Skip to body

Resources and Reports

CWUP 5-50-100 Programs

(1) Definition - Programs are clusters of courses and/or groupings of teaching and research faculty organized by academic interest.

(2) Governance structure

(A) Program Charter

1. Each program will establish a charter. The charter will:
a. Define the mission and objectives of the program.
b. Establish residence of the program according to the program residence policy
c. Address issues particular to the administration of each program in the context of this policy, as needed

2. The charter will be reviewed for currency every three years or more frequently as needed.

(B) Interdisciplinary program faculty

1. Program Faculty
a. Eligibility: Faculty members who teach on a recurring basis (e.g., at least two listed courses in the previous three years) in the interdisciplinary program are eligible to be program faculty. This definition may be modified to suit the needs of an interdisciplinary program in its charter.
b. Rights and responsibilities: Program faculty engage in advising, curriculum approval, advisory committee member nomination, nomination and election of the program director, and program charter approval and amendment. All decisions are transmitted through approval levels established through the policies of academic affairs. All program faculty members have voting rights.

2. Affiliate Faculty: Any other faculty who wish to request membership on the basis of (1) scholarship, instruction or service activities and interests relevant to the interdisciplinary program, or (2) as otherwise stipulated by an interdisciplinary program in its charter. The advisory committee considers these requests. Affiliate faculty members do not vote.

(C) Advisory Committee. An advisory committee oversees the interdisciplinary program.

1. The committee consists of:
a. Chair. The program director serves as chair of the advisory committee and is a voting member.
b. Three or four program faculty members, nominated by the program faculty and appointed by the dean, shall be voting members of the advisory committee.
c. The dean or the dean's designee serves as a non-voting member. The dean may choose neither to serve nor to appoint a designee, however.
d. Other special appointments may be specified in the program's charter, as non-voting members. Examples include chairs from departments assigning faculty effort to instruction, associate vice presidents responsible for undergraduate or graduate studies, the executive director for international studies and programs, or professionals that bring special expertise to the program.
e. Members typically serve three year staggered terms.
f. Voting membership should typically total an odd number.

2. The advisory committee shall meet at least annually.

3. The advisory committee shall advise the program director on matters relating to:

a. Development and amendment of the program charter
b. Curriculum and assessment
c. Strategic planning and budgeting
d. Student recruitment
e. Program review
f. Faculty review requests
g. Resource development

(D) Program Director

1. Eligibility, selection, and term of service:
a. The director must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member of the program faculty.
b. The director is nominated and elected by the program faculty in a manner similar to the election of a department chair and as specified in the program charter.
c. The election is approved and the director appointed by the Dean of the college of residence.
d. The program director serves a three-year, renewable term.

2. Duties: The duties of the program director include:
a. Schedule and set agenda for the advisory committee
b. Monitor currency of program charter; propose amendment as needed
c. Oversight of curriculum and assessment
d. Strategic planning
e. Program budget planning and oversight
f. Student recruitment and assignment of advising; approval of course of study
g. Program review
h. Course scheduling and site coordination with cognizant department chairs
i. Faculty recruitment; negotiation with department chairs and deans to fulfill staffing needs
j. Serves as a liaison and advocate to other academic administrators
k. Other duties as specified in the program charter
l. Other duties as assigned by the dean of the college where the program resides

(3) Interdisciplinary Programs

(A) Definition - An interdisciplinary program is one in which the subject matter and faculty expertise is broader than any single discipline, and in which the core curriculum integrates knowledge from multiple fields. This discipline mix is typically reflected in curricula that emphasize upper division course work from several departments or programs and interdepartmental faculty collaboration.

(B) Mission - Interdisciplinary programs give substance to shared academic passions that cross disciplinary lines and connect disciplines. They take advantage of the intellectual synergy that results from integrating curriculum across discipline and department boundaries, irrespective of university site. Interdisciplinary programs create communities of scholars among the faculty and students across disciplines.

(4) Program Residence

(A) Interdisciplinary programs reside in the college in which the preponderance of instruction is situated. This is determined by the distribution of upper-division credits required by the program, assigned to each college on a pro rata basis.

1. Department prefixes are credited to the appropriate college.
2. Interdisciplinary prefixes are proportionally credited to the college that staffs the courses.
3. When electives are specified by a list of courses or specified broadly as courses from a list of departments, those credits are allocated to the appropriate college, in proportion to the selections available.

(B) Exceptions to this policy are determined by the provost. For instance, professional education programs with an interdisciplinary component reside under the Center for Teaching and Learning. The Douglas Honors College resides in the office of the provost.

(5) Line of authority - The dean of the college in which the program is housed is the chief budgetary and oversight officer for the program. Program directors report to the dean of the college of program residence.

(6) Resource Allocation

(A) Program Viability

1. A program is viable if, over a three –year period, it either graduates two students per year or it generates five or more FTES per year.
2. New programs will have three years to achieve viability as measured either by the three-year average or the most recent year.

(B) Operating Budget

1. A ledger-one base budget will be established for each interdisciplinary program.
2. The budget is managed by the program director, with oversight from the dean of the college in which the program is housed. The dean is the principal budget authority.
3. The dean will solicit annual budget requests from the program director.

(C) Program director compensation

1. The program director is compensated through reassignment of load.

2. The reassignment level is determined by the dean based on factors that include: a. Effort required to initiate a new program
b. Level and complexity of the program
c. Size of the program relative to other interdisciplinary programs, as measured by a three-year average of graduates and/or full time equivalent students

3. One contact hour per quarter is the minimum reassignment for a viable program.

(D) Assignment of faculty to instruction

1. An individual faculty member may be regularly reassigned to an interdisciplinary program by the dean in consultation with the faculty member, department chair, and program director.
2. Justification of a new or replacement faculty position may include ongoing assignment to an interdisciplinary program.
3. Responsibility for reappointment, tenure, promotion, and evaluation recommendations will reside within the academic department to which the faculty member is assigned. 
4. Program faculty members undergoing department personnel evaluation may be independently reviewed by the program advisory committee or program director.

(7) Role in Academic Affairs

(A) Interdisciplinary programs provide a flexible structure in order to:

1. Foster communication, collaboration and problem solving across departments. 
2. Allow students and faculty to explore and create knowledge that extends beyond the traditional discipline boundaries
3. Respond to student interests and learning needs demonstrated through repeated individual studies or general studies curricula,
4. Create programs that respond to areas of societal need, or
5. Unify related smaller areas of academic excellence or faculty interest.

The mission of each interdisciplinary program will be aligned with this role.


[Back to the Top]