Subject: Academic Program Suspension

Effective: 1/29/87
Last Revised: 1/14/08

An academic program may be suspended for many reasons, including change in campus mission, low enrollments, and lack of resources. A campus may choose to suspend a program in order to gain time before restructuring the program or eliminating it. The following procedure should be followed in the case of suspending an academic program.

An academic program can be assessed for possible program suspension:

1) as a result of the program review process, or
2) at any time at the initiative of the campus offering the program, or
3) at any time at the initiative of the Chancellor.

A program should not remain in the suspended state for longer than three years. By the end of the third year, a decision should be made to restructure and re-institute the program or to eliminate it. In the case of a decision to eliminate, the formal program elimination process will be initiated.

Academic degree program suspension process shall including the following:

  1. The initiation of the Program Suspension Procedure, including notification in writing by the President to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and to the Associated Faculties of the University of Maine System of the intent to develop a Program Suspension Proposal.
  2. The development of a Program Suspension Proposal, which shall normally include the following:

    a. A five-year summary of program enrollments (number of majors and number of graduates) and number of faculty equivalents (FTEs) associated with the program.

    b. The specific rationale for the suspension of the program.

    c. The relationship of the program suspension to the institutional mission and to other programs at the institution. Where faculty positions are involved, UMS will follow the AFUM agreement and will consult with the appropriate faculty governance body.

    d. A plan for the assignment of faculty during the suspension period.

    e. The impact of the program suspension on students, including plans for assisting students to complete an appropriate degree program.

    f. A timetable for the program suspension, with date for consideration of the program for reinstatement or elimination.

    g. The input obtained from meeting and discussion with the appropriate faculty committees and with the Associated Faculties of the University of Maine System prior to completion of the proposal.

  3. Campus submission of the Program Suspension Proposal to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Vice Chancellor will make copies of the Program Suspension Proposal available to the Presidents and Chief Academic Officers of each campus for their information.
  4. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs’ recommendation, after consultation with the Chief Academic Officers, to the Chancellor for approval of the Suspension Proposal.
  5. The Chancellor’s informing the Board of Trustees of the Suspension at the next regular Board meeting.
  6. If a university desires to reinstate a suspended academic program, the President will notify the Chancellor in writing of the university’s intention and request approval to reinstate the suspended program. This letter must explain the reasoning for the reinstatement; detailing the importance of the program to the mission of the university and the State of Maine. The letter must also show how the university will maintain student enrollments, ensure financial stability, and keep the program viable in the future.

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