4.11 General Policies
4.11-1 Release of Student Records§
Additional information regarding the UGA Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy can be found at http://www.reg.uga.edu/ferpa_privacy_act
- University of Georgia Bulletin and Office of the Registrar
4.11-2 Mailing Label Requests§
Mailing label requests for fund-raising purposes will be denied.
- Office of the Vice President for Instruction, January 1, 1989
4.11-3 University of Georgia Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy§
- Equal Opportunity Office, December 4, 2012
4.11-4 Substantive Change Policy§
a. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), The Principles of Accreditation, Principle 14.2, Substantive Change
b. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions Policy Statement
c. U.S. Department of Education, Accreditation in the United States, Required Operating Policies and Procedures, 602.22, Substantive Change
The U.S. Department of Education requires recognized institutional accrediting agencies to have a policy that ensures that any substantive change to the educational mission or programs of an accredited institution does not adversely affect the capacity of the institution to continue to meet the agency’s standards. UGA’s institutional accreditor, SACSCOC, maintains a substantive change policy that requires institutions as a condition of continued accreditation to notify SACSCOC and, in some cases, seek SACSCOC approval prior to implementation of substantive changes.
The University of Georgia must ensure that all substantive changes are reported to SACSCOC in a timely fashion as required by SACSCOC’s Substantive Change Policy and Procedures.
In keeping with federal regulations, SACSOC defines substantive change as “a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution.” Under SACSCOC and federal regulations, substantive changes include but are not limited to:
- Relocating an off-campus instructional site of an institution.
- Adding a program that is a significant departure from those offered when the institution was last evaluated.
- Adding an additional method of delivery (e.g., online) to a currently offered program.
- Entering into a cooperative academic arrangement.
- Entering into a written arrangement under which an institution or organization not certified to participate in the title IV Higher Education Act (HEA) programs offers a portion of one or more of the accredited institution's educational programs.
- Substantially increasing or decreasing the number of clock hours or credit hours awarded or competencies demonstrated, or an increase in the level of credential awarded, for successful completion of one or more programs.
- Awarding dual or joint academic awards.
- Adding a new off-campus instructional site/additional location.
- Closing a program, a method of delivery, an off-campus instructional site, or a program at an off-campus instructional site.
The SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures defines all types of changes that fall within the scope of the policy as well as
procedures and timelines for notification or seeking approval for each.
Academic Officers (Deans, Associate Deans, Vice Presidents, Associate Vice Presidents, Associate Provosts, Directors. Associate Directors, Legal Counsel) must:
- be aware of the UGA and SACSCOC substantive change policies;
- recognize potential substantive changes within their areas of responsibilities;
- notify the University’s SACSCOC Liaison at the earliest point possible of any proposal that may be considered a substantive change; and
- provide the SACSCOC Liaison with any data, information, or prospectus necessary to
comply with SACSCOC policy when requested.
The SACSCOC Liaison will:
- provide Academic Officers with information about the SACSCOC substantive change policy on a regular basis;
- work with Academic Officers to determine whether a proposed change is substantive;
- determine action required and timeline with respect to SACSCOC when a change is substantive;
- file the appropriate notification or prospectus with SACSCOC; and
- coordinate with SACSCOC and Academic Officers about any required follow-up action.
The Office of Accreditation and Institutional Effectiveness will:
- support the SACSCOC Liaison in execution of responsibilities;
- maintain a website concerning substantive change, including examples of common substantive changes at UGA;
- support preparation of substantive change notification or prospectus for submission to SACSCOC; and
- maintain documentation regarding UGA compliance with this policy.
If a change is determined to be substantive, SACSCOC approval must be sought as much as six months in advance of implementing the change. If USG Board of Regents approval is also required for the change, that approval must be obtained prior to SACSCOC notification. For these reasons, significant advance planning may be necessary to avoid delays in program implementation.
To ensure that proposals that may be considered substantive changes do not go unreported and to ensure reporting requirements do not delay program implementation, Academic Officers should closely monitor new programs, instructional sites, and other changes as they develop within their areas of responsibility.
Notification of SACSCOC Liaison of Proposed Changes
Upon becoming aware of a proposed change that may be substantive, the Academic Officer of the unit proposing the change should immediately notify the SACSCOC Liaison. The SACSCOC Liaison will then determine whether the change is substantive under the SACSCOC policy and any actions and timeline required.
Monitoring Curricular Change
The Vice President for Instruction will provide the SACSCOC Liaison with the University Curriculum Committee agenda prior to each meeting. The SACSCOC Liaison will then determine if any of the University Curriculum Committee agenda items could be considered a substantive change and contact the responsible Academic Officer regarding any actions and timeline required.
Late Notification of SACSCOC Liaison
If it is discovered that a program that may be considered a substantive change has been implemented without notification of the SACSCOC Liaison, the appropriate Academic Officer has responsibility to notify the SACSCOC Liaison immediately. The SACSCOC Liaison will then notify SACSCOC as provided in the SACSCOC Policy.
7. Point of Contact
Every SACSCOC member institution has an Accreditation Liaison whose charge is to ensure compliance with accreditation requirements. The current SACSCOC Liaison for the University of Georgia is:
Dr. Margaret A. “Meg” Amstutz
Associate Provost for Academic Programs and Chief of Staff
- Approved by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, May 1, 2009. Revised on April 25, 2013 and April 14, 2021