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Stages of Proposal Development and Activation

The Rackham Executive Board reviews and approves new programs. Proposals may be received at any time, but it is the responsibility of the proposers to allow sufficient time for all stages of review, revision and approval before the program is activated. Coordinating calendars at each stage of approval requires careful advance planning. Successful development of a new program usually takes several months and, depending on the complexity of the proposal, may require up to a year. A new program cannot be advertised or admit students until final approvals have been obtained. Contact Assistant Dean John Godfrey for examples of successful proposals for new degree programs.

  1. Development of the draft proposal. Faculty consult with Rackham in the early stages of preparing a draft proposal.
  2. Preliminary submission to Rackham. Rackham Deans Group reviews the preliminary draft and gives feedback to help refine the proposal for submission to the Executive Board.
  3. Unit review and approval. Dean(s) of the academic unit(s) where the program will be located—or which will contribute courses, faculty, or other resources for interdepartmental programs—review the proposal and provide written approval that includes any commitment of resources and confirms that the proposal has been reviewed and approved by faculty under the procedures of the school or college. Directors or chairs of other units or graduate programs that contribute to the proposed program also review and provide written approval.
    • In the College of Engineering, the Curriculum Committee reviews program proposals. Contact Mary-Ann Mycek for assistance.
    • In LSA, the Dean’s Cabinet and Executive Committee review program proposals. Contact Paula Hathaway for assistance.
  4. Rackham Executive Board review. The Rackham Executive Board reviews and approves all new programs. After a first review, the Board may have questions or comments that require additional information and revision before final approval is granted.
  5. Presidents’ Council of State Universities of Michigan. Proposals for degree programs in new fields also must be submitted for approval to the Presidents’ Council of State Universities of Michigan. This final step must be completed for these programs before students can be recruited or admitted. The Presidents’ Council meets quarterly. Further information is available at the Provost’s Office webpage. Proposals for master’s degrees in existing fields, dual or sequential programs between existing degrees, or certificate programs do not need this additional approval.
  6. Activation. Following final approval by the Rackham Executive Board and, when required, by the Presidents’ Council, the Registrar assigns a new program code and the program will be open for admission.