Resolution EPC 23-16 Discontinuance Policy

Academic Senate Resolution

May 10, 2023

EPC 23-16

2nd Reading

Policy on Program Discontinuance

Approve: 33 /Oppose: 0/Abstain: 7

RESOLVED: The CSU Chancellor's Office approves and backs the execution of policy AAP 91-14, mandating a uniform discontinuation policy for all CSU campuses. This policy is crucial for ensuring consistency, fairness, and responsibility when ending academic programs or services, and it safeguards the interests of students, faculty, staff, and the community.


RESOLVED:  That the Academic Senate of California State University, Dominguez Hills (ASCSUDH) recommends the attached policy and process for uncontested and contested academic program discontinuance by an outside entity; and be it further,


RESOLVED: That the ASCSUDH distribute this resolution to the: President of CSUDH Provost, Deans, Faculty, Staff, and Associated Students Inc.


RATIONALE: No policy exists at CSUDH for contested or uncontested program discontinuance despite previous attempts by the ASCSUDH to make recommendations. See Request for Consultation in the Event of Proposed Program Elimination MSP 4/20/11Sense of the Senate Sent to Academic Affairs on 4/26/11; Exec 11-04 Resolution Policy on Discontinuance of Academic Degree Programs (Removed from Agenda 05/05/10) FPC 10-10 Policy and Procedures for Establishing, Disestablishing, Reconfiguring and/or renaming departments, and/or other administrative units that support academic instructional programs MSP 04/18/01. Academic Affairs response: No. Current Academic Affairs leadership requested the Academic Senate take up the issue of academic program discontinuance. Moreover, the Chancellor’s Office requires CSU campuses to have policy in place regarding contested and uncontested program discontinuance. The attached policy reflects the recommendations of the Educational Policy Committee who began with reflection on the past recommendations of the Senate. The EPC has worked on the attached resolution over the span of three academic years to provide a fair and equitable process for the Academic Senate to make recommendations to the Provost and the President in the event of contested academic program discontinuance. The recommended policy also makes clear the process for uncontested academic program discontinuance.

1. Definitions

1.1 A program is a designated and related cluster of credit bearing courses that constitute a coherent body of study within a discipline or a set of related disciplines. (AAUP, Recommended Institutional Regulations 4C2, 2011)

1.2 Financial exigency related to program discontinuance is a severe financial crisis that fundamentally compromises the academic integrity of the institution as a whole and that cannot be alleviated by less drastic means than the termination of tenured faculty appointments and academic programs related thereto. (AAUP, 4C, 2011)

1.3 Contested Discontinuance –. If there is an objection by a faculty member or department majority’s objection to a request for the discontinuance of a program that is made by one with agency as defined in section 2, then this will be considered as “contested” and vice versa.

1.4 Uncontested Discontinuance - represents discontinuing a program that has no opposition by any department, College Dean, and Provost, and which discontinuance does not negatively impact another department.

1.5 An "inactive program" is one that is not accepting new students.

1.6 For purposes of this policy.

1.6.1 Other than a situation of financial exigency, any decision to discontinue a program or department will be based essentially upon educational considerations, as determined primarily by the University Faculty or an appropriate committee of the University Faculty. “Educational considerations” do not include cyclical or temporary variations in enrollment. Educational considerations must reflect long-range judgments that the educational mission of the institution as a whole will be enhanced by the discontinuation of the program or department in question.

2.0 Initiation of Academic Program Discontinuance

2.1 Recommendation to discontinue a program may be initiated by:

2.1.1 the Chair of the degree program with the written approval of a majority of the tenured and probationary faculty in the program or, in appropriate instances, the program committee.

2.1.2 the Dean of the College in which the program is housed.

2.1.3 the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, but only regarding an undergraduate or blended program.

2.1.4 the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, but only regarding a graduate or blended program.

2.1.5 The Provost or President of the university.

2.2 The request for review of program discontinuance must be made in writing and accompanied by a clear and substantive rationale for discontinuance based upon the approved criteria adopted by California State University Dominguez Hill faculty and administration for discontinuance of academic programs.

2.2.1 An uncontested discontinuance will be processed through a curriculum review.

2.2.2 The rest of this document lays out the procedure for contested program discontinuance.

2.3 This original request for review must be sent to the following individuals and groups: the chair of the department, the faculty members in the affected department and program, the relevant curriculum committees, the deans of the appropriate college/school, the chair of the faculty senate, the provost, and the president. (AAUP, 4C,2011).

3.0 Academic Program Discontinuance

3.1 Should a program be requested to be discontinued, a duly constituted faculty body should participate in reaching the determination that a valid condition of financial exigency and/or other valid reason exists or is about to exist, and that all feasible alternatives to terminating the programs, which result in the termination of faculty appointments, have been fully exhausted. (AAUP, 4C2,2011)

3.1.1 To discontinue a program, an impact study must be carried to determine the program’s absence of impact on other academic programs.

3.1.2 Relocating tenured faculty to an appropriate or relevant degree.

3.2 Should the program requested to be discontinued become contested, the procedure as outlined in section 4 should be followed.

3.3 A program that is inactive for more than 5 years, where reactivation would require curriculum review will be automatically discontinued without review.

4.0 Process for Review of a Proposal for Program Discontinuance

4.1 The request to discontinue an academic program shall be sent to the Academic Senate Executive Committee and Provost. The provost shall review the proposal for discontinuance and either reject or begin the discontinuance within three calendar weeks.2.

4.2 After the request for program discontinuance review has been received, the chair of the faculty senate, in collaboration with the provost and the appropriate academic dean shall initiate the formation of an Ad Hoc committee. This committee will make recommendation to the provost as require by the CSU chancellor’s office.

4.3 Discontinuance Review Subcommittee (DRC) shall include representatives of EPC, FPC, UCC, Grad Council (If the program is graduate program)/Dean of Undergraduate, the Chairs Council from the college containing the program to be discontinued, a faculty representative from the program affected, the Dean from the college housing the program, a representative from the Office of the Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs, and a Representative from the Senate Executive Committee of the Academic Senate. All documented evidence shall be forwarded to the Ad Hoc Discontinuance Review Subcommittee.

4.4 Representatives of the academic program requested to be discontinued can challenge the request via written rebuttal sent to the Senate Executive Committee, electronically and in hardcopy, within thirty (30) days of their receipt of the request to discontinue.

5.0 Procedures if the DRC recommends continuance of a program

5.1 If, upon review, the DRC concludes that the program should continue, they shall present their decision to the provost, the dean(s) and chair(s) of the program affected, the chair of the faculty senate, the chairs of relevant curriculum committees, and faculty members of the program impacted.

5.2 The DRC shall include in its decision the rational to continue the program in its present or revised form, and an appropriate faculty workload analysis illustrating the positive impact the program will have on existing faculty and the university as a whole.

5.3 If DRC favors continuation of the program, it will make a recommendation to the president.


6.0 Procedures if the DRC supports discontinuance of a program

6.1 If, upon review, the DRC concludes that the program should be discontinued, they shall present their written findings and recommendations to the Academic Senate of the program affected, the chairs of relevant curriculum committees, and faculty members of the program impacted.

6.2 The recommendations of the DRC shall include

i. the rationale for discontinuance of the program

ii. details of the input, reports, and information used to reach the DRC’s decision;

iii. an analysis of faculty workload illustrating the impact that program discontinuance will have on existing faculty; and

iv. a proposal for how the university may find other appropriate positions within the institution for affected faculty member(s).

v. Before DRC recommendation of discontinuance is provided to appropriate constituents, the affecting program will be able to follow a pathway outlined in section 9.

6.3 The Academic Senate shall review the proposal and indicate approval or denial of the recommendation. The Academic Senate shall then recommend the continuation or the discontinuance of the program to the provost, who shall evaluate and recommend to the President based on the submitted evidence. The provost’s recommendation must be accompanied by documentation that indicates specific reasons for discontinuance based on the decision variables above.

6.4 Once the review of the DRC has been received, the relevant dean, department chair, and chair of the curriculum committee shall by written notice call a meeting of faculty members in the affected program. After deliberations at this meeting, there shall be a vote to accept or reject the recommendations of the DRC.

6.5 The vote of the faculty members should be communicated to the provost, chair of the faculty senate, dean, and departmental chair(s) within 24 hours. The faculty of the program may additionally choose to respond to the specifics of the DRC’s recommendation regarding program discontinuance. This written response shall be communicated to the provost, chair of the faculty senate, dean, and department chair(s) within ten days of the vote.

6.6 Upon the recommendation of the Provost, the President shall review the proposal and indicate approval or denial of the recommendation. Specific reasons for the discontinuance based on the decision variables must be articulated in the provost’s proposal and the President’s decision. The President's decision shall be communicated promptly to all those directly affected by the recommendation. A decision to discontinue must be submitted to the Chancellor's Office.

7.0 Relevant Documentation to be reviewed by the DRC will include but is not limited to:

7.1 The most recent program review reports that relate to achievement of the goals mentioned in prior planning documents.

7.2 Current syllabi for all sections of all courses currently being offered by the program.

7.3 Any available information concerning community needs for graduates from the program and/or employability of alumni.

7.4 Information from the Office of Institutional Research on enrollment, courses, and retention data, including FTES figures for the number of majors and minors, a list of        service courses offered by the program, and enrollment data relevant to these courses.

7.5 A six-year compendium of budget allocations for the program. The six-year period matches to assessment and is roughly the average WASC accreditation timeline.

7.6 A six-year list of yearly staffing levels in the program. For each year, the number of tenured, tenure-track, full-time, and part-time lecturers will be traced.

7.7 An analysis of whether the proposed discontinuance of the program could result in the layoff of faculty employees, including part-time and full-time temporary faculty. If the discontinuance could lead to the layoff of bargaining unit employees, the analysis shall also include options, if any, that might be implemented to avoid or mitigate possible layoffs.

7.8 An analysis of the effect that program discontinuance or merger might have on external grant and contractual obligations.

7.9 Data that may be useful in comparing the program under review with other programs at the University using standard indicators of performance.

8.0 The Subcommittee will make a recommendation to discontinue a program based on the following decision variables:

8.1 Importance to the Institution

8.1.1 To what extent is the program central to the university’s mission as described in the mission statement, vision, and core values?

8.1.2 To what extent the program's courses are central to the curriculum of a department, a college, or the University?

8.1.3 To what extent the program provides a special service to the workforce?

8.2.2 Quality of the Program

8.2.1 To what extent the quality of the program is adequate to justify continuance in its present form? Program quality may be assessed by program review, external review, accreditation review, or an ad hoc review. The variables for evaluating program quality may include:

8.2.2 The ability of the faculty to offer and maintain a current and rigorous curriculum.

8.2.3 An effective assessment program that measures the extent to which students are achieving the desired learning outcomes and in which assessment data are used for program improvement.

8.2.4 Availability of resources adequate to maintain sufficient breadth, depth, and coherence of the program.

8.2.5 Evidence of support for student success, which may include: advising program. Student commitment, motivation, and satisfaction. Co-curricular learning experiences relevant to the program goals, such as internships, research experiences, and study abroad. Other accomplishments by current and former students that reflect on program quality. The graduation rate in the program. Demonstrated ability to attract and retain well-qualified faculty. The quality of the program's faculty as demonstrated by teaching and participation in appropriate scholarly, creative, and/or professional activity. To what extent do the program's excellence and standing in its discipline enhance the reputation of the university?

8.3 Efficiency and Demand for the Program

8.3.1 To what extent is the program cost-effective relative to disciplinary norms compared to similar programs at comparable institutions? The measurements presented may include: the student-faculty ratio, total cost per FTEF, and total cost per FTES. Other discipline-specific variables may also be used.

8.3.2 To what extent the present and projected demand for the program is sufficient? Demand for the program may be measured by one or more of the following: The number of applications for admission received that meet minimum CSU eligibility requirements. The number of students admitted. The FTES generated in lower-division, upper-division, and/or  graduate-levelcoursesfulfill the degree require ments of the  program. The number of students who completed the program. The anticipated need of the workforce for graduates of the program.

9.0 Discontinued Academic Programs

9.1 If there is a finding for discontinuation, the impacted department will be provided a program review cycle to address the reason for discontinuation.

9.1.1 Program pathway issues were identified in the last two program review cycles without reasonable progress, DRC would recommend discontinuation. If there is a demonstration of reasonable progress on these issues that were identified in the last program review cycle and there is a demonstration of reasonable progress, the DRC would recommend the following grace periods: If a program for considered for discontinuance is already in a program review cycle (greater than 2years), then there will be a maximum of three years. If a program for considered for discontinuance is already in a program review cycle (less than two year), then there will be an additional full review cycle. If issues for discontinuance were not identified in the last program review cycle, DRC will provide the department with an opportunity to address them within one review cycle.

9.1.2 Reasonable progress will be determined from an annual program review done by an external program evaluation entity. This entity must demonstrate that the department has made satisfactory and projective progress to address the issue(s) raised.

9.1.3 A program given a grace period must consult an external reviewer and submit a plan indicating how they will address the reason for discontinuation within 90 days of the finding for discontinuation. DRC, with the review, will make recommendations, if necessary, for the plan to be approved. After three years, the DRC committee will convene to review the program's progress and again after program review. Programs under the grace period will be required to have a yearly annual review

9.1.4 A recommendation of discontinuation for negative outcome 9.2.1. The DRC would commence with a recommendation for discountenance to the provost.

9.2 If determined that the department plan works to mitigate the reason for the discontinuation, then the discontinuation will stop. However, if the department fails to remedy the issues, then discontinuation will proceed.

9.3 If a program is to be discontinued, the department offering the program shall develop a plan to close the program after the Chancellor has commented on the discontinuance. It shall include roadmaps that allow students to continue a reasonable path to a degree. The plan shall include information about possible other programs at CSUDH and programs at nearby institutions for possible transfer.

9.4 The plan shall include the following dates:

9.4.1 The date after which no new students shall be admitted to the program.

9.4.2 The date after which the program shall be ended.

9.5 It will be the responsibility of academic departments to advise students currently enrolled in the discontinued program, as well as students who have recently applied for admission to the program.

9.6 The Office of the Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs shall be responsible for coordinating the discontinuance with the Admissions Office, the Registrar's Office, and University Effectiveness, Planning, and Analytics, and other interested parties on campus.