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3. Admissions Suspension, Moratorium, and Program Closure

3.1. One-year admissions suspension

Graduate programs may ask the Rackham dean to suspend admissions for one year. An admissions suspension allows a program to address short-term issues such as over-enrollment in a given year, the need for curriculum redesign, or temporary financial pressures.

A request should provide reasons for the suspension and the academic year when it should be in effect. The graduate chair or director should submit a request far enough in advance for the graduate school to act before applications open—requests should be submitted by August 1 for an admissions suspension to take effect in the fall or winter term of the following academic year. The request should include confirmation of approval by the program’s graduate faculty.

The graduate school and the program will place a suspension notice on their websites. The program will maintain regular curriculum, advising, and other resources for currently enrolled students.

Toward the end of the suspension year, the program should ask the Rackham dean to re-open admissions if it is ready to re-open applications. If the program is not ready to accept applications, the Dean will ask the Rackham Executive Board to place a moratorium on admissions.

3.2. Admissions moratorium

The program chair or director, the dean of the school or college where the program is located, or the Rackham dean may recommend that the Rackham Executive Board place a moratorium on admissions to a program. A moratorium request should confirm support of the graduate faculty. A moratorium allows the graduate faculty to re-assess the purpose and goals of the program and to address longer-term structural issues. A moratorium may last up to five years to allow time for planning and recalibration of resources that can ensure the success of the program.

Reasons for an admissions moratorium may include insufficiency of graduate faculty and leadership to ensure that courses are available and that students are mentored and advised; persistently low application and admissions activity that affects the quality of the student community; and the lack of funding and other resources needed to sustain the operation of the program.

A request should explain the reasons for the moratorium, when it should take effect, and its anticipated length. Program chairs should submit a request far enough in advance to allow the graduate school to act before applications open, no later than March 1 for a moratorium to take effect in the fall or winter term of the following academic year.

The graduate school will remove the program from the admissions website, and the program should place a notice on its website. The program will be responsible for informing students and will maintain the regular curriculum, advising, and other resources to assure their progress toward completion of their degrees.

The Rackham Executive Board will lift the moratorium when the program can demonstrate that faculty, staff, and financial resources are available to sustain a level of quality appropriate for a Rackham degree. To lift an admissions moratorium, the graduate chair or director should provide a written request that affirms the support of the graduate faculty to reopen it, and that explains the reasons for the moratorium and discusses the outcome of the steps taken to address these issues. The request should explain any revisions to the curriculum and requirements, and a timetable for reopening admissions. The dean of the school or college where the program is located must provide written approval that includes any commitments for funding, staffing, and space. The program may not advertise or admit students until the graduate school has lifted the moratorium.

The Rackham Executive Board will consider closing a program that has had an admissions moratorium in place for five years.

3.3. Program closure

The program chair or director, the dean of the school or college where the program is located, or the Rackham dean may recommend that the Rackham Executive Board close a graduate program. This may occur when enrollment activity has stopped (no enrollment for five years or more or very intermittent enrollment over a ten-year period) or the program can no longer be offered at an acceptable level of quality because of lack of resources, including qualified graduate faculty, or declining commitment by the faculty of the unit(s) where it is located. The request to close a program should confirm support of the program’s graduate faculty.

Executive Board approval is required to close a program. Requests must explain the reasons, when it should take effect, and a plan for providing courses, advising, and support for current students until they graduate, transfer to another program, or leave the university. The dean of the school or college must provide written approval. If a dean proposes closing a program, the graduate school will ask the program’s graduate faculty to provide a written response to the proposed closure and share this with the Executive Board.

The Registrar will deactivate the program after all enrolled students have completed the degree, transferred to another program, or left the University.

A request to re-open a program requires a complete program proposal and approval by the Rackham Executive Board.