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Policies and Procedures

2.01 Development of Long Range Academic Plans

  1. Long-range academic planning shall be developed at each of the universities.
  2. All self-studies developed by the institutions as well as all accreditation reports on programs or elements of the institutions as well as all HEGIS (Higher Education General Information Survey) material shall be submitted to the Board Office which will review and summarize the documents for the information of the board.
  3. Long-range academic plans will be prepared for four-year periods with biennial administrative and departmental review and revision.
    1. The plans will cover a ten-year period -- the current biennium, two biennia in the future and two biennia in the past.
    2. The plans will be combined with descriptive statements concerning present programs and current and retrospective data and will incorporate the following principles:
      1. Each study should address itself to the concepts stressed in the paper, "Long-Range Planning Under Conditions of Uncertainty," presented to the Board of Regents by the Regents Inter-institutional Committee on Educational Coordination in May, 1976. Specifically, the study should consider current academic programs in terms of their quality, centrality, resource requirements, and anticipated demand. As noted in the paper, quantitative data should be used to aid in making projections, but they should not overshadow qualitative judgments.
      2. The program projections should be related to the mission of the institution. This means that the institution's statement of mission should be reviewed to determine whether it is still accurate; if changes are needed, these should be carefully considered and presented to the board for approval as appropriate. The institutions should coordinate any such proposals for revision in statements of mission so that all proposals can be considered at the same time.
      3. Academic planning must, by necessity, be primarily the responsibility of those closest to the primary discipline--the faculty and the academic administration. In that context, planning activities will include efforts to incorporate information from appropriate groups and constituencies.
      4. Concern should be directed to the enhancement of ways to insure flexibility in the university structure in the coming years. Long-range planning can be most effective if the system is sufficiently flexible to be able to respond to changing patterns in enrollment and in programmatic needs. This is difficult if a substantial part of the resource allocations are relatively unyielding. This presents a challenge to those responsible for long-range academic planning to find ways to promote flexibility without sacrificing the traditional values and responsibilities of the academic community.
      5. The planning process should be continuous, in the sense that reviews should be conducted and reports made on a periodic basis. Although it is not desirable to invest a great amount of administrative time in continual planning activities, at the expense of activities more central to the mission of the university itself, an efficient planning procedure should be developed which allows for ongoing study and reporting of relevant information and for decision-making at appropriate times. The procedure should involve some kind of monitoring system which would identify those programs which are undergoing significant changes and for which critical decisions will have to be made in the near future.
      6. Although each institution will conduct its own long-range planning studies and make its own reports to the board, continued inter-institutional coordination and cooperation is imperative. Not only will the institutional reports be more meaningful if the institutions present data in a comparable form, but increasingly in the future programmatic decisions will have to be made affecting all three institutions. Cooperation in the planning activities leading to those decisions should insure that they are made for the best possible reasons and that all institutions feel a commitment to them.
      7. In order to meet these objectives, we propose that the academic planning mechanism at each institution incorporate the following elements:

        1. Each institution will collect programmatic data from individual units of that institution which can help in the assessment of individual programs according to the criteria of quality, centrality, resource requirements, and anticipated demand. The type of data collected should be reasonably comparable among the three institutions in order that appropriate comparisons can be made. This will require further study by the inter-institutional committee on long-range academic planning to arrive at uniform definitions of the data elements. A format for collecting the data will be devised which will be similar among the three institutions, although specific details may vary according to the needs of each.
        2. The central administration at each institution will be responsible for coordinating the planning activities, including the data gathering as well as the planning program itself. The information obtained from the individual units, as described above, will be supplemented by data obtained centrally, including indications of program quality, judgments as to the centrality of programs, and data with respect to resource and demand projections.
        3. A critical step in the planning mechanism will be reaching decisions with respect to the setting of priorities in relation to future programming. This will involve the relating of information concerning each program to information, concerning projected resources and anticipated demands, as well as evaluating the quality and centrality of each program. Criteria will be developed at each institution for the establishment of program priorities.
        4. Each institution will review its mission statement to determine whether it is still viable and appropriate as a base for long-range planning. If not, a revision will be prepared and submitted to the Board of Regents for approval. In any case, the mission statement will be used as a reference point for the planning activity and the setting of priorities.
        5. Each institution will devise a procedure for continual monitoring of academic programs so as to call attention to those which require in-depth study, perhaps because of changes in enrollment patterns or in quality.
        6. The Inter-institutional Committee on Long-Range Academic Planning should continue to meet periodically to coordinate the planning activities of the three institutions and to insure that comparable data-collecting procedures are being followed. It would continue to be responsible to the Inter-institutional Committee on Educational Coordination. (November 11, 1976, pp. 255-257)
    3. The plans will be presented to the board every second year coincident with the preparation of biennial budget requests.
  4. The Committee on Educational Coordination shall supervise the preparation and revision of the long-range academic plans for presentation to the board. (March 11-12, 1971, p. 381; June 24-25, 1971, P. 588; October 13-15, 1971, p, 157; March 9-10, 1972, pp. 511-512)
Regents' Procedural Guide