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Admissions Suspension, Moratorium, and Program Closure

These policies concern procedures for suspending admissions to a program for a year, for placing an admissions moratorium on a program for up to five years, and for closing a Rackham graduate degree or certificate program. Requests for these actions are currently handled by Assistant Dean John Godfrey Assistant Dean John Godfrey (734-764-8221).

One-Year Admissions Suspension

Program faculty may recommend to the Rackham Dean that admissions to a graduate program be suspended for one year. The purpose of an admissions suspension is usually to allow a program to address short-term issues such as over-enrollment in a given year, the need for curricular re-design, or to resolve temporary financial pressures.

Approval by the Rackham Dean is required to suspend admissions. A request should include the reasons for the suspension, the term and year it is to take effect. It should be submitted in sufficient time to allow the Graduate School to consider and act on the recommendation before applications open: requests should be submitted by August 1 for an admissions suspension to take effect in the fall and winter term of the following year.

A notice of suspension will be placed on the Rackham Admissions website and the program’s own website. During the period of suspension, the faculty and staff remain responsible for the providing the appropriate curriculum and resources for the education of currently enrolled students.

At the end of the approved suspension, a moratorium will be placed on admissions, unless the program provides information about the capacity and interest of the faculty in reopening the program to new applications. If the faculty make a request to the Rackham Dean showing that they are ready to take applications and admit students after the end of the one year suspension, the suspension will be lifted and applications will be reopened for the following academic year.

Admissions Moratorium

Program faculty, the Dean of the school or college where the program is located, or the Rackham Dean may recommend to the Rackham Executive Board that an admissions moratorium be placed on a graduate program. The purpose of a moratorium is to allow faculty time to re-assess the purpose and goals of the program and to address issues such as declining and insufficient enrollments for a sustainable and successful student community; deficiencies in resources, including funding or faculty availability; or other areas that require planning and recalibration of resources to ensure that the program can be successful. An admissions moratorium may be in place for up to five years.

Information that may be considered in deciding to recommend an admissions moratorium may include whether faculty resources and leadership are sufficient to ensure that required courses are available and that students are being mentored and advised; whether applications, admissions, enrollment or placement data indicate demand sufficient for the program to maintain a strong student community; and the adequacy of student funding support and other resources necessary to sustain the viable operation of the program.

Approval of the moratorium by the Rackham Executive Board is required. A request should include reasons and the term and year it is to take effect, and should be submitted in sufficient time to allow the Graduate School to consider and act on the recommendation before applications open: requests should be submitted by March 1 for an admissions moratorium to take effect in the fall or winter term of the following year.

The program will be removed from the Rackham Admissions website during the moratorium and a notice should be placed on the program’s own website. The program will be responsible for informing current students about the moratorium, and for continuing to provide appropriate curriculum, advising and resources to currently enrolled students.

Program faculty may ask the Rackham Executive Board to lift an admissions moratorium by providing a written request that discusses in detail the reasons for the moratorium and the steps that have been taken to address these, any revisions to the program curriculum and requirements, and a plan for reopening the program to admissions. The Dean of the school or college where the program is located must provide a letter of approval that includes any commitments for funding, staffing and space. The program may not advertise or admit students before the moratorium is lifted. The Executive Board will agree to lift the moratorium only if it is satisfied that the program can be offered at a level of educational quality appropriate for a Rackham degree, and that this quality can be sustained on an on-going basis, given the faculty, staff and financial resources available to the program.

After an admissions moratorium has been in place for five years, a program will automatically be considered for closure unless the Rackham Executive Board has received and approved a request to lift the moratorium.

Program Closure

Program faculty, the Dean of the school or college where the program is located, or the Rackham Dean may recommend to the Rackham Executive Board that a graduate program be closed because enrollment activity has stopped or because the program is no longer viable for lack of resources, qualified faculty, student demand, or commitment by faculty or the school(s) or college(s) where it is located. Before the Rackham Dean recommends to the Board that a graduate program be closed, the program will be asked to provide the Board with a written response to this proposed action.

Approval by the Rackham Executive Board is required to close a program. The Board will approve the closure if it is satisfied that the program is inactive (no enrollment for five years or more, or very intermittent enrollment over a ten year period) or if it concludes that the program cannot be offered at an acceptable level of educational quality under the current circumstances. A request to close a program must include the reasons, the term and year when it is to take effect, and a plan for faculty to provide courses, advising, and support for current students until they graduate, transfer to another program or leave the University. A request for closure that comes from program faculty should be accompanied by a letter of approval from the Dean of the school or college where the program is located.

The program will be closed officially only after all currently enrolled students have completed the degree, transferred to another program, or left the University, when the Registrar will deactivate the program. The program may no longer be advertised or admit students and will be removed from Rackham Admissions and program websites.

A request to re-open a program that has been closed, even if it is to have the same name as the one that was closed, must contain all information and supporting letters required for new program proposals. Approval by the Rackham Executive Board is required to re-open a program.