Millersville University, Faculty Senate
Guidelines for Preparation and Approval of Proposals
Prepared March 1984. Revised: June 1990, May 1997, September 2001, March 2002 (UCPRC & GCPRC)

I. Course Approval Process (Governance Manual, section 3, under Course & Program Approval Procedure)

  1. Initiation Each department (or group of departments) may establish its own process to generate proposals, provided that in the process:
    1. A single spokesperson is authorized to guide the proposal through the approval process and negotiate minor (see I.C. below) changes in it.
    2. A course proposal is prepared according to the format described in section II.
  2. Resource Implications To each copy of the proposal should be attached either (1) the completed Resource Implications form, or (2) a copy of the appropriate Dean's analysis of the resource implications of the proposal. The proposal and accompanying Resource Implications form should be submitted to the dean for analysis once the proposal has passed the department. (A blank Resource Implications form is linked to the Faculty Senate home page.) A copy of the Dean's analysis should be attached to each copy of the proposal that is submitted to Faculty Senate.
  3. Intermediate Stages The spokesperson presents the proposal first to the appropriate school committee(s) and council(s), then to the Undergraduate Course and Program Review Committee (UCPRC, Section I.F.), or Graduate Course and Program Review Committee (GCPRC, Section I.G), as appropriate. One of three actions results at each stage:
    1. Approval of the proposal as presented.
    2. Approval subject to certain amendments agreed to by the spokesperson & deemed as minor changes (see Section I.D.). Such amendments shall appear at each stage as attachments to the original proposal unless they are purely editorial.
    3. Disapproval. Reasons for disapproval must be clearly stated in writing to the proposal spokesperson. Revised proposals must undergo the complete approval process.
  4. Minor changes, Major Changes, and Disapproval Each committee, council, or department involved in the approval process through any given stage shall be notified of amendments by receipt of minutes and may object to them as representing major changes. Such action will constitute disapproval of the proposal (see Section I.C.3. above).
  5. Appeal (See Governance Manual, p. 86) Should a proposal be twice disapproved by the same committee or council (other than departmental) the initiating department(s) shall have the right to appeal directly to Faculty Senate.
  6. UCPRC Procedures and Timetable When a proposal has been approved for presentation to the UCPRC, the spokesperson shall send 15 copies of the (amended) proposal, each with a cover sheet, to the UCPRC chairperson. (Blank cover pages are linked to the Faculty Senate homepage.) Proposals are considered in the order of receipt. UCPRC meets on the second, fourth, and fifth Tuesday (at 4:00 p.m.) when classes are in session during fall and spring semesters. UCPRC normally considers up to four new proposals each meeting. A current list of course proposals awaiting consideration is available from the UCPRC chairperson on request. There often is a backlog of courses. Normal procedure follows:
    Before meeting 1-- Notification of the spokesperson of the time, date, and location of the committee meeting. Distribution of the course proposal to the members of the committee.
    Meeting 1-- Introduction of the proposal by the spokesperson. Discussion of the proposal by the committee with the spokesperson. Indication of possible suggestions for revision.
    Meeting 2-- Action by the committee. The proposal spokesperson will be informed in writing of the recommendations of the committee, as well as of any changes suggested or required.
  7. GCPRC Procedures and Timetable When the proposal has been approved for presentation to the GCPRC, the proposal spokesperson shall send 20 copies of the (amended) proposal, each with a cover sheet, to the GCPRC Chairperson. (Blank cover pages are linked to the Faculty Senate homepage). Proposals are considered in the order of receipt. GCPRC meets on the last Wednesday of the month from 3-4:30 PM when classes are in session during fall and spring semesters.
    Prior to meeting when the proposal is first introduced-- Notification of the Spokesperson of the time, date, and location of the GCPRC meeting. The GCPRC Chairperson will distribute the proposal to the members of GCPRC.
    Introduction of the proposal for consideration--During the appropriate time in the GCPRC Agenda, the spokesperson will be identified and will introduce the proposal. Discussion of the proposal by the committee with the spokesperson. During this meeting one of the following actions may occur:
    1. Approval of the proposal as presented
    2. Referral of the proposal to the spokesperson to make suggested amendments and resubmit for consideration during future GCPRC regularly scheduled meetings
  8. Recommendation to the Senate If the proposal is approved, the UCPRC or GCPRC chairperson will return the signed cover page of the proposal with a copy of the proposal, and ask the spokesperson to provide to Faculty Senate forty copies (reproduced double-sided, that is, front to back) of the proposal each with accompanying cover page, and with all amendments incorporated into the text. The proposal will be presented at the next Faculty Senate meeting with the committee's recommendations. Senate approval normally follows the one-meeting rule.
II. Body of a Course Proposal (A course is proposed and controlled by a department, not by an individual. The use of first-person singular in the proposal therefore is not appropriate.)
  1. Catalog Description with Prerequisites
  2. Rationale and Supporting Information--Discuss the following briefly.
    1. Present curricular needs this course will meet.
    2. Projected enrollment/
    3. Relationship, if any, between this course and other courses in this or other departments (consider interdisciplinary curricula, overlap of content with that of course in other departments, etc.). If there is the possibility that the content of a proposed course may overlap with the content of a course in another department, the proposal should be accompanied by a memo from the other department indicating that it has reviewed the proposal. It is the proposer's responsibility to verify that a proposal does not create difficulties with the curricula of other departments. (As each proposal is received by the UCPRC chairperson, possible conflicts will be checked by DARS. Any that are found will be brought to the attention of the proposer and should be resolved.)
    4. Removal from the catalog of existing courses in the event of approval.
    5. Primary orientation. To what extent is the purpose of the course to develop or provide relevant:
        a. facts? b. analytical methods? c. technical skills?
    6. Appropriateness of proposed title, number, and credit hours.
  3. Primary Course Objectives
  4. Comprehensive Outline of Course Content
  5. Criteria for Evaluating Student Performance Indicate the types of items that will be evaluated: term papers, essay examinations, reaction papers, artistic or craft projects, oral presentations, classroom participation, etc. Course grading policies must be in accord with guidelines in the current governance manual (section 3).
  6. Required Text and Bibliography (the latter to be four pages or less)
  7. General Education Credit? (Not appropriate for graduate courses.) If so:
    1. In which block? Humanities and Fine Arts (G1), Science and Mathematics (G2), Social Sciences (G3) Attach a completed Liberal Arts Core application form (linked to Senate web page).
    2. Indicate the component of General Education satisfied by this course: Liberal Arts Core, Perspectives, or Additional University Requirements.
    3. Indicate whether the proposed course satisfies the criteria for Lab, W (Liberal Arts core or otherwise), or Perspectives designations and attach the appropriate General Education approval forms. (These forms are linked to the Senate web-page.)
  8. Resources--How will the following needs be met?
    1. Staff: Does the department possess the expertise to teach the proposed course or are new faculty needed? Please omit references to specific individuals.
    2. Library: Does Ganser Library or the departmental library have sufficient resources to support the proposed course? Explain what is needed.
    3. Equipment: Does the department or the university possess the equipment needed to present the course? Explain anything that is needed.
  9. Other Supporting Materials as Necessary
III. Timeliness of Proposals Proposers need to initiate proposals early enough to make sure they are completely approved in time to be included in the schedule of courses for a given semester. (1) The last step in the approval process-approval by the Provost-can occur no later than the very beginning of the semester before the course is scheduled to be offered. Courses that have not been approved by the Provost will not be printed in the published schedule of classes. (2) In turn, this means that recommendation for approval by Faculty Senate must be complete by the end of the previous semester. Proposals are considered for approval by Faculty Senate the meeting after they are presented (or placed on the agenda). (3) Therefore, courses must receive recommendation for approval by UCPRC or GCPRC, no later than one month before the end of the semester. UCPRC or GCPRC has the same procedure as does Senate, to consider for approval the meeting after a course is presented. (4) This means that a course must pass divisional curriculum committee no later than two months before the end of that semester.

Therefore, a course will require a minimum of a semester to receive the recommendations for approval of divisional curriculum committee, UCPRC or GCPRC, and Senate. The approval process may take longer, usually because the committees involved have a large number of proposals to consider, or if the course is controversial and is challenged or generates considerable discussion. It always is wise for the proposer to contact the chair of the divisional curriculum committee and the chair of UCPRC or GCPRC to determine how crowded their agendas are.

In summary, for a course to be offered in the spring semester, it should be submitted to the divisional curriculum committee no later than the start of the spring semester of the previous year. A fall semester course should be submitted to the divisional curriculum committee no later than the beginning of the fall semester of the previous year. Of course, departments always may offer a course one time as an experimental course.