Department or School Reorganization

Academic departments or colleges may find it necessary or desirable to change their organizational status by splitting, merging, transferring, or eliminating their department. Reasons for such changes vary, for example, 

  • Academic discipline changes
  • Industry standards or expectations change
  • Academic programs within a college require re-alignment
  • Student demand and profile exceeds capacity of the current department
  • Small degree programs/departments need to merge to reduce costs to retain program offerings

All such changes impact the Academic Program Catalog in CMS and may also impact curriculum articulation, academic advising, student records, admissions, and/or financial operations, data reporting requirements, academic scheduling and/or personnel management structures. Such changes require review, consultation and recommendation for approval by the following the process below (per University Policy S13-9 [pdf]).

Approval Process

The process to split, merge, transfer, or eliminate a department requires a vote of the department faculty and approval of the College Dean and Provost. An official memo requesting split, merge, transfer, or elimination must be routed for approval. Colleges are responsible to inform the Offices of Undergraduate Education and Graduate Studies of a proposal. The memo will be routed as follows to ensure adequate consultation with all stakeholders has occurred, and that policy has been followed. In addition, the signature should indicate that the proposal includes all required components per S13-9 [pdf].

  1. Department Chair or School Director
  2. College Curriculum Committee
  3. College Dean (or designee)

The proposal shall  then be submitted to the Provost for final approval. 

Required Components of the Memo 

The change has must be approved by College no later than October 1st to be effective the following academic year. The memo should address the following, as applicable:

  1. Brief description about department, its history, and a rationale for the proposed change.
  2. Faculty Support. Describe how meaningful consultation with all affected academic departments, staff, and students was completed. The consultation must provide for sufficient time for affected faculty, staff, and students to consider the proposal and, in the case of faculty, to express their opinions by vote. Evidence of a vote must be included in the proposal. For voting rules see S13-9 [pdf].
  3. Resource Implications. List of how/if faculty will be separated into each “new” department/RPT Implications.
  4. Curriculum and Accreditation Implications. Program Revisions or Course Proposals may need to be submitted in Curriculog. Include a description of necessary curricular changes; e.g., course distribution, prefix changes, cross-listings, etc.
  5. Implications for Students. Describe how students will be impacted by this change.

After the Approval 

After the department proposal has been approved, the Curriculum Analyst will update the Academic Catalog and notifies Academic Scheduling, forwarding an instructor relocation list if applicable, and Institutional Research.

Department and college updates in-house materials, as applicable (business cards, stationery, websites, etc.) and makes appropriate announcements to students (current and prospective) and other campus units. Departments may also need to complete a series of task to implement name changes with all other applicable University stakeholders. View the Administration & Finance guidelines for more information.