Curricular Approval Procedures

Section III. Item 4.

Curricular Approval Process - Approval Required By Chart (PDF)

Appendix B - Guidelines and Sample Copy for College Curriculum Committee Minutes and Attachments (PDF)

Appendix E - Procedure for Requesting a New Degree Program or Off-Campus Degree Granting Authority

Appendix F - Request for Approval of a Subdivision of a Major

Appendix G - Request for Approval of the Deletion of a Major or of a Subdivision of a Major

Appendix H - Request for Approval of a Title Change for a Major or of a Subdivision of a Major

  1. Department
    1. The faculty of a department is responsible for initiating curricular changes in most instances. On those rare occasions when other levels assume the initiative, the department curriculum committee and department faculty will be given timely written notice (generally four weeks) of the suggested changes that affect the department's curriculum so there is adequate opportunity for a formal response.
      1. Correct procedures for formal approval of changes at the department level are normally detailed in the bylaws of the department.
      2. Prior consideration at college and university levels is necessary for changes requiring additional budgetary resources and changes involving the development of new units of instruction.
    2. Consequences of changes must be addressed so that
      1. necessary changes in the department's own units of instruction are noted (courses and hours required, etc.).
      2. other departments whose units of instruction and/or resources may be affected have an opportunity to respond formally before action on approval is taken at higher levels. Adequate response time is generally considered to be four weeks. A lack of response will be interpreted as an absence of concern. Any stated concerns should trigger immediate dialogue to resolve them within the four-week time frame.
    3. Proposals for changing the curriculum are written as changes in the appropriate catalog (undergraduate and/or graduate) and are forwarded to the college curriculum committee. (The procedures in this item do not apply to the College of Law.)
      Materials should be
      1. submitted in the format outlined in Section III, Appendix B, separating courses offered for general education from others and highlighting them as such.
      2. accompanied by relevant documentation such as outlines and bibliographies for new courses, statements from other departments affected by the change(s), and references to formal approvals for changes introducing new units of instruction or requiring additional funds.
      3. forwarded to the college curriculum committee to be considered for inclusion in the appropriate catalog. Departments should consult the chair of their college curriculum committee for information on specific college deadlines.
  2. College
    1. The basic reporting instruments are the formal minutes of the college curriculum committees. Curricular changes are to be reported in accordance with the standard format. (See Section III, Appendix B, Guidelines and Sample Copy for College Curriculum Committee Minutes and Attachments .)
    2. Minutes should indicate the college, the committee, the date, and the year and number of the meeting (e.g., LA&S College Curriculum Committee, September 6, 1988, 1988-89 #2).
    3. Pertinent and related materials should be appended to the copies of the minutes.
    4. Electronic submissions of the minutes should be forwarded to:
      1. curricular deans
      2. curricular secretaries
      3. administrative assistant to the vice provost
      4. chair of each of the other college curriculum committees
      5. Director of Registration and Records
      6. Catalog Editor/Curriculum Coordinator
    5. Catalog Editor/Curriculum Coordinator will distribute college curriculum committee meeting minutes and attachments as appropriate.
    6. Proposals for new degrees or majors follow the current Illinois Board of Higher Education format which is given in Section III, Appendix E. The format for proposing a new subdivision of a major (undergraduate emphasis or minor, or graduate specialization or concentration) is in Appendix F; the format for requesting the deletion of a major, or of a subdivision of a major, is in Appendix G; and, the format for requesting a title change for a major or a subdivision of a major is in Appendix H. Questions on the processes should be addressed to the office of the Associate Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Development.
    7. College curriculum committee minutes are due for consideration in the next appropriate catalog by the CUC and the GCCC by noon on the last Friday in October.
  3. Graduate
    1. Graduate Council approval is required of all curricular changes at the graduate level.
    2. All changes that should appear in subsequent graduate catalogs shall be recorded in the minutes of the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee and be approved by the Graduate Council.
    3. Following approval by the Graduate Council, a copy of the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee minutes shall be distributed to each of the following: University Archives, University Council members, the Office of Registration and Records, the Catalog Editor/Curriculum Coordinator, the Council of Deans, department chairs, the Office of Publications and Printing, chairs of the of the college curriculum committees, and others as deemed appropriate by the Graduate Council or the Council chair.
  4. Undergraduate
    1. The Committee on the Undergraduate Curriculum (CUC) and the General Education Committee (GEC) are standing committees of the Undergraduate Coordinating Council (UCC). They receive and approve undergraduate curricular recommendations appropriate to the standing committee directly from the colleges.
    2. All changes which should appear in subsequent undergraduate catalogs shall be recorded in the minutes of the appropriate committee.
    3. The Office of the Catalog Editor will send a copy of the minutes of the Committee on the Undergraduate Curriculum (CUC) to each of the following: University Archives, the Office of Registration and Records, the Office of Publications and Printing, chairs of the college curriculum committees, and others as deemed appropriate by the Undergraduate Coordinating Council or the Council chair.
  5. Board of Trustees/Illinois Board of Higher Education
    1. A recommendation requiring board approval must first be approved by the department, college, and appropriate university committees and councils. It is then transmitted through the Office of the Provost to the President and to the Board of Trustees (which transmits it to the Board of Higher Education when appropriate.)
    2. Items that require Board of Trustees approval (and may require Board of Higher Education approval) include:
      1. addition or deletion of emphasis (undergraduate) or specialization (graduate).
      2. addition or deletion of undergraduate or graduate major, option, or concentration.
      3. addition or deletion of undergraduate minor.
      4. name change of emphasis, specialization, major, minor, option, concentration, or department.
      Note : Board of Trustees action action is the final step in deletions.
    1. Items which require Board of Trustees and Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) approval include new undergraduate and graduate degrees and programs. [An indication of intent must be submitted to the IBHE staff through the annual university's priorities statement in advance of forwarding a formal request.] Most other curricular recommendations [emphasis, specialization, title change, etc.] require a decision by the Board of Higher Education that the change constitutes "a reasonable and moderate extension of existing degree authority."
    2. Minutes of the Committee on the Undergraduate Curriculum and the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee are used to announce Board of Trustees and Board of Higher Education actions on NIU academic programs submitted to them.

    (See also Article 13: Academic Councils of the University in the University Bylaws for the governance structure, duties, and composition of councils and committees.)

 

Approved by Graduate Council, March 2, 1992
Approved by Undergraduate Coordinating Council, April 30, 1992
Latest editorial modifications, June 5, 1997; February 6, 2004, August 14, 2007

Last Updated: November 6, 2012