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NIPP Chapter 7: Academic Programs Procedures

This document outlines Chapter 7 of the Nelson Institute Policies and Procedures (NIPP) as approved by the Governance Committee on April 19, 2021 and modifications on March 20, 2023.


  1. While the Institute has academic programs and faculty, it does not have authority to confer degrees. The College of Letters & Science confers undergraduate degrees, and the Graduate School confers graduate degrees.


  1. The Instructional Committee conducts the initial review of proposals for all new academic offerings. Proposals should be submitted to the Nelson Institute Dean or Associate Dean for Education and Faculty Affairs for consideration by the Instructional Committee.
  2. Proposals for new programs can come from a number of sources, including, but not limited to, Graduate Program Committees, Undergraduate Committees, the Instructional Committee, Academic Planning Council, Governance Committee, small groups of faculty, the Associate Dean for Education and Faculty Affairs, or leaders of other units on campus.
  3. Consultation and Shaping
    1. Upon receiving a proposal from whatever source, the Instructional Committee will determine the best course forward. Proposals may be referred to one or more program committees for further development.
    2. The Instructional Committee will provide consultation and guidance to the group that is developing the program. Specific attention will be given to curricular aspects like course bottlenecks, class size, etc.
    3. When curricular and pedagogical aspects are sufficiently honed, the Instructional Committee will recommend to the Dean that the proposal be considered by the Academic Planning Council.
  4. Approvals
    1. The Academic Planning Council will consider a proposal after the Instructional Committee has indicated that the program adequately addresses a need or opportunity from an academic perspective. The APC will also consider budgetary implications such as staffing and teaching loads. Budgetary elements must be resolved within the APC in consultation with the Dean’s Office. The APC will make a recommendation regarding acceptance to the Dean.
    2. If the APC recommends acceptance by the Nelson Institute, the Dean will take the proposal to the next feasible meeting of the Governance Committee for a vote.
    3. If the Governance Committee approves the proposal, it moves on to university-level approval through Academic Planning and Institutional Research, a unit of the Provost’s Office. The instructional budget proposal will be amended accordingly.