The University of Toronto views the closing of academic activities as a normal and positive part of quality assurance and program evolution. The University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process (UTQAP) (PDF) explicitly includes a process for program closures.
According to the UTQAP (section 1.2), the “Office of the Vice-Provost, Academic Programs responds to divisional queries and facilitates the development of proposals for the closure of programs. The Office includes program closures in the annual report to the Quality Council.”
Program closures may be initiated internally or be recommended by an external review report.
Examples of reasons for closure include:
- low enrolment
- changing disciplinary landscape
- program revision
- re-evaluation of the academic offerings.
Closure vs. Administrative Suspension of Admissions
From time to time, admissions to academic programs may be suspended administratively. This is not the same as closing a program.
- is temporary
- does not require governance
- is initiated by a Faculty or division for a variety reasons, including embarking on a period of curricular consideration and renewal
- may also be followed by the full closure of a program through governance.
After a Faculty informs the VPAP Office of the administrative suspension of admissions, VPAP notifies the relevant University offices so the suspension can be implemented. The Faculty informs the VPAP when the suspension has been lifted.
Proposals for the closure of:
- an undergraduate program
- an undergraduate program stream
- a graduate program
- a graduate program field, concentration
should be developed in consultation with the relevant Dean’s Office and the VPAP Office, which will consult with other administrative offices as appropriate.
At U of T, programs are normally first closed to new admissions and then, once all students in progress have completed the program, closed completely.
A proposal for the closure of a program or program component should include an academic rationale that touches upon:
- impact on the nature and quality of the division’s program of study
- impact of closure on other units including interdivisional and inter-institutional agreements/contracts
- impact and accommodation of any students currently enrolled in the program
- consultation with affected Faculties/divisions, units and students
- resource implications.
Template: proposal for the closure of an existing program (graduate or undergraduate) (Word)
Proposals for program or program component closures such as graduate program fields, or concentrations, or undergraduate program streams are subject to the same governance as when they were created (see a diagram of the process for program closure [PDF]).
Proposals to close academic programs such as majors, specialists, graduate degrees or programs and diplomas receive final approval through University governance beyond the Faculty council. Please consult the VPAP Office on the process and timing.