University Policy: Instructional Programs, New
Policy Category: Academics and Faculty Affairs
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Information To Be Submitted in Support of Requests for Authorization to Offer New Degree or Certificate Programs or New Areas of Specialization for Existing Programs

(Endorsed by Oregon State Board of Higher Education, Meeting #429, March 23, 1976, pp. 2S1-2S5; Guidelines are taken from pp. 17-22 of the document entitled, "Request for Board Endorsement of Guidelines Proposed by Oregon Educational Coordinating Commission Relating to Review of New Programs and Locations," dated February 24, 1976, and presented to Committee on Instruction, Research, and Public Service Programs.)


(Name of Institution)


TO THE (name of degree or certificate) IN (academic specialty or area) Description of Proposed Program

  1. Definition of Academic Areas

    1. Define or describe the academic area or field of specialization with which the proposed program would be concerned.
    2. What subspecialties or areas of concentration would be emphasized during the initial years of the program?
    3. Are there other subspecialties the institution would anticipate adding or emphasizing as the program develops
    4. Are there other subspecialties the institution intends to avoid, in developing the program
    5. When will the program be operational, if approved?


  1. Department, School, or College Responsible

    1. What department and school or college would offer the proposed program?

    2. Will the program involve a new or reorganized administrative unit within the institution?


  1. Objectives of the Program

    1. What are the objectives of the program?

    2. How will the institution determine how well the program meets these objectives? Identify specific post-approval monitoring procedures and outcome.

    3. How is the proposed program related to the mission and academic plan of the institution?

    4. What are the employment outlets and the employment opportunities for the institution?


  1. Relationship of Proposed Program to Other Programs in the Institution

    1. List the closely related program and areas of strength currently available in the institution that would give important support to the proposed program.


  1. Courses of Study

    1. Describe the proposed course of study.

    2. What elements of this course of study are presently in operation in the institution?

    3. How many and which courses will need to be added to institutional offerings in support of the proposed program?


  1. Admission Requirements

    1. Please list any requirements for admission to the program that are in addition to admission to the institution.

    2. Will any enrollment limitation be imposed? Please indicate the limitation and rationale therefor. How will those who will be enrolled be selected if there are enrollment limitations?


  1. Relationship of Proposed Program to Future Plans

    1. Is the proposed program the first of several curricular steps the institution has in mind in reaching a long-term goal in this or a related field?

    2. If so, what are the next steps to be, if the Board approves the program presently being proposed?


  1. Accreditation of the Program

    1. Is there an accrediting agency or professional society that has established standards in the area in which the proposed program lies? (Please give name.)

    2. If so, does the proposed program meet the accreditation standards? If it does not, in what particulars does it appear to be deficient? What steps would be required to qualify the program for accreditation?

    3. If the proposed program is a graduate program in which the institution offers an undergraduate program, is the undergraduate program fully accredited? If not, what would be required to qualify it for accreditation? What steps are being taken to achieve accreditation?



  1. Evidence of Need

    1. What evidence does the institution have of need for the program? Please be explicit.

    2. What is the estimated enrollment and the estimated number of graduates of the proposed program over the next five years? If the proposed program is an expansion of an existing one, give the enrollment in the existing program over the past five years. Is the proposed program intended primarily to provide another program option to students who are already being attracted to the institution, or is it anticipated that the proposed program will draw its clientele primarily from students who would not otherwise come to the institution were the proposed program not available there?

    3. Identify statewide and institutional service area manpower needs the proposed program would assist in filling.

    4. What evidence is there that there exists a regional or national need for additional qualified persons such as the proposed program would turn out?

    5. Are there any other compelling reasons for offering the program?

    6. Identify any special interest in the program on the part of local or state groups (e.g., business, industry, agriculture, professional groups).

    7. Have any special provisions been made for making the complete program available for part-time or evening students?


Duplication of Effort 

  1. Similar Programs in the State

    1. List any similar programs in the state.

    2. If similar programs are offered in other institutions in the state, what purpose will the proposed program serve? Is it intended to supplement, complement, or duplicate existing programs?

    3. In what way, if any, will resources of any other institutions be utilized in the proposed program?



  1. Faculty

    1. List present faculty who would be involved in offering the proposed program, with pertinent information concerning their special qualifications for service in this area.

    2. Estimate the number, rank, and background of new faculty members that would need to be added to initiate the proposed program (that would be required in each of the first four years of the proposed program's operation, assuming the program develops as anticipated in item 9b). What kind of commitment does the institution make to meeting these needs? What kind of priority does the institution give this program in staff assignment?

    3. Estimate the number and type of support staff needed in each of the first four years of the program.


  1. Library

    1. Describe in as objective terms as possible the adequacy of the library holdings that are relevant to the proposed program (e.g., if there is a recommended list of library materials issued by the American Library Association or some other responsible group, indicate to what extent the institution's library holdings meet the requirements of the recommended list).

    2. How much, if any, additional library support will be required to bring the library to an adequate level for support of the proposed program?

    3. How is it planned to acquire these library resources?


  1. Facilities and Equipment

    1. What special facilities in terms of buildings, laboratories, equipment are necessary to the offering of a quality program in the field and at the level of the proposed program?

    2. What of these facilities does the institution presently have on hand?

    3. What facilities beyond those now on hand would be required in support of the program?

    4. How does the institution propose these additional facilities and equipment shall be provided?


  1. Budgetary Impact

    1. Please indicate the estimated cost of the program for the first four years of its operation, following the format found at the end of this document.

    2. If a special legislative appropriation is required to launch the program (as shown in item 4b of the estimated budget), please provide a statement of the nature of the special budget request, the amount requested, and the reasons a special appropriation is needed. How does the institution plan to continue the program after the initial biennium?

    3. If federal or other grant funds are required to launch the program (items 4c and 4d), what does the institution propose to do with the program upon termination of the grant?

    4. Will the allocation of going-level budget funds in support of the program have an adverse impact on any other institutional program? If so, which program and in what ways?


Instructions for Filling Out Summary Table

The table is intended to show the budgetary impact resulting from offering the new program. The table should be filled out from the viewpoint of the budgetary unit that will be responsible for the new program. Determine what the budgetary unit will be doing as a result of the new program that it is not now doing in terms of new or additional activities, and show what these will cost whether financed and staffed by shifting of assignments within the budgetary unit, reallocation of resources within the institution, special appropriation of the legislature, or gift, grant, or other funds.

For example, if the program is simply a rearrangement of courses already being offered, drawing on library resources purchased for other programs, and with no requirements for new or additional specialized facilities or equipment and no increase or decrease in students served by the budgetary unit responsible for the program, the budgetary impact is zero and will be so reported in the table.

If the program will require the budgetary unit to offer new courses or additional sections of old courses or other new or additional activities without increase in FTE or other resources assigned the budgetary unit, indicate that FTE of any changed assignment given faculty within the budgetary unit or reallocation of other resources in support of these new courses or activities. If FTE faculty or support staff assigned to the budgetary unit must be increased to handle an increased workload occasioned by the new program or to provide added competencies, indicate the total resources required to handle the new activities and workload (e.g., additional sections of existing courses) occasioned by the new program and footnote each item as to (1) how much of this total figure is from reassignment within the budgetary unit, and (2) how much is from resources new to the budgetary unit to enable them to offer the program.


New Instructional Programs, Follow-Up Review of External Review


(Adopted by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, Meeting #594, December 21, 1990, pp. 654-657; Amended at Meeting #688, April 21, 2000, p. 39 [also see System Strategic Planning Committee docket and minutes, April 21, 2000])


Policy for External Review of New Graduate-Level Academic Programs

Each Oregon University System (OUS) institution requesting a new graduate-level professional or graduate degree program, or significant new option within an existing graduate degree program, must complete an external review of the proposed program. The purpose of the external review is to consider the proposed program in relation to the Board's four goals quality, access, employability, and cost-effectiveness— and include evaluation that uses the criteria set forth in IMD 2.015(2) for review of new academic programs. These criteria are:

  • The needs of Oregon for higher education and the state's capacity to respond effectively to social, economic, and environmental challenges and opportunities.
  • Where appropriate and feasible, the program is a collaboration between two or more institutions that maximizes student access, academic productivity, and quality.
  • The congruity of the proposed program with the campus mission and its strategic direction.
  • The resources necessary for the program are available within existing programs; have been identified within existing budgets and will be reallocated; or will be secured to meet reasonable time lines for implementation, typically within a two-year limitation.
  • Program duplication is primarily of concern at the graduate and professional levels; therefore, a duplicated graduate or professional program must be specifically justified in terms of state's needs, demand, access, and cost-effectiveness.
  • Student demand that may not be met satisfactorily by existing programs.


Guidelines for External Reviews

The External Review Panel

The external review process for a proposed new graduate-level degree program must include a site visit by a panel composed of three highly qualified individuals in the specific field/discipline of the proposed program. Although scholars and professionals from Oregon may be included, the majority of the panel members must be selected from peer institutions outside the state. Only under extraordinary circumstances may an individual from an Oregon University System institution serve on the panel.

The selection of the panel members shall be determined by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the institution, from a list of candidates provided by the proposing institution.


Institutional Responsibilities


Site Visit

Invitations to serve on the external review panel and to act as chair are extended by the institution. The institution will provide panel members with (1) the full written program proposal, (2) participating faculty vitae, (3) the projected budget, (4) other supporting or contextual materials, as needed, and (5) a site-visit schedule and itinerary, including all arrangements. All costs associated with the external review will be borne by the institution.


Report and Institution's Response

On the basis of its visit, review of materials, and panel members' expertise, the panel will make a written report for which guidelines are provided. After receipt of the panel's report, the institution may elect to withdraw the program proposal from further consideration and notify the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs that the external review panel has satisfied its charge.

If the institution wishes to proceed, the academic unit must respond, in writing, to the panel's recommendations and assessments. The revised program proposal, external review report, and any institutional responses will be submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, for consideration by the Academic Council. Subsequently, the review and approval process set forth in IMD 2.015(3) for all new academic programs will be followed, including provision for an institution to submit for Board consideration a program proposal that does not have the support of the Academic Council or the Chancellor's Office.


External Review Panel Responsibility

The external review panel's primary task is to evaluate, not investigate. All data, information, documentation, and supporting material will be provided by the institution, thus enabling the panel to focus its efforts on the review.

The panel is responsible for preparing the final report in a timely manner. The report will be based primarily on the full panel's evaluation of the written program proposal and the information gathered during the site visit, and will address areas set forth in these guidelines. Once completed, the chair will send the report to the institution president or provost, and graduate dean; a copy will be provided to the academic unit that developed the program proposal.


Report Guidelines

The panel is asked to assess the program within both the present and projected-future contexts.



Please assess:

  1. The program objectives and requirements; the mechanisms for program administration and assessment.

  1. The program's alignment with the institution's mission and strategic objectives.

  2. The depth and breadth of coverage in terms of faculty availability and expertise, regular course offerings and directed study, and access to and use of support resources within and external to the institution.

  3. The relationship of this program to undergraduate and other graduate programs at the institution, and other institutions in the state, if appropriate. Consider collaborative arrangements, partnerships, interdisciplinary programs, service functions, joint research projects, support programs, etc.

  4. The justification in terms of state needs, demand, access, and cost-effectiveness (if this program represents System duplication).

  5. The probable impact of the program on the department or academic unit, as well as its effect on current programs.

  6. The program's major strengths and weaknesses.



Please assess:

  1. The quality of the faculty in terms of training, experience, research, scholarly contributions, ability to generate external support, stature in the field, and qualifications to serve as graduate faculty.

  2. The faculty in terms of size, qualifications for area(s) of specialization offered, and the student body served. Include analysis of program sustainability in light of such factors as upcoming retirements, etc.

  3. Areas of faculty strength and weakness.

  4. Faculty workload, including availability for student advising, research oversight, mentoring, and teaching effectiveness.

  5. The credentials, involvement of, and reliance upon support faculty from other departments within the institutions, from other institutions, and/or adjunct faculty.



Please assess:

  1. The evidence that there is significant demand for this program.

  2. The evidence of sufficient and relevant employment opportunities for graduates of this program.

  1. The overall need for the program within the institution, the Oregon University System, state and/or region, and nation.



Please assess:

  1. The adequacy of library, computer, laboratory, and other research facilities and equipment; offices; classrooms; and support services for the program; and, if relevant, the program's utilization of resources outside the institution (e.g., field sites, laboratories, museums, libraries, and cooperative arrangements with other institutions).

  2. The proposed budget and any need for new resources to operate the program effectively. Where appropriate, review resources available to support graduate students (e.g., fellowships and other scholarships, teaching and research assistantships).

  3. In terms of national standards, the institution's commitment to the program as demonstrated by the number of faculty relative to workload and student numbers, support for faculty by nonacademic personnel (e.g., support, staff, technicians), financial support for students, and funds for faculty research and professional activities (e.g., conferences, visiting lectures).

  4. Institution leaders' commitment to this program in the long term.

  5. The institution's ability to sustain the program in the foreseeable future along with its current and future projected commitments.