Guidelines for Resolving Course Conflicts

As part of the Course Approval process, all new courses proposed to be added to the Course Catalog undergo a 10 business day campus review period. During this period, all academic departments have the opportunity to review the course request form and syllabus for the proposed course. In some cases it may be appropriate for a department to object to a proposed course; common examples include cases where there is content or course description overlap of 60% or more between the proposed course and an existing course in the catalog, or cases where the proposed course uses the same course title as an existing course in the catalog. Overlap between the proposed course and a future course which has not yet been proposed is not a valid reason for objection.

The following procedure is in place for departments that identify a course conflict during the review period:

  1. Before the end of the review period, the objecting department must contact the proposing department via email, copying on the email. This email should 1) identify the objection(s) to the course, specifying course numbers when applicable, 2) attach a course syllabus (if objection is based on content) and 3) offer to begin discussion between the two departments.
  2. Before the end of the review period, the objecting department must add a comment on the course request form in UAccess Student, briefly enumerating their objection(s) to the course.
  3. The two departments must work together to resolve the objection(s) to the course before the course can be granted final approval to be added to the course catalog. Many conflicts can be resolved via email between the instructors of the involved courses, while others may require a meeting with the Department Heads and instructors, or with the Associate Deans for the colleges involved. The departments involved should determine the appropriate level to begin the conversation, depending on the nature and degree of the conflict. In the rare case that a resolution cannot be found after escalating to the college level, or if one of the involved parties fails to respond in order to find resolution for over 14 days, the Curricular Affairs office should be notified in order to begin a mediated resolution.
  4. Once a resolution has been agreed upon, the two departments must notify the Curricular Affairs office of the resolution via email. The email should include representatives from both departments and should detail any adjustments to the course request form that may be needed based on the resolution. An updated syllabus should also be included if the objection was content based. Curricular Affairs will work with the Room and Course Scheduling office to ensure the needed adjustments are made prior to the course being added to the course catalog.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the objecting department to complete steps 1 and 2 above before the end of the campus review period. The course approval process will not be halted in cases where objections are identified after the campus review period has ended. 

Departments proposing new courses may wish to reach out to other departments before submitting the course request in cases where the course content is similar to that of existing courses in other departments. Working together to identify and resolve possible issues during the early stages of the course creation process can prevent delays or extra work at the end of the process.