Procedure to Update University Records in the Case of Inactive Academic Programs

Applies to: Schools, Colleges and other Academic Units
  1. Policy

    On occasion, an academic program may become inactive such that it no longer has students, faculty, staff, or funding associated with it. This occurs for a number of reasons, including declining enrollments, changes in the composition of the faculty, or changes in the intellectual thrust of a discipline or department. However, University records are usually not updated to reflect the change in status of the program.

    This SPG establishes a procedure for updating University records to reflect the inactive status of an academic program in certain limited and carefully defined circumstances. If any of the factors listed below does not apply, an academic program may be discontinued only by following the procedural safeguards set forth in SPG 601.02.

  2. Procedure

    An inactive academic program is one that meets all of the following requirements:

    1. no students have been enrolled in the program for the past 3 academic years1,
    2. no students are currently registered for or admitted to the program,
    3. no faculty appointments2 are currently associated with the program,
    4. no staff are currently employed to work for the program,
    5. no funds are budgeted for the program for the immediate past, the current, and the upcoming academic terms.

    An academic program that meets all of the above requirements may be declared officially inactive by the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs upon recommendation from the Dean(s) of the school(s) or college(s) with which the academic program was affiliated. Academic programs that have been declared inactive are removed from certain school and college materials and are recorded to indicate inactive status on University records. Contact the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs for implementation guidelines.

    Once an academic program has been declared inactive, it cannot be reactivated without following the normal procedures for establishing a new program.

    Implementation Guidelines-Inactive Academic Programs

    1. The Dean recommends in writing to the Provost that the program in question be declared inactive. Each of the five elements of an inactive program (set forth above) should be addressed in the memo as well as any other relevant information.
    2. If the recommending Dean determines that any expendable or endowment funds are designated to support the program, the Dean is responsible for working with the Office of Development and the Office of the General Counsel to address any issues that may arise in connection with future use of those funds upon declaring the program inactive.
    3. If the requirements are met, the Provost sends a memo to the appropriate Dean's office, the Office of the Registrar, and the appropriate admissions office stating that a program is inactive pursuant to SPG 601.02-1.
    4. The Provost’s Office notifies the Presidents Council of State Universities of Michigan of the change in status of the program in accordance with the notification guidelines.
    5. The school or college removes the name of the program from its catalogues, bulletins, and other materials describing current offerings.
    6. The Registrar takes appropriate steps to update University records.
    7. The Admissions Office takes appropriate steps to ensure that materials sent to prospective students do not contain references to inactive or reconfigured programs and takes other appropriate steps to inform applicants and potential applicants of programmatic changes.

1Students who were admitted to a program before it was declared inactive, and who are making good progress towards their degree, may receive their degree from that program, at their option and upon request to the appropriate Dean. In such cases, the Dean will set reasonable time guidelines within which the student must complete all requirements in order to be eligible to receive the degree from a program that has been declared inactive.

2A "faculty appointment," for purposes of this SPG, is defined as an appointment for which compensation is received.

SPG Number
Date Issued
Applies To
Schools, Colleges and other Academic Units
Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Primary Contact
Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs