The accreditation liaison and the Office of Strategic Academic Initiatives (SAI) monitor and document changes that may represent a significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope of the institution. As a condition of accreditation, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requires notification of substantive changes and, in some cases, approval prior to implementation. This action helps SACSCOC determine whether the changes have affected the quality of the institution and assures the public that all aspects of the institution continue to meet defined standards. SACSCOC substantive change policy identifies the types of substantive change and the procedures for addressing them. The substantive change policy is driven by U.S. Department of Education regulations (34 CFR 602.22).
To ensure compliance, UT Austin has implemented an institutional policy on substantive change. Programs, departments, colleges, or schools considering a substantive should contact SAI to discuss whether the university may need to notify or seek approval from SACSCOC. The accreditation liaison contacts deans annually to solicit information on any actions proposed or in progress that may qualify as substantive change.
Department or Program Changes
Department or program substantive change involves adding, significantly modifying, or closing on-site or distance education programs, including certificates and degrees.
Institutional substantive change includes actions such as initiating, significantly expanding, or closing an off-campus site, initiating distance learning, initiating or closing a branch campus, significantly altering the institution’s mission, establishing a merger/consolidation with another institution, or changing governance or control.
Prior to implementing a significant, proposed change, contact the university’s accreditation liaison for more information.