II:04:00 Procedures for Adhering to the Timely Reporting of Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the SACSCOC

I. POLICY PURPOSE

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges requires its member institutions "to have a policy and procedure to ensure that all substantive changes are reported to the Commission in a timely fashion." Middle Tennessee State University, as an accredited member institution, adheres to the Commission's substantive change policy. This timely reporting of substantive change policy and procedure is effective April 15, 2012.

II. DESIGNATED RESPONSIBILITY

The MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison is responsible for timely reporting of a substantive change to the COC in accordance with the requirements of the COC. MTSU's academic (deans) and administrative (divisional vice-presidents) officers are responsible for compliance with the COC substantive change policy and for informing MTSU's accreditation liaison of any institutional changes that fall under the COC's substantive change policy in a manner that ensures that the institution can meet the required notification, review and approval processes of the COC. It is the responsibility of the MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison to keep the academic and administrative officers informed of any changes in the SACSCOC substantive change policy.

III. PROCEDURES FOR IMPLEMENTATION 

A. An MTSU academic or administrative officer, initiating a substantive change, as defined by the SACSCOC "Reporting the Various Types of Substantive Change" chart (Attachment A), must complete the Substantive Change Initiation Form (Attachment B). The completed form is submitted to the MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison to inform the liaison of an intended and/or proposed substantive change. The form must be submitted in accordance with the time-frame for contacting the COC and the COC approval process noted in the "Reporting the Various Types of Substantive change" chart.

B. The academic or administrative officer initiating the substantive change is responsible for

1. preparation of the substantive change letter of intent, proposal, prospectus, and/or other documentation associated with the specific type of substantive change being initiated per COC requirements, and

2. submission of the substantive change letter of intent, proposal, prospectus, and/or other documentation associated with the specific type of substantive change being initiated per COC requirements to the MTSU SACSCOC liaison.

C. The MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison

1. tracks the timely reporting and completion of required SACSCOC notification and documentation for a substantive change upon receipt of the Substantive Change Initiation Form and

2. reviews the letter of intent, proposal, prospectus, and/or other documentation against SACSCOC policies and standards for completeness and appropriateness. Upon completion of this review, the liaison forwards the substantive change notification of intent and/or proposal and/or prospectus and/or other documentation to the President for review and approval.

D. The President reviews the initiated substantive change, and if the President approves, the substantive change and supporting documentation is submitted to the SACSCOC by the MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison.

E. The MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison tracks SACSCOC actions related to substantive change requests submitted.

IV. PUBLICATION OF SACSCOC SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE POLICY AND TIMELINES

A. The "SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges Policy Statement," the SACSCOC "Reporting the Various Types of Substantive Change" chart, the Substantive Change Initiation Form, and a "Timeline for Institutional Completion of Procedures" (Attachment C) is published on the Office of the University Provost website. The Timeline for Institutional Completion of Procedures is also published on the Selected List of Deadlines for Department Chairs maintained through the Office of the University Provost and distributed annually to department chairs and deans. The Office of the University Provost electronically distributes the "Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Policy" to MTSU's academic and administrative officers annually at the beginning of the fall semester.

V. ANNUAL REVIEW OF POLICY 

Attachment A, "Reporting the Various Types of Substantive Change," and Attachment B, "Substantive Change Initiation Form," to this policy and procedure will be reviewed and continually updated by the MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison to ensure continuing compliance with the "Substantive Change Policy for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges Policy Statement" and minimally will be reviewed and updated annually by the beginning of the fall semester.

VI. ATTACHMENTS

Attachment A: SACSCOC "Reporting the Various Types of Substantive Change"
Attachment B: Substantive Change Initiation Form
Attachment C: MTSU "Timeline for Institutional Completion of Procedures"

Revisions:  April 4, 2012 (new).