Curricular Approval Procedures

Original Policy Source APPM Section III Item 4
Policy Approval Authority President
Responsible University Office Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
Responsible Officer(s) Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Contact Person Alicia Schatteman
Primary Audience Faculty
Status Active
Last Review Date 03-21-2023
Policy Category/Categories Board of Trustees
Faculty & Academics
Governance / Administration
  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 and colleges 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. This includes adding courses to program requirements and prerequisites/corequisites; revising course designators or course numbers; and deleting courses. 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 BC on 15th of November or the following Monday 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. Undergraduate curricular changes are reviewed and approved by the Baccalaureate Council (BC). The General Education Committee (GEC) reviews and approves all curricular changes related to the general education programs and courses. These bodies receive and approve respective undergraduate curricular recommendations  directly from the colleges, via the Catalog Editor/Curriculum Coordinator..
    2. All changes which should appear in subsequent undergraduate catalogs shall be recorded in the minutes of the appropriate council or committee.
    3. The Office of the Catalog Editor will send a copy of the minutes of the Baccalaureate Council (BC) 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 Baccalaureate 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) are outlined in the NIU Board of Trustees Regulations Section I.C.a.2.
    3. Minutes of the Baccalaureate Council 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
Revisions approved by the Undergraduate Coordinating Council, May 1, 2014
Revisions approved by the Graduate Council December 1, 2014
Revisions approved by the Baccalaureate Council September 8, 2016
Editorial modification: October 16, 2017
Revisions based on changes approved by the Board of Trustees March 5, 2020



There are no comments to show.

Contact Us

Policy Library

Back to top