Section II.6



Adopted by the Faculty February 7, 1984

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I. Rationale

With societal and disciplinary changes and with developments in educational technology, educational systems will undergo change over time. Such changes may involve termination of units made obsolete or ineffective. The need to be responsibly adaptive to social, educational, and technological developments thus makes necessary adoption of procedures for program evaluation and, if appropriate, unit termination.

The exigency created by budgetary conditions in the College may be another source of perceived need for procedures for unit elimination.  However, budgetary considerations should not be the sole reason for unit termination, as one of the primary bases for program continuation should also be academic considerations.

II. Procedure for Review of a Unit for Possible Termination

The aims in developing procedures for review of a unit designated for possible termination were to (1) assure the fairness and integrity of the evaluation process, (2) establish appropriate faculty involvement in decision-making, (3) permit decisions to be made in a reasonable time frame, and (4) safeguard the rights of the individuals in the designated units.

The following criteria should determine the ultimate decision:

  1. Need, appropriateness, and centrality of the unit to the LAS College mission.
  2. Quality of unit programs and operations.
  3. Additional factors such as:
    1. societal and educational demand
    2. service value to other units within the College and university
    3. cost/benefits and efficiency of programs and operations
    4. availability of similar program within the system of Illinois public higher education


The following procedures shall govern the review of units subject to possible termination within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

  1. A Unit Review Committee (URC) shall be established to review each designated unit.
  2. With the advice of the Executive Committee, the Dean may constitute and charge the URC.  For a unit within the school, the Dean shall also seek the advice of the school Director.
    1. The committee shall consist of 5-7 members appointed by the Dean with the advice of the Executive Committee from a larger panel nominated by the Committee on Committees. The unit under review shall have the option of designating one of the members of the URC from the panel proposed by the Nominations Committee.
    2. No member of the unit under review shall serve on the URC.
  3. The URC shall make a recommendation to the Dean regarding continuation, restructuring, or termination of the unit.
    1. The URC may use special internal and/or external review committees to assess various components of the unit. Such committees shall make specific assessments as needed by the URC. No recommendations regarding the continuation of the unit may be made in these assessments.
    2. In cases where an academic (degree-granting) unit is being reviewed, the judgment of an external review panel must be considered as part of the URC evaluation. A recent Academic Program Review (APR) may be used for this purpose. In the event that the URC requests a new review:
      1. This external review panel shall consist of at least three scholars of national stature within the discipline(s) under review.
      2. The unit under review shall nominate at least two such scholars and at least one member of this panel shall be selected from among individuals nominated by the unit.
      3. The external review panel is not used to make a judgment about continuation. Its function is to make judgments of quality, program and operational strengths and weaknesses, etc. (While it may be necessary or useful to bring the panelists to campus, their functions could be accomplished through consideration of materials supplied to them. The review may involve consultation among the panelists or consist of independent assessments by the panelists.)
    3. Before arriving at the final recommendation, the URC shall formulate and provide the unit with a list of questions and a bill of particulars of concerns or possible deficiencies relative to the unit. The unit shall have at least 20 working days to make a response to the URC.
    4. After considering the response of the unit, the URC shall arrive at its recommendations and transmit those recommendations along with the supporting rationale and materials to the Dean. (Copy to the school Director for units within schools.)
    5. Although the time consumed may vary, under most circumstances the URC should complete its evaluations and recommendations within three months of receiving its charge.
  4. The Executive Committee shall review the recommendations and materials and formulate its advice to the Dean relative to the URC’s recommendations. (For units within schools, the Dean shall also seek the advice of the school director)
  5. The Dean shall formulate a decision relative to the unit. A range of options is available including continuation of all operations, termination of some components, transfer of programs or personnel to other units, and termination of the unit. In no event shall a tenured faculty member's employment be involuntarily terminated due to the retrenchment of a unit. Rather, the Dean shall ensure a suitable alternate academic assignment for tenured faculty acceptable to those involved. The decision relative to the unit shall be implemented in accordance with Article VIII, Section 4 of the University Statutes, Standing Rule 13 of the Senate of the Urbana-Champaign Campus, and established procedures and personnel policies of the college, the campus and the university.


Updated April 2003
Updated February 2018