Temporary Suspension of Academic Programs

Policy #F02-221

I.  Purpose  
Temporary suspension of an academic program is intended only to allow time for program faculty to review curricular structure, resource and enrollment issues, accreditation demands, and the like, in order to reactivate the program within a maximum of three years.   Temporary suspension of an academic program is not appropriate when the goal is program discontinuance.   Consensual discussion and decision-making on the part of all relevant parties (see below) shall precede any proposal for suspension.

II.  Procedures  

A.  The faculty of the academic program in question are responsible for developing a written proposal for a temporary suspension.  If no faculty members are currently involved with the program, the program Chair or Director shall develop the suspension proposal.  The proposal shall include all the following:

  1. A full explanation of why the temporary program suspension is being proposed. 
  2. Reasons that faculty are proposing temporary suspension instead of discontinuance. 
  3. The semester and date when the proposed suspension will take effect,  and the semester and date when it is anticipated that it will come to an end.    No suspension may exceed six consecutive semesters excluding summers.
  4. A complete list of courses that will not be taught if the program is suspended, and a statement summarizing the effect of not teaching those courses on other areas of the university including the Library, GE, Liberal Studies, and interdisciplinary programs.      
  5. Student enrollment and application patterns for the program during the previous five years.  
  6. Likely effects of the temporary suspension on students currently enrolled in the program.
  7. The number and type (tenured, tenure-track, and lecturer) of faculty currently teaching in the program and the way(s) in which the temporary suspension will affect them. 
  8. The number and type of university staff employed in the program and the way(s) in which the temporary suspension will affect them. 
  9. The means by which affected faculty, students, and staff will be informed of the proposed temporary suspension and an explanation of proposed channels of communication  for obtaining feedback on the proposed temporary suspension from the affected faculty, students, and staff.  
  10. A summary of what the most recent SFSU Academic Program Review, SFSU Memorandum of Understanding, and any accreditation review say  about the program, including any parts of these reviews that have relevance to the proposed suspension.
  11. Resource implications (including facility and equipment) of the proposed suspension. 
  12. The changes that would be necessary in order to resume offering the program.  

B.  Proposal processing.

  1. The proposal for temporary suspension will be developed by the faculty of the program in question, or by the program Chair or Director if no faculty are currently involved with the program.
  2. The program Chair or Director, College Dean, and Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) must approve the proposal.
  3. The approved suspension proposal will be sent to the Educational Policies Council (EPC) of the Academic Senate for review.  EPC will ensure that all the questions listed in Section II, A, above are completely answered in the proposal, that all necessary approvals have been secured, and that all applicable SFSU and Academic Senate policies and procedures have been followed.
  4. EPC will forward any recommendations it may wish to make to all parties involved in the proposal preparation, and will forward the completed program suspension proposal and EPC recommendations to the Academic Senate and VPAA as informational items.   The VPAA shall have responsibility to inform all relevant administrative offices, including but not limited to Admissions, Graduate Division, the Advising Center, and Student Outreach Services.
  5. After completion of the process outlined in section II, B, 4, above, the temporary suspension of an academic program will begin.

C.  During the program suspension period:

  1. In the SFSU Bulletin listing for the program, following the title of the program and the list of faculty and preceding information about program requirements, there will be a notice that the program is under temporary suspension, is  not currently accepting new students, and plans to resume on a given date.  The notice will include an appropriate university contact for further information about the suspended program.
  2. No new students will be admitted to the program and no degrees will be granted from the program unless the recipient was enrolled in the program at the time of the suspension. 
  3. The program will not be advertised until the semester prior to resumption.
  4. None of the program courses will be offered except as is necessary to serve students enrolled in the program at the time of suspension or as is necessary to serve students in other programs for whom the classes are required.
  5. The VPAA will report annually to the Academic Senate on the status of the suspended program.

D.  Resumption of the suspended program

  1. Within the semester (excluding summer) prior to the resumption of the suspended program, a report will be developed by the program's faculty or its Chair or Director (if there are no faculty) and sent to the Academic Senate for its information.
  2. The resumption report will be approved by the program faculty, the program Chair or Director, the College Dean, and the VPAA.
  3. The resumption report will explain how all the elements of the suspension proposal have been addressed, and what actions must be taken to allow for the program's resumption.  Any changes in the program must proceed through the usual channels for curricular change or academic reorganization.

E.  Failure to Resume.  If, at the end of three years in suspension, there is no viable proposal for resumption, the VPAA shall initiate discontinuation proceedings.


***UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED by the Academic Senate at its meeting on November 5th, 2002***

***APPROVED and signed by President Robert A. Corrigan on December 2nd, 2002***