit those responses to the Office of Programs and Academic Assessment (OPAA). OPAA will review the materials and make whatever changes it believes are necessary to strengthen the responses. Often times this means meeting with the authors of the proposal in order to obtain more information or to seek clarification of any parts of the responses. When the responses are completed and ready for submission, they are sent to the OVPAA where they are reviewed again. The Vice President's office may request that OPAA and/or the author(s) of the proposal make further changes.

Once the OVPAA is satisfied with the responses, they are forwarded by that office to the IBHE. If the IBHE staff finds the responses acceptable, then the staff makes its recommendation to the Board of Higher Education. The IBHE staff (i.e., the Deputy Director) will inform the OVPAA of the Board's action, and the OVPAA, in turn, will notify the Office of Programs and Academic Assessment at Chicago.