Program Proposal: Renaming an Existing Academic Degree/Major
On occasion, program faculty decide to rename an academic degree/major program. Such a change is proposed with a Lumen Program change proposal and is routed through appropriate department, school/college, and campus governance.
At the campus level, a proposal to rename an undergraduate degree/major requires formal approval/action by the school/college academic planning council and the University Academic Planning Council. Graduate-level degree/major name changes require formal approval/action by the school/college academic planning council and the Graduate Faculty Executive Committee, and then advance to the University Academic Planning Council for the Automatic Consent Agenda.
Following are some considerations to keep in mind when proposing a name change to an academic degree/major:
- The Lumen Program form will present questions relative to the name change, including such points as the justification for the name change; the impact on students, staff, and faculty; any reorganization of personnel and implications on the budget; any approvals from department and school/college committees; and any additional input from students currently enrolled in the degree, staff and faculty, and/or other constituents.
- Students who are already enrolled in the program must be consulted regarding the name change, and this communication with continuing students must be documented in the Lumen Program proposal.
- If all continuing students consent to the name change and acknowledge they will earn the degree/major with the new name, the change may continue.
- If continuing students (or a continuing student) does not consent to the name change, they must be given the opportunity to earn the degree name into which they enrolled.
- This may require extending the existing degree name into the future to enable the student to earn the credential, meaning it cannot be discontinued until after that student(s) complete. In addition, the proposal will required the detailed teach-out plan showing how the continuing students will be accommodated to finish the curriculum and program of study.
- At the graduate level, if the dissenting student accepts the option, this can be achieved with a Special Graduate Committee with the prior name.
- It is useful to discuss program name changes with the school/college dean's office and with other stakeholders, particularly with the name change impacts other departments and/or schools/colleges. Such discussions and agreements should be documented in the Lumen Program proposal.