Academic Restructuring of University Systems

Topics: Academic Planning, Academic Affairs, Program Approval

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Diminished state funding and increased emphasis on program performance incentivize university systems to consider academic restructuring to improve system efficiency. This brief examines how system administrators establish policies to approve new programs and collaborate with university administrators to improve under-performing programs. It also examines how these processes impact nursing and education programs.

  • Key observations from our research:

    1. Establish system-level policies for academic program review but execute academic restructuring at the institution level.

    2. Proactively avoid program duplication with system-level new program proposal processes.

    3. Avoid elimination of nursing and education programs to meet local and statewide market demand for these programs.

    4. System-level administrators accept responsibility for program restructuring to shield provosts and other senior institution leaders from blame, which cultivates positive relations between constituents and institution leaders.

    5. Program elimination and consolidation result in few short-term savings and rarely reduce overall faculty size.