Academic Programs Committee ReportsUniversity of Saskatchewan
Academic Programs Committee of Council
University Course Challenge Procedures and Moribund Course Procedures
April 18, 2002
University Course Challenge
The following curricular changes are approved by University Course Challenge:
- New courses
- Prerequisite revisions
- Course deletions (unless deleted by Moribund Course Archive policy)
- Minor program changes: Substitution of a different course or courses for an existing course or courses in an approved program.
- Addition or deletion of a requirement within an approved program.
- Addition of a lower Level of Concentration.
- Changes (addition, deletion, substitution) to prerequisites or co-requisites for an approved course if the changes affect a program, course, or unit outside the sponsoring unit.
- Changes to an approved course if the changes affect a program, course, or unit outside the sponsoring unit. This includes changes in course structure's for example, length of laboratories, additional tutorials, changes in term of offering, change in schedule of offering.
- Changes to the majority of courses in an approved program (structure, content, scheduling).
The University Course Challenge procedures are based on the following principles:
1) A University is more than a loose federation of Colleges and Departments. Therefore, there is an onus on Colleges and Departments to consult widely both within and among units. Given the limited resources available, consultation among units must occur to ensure that unnecessary duplication is avoided and that students depending on courses from other units are not disadvantaged.
2) Although courses and programs are developed by individuals, Departments, and Colleges, when approved, they become part of the offerings for which the University of Saskatchewan is publicly accountable and for which the University may be legally held liable if incorrectly advertised.
3) The approval process should be clearly articulated and available to all faculty, departments, and colleges in print and electronic formats. Procedures need to be in place that encourage rather than inhibit departments/units from an ongoing review of courses.
4) Each incremental level of the approval process should have a clearly defined function and should add value to the approval process.
5) The role of the Academic Programs Committee will be to establish procedures for Colleges to follow and to monitor the changes that have been made.
6) The University Calendar is the University's contract with its students. Therefore, the information contained in the University Calendar related to course and program listings should fully and fairly set out what the University can promise to its students.
These procedures are to be used by all Colleges and Departments for approval of undergraduate, graduate and university-level diploma courses and minor program changes.
After approval at the College level, the college prepares an announcement of the proposed change and forwards it electronically to the Office of the University Secretary. The Office of the University Secretary circulates the proposal widely throughout the University community with a directive that if listed changes are not challenged within a prescribed period of time, changes will be incorporated into the University Calendar.
This material is distributed electronically, as an email attachment. The distribution list consists of all deans, associate deans, assistant deans, department heads, and administrative staff who deal with program changes. Anyone wishing to challenge a proposal will have two weeks to do so (or four weeks at Christmas and in the summer).
Format for submission of material for the University Course Challenge
All course and program changes shall be forwarded to the Office of the University Secretary in the following format:
· Course label, number, and credit unit assignment
· Course title
· Action being proposed (new, revised, deleted)
· Proposed calendar description of new or revised course
· Rationale for proposed new course or proposed modifications to existing course and an indication of how the course fits into the program of study
· Rationale for proposed deletion of existing course
· Proposed minor program changes accompanied by rationale and an indication of how the proposed changes fit into the program of study
· Names of persons and/or units consulted
· Contact person responsible for the proposed change
· Date approved at Department and at College.
All minor program changes and any course changes which affect the nature or course-sequencing of a student's program will normally take effect in the academic year following their approval (i.e., the year the information is published in the Calendar).
Automatic Approval Date
Colleges may assume that course and minor program changes have been finally approved if no Notice of Challenge is received from the Office of the University Secretary by the end of the fourth week after circulation.
How to Challenge a proposed course or program change
A Challenges to a proposed course or program change may emanate from any person (faculty, student, University officer), Department, College and/or committee. In the case of minor program changes, lack of consultation with other affected units will be sufficient basis for initiation of a challenge to the proposal.
Written or email notice of a challenge accompanied by reasons for the challenge will be addressed to the Office of the University Secretary with a copy to the College sponsoring the proposed change.
The Office of the University Secretary, in consultation with the Vice-President (Academic), shall ascertain whether the challenge can be resolved between the parties concerned within two weeks of circulation (four weeks at Christmas and in the summer)
If a challenge is not resolved, the Office of the University Secretary shall have the challenge placed before the Academic Programs Committee for resolution at its next scheduled meeting and shall notify the Dean of the College proposing the change and the person, unit, or committee proposing the challenge.
The Academic Programs Committee shall decide whether a challenge is frivolous and an appeal from such a decision shall be entertained by the University Council.
Course Deletions under the Moribund Course Archive Policy
Courses can be deleted under the Moribund Course Archive Policy without going through the Challenge procedure.
This policy establishes a course archive for moribund courses. A moribund course is one that has not been taught in the previous 48 months. Moribund courses will be retained in the course archive for an additional 48 months and then will be deleted. A moribund course does not appear in the Calendar but can still be activated for registration.
The following procedure will be used:
1. In May of each year, the Office of the Registrar will identify all courses listed in the current release of the Calendar that have not been taught in the previous 36 months. The department, college or interdisciplinary committee offering the course will be forewarned that the course will be declared moribund if not taught in the next 12 months.
2. If a course still has not been taught by the following May, it will be declared moribund. It will not appear in subsequent releases of the Calendar. The Office of the Registrar will maintain an archive of moribund courses. The Academic Programs Committee of Council will inform the department that the course has been declared moribund. The Committee will also notify departments that, if the course is required in any program, it should be taught, or the program should be deleted, or the requirement should be altered.
2. A moribund course may still be taught. The department should contact the Office of the Registrar when it schedules the course. These courses will be reinstated into the next release of the Calendar.
3. After four years in the moribund course archive, a course will automatically be deleted. Any subsequent teaching of the material would require approval of a new course.
This policy applies to all courses except special topics courses. Departments may still delete courses at any time through the usual Course Challenge procedure.