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Academic Policies

Academic Affairs

PDF version: BOT Academic Policies Policy


  1. Introduction
  2. Roles and Responsibilities
  3. Policy Statement
  4. Definitions
  5. Procedures
  6. Related Information
  7. Policy History

I. Introduction

  1. Authority: C.R.S. § 23-54-102 et seq. (2018) authorizes the Trustees of Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) to establish rules and regulations to govern and operate the University and its programs. The Trustees authorize the President of MSU Denver, who subsequently authorizes the Provost, to approve, administer, and interpret policies pertaining to the academic functions of the University.

  2. Purpose: This policy defines how academic policies are developed, revised (as needed), and implemented.

  3. Scope: This policy applies to all academic policies.

II. Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Responsible Executive: Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

  2. Responsible Administrator: Associate Vice President for Curriculum and Academic Effectiveness

  3. Responsible Entity: Faculty Senate

  4. Policy Contact: Associate Vice President for Curriculum and Academic Effectiveness, 303-615-1900, and the chairs of the Faculty Senate academic policy and curriculum committees

III. Policy Statement

  1. Criteria

    1. An academic policy (1) advances the University’s vision, mission, values, or strategic plan; and/or (2) aligns academic functions with accreditation, legal, or other externally imposed requirements; and/or (3) addresses an operational efficiency or institutional risk.
    2. Academic policies and procedures apply to all students of the University or any subset of the student population, or applicants for student status at the University.

  2. Principles

    1. MSU Denver’s process to establish, amend, or archive University academic policies will be consistent, well documented, and transparent.
    2. As appropriate, impacted individuals, including students, faculty, staff, administrators, department chairs, and other relevant constituents, will have the opportunity to participate in the deliberation process prior to the establishment, amendment, or archiving of a University academic policy.
    3. The Faculty Senate represents faculty members in all matters of interest and concern, including making recommendations on current and proposed changes in academic policy. All proposed academic policies, amendments to existing policies, or archiving of academic policies must be reviewed by the Faculty Senate prior to implementation, revision or archiving. The Academic Policies Committee shall make recommendations to the Senate on all matters related to academic policies. All impacted individuals are welcome to attend, speak at, and participate in the deliberation process, including by attending Academic Policy Committee meetings.
    4. Approved University academic policies will be documented in a consistent, centralized, and searchable format.
    5. Responsible administrators or designees will communicate with the appropriate members of the University community when University academic policies are established, amended, or archived.
    6. Responsible administrators or designees will review existing University academic policies on a regular basis for currency, clarity, and consistency with other internal and external rules, regulations, and requirements.
    7. Responsible administrators or designees will assess the effectiveness of academic policies, including communication of academic policies, on an ongoing basis.
    8. University academic policies that are no longer relevant will be archived in a manner consistent with the State of Colorado’s and the University's records retention protocols.

  3. Approval

    1. The Provost of MSU Denver, in consultation with the Faculty Senate, is responsible for approving, administering, and interpreting policies pertaining to the academic functions of the University.
    2. Disputes regarding proposed academic policies or revisions are encouraged to be resolved through the academic policy process at the lowest level possible. Authority to resolve disputes resides with the final approval authority.

  4. Expedited or Interim Policies

    1. The Provost may approve an interim, University academic policy when the standard time for review and approval is insufficient to address legal, accreditation, state higher education commission requirements, or a significant institutional risk.
    2. If approved, interim academic policies are active for a maximum of one year, during which time the responsible individuals must complete the standard academic policy review and approval process.
    3. Interim academic policies must be documented and published in a format consistent with standard approved policies.
    4. Grammatical and technical changes may be made to academic policies to reflect current legal, accreditation and/or state higher education commission requirements.

IV. Definitions

  1. Academic Policy: A policy governing the organization and operation of academic programs, including policies pertaining to curriculum, subject matter and method of instruction, scholarly activity, and those aspects of the student experience that relate to the educational process.

    1. Academic policies include but are not limited to:

      1. Admissions criteria,[1] awarding of transfer credit,[2] and related practices not established by the State of Colorado or the Colorado Commission on Higher Education;
      2. Curriculum,[3] including degree, major, minor, certificate, general education, and teacher preparation programs;
      3. Course credit and contact hours;
      4. Grading practices; and
      5. Graduation requirements.

    2. Areas that do not fall under the category of academic policy include but are not limited to:

      1. Campus security;
      2. Extra-curricular and co-curricular activities;
      3. Human resources;
      4. Parking;
      5. Student services; and
      6. Technology acquisition.

  2. Policy Statement: A statement of principles or values guiding the actions of the University community. The policy statement should include what is permitted or prohibited, what is required, or how issues will be handled.



[1] See Board of Trustees policy 5.7 Admission Requirements of the University.

[2] See Board of Trustees policy 5.8 Transfer of Earned Credits.

[3] Curriculum policies and procedures are a subset of academic policies governed by the Board of Trustees and Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee. See Board of Trustees policy 5.3 Academic Program Approval and Faculty Senate Bylaws.

V. Procedures

  1. Procedures for Establishing, Amending, or Archiving University Academic Policies

    1. The Faculty Senate shall establish procedures for establishing or amending academic policies that include communication with impacted individuals and relevant constituent groups during the policy development process.
    2. The Faculty Senate votes on the recommendation of the proposed academic policy or revision, if necessary. (A vote is not necessary if the proposed policy or revision is made due to legal, accreditation, or state higher education commission requirements.)
    3. The Provost or designee approves the proposed academic policy or revision.
    4. The Provost or designee presents the proposed academic policy or revision to the President's Cabinet.
    5. The Provost’s Office publishes the approved academic policy or revision in the University Catalog and notifies the University community.

VI. Related Information

  1. MSU Denver Faculty Senate Bylaws
  2. MSU Denver Curriculum Policies and Procedures
  3. MSU Denver Faculty Employment Handbook Committee Policy
  4. MSU Denver Policy and Procedure Enactment Policy
  5. American Association of University Professors Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities
  6. Colorado State Constitution
  7. Colorado Revised Statutes
  8. Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) Policies
  9. CCHE Academic programs Policy, Section I.V
  10. CCHE Admissions Standards Policy, Section I.F
  11. CCHE Statewide Transfer and gtPathways Policy, Section I.L
  12. CCHE Student Fulltime Equivalency Reporting Guidelines, Section V.B
  13. Higher Learning Commission Policies
  14. Higher Learning Commission Assumed Practices
  15. United States (U.S.) Constitution
  16. U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
  17. U.S. Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended
  18. U.S. Student Financial Aid Handbook

VII. Policy History

  1. Effective: January 1, 2019

  2. Approved by: Board of Trustees on December 7, 2018

  3. Review Schedule: This policy will be reviewed every five years or as deemed necessary by University leadership.

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