Section I: Academic Programs

Subsection A. University Calendar

1. Content and Approval

The university shall prepare an outline highlighting the significant dates and events of all academic sessions contained in the twelve-month period commencing with the fall session, no later than twelve months prior to the beginning of the planned year. Such outline shall be designated as the university calendar and shall specify, among other dates: the opening and closing dates of each session, registration, final examinations - if uniformly scheduled - recognized holidays, vacations, scheduled administrative closings and commencement. The approved university calendar shall be published in the official university catalogs. The calendar shall be filed with the President's Office and Board of Trustees immediately after initial preparation with notice also provided as changes are made.

Subsection B. Degrees

1. Earned Degrees

The following degrees are authorized and offered by Northern Illinois University:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Education
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Bachelor of General Studies
  • Bachelor of Music
  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Science in Education
  • Master of Accounting Science
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Master of Music
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Science in Taxation
  • Juris Doctor
  • Performer's Certificate
  • Educational Specialist
  • Doctor of Education
  • Doctor of Philosophy

2. Honorary Degrees

a. Authorization

Honorary degrees may be awarded by the university in recognition of persons who have achieved a record of major distinction at the state or national level in education, public service, literature, business, or the professions. The degrees that may be awarded are the Doctor of Law (LL.D.), Doctor of Science (Sc.D.), Doctor of Literature (Litt.D.) and Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.).

b. Procedure

Honorary degrees may be granted only on the recommendation of the president, who shall seek the advice of the designated faculty body, and with the approval of the Board. The members of the Board of Trustees shall be consulted about probable degree recipients well in advance of the point at which the Board is asked to approve the university choices. When Board approval is requested, the institution shall furnish the members of the Board on a confidential basis a suitable written resume of the candidate which shall contain a record of achievements and the rationale for granting the honorary degree.

c. Restrictions

Members and employees of the Board of Trustees and members and employees of the IBHE are ineligible during the term of their office or employment.

3. Conferring of Degrees

Earned and honorary degrees shall be conferred by the president upon the recommendation of the faculty and under authority of the Board of Trustees. Although degrees normally are conferred at the scheduled commencement exercises, recipients, at the discretion of the president, may receive their degrees and diplomas prior to the date of commencement.

Subsection C. Program Approval

Programs and Administrative Units Requiring Board Approval

a. Coverage

Board of Trustees approval is required prior to the addition or deletion of the following:

  • (1) Instructional, Research and Public Service Administrative Units
    1. Departments
    2. Institutes
    3. Centers
    4. Divisions
    5. Schools
    6. Colleges
    7. Branch Campuses
    8.  Campuses
  • (2) Instructional Programs
    1. Minors
    2. Majors
    3. Degrees
    4. Cooperative (joint) degree programs
  • All instructional, research and public service administrative units and all new majors and degree programs require IBHE approval. A new minor, emphasis, specialization, or concentration must be recognized by the IBHE as a "reasonable and moderate extension of existing degree authority."
  • Program consolidations, reorientations, title changes and structural modifications of research and public service units and other such administrative changes do not require Board approval but must be reviewed and approved by the president.

b. Addition of Programs

  1. Format
    Proposals for new programs which require IBHE approval shall conform to the format and review schedule established by the IBHE. Proposals for other units of instruction shall provide information according to a format established by the university.
  2. Review Schedule for Proposals Requiring Illinois Board of Higher Education Approval
    Under IBHE regulations, new degree program proposals or proposals for new centers or institutes requiring IBHE approval must be submitted in the aggregate once a year as part of the Resource Allocation and Management Program (RAMP), normally on July 1, and included in the operating budget if new resources are required. All other proposals may be presented at any time. All proposals will require approval of the chief academic officer and the president, endorsement by the Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Personnel Committee, and final approval by the Board of Trustees.

c. Elimination of Programs

  1. Format
    Proposals for the elimination of existing programs shall contain such information and data as required by the format developed by the university.
  2. Review Schedule
    Requests for program deletions may be presented to the Board of Trustees at any time after they have been approved by campus committees, the provost and the president.

Subsection D. Academic Planning

1. Planning Statements

Public universities in Illinois are required to submit planning statements to the IBHE annually on July 1. They include the IBHE's focus statement for the university and a statement prepared by the university identifying specific priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. The annual priorities statement will be provided to the Board of Trustees as an informational item.

2. Review of Existing Programs

The IBHE has established an eight-year statewide schedule for the review of academic degree programs. The university follows that schedule unless there are compelling reasons to seek a change in review year for an individual program. The IBHE has established a format for the summary of program review findings that it wishes to receive on July 1 of each year. The university establishes the format for the self-study part of the on-campus review process. A summary of program review findings will be presented to the Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Personnel Committee of the Board of Trustees at its May meeting preceding the July 1 submission of program review findings to the IBHE.

3. Review of Undergraduate Education

The IBHE requires that each Illinois public university submit a report on undergraduate education annually on July 1. In addition to reporting changes and developments, the IBHE announces special questions and topics for each year. A summary of the university's annual review of undergraduate education will be presented to the Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Personnel Committee of the Board of Trustees at its May meeting, preceding the July 1 submission of the review to the IBHE.

Subsection E. Grants and Contracts

For the purposes of this subsection, the phrase grants and contracts shall be interpreted to include instructional, research, public service and other academic-related activities, but not student loans, student employment opportunities and university business and capital operations. Student assistance grants are covered hereafter in Section IV, Subsection A.

1. General Policy

Northern Illinois University shall establish and maintain comprehensive policies on and detailed procedures for the review and administration of grants and contracts acquired from external sponsors. These procedures and policies shall ensure that the grant and contract activities engaged in are consistent with the university's mission and financial capabilities. Additionally, they shall be consistent with university, state and federal policies, rules and regulations. These procedures and policies shall be reviewed periodically and revised as needed.

2. Board Review

a. Grants and Contracts Requiring Board Approval

If the acceptance of a grant or contract would result in the establishment of a formal unit of instruction, research or public service to which the university would make a permanent commitment of resources, the university will obtain Board approval before accepting the grant or contract.

b. Reporting Requirements: Grants and Contracts Not Requiring Board Approval

Grants and contracts accepted by the university shall be reported to the Board of Trustees on a quarterly basis. The President's Report shall include such information as is appropriate, including but not necessarily limited to:

  • the name of the grantor or contractor;
  • the amount of the grant or contract award;
  • the date of receipt of the grant or contract award;
  • the name of the project director;
  • a brief nontechnical statement describing the purpose of the grant or contract;
  • identification of the character of the project, whether this be instruction, research, public service, other noninstructional activities, or student assistance.

Subsection F. Oral English Language Proficiency

Pursuant to 110ILCS685130-70, the Board requires the university to maintain on behalf of the Board a program to assess the oral English language proficiency of all persons providing classroom instruction to its students. With the limited exception of foreign language courses, only those who have demonstrated sufficient oral English language proficiency shall be assigned classroom instructional duties.

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