Degree Approval Timelines & Phases
When a full proposal is received by the Provost’s Office within the first two weeks of the semester, every effort will be made to complete the approval process within that semester. Incomplete proposals or delays in responding to questions raised at any point in the process will significantly delay review and approval.
Process for the Provost’s Phase of a Proposal
Notice of Intent. The process of developing, extending, consolidating, renaming or eliminating degree programs can begin at any level (faculty member, chair, dean), but when it is ready to enter the approval process a Notice of Intent (NOI) is sent from the Dean of the College to the Provost’s Office. All of the templates for preparing degree proposals are available using the links on this page. The NOI is distributed by the Provost’s Office to the Deans and Chancellors, including Undergraduate Education and the Graduate School, all of whom are welcome to comment within a 14-day NOI review period.
At the same time, the Provost’s Office notifies the other Washington public higher education institutions by providing the name and location of the proposed change to the Interinstitutional Committee for Academic Program Planning (ICAPP), a subcommittee of the Council of Presidents (COP).
If the Provost concludes that the NOI is supported by the mission and priorities of the university, that required resources are likely to be available, and that no reasonable concerns have been expressed by another college or campus, the department and college will be notified to prepare a full proposal.
For some simple, straightforward NOI’s – especially, for example, some renamings or eliminations – the Provost may decide that a full proposal is unnecessary and will forward the NOI, itself, to the Faculty Senate review process.
Full Proposal. Templates for preparing all types of full proposals can be found here under Documents. The appropriate template to use will depend on the proposed action:
- New Degree Program
- Extending an Existing Degree to a New Location or Global Campus
- Moving an Existing Degree to a New Location (no longer offering at current location)
- Consolidating Two or More Degree Programs,
- Eliminating or Renaming a Degree
Full proposal templates vary in the types and level of information and analysis required, depending on the potential for the proposed change to impact the mission, resources, or stature of the department, college, campus or university.
A full proposal for a new degree program, extending a program to a new location, or consolidating two or more degree programs all require a complete listing of program requirements and, for undergraduate and professional programs, a sample four-year course pattern and the preferred associates degree for transfer students.
Any new courses developed for the proposed degree program must be submitted to the Faculty Senate Office on the appropriate form, preferably prior to submittal of the proposal.
A full proposal is forwarded to the Provost’s Office by the Dean of the College (or with an electronic signature or supporting email from the Dean, if the proposal is transmitted by someone else). Urban campus proposals require the signature of, or email from, the Chancellor, as well.
The Provost’s Office distributes the proposal for review to either the Graduate School or Undergraduate Education, as well as to the Budget Office, the Dean of Libraries (new degrees only), and the Assessment Office (undergraduate degrees only). The Provost’s Office collects the responses and, as needed, refers questions raised in the reviews back to the department and college. Every effort will be made to conclude this stage of the process within a 14-day proposal review period, although questions and revisions may add to that time frame in some cases.
For a degree program new to the entire WSU system, the Provost’s Office may elect to conduct an external review, which could add several months to the timeline. The Provost’s Office also forwards a summary of the proposal to ICAPP for a concurrent 30-day comment period.
Faculty Senate Phase
Process for the Faculty Senate Phase of a Proposal. [DRAFT, pending faculty senate review]
Upon the Provost’s approval (by electronic signature or supporting email) the proposal is forwarded to the Faculty Senate Office for review by the Faculty Senate Steering Committee, which routes it simultaneously to the following committees:
- Catalog Subcommittee
- Budget Committee
- Library Committee
With a positive recommendation by all three committees, the Faculty Senate Office forwards the proposal to either the Graduate Studies Committee (graduate proposals) or the Academic Affairs Committee (undergraduate and professional proposals) for review. The Graduate Studies Committee or the Academic Affairs Committee makes a recommendation to the Faculty Senate and, with a positive recommendation, the Steering Committee places the proposal on the Faculty Senate Agenda for review and action. Barring substantive questions or revisions, the goal is to complete the Faculty Senate stage of the process within 90 days.
When programs are approved by the Faculty Senate, the Provost’s Office notifies the Department, the College, the Graduate School, and involved campuses, as well as the Regents, the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) and, as needed, the Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) notifies the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).