Policy R-41a

Number: R-41a
Date of Inception: March 29, 1994


Purpose: To provide for the procedure for the addition of programs for the graduate curriculum.

New graduate program proposals must take into account many criteria, and the process for approval involves a significant task. This is true because the university’s mission requires that the quality and scope of the programs maintain academic quality and enhance the mission of the university.

The proposal for the addition of a program is first submitted, normally by a chair or director, to the appropriate dean, who upon approving the request will forward the action for approval to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) with supporting documentation. On rare occasions, requests for addition of programs may come directly from a dean or the VPAA.

At this time, the VPAA will decide whether the documentation is sufficient to progress with the request or whether more evaluation, assessment, and study is required, including possible strategic, budgetary and accreditation considerations. Upon deciding that all documentation is sufficient to justify progressing with the request for addition of said program, the VPAA presents the request to the Graduate Council for faculty consideration. The Graduate Council will consider all submitted requests and supporting data and vote to either approve or deny the request, or may ask for clarification or changes and require the request to be resubmitted. If the request passes the Graduate Council, the VPAA will then submit it to the President and Board of Trustees for approval. After the Graduate Council, VPAA, President, and Board have approved the addition of a program, the department (with the help of the appropriate dean, the Graduate Council, and VPAA) will submit all required documentation and data  to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in accord with the Southern Association Substantive Change Procedure and any other appropriate accrediting bodies.


By action of the Graduate Council on March 29, 1994. Revised by the Graduate Council on April 15, 2011.