Organizational Changes of Academic Units for Curriculum Review

Policy number04-19
Responsible officeProvost and Academic Affairs
ClassificationBoard of Trustees-delegated Policy
Category04. Academic Programs and Requirements

Statement of policy

This policy explains the process of establishing, renaming, merging, transferring, and eliminating academic units. The establishment or alteration of an academic program, when proposed in concert with the establishment or alteration of an academic unit, will require review by means of the University Curriculum Review Process. (See pages 1-15.) When program improvements involve both personnel and program shifts, it is desirable that program shifts be considered first.

Organizational changes to academic units are not final until related academic program improvements are also approved. (See page 11 for a list of academic program improvements.) Curricular changes final at the dean’s level will be examined for completeness and accuracy by the University catalog editor and forwarded to the registrar for implementation. Curricular changes requiring university-level review also will be examined for completeness and accuracy and forwarded by the catalog editor to the appropriate university-level reviewing body. 


  • Academic unit: a department, school, or comparable organization to which faculty are attached for appointment, promotion and tenure purposes.
  • Academic (degree) program: the composite of academic and curricular requirements necessary to earn a degree awarded by Western Michigan University. (See the undergraduate and graduate catalogs for lists of the degrees offered by WMU.)


  1. An idea for establishing a new academic unit, as well as renaming, merging, transferring, and eliminating an academic unit(s), may originate anywhere within the University.
  2. Before a formal proposal is made, sponsor(s) of the idea will discuss it informally with affected faculty (faculties), chair(s), dean(s), and the provost (no formal meeting is required).
  3. Following the discussions, a proposal for change may be composed and forwarded by the proposing unit on the “Request for College Curriculum Committee” form for review by the affected faculty (faculties), chair(s) and dean(s).
  4. The affected faculty (faculties) and the affected chair(s) will review the proposal and forward their separate recommendations to the affected dean(s).
  5. The affected dean(s) will submit the proposal, all recommendation from others and all related material to the college curriculum committee(s). It will be the responsibility of the dean(s) to move the proposal through the process in a timely manner. If other college curriculum committees or deans have reservations, their written statement should be sent to the originating college curriculum committee. The originating CCC(s) will review all the materials, forwarded a recommendation to the dean(s), and distribute agendas and minutes in the standard way.
  6. The recommendation from the CCC(s) is reviewed by the affected college dean(s). The resultant recommendation of the college dean(s), all other recommendations, and all related materials, including the “Request to College Curriculum Committee” form and attachments, are sent to the faculty Senate Executive Board for its review and recommendation.
  7. The provost will review all relevant materials and made a recommendation to the president of the University and, as appropriate, to the academic officers of the Presidents council of State Universities and to the Board of Trustees.
  8. The Board of Trustees, upon the president’s recommendation, grants final approval. (Note: Organizational changes are not final until related academic-program improvements are also approved by means of the University Curriculum Review Process.)


Effective date of current versionOctober 22, 2017
Date first adoptedSeptember 1, 1999
Revision history
Friday, May 3, 2019 - 12:00 Approved September 1999. Continuance of thie policy was retianed in MOA-07/05, Changes to the Curriculum Review Process, approved by the administration on 22 October 2007.
Proposed date of next reviewSeptember 1, 2019