Nevada State Horizontal Gold and Black Logo

Low-Yield Program Review Policy (AA 4)

OWNER: Office of the Provost
Phone: 702-992-2634
CATEGORY: Academic Affairs/Faculty
EFFECTIVE DATE: 05/14/2013
Web – Formatted (this page)
Download Policy


This document describes Nevada State University’s procedures for reviewing programs designated as “low-yield.”

This policy is in response to Title 4, Chapter 14, Section 5 of the Board of Regents Handbook, which states that a baccalaureate program “shall be designated as low-yield if the program is at least 10 years old and has not awarded at least twenty degrees in the last three consecutive years.” The Board of Regents handbook requires low-yield programs to be “reviewed in consultation with the Faculty Senate within three years of the program reaching these thresholds to determine whether there are sufficient factors to support the program’s continuation or merger with other programs.”

Importantly, the College has three years to take action after a program has been designated as low-yield. This action can include (but is not limited to) discontinuation, merger, or exempt from low-yield status.

The President will provide a report to the Chancellor on all low-yield programs within three years of the program initially failing to reach the low-yield threshold. However, the President is not required to report on programs in their first and second year of low-yield status.


Low Yield: A program that is at least ten (10) years old that has not awarded a total of at least twenty (20) degrees in the last three (3) consecutive years.


The goal of this procedure is to thoroughly review a Low-Yield program and assist the President in the final recommendation to the Board of Regents.

The Office of Institutional Research will produce an annual report on June 1st of each year listing the current graduation rates for each program and the graduation rates for the previous two years. These graduation rates will include graduates from the previous summer. Programs with a concentration or emphasis (e.g. History with a Concentration in Pre-Law) will count toward the major.

If a program has not graduated at least twenty (20) students total in the last three years, the program will be flagged for review in a report. The Office of Institutional Research will send this report to the President, the Provost, and the Chair of the Faculty Senate.

The Provost, in consultation with the Faculty Senate Chair, will appoint a committee to review each flagged program. The committee will be no more than five (5) members and must include a Faculty Senate representative and at least one (1) tenured or tenure-track faculty member from the affected program if one exists. The committee will evaluate the program, using data from the Office of Institutional Research, and produce a report. This report will:

  • Evaluate the program’s role in serving the mission of the College;
  • Determine if the program is meeting a demonstrated workforce or service need of the state or geographical region, including projected future needs;
  • Review graduation rates and predict future rates;
  • Determine if the program supports an underrepresented community or group;
  • Review the program’s potential for receiving external grants;
  • Include information about the program’s budget.

If the committee recommends an exemption to Low-Yield status, they may do so using any of the criteria listed above. In addition, the Board of Regents policy (Subsection 4f) allows each institution to generate specific exemption criteria. For Nevada State College, those criteria include:

  • The program provides an essential service to multiple units or other programs;
  • The program suffered from high budget cuts, causing a drastic reduction in resources or faculty;
  • The program suffered due to the absence of full-time faculty or PhD-qualified faculty for an extended period;
  • The program is not operating at a financial loss (i.e., the funds generated by the program are greater than or equal to the program’s cost).

In the concluding portion of the report, the committee will make a recommendation. This recommendation can include (but is not limited to): requesting an exemption to Low-Yield status, merging the program with another existing program, or recommending program elimination.

The report will be delivered to the appropriate Dean and the Faculty Senate Chair. The Dean will review the report, include recommendations, and send the report to the Provost. The college has the prerogative of exempting from Low-Yield status a program that is one of several programs provided by an academic unit or that can be justified for other reasons deemed adequate by the Provost’s Office and consistent with Board of Regents criteria. This decision will be made annually by the Provost’s Office after reviewing the data identified above.

After the Provost has reviewed the report and included recommendations, the final report will be sent to the President. The President will evaluate these recommendations and incorporate them into the report to the Board of Regents.


Approved by Provost Dr. Erika Beck, May 14, 2013.
Approved by President Bart Patterson, May 14, 2013.