September 22, 2017 02:33 am

Reorganization of Academic Units

Academic Affairs Policy Statement No. 18

1. References

a. The Board of Regents Policy Manual, University System of Georgia, 2006.

b. Bylaws of the University Council of the University of Georgia, 2006.

2. Objectives

This document provides the general procedure for the change of organizational structure of an academic unit. Changes of organizational structure include reorganization, or transfer of academic units, or any reassignment or transfer of a group of faculty for the purpose of academic restructuring.

3. Policy

a. The organizational structure of academic units is tied to the educational mission of the university. Faculty governance plays a central role whenever the organizational structure of an academic unit changes, affirming the importance of an appropriate faculty voice in carrying out the university’s educational mission.

b. Academic units subject to this policy include schools, colleges, and departments.

c. A proposal for change in the organizational structure of an academic unit shall be justified in terms of the academic mission of the university. If changes are proposed for administrative or fiscal reasons, the proposal should be mindful of disciplinary and interdisciplinary integrity.

d. These guidelines are not meant to be invoked upon the reassignment of an individual faculty member. When a reassignment involves five or more faculty members in the same academic unit and is involuntary, the faculty may appeal to the next level of administration with a copy to the Provost that the reassignment is a result of a change in organizational structure and request that the unit comply with this policy and submit a proposal for reorganization.

e. No organizational change shall be implemented prior to approval of the University Council, the University President, and the Board of Regents when Regents’ policy requires such. If, at any time in these procedures, the Executive Committee of University Council finds that implementation of the structural change has begun before approval of the University Council, the Executive Committee shall not forward the proposal until such implementation has been reversed.

f. For use in this policy, faculty shall consist of the Corps of Instruction as defined in the Board of Regents Policy Manual, 302, and ex-officio members as designated by the University of Georgia Statutes, .

4. Routing

Proposals initiated at the department level or above require the approval of the department or unit head and a vote of the faculty within the unit. If the faculty in the unit vote to approve the proposal, a record of the vote must be included in the proposal when it is submitted to the school or college for consideration. After approval by the dean of the school or college, the proposal shall be submitted to the Graduate School for consideration if the unit offers graduate programs or includes graduate faculty. After approval by the Dean of the Graduate School, if applicable, the proposal shall be submitted to the Provost for consideration and approval. After approval by the Provost, the proposal shall be submitted to the University Curriculum Committee for consideration. After approval of the University Curriculum Committee, the proposal shall be submitted to the Executive Committee of Council. The Executive Committee shall determine if the proposal is complete for consideration by University Council. After approval by the University Council, the proposal shall be submitted to the President for consideration and approval. This approval will be final unless Board of Regents policy requires that the proposal be sent to the Board of Regents for consideration. If the proposal for reorganization is at a level beyond department, the routing above shall be followed from that point forward.

If the faculty in the unit vote to reject the proposal, an external review panel shall be established according to the process specified in section 5.b.a) of this policy. After the external review panel submits a report, the faculty in the unit shall have another opportunity to vote. The record of the vote and the external review panel report shall be added to the proposal and the proposal shall follow the routing specified above.

5. Procedures

The originator of the request shall prepare a proposal following the format provided under #6 of this policy, Format for the Proposal. Faculty in the unit are entitled to vote on the proposal. Related departments affected by the proposed change should be identified and given an opportunity to submit views on the proposal.

Voting: in accordance with the provisions of this policy and as set forth in the proposal, faculty in the unit shall hold a meeting to discuss the proposed change and to vote, as individuals, on the proposal. All votes are anonymous and shall be recorded and reported by the number voting to approve, the number voting to reject, and the number abstaining. If more than one unit is affected, the vote of each unit will be recorded separately. The number of faculty eligible to vote shall also be reported.

a. Faculty Approved Vote: If two-thirds of the eligible faculty in the unit vote to approve the proposal, the proposal shall follow the process provided in section 4. of this policy.

b. Faculty Rejected Vote: If the reorganization plan is not approved by two thirds of the faculty, then it will be considered to have been rejected, the procedure shall be interrupted, and the following shall be conducted: 

a) External Review Panel: The proposal shall be submitted to the Office of the Provost so that the Provost may select and convene a review panel external to the unit of at least three experts selected from nominations by the academic unit’s faculty, dean’s office, if
applicable, and Office of the Provost. At least one external review panel member must be from the nominations of the affected unit’s faculty. The cost of the review panel will be the responsibility of the academic unit that originated the proposal. The selection, visit,investigation, and report of this external panel shall be coordinated by the Office of the Provost. The external review panel shall give ample opportunity for all faculty in the unit to have their voices heard in the review process. The report of the panel shall include a discussion of the academic merits of the proposal and be completed within four months.

b) External Review Panel Report: The final report shall be delivered to the Office of the Provost, University Curriculum Committee, and the originator of the proposal. The originator of the proposal shall be given an opportunity to change the proposal in accordance with the recommendations of the review panel. The proposal and report of the External Review Panel shall be distributed to all faculty within the unit and related faculty identified in the proposal. The faculty in the unit shall have a new opportunity to vote on the proposal. A record of all votes, whether to approve or reject, shall be included in the proposal.

c) Vote to Reject after External Review: A vote to reject shall not stop consideration of the proposal, but such votes shall be taken into consideration at each step of the review procedure. 

6. Format for the Proposal

Any proposed change in the organizational structure of an academic unit must be in writing and be presented to the university's president, provost, and faculty in the unit as well as the department heads, deans, and vice presidents who are
directly affected by such change. 

The proposal shall include the following:

a. Originator of the proposal and name of academic unit.

b. A diagram of the organizational structure before and after the proposed change.

c. Goals/objectives the change is expected to accomplish.

d. Rationale for change. This shall include an analysis of the impact of the proposed change on the academic mission of the university. Where appropriate, reference shall be made to the strategic plan of the university, strategic plan of the unit to be changed, strategic plan of any unit of which the affected unit is a subunit, and any relevant 5-year plans.

e. Impact on faculty, staff, students, and programs.

f. Resource implications (faculty lines, staff positions, space, equipment, moving expenses, remodeling expenses, etc.).

g. List of faculty within the unit.

h. Designation of related faculty and units that shall be informed of the proposal and given an opportunity for response.

i. Timeline for approval and implementation of the change. This timeline shall include the vote of the faculty in the unit and allow time for input from related departments allowing ample time for their consideration while, at the same time, ensuring the progress of the proposal.

j. Implementation plan.