How Do We Change the Name of Our Academic Program or Department?

Changes to the names of academic programs and departments fall under the purview of the L&S Academic Planning Council. Such changes require various levels of governance approval (including the University Academic Planning Council), as well as consultation with stakeholders (students, alumni), as well as with departments, schools and colleges that may be affected by the name change.

Academic Program Name Changes

As research progresses and fields evolve, it is not unusual to find that the name of an academic program no longer aligns with the program as it may currently exist. There are relatively simple procedures in place for obtaining approval for changes in program names. These procedures are necessary to ensure that appropriate oversight via faculty governance is pursued, and that all administrative areas affected by the changes are duly informed (e.g., transcript, catalog, degree audit). The proposal content guidelines are set by the University Academic Planning Council. Program faculty submit these proposals to the Dean (refer to the information on "Renaming Academic Programs" at the bottom of the page; see also the advice offered in the "Things to Think About..." document). They are then shared with L&S Departments and presented, with department comments, to the L&S Academic Planning Council for college-level approval.

Please note that changing the name of an academic program (e.g., the major or certificate program) does not imply that the name of the administrative unit housing that program will change, nor does it follow that the names of associated subject listings will change. (Each of these actions is a distinct action that must explicitly be requested and approved.)

Department/Program Name Changes

Just as the names of academic programs may need to keep pace with trends in research and scholarship, so, too, may names of departments.  Though less frequent than changes to program names, changes to department names follow procedures similar to those described above.  The process begins with preparation of a proposal that involves consultation with constituents and across units.  Program faculty submit these proposals to the Dean. Proposals for change are shared with L&S Departments and Programs, with an invitation to submit comment.  Proposals and comments are presented for consideration to the L&S Academic Planning Council for college-level approval.  When approved by the L&S APC, the Dean submits a recommendation to the Provost, who confers with the University Academic Planning Council and the University Committee. 

Changes to department names do not, necessarily, imply that the names of academic programs or subject listings will also change; if such changes are desired, they should be explicitly requested in the proposal. 

Changes to department names that reflect a substantial reorganization of the unit fall under other FP&P 5.01; see the L&S APC Policy on Creating, Restructuring, or Discontinuing Departments, Programs, and Department-like Units .  Substantial restructuring of academic units usually requires consideration by the Faculty Senate.

Changing the Name of a Subject Listing

Changes to subject listings (formerly known as "timetable departments") must be requested explicitly by a unit - departments and programs that are renamed should not assume that doing so will also change the name of an associated subject listing. The UAPC guidelines include an explanation of issues that can usually be addressed in a brief memo seeking the change; requests to change subject listings follow an approval pathway similar to that of changing the name of an academic program, moving from the department/program level to the college Academic Planning Council, to the Provost and University APC. As with other such requests, it is important to confer with other units (e.g., programs that draw heavily on the listing, similarly named or partner programs, cross-listing partners). The L&S APC will circulate the request within the college and across campus for comment prior to submission to the UAPC.

See Also:

Keywords:Naming Majors Curriculum APC   Doc ID:20052
Owner:Elaine K.Group:College of Letters & Science
Created:2011-08-29 14:49 CDTUpdated:2014-03-24 10:04 CDT
Sites:College of Letters & Science
Feedback:  1   1