6,090: Review of Low-Yield Academic Programs

Revised: November 2021

To conform to Board of Regents policies for low-yield program review and to provide data for an early warning to potential low-yield programs, the Office of the Provost annually produces a report of all academic programs that are identified as low-yield according to criteria established by the Board of Regents. The policy also provides for exceptions based on criteria described in the Board of Regents Handbook (Title 4, Chapter 14, Section 6).

Academic programs designated as low-yield in this annual report are reviewed by the President and Executive Vice President & Provost in consultation with the Faculty Senate the year in which they meet the low-yield thresholds. According to Regents’ policy, action is required within the following three years regarding a program’s continuation, merger, or exemption from low-yield. This three-year period provides an early warning for programs in the low-yield category.

The President is required to report annually to the Chancellor all programs designated low-yield within three years of the program initially reaching the low-yield thresholds. Also included will be the results of the institutional review process of such programs

In order to have clean and consistent data, the following guidelines will be used to prepare the report for the President and the Executive Vice President & Provost:

  • Any program name changes that have been made during the last 10 years will be so noted to prevent cosmetic name changes from resulting in erroneous graduation reports. If a program name change is accompanied by sufficient curricular revision that Board of Regents approval is required, the date of Regents’ approval will be used as the new date of origin of the program.
  • Summer graduates are included in the subsequent fall and spring graduates to be consistent with NSHE reporting policy.

Emphases and specializations within a major will not be treated separately; the lowest unit of analysis will be an academic major. An academic unit (department) having more than one academic major will have each academic major examined separately in relation to criteria for low-yield. However, the University has the prerogative of exempting from low-yield status a program that is one of several programs provided by an academic unit (if the aggregate total of degrees granted is above the low-yield threshold) or that can be justified for other reasons deemed adequate by the Provost’s Office and consistent with Regents’ criteria. If a program has low-yield status for three consecutive years, this decision will be made by the Provost’s Office after reviewing the data identified above.