Dissolution of Academic Units
Academic Affairs Policy Statement No. 8
a. The Board of Regents Policy Manual, University System of Georgia, 1993.
b. Bylaws of the University Council of the University of Georgia, 1988.
This document is intended to provide the general procedure for the dissolution of academic units. The term "academic unit" includes schools, colleges, departments, divisions, centers, institutes, programs, and any other unit the curriculum of which is under the auspices of the University Curriculum Committee.
The dissolution of an academic unit is the process by which an existing academic unit ceases to exist and its faculty, students, staff, space, and other resources of the dissolved unit are reassigned. Such a process is regarded as significant and must be given serious consideration. The process is unrelated to "financial exigency" as defined by existing Regents' Policy. The dissolution of an academic unit is permanent although it does not preclude the future creation of a very similar unit.
a. Voluntary dissolution
A voluntary dissolution is initiated when an academic unit decides to dissolve itself.
The motion to dissolve must be supported by a letter of endorsement, including a plan of implementation (see 3. below), from the relevant department head or from a faculty representative of the affected unit. Subsequent approval is required from the faculty, or the Faculty Senate (if applicable), within the structure of which the academic unit under consideration is a part. Approval is defined as receiving more "yes" votes than "no" votes. This vote must also be recorded (including abstentions) and transmitted with the letter of endorsement to the relevant Dean, Graduate School Curriculum Committee and the Graduate Dean (if the affected academic unit has a graduate program), Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, University Curriculum Committee and University Council who will make a recommendation to the President who will in turn make a recommendation to the Board of Regents. At each stage of the process, faculty members of the affected unit shall be given the opportunity to voice their concerns.
b. Involuntary dissolution
An involuntary dissolution may be initiated when:
- A Unit Head or Director, Dean, Vice President, or President originates a proposal to dissolve a unit, or
- There is a formal recommendation for dissolution resulting from an impartial substantive review of the academic unit such as, but not limited to, the "Guidelines and Procedures for Program Evaluation."
If the recommendation originates with an administrative officer, a review committee would be appointed to make an impartial substantive review of the unit and the basis for the dissolution, or the department would be evaluated through the program review process described in "Guidelines and Procedures for Program Evaluation."
Following the recommendation for dissolution and the review of the academic unit, the head of the affected unit would have an opportunity to prepare a letter of response with supporting documentation.
The initiating letter, unit head's letter, and the report of the review committee would be transmitted for consideration of dissolution to the Faculty Senate or to the entire faculty of the college or school of which the unit recommended for dissolution is a part. This vote (reporting ayes, noes, and abstentions) and any supporting documents would be forwarded to the University Curriculum Committee. Any faculty members disagreeing with the majority vote might forward their response and supporting documentation to the University Curriculum Committee. The University Curriculum Committee would then forward its recommendation to the University Council. The University Council will forward its recommendation to the President, who in turn will forward a recommendation to the Board of Regents for approval.
Implementation of a dissolution of an academic unit pertains to an allocation of associated faculty, staff, space, and other resources. The dissolution may be implemented in either of two ways: a) an academic unit may be dissolved in stages for the sake of current students or for other reasons, or b) a single date may be set for the complete dissolution. The originator shall include a plan for implementation as part of the proposal sent to the designated faculty, Graduate School Curriculum Committee and Dean (if the affected academic unit has a graduate program), University Curriculum Committee, University Council, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, President, and Board Regents. Final approval for a dissolution must be received from the Board of Regents before implementation.