MONTANA UNIVERSITY SYSTEM ACADEMIC PROGRAM REVIEW:

UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA

The Academic Program Review process now being completed included the review of 185 degree and certificate programs at the campuses of the University of Montana. This year, for the first time, programs at the Colleges of Technology were included in the review. As a result, the number of programs reviewed is substantially higher than it was in 1994-95.

Recommendations to the Academic and Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Regents appear on the submission agenda in January 2000, with action to be taken at the March 2000 meeting. At that meeting, recommendations on programs at the campuses of Montana State University are tentatively scheduled to appear on the submission agenda, with action to be taken at the May 2000 meeting.

As part of the Review, campuses were asked to examine all programs and to identify, for the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education and the Board what may be termed Special Purpose Programs, those that serve a special purpose in the curriculum such as

    1. Master’s programs that serve as an alternate degree to the doctorate, provided the doctoral degree itself is not on the low degree list;
    2. Programs that are formed of dual majors—comprised solely of program requirements from accredited programs not on the low degree list;
    3. Programs that are central to institutional mission; and
    4. Programs that lack at least a three-year history.

The Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education offers recommendations of six types:

Except in unusual circumstances, programs will not be continued in the long term that do not meet the numerical standards. In a few cases, campuses have argued to retain a program pending an in-depth review on the campus. For example, the Master of Arts in Fine Arts at the University of Montana was reconfigured as a consequence of the last program review but over an extended period. In consideration of that, the new leadership of the college and the helpful role of the Graduate Council in such matters, staff will recommend retaining the program pending an intensive Graduate Council review and ensuing recommendations.

In addition, the universities have been involved in ongoing evaluations of the program inventory that have resulted in additional program eliminations that were not included in this list.

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