General information on Concept Paper Process
Stage 1: Concept Paper Submission and Review
- Ideas for new (or significantly modified - - more than 1/3 change) programs are normally generated by faculty members, faculty committees, department and/or program chairs.
- Timelines and process steps are found under REQUISITE FORMS listed above
1. Concept Paper
While extensive documentation is not needed, please use the Concept Paper Template in preparing the paper. Among other things, the Concept Paper includes the following information:
- Description of the goals, needs, and justification for the proposed program;
- Description of how the program fits with RIT’s mission and Academic Blueprint Portfolio criteria and characteristics;
- Indication of specific curricular linkages with other academic programs and associated interdisciplinary connections;
- Discussion of marketability and future sustainability of program based on official information provided by Enrollment Management and Career Services relative to projected enrollment;
- Description of the impact of the proposed new program on the unit and college resources. A Concept Paper Budget Template is required to project revenue and expenses. In addition discussion of how the development of this program uses resources already assigned to the academic unit/college (space, faculty/staff, etc.) and the plan for reorganization or re-allocation of resources is also required.
- Name and contact information of program proposers(s) so reviewers will be able to contact proposer(s) with questions and comments, (as needed).
2. Public Vetting:
NOTE: Concept Papers must be posted by March 1 to be eligible for Provost review
and approval in the current academic year.
- When the concept paper is ready for review, it should be sent by the Dean to the Provost for a four-week posting to the Provost’s Curriculum and Academic Program Management website with a call for comment by the RIT community. The call for comment by the RIT community will be sent out by the Provost's Office. Comments and suggestions by RIT Community members should be made utilizing the website electronic feedback option. Among other things, the purpose of community input is to identify potential synergy and/or overlap between the proposed program and other programs in the same college and different colleges or units across campus.
- In addition, in order to further engage the RIT community, the initiator is encouraged to provide an appropriate opportunity for a public forum where questions and comment regarding synergy and overlap can be discussed.
3. Summary of Community Feedback:
- Following the public vetting stage, the Dean summarizes and includes all feedback including any planned modifications to proposed program concept based on feedback received with final concept paper with complete Cost Model information is forwarded to Provost who will provide direction and final approval to move to full proposal development stage.
- Prior to this, Provost will bring concept paper to the Council of Deans for discussion if either the Provost deems it necessary or if one or more of the deans requests such a discussion.
4. Joint Proposals:
- In the case of joint proposals, each academic unit and the related deans should provide evidence of support at concept paper stage. Formal review of full proposal by curricular review bodies associated with each unit is also expected.
Stage 2: Formal Department and College Review*
- Each college has a structure and process for reviewing and approving proposals for new or substantially modified academic programs. These college-level policies and procedures are in accordance with RIT Policy D.1.
*NOTE: In the case of Graduate and Doctoral Degree program proposals and certain other types of proposals, external review by recognized experts in the field is required by NYSED. This review should occur prior to review by ICC or Grad Council and should be coordinated through the office of the Senior Associate Provost, (further detail on this requirement is found at External Review for New Program Proposals.
Stage 3: University Level Review
- University Level Review occurs through:
- Graduate Council or Intercollegiate Curriculum Committee (ICC)
- Academic Senate
Stage 4: Final Review and Approval by Provost with Alignment to Budget Process
- Formal proposals for new (or substantially modified) academic programs must obtain the endorsement of the appropriate university level curriculum review body and gain the approval of the Provost before the end of January in order for the program to be considered for the budget review process. Adherence to this timeline allows the Dean(s) to include the needed program resources in the budget request process, which occurs during February and March. Through the annual budget approval process, it will be the responsibility of the dean or deans to include needed program resources in all subsequent budget requests for the years that follow. This shall particularly apply to deans from colleges that provide support to the curriculum.
- A new program will not be submitted for registration by the New York State Education Department until the requisite resource requests have been approved through the budget approval process.
- If there are no resource implications associated with a proposal for a new (or substantially modified) academic program, the Provost may allow the proposal to be forwarded to the New York State Education Department for registration in a timely manner, independent of the normal budget approval cycle, once the proposal has gained the endorsement of the appropriate RIT governance group.
Stage 5: Concept Paper Resubmission Guidance
- Proposers wishing to resubmit a concept paper not previously approved to move to a full program proposal, should prepare a new concept paper submission and submit it for posting according to the vetting process outlined on the "Getting Started: Concept Paper" section of the Academic Program and Curriculum Management website. The revised concept paper should clearly reflect the feedback provided by the Provost during the first review cycle. No resubmitted concept paper is likely to be approved unless significant changes are made.
- From Concept Paper to Full Program Development Guidance:
- It can be expected that new program development will undergo some change as faculty move from concept paper to full proposal development. If significant changes are made to the intent, scope, or direction of the new program as expressed in the original concept paper, faculty are advised to highlight what these changes are and address the rationale for the changes in the final program proposal.