Academic Degree Program Planning and Implementation Program Development Review

Effective Date: 
Reason for Policy: 


The intention of the Program Development Review process is to create regular opportunities for the Board, the Board's staff, and the leadership of the campuses to discuss collectively program development planning on the respective campuses. Program plans will be considered within the context of the mission and strategic directions of the System and the individual campuses. Further, the process would enable the Board of Higher Education to exercise its policy role by balancing System and campus considerations, mindful of the efficient use of resources.

Policy Statement: 


Primary criteria for proposing new academic programs and directing discussion during the Board's review include:

  1. The needs of Oregon and the state's capacity to respond effectively to social, economic, and environmental challenges and opportunities;
  2. Student demand that may not be met satisfactorily by existing programs;
  3. Number and types of students to be served and their social and economic characteristics;
  4. The intended effects (and potential unintended effects) of the proposed program on existing programs;
  5. The resources necessary for the program are already available as parts of existing programs or have been identified within existing budgets and will be reallocated;
  6. The congruity of the proposed program with the campus mission and its strategic direction; and
  7. The program, where appropriate and feasible, represents a collaboration between two or more institutions that maximizes student access, academic productivity, and quality.

Suggested Process

A.    Campuses will advise the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, in advance of the September Academic Council meeting, of their interests to seek Board agreement-in-concept to plan a new degree program[1]. Campuses would provide a brief (two-page) narrative description of the proposed program: what the program is intended to do, how the proposed program furthers the strategic directions of the institution, the resources needed to support the program within existing budgets, and an analysis of outcomes for graduates including employment prospects.

  1. The Academic Council will discuss, semi-annually, the proposed programs at the September and January meetings.

B.    The Board will discuss semi-annually the planning proposals with the presidents/chief academic officers and Board's staff during a work session twice a year at the October and February Board meetings. The Board's discussion would include an informal staff report of the Academic Council's discussion. The Board will provide direction to campuses for those proposals that should be developed as full proposals, including a timeline for implementation.

1.    Campuses will commit to a timeline for implementation of the proposed program (e.g., typically a two-year limitation).

C.    The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will analyze and review fully developed plans for proposed programs that the Board has authorized for planning. After the review has been completed satisfactorily, the program will be recommended for implementation to the Board. Campus plans will follow the protocol currently in use.

1.    The Academic Council will discuss the plans for new degree programs as part of the review process.

D.    When a new degree program is ready for implementation (i.e., analyzed, reviewed, and ready for staff recommendation to the Board), the Board will review the recommendation for authorization to implement the new degree program.

1.    The Board will not consider any request for authorization to begin a new degree program that was not previously approved for planning, except under extraordinary circumstances of clearly demonstrated urgency.

E.    New degree programs will be evaluated within five years of implementation, unless the need for an earlier evaluation is suggested by changes in circumstance.

1.     Under current Board policy, a follow-up analysis of a new academic program is conducted not longer than five years after implementation.

2.     To the extent possible, similar programs on other OUS campuses will be evaluated at the same time.


F.    The start date for the proposed Program Development Review process is January 1996. The first discussions of the planning proposals using this process will be conducted in January 1996 by the Academic Council and in February 1996 by the Board, presidents/chief academic officers, and Board’s staff. Because a small number of new academic programs are well along in the current planning process, programs ready before the start date for the new process will be presented to the Board as they become ready.


[1] At the present time, under Board policy, new degree programs include baccalaureate, professional, and graduate degrees of all types, certificates, and educator endorsements.

Original Source: 
OUS Board Policy