Institution or Program Teach Out Policy

The decision to close an institution or a program requires substantial planning and careful consultation with those affected. Every effort should be made to inform everyone affected as fully as possible about the conditions leading to a decision of such importance, and all available information should be shared. The university teach-out policy aims to protect the interests of students and faculty and to satisfy the requirements established for the university by the WASC, Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

In accordance with Federal regulations, the University will execute and submit a required teach-out plan to WSCUC for approval if any of the following occurs:

  1. The institution intends to cease operation entirely.
  2. The Commission terminates accreditation or the candidacy of an institution.
  3. The USDE notifies the Commission that it has initiated an emergency action against an institution or an action to limit, suspend, or terminate an institution participating in any Title IV, Higher Education Act program.
  4. A State Licensing or authorizing agency notifies the Commission that an institutions license or legal authorization to provide an educational program has been or will be revoked
  5. The institution decides that it will cease instruction in one or more degree programs before all students have a reasonable opportunity to graduate.

Terminating a Program

The Dean and/or relevant Program Chair whose scope of authority involves an educational program being considered for termination shall inform and involve affected faculty and staff at the earliest possible stage of consideration. Once the decision to pursue closure of an educational program has been made, the Dean/Program Chair shall forward a proposal to the Provost. The Provost will work with the Dean to develop and coordinate presentations on the proposal to the President and the University Board of Trustees. The Provost will develop and coordinate the presentation on the proposal to the University Board of Trustees and work with the relevant Dean to insure all affected parties are notified on pending decision The Provost will insure the proposal for termination is brought forward for discussion by the President. Once the President and the University Board of Trustees have approved termination of the program, the Provost will be updated periodically by the relevant Dean on the notification and approval process, and will receive periodic updates from the relevant Dean on the implementation of the teach-out plan.

Both current and prospective students should be notified as soon as practicable. The Dean/Program Chair is responsible for notifying programmatic accreditors. The Dean/Program Chair is responsible for on-going monitoring, notifying and reporting on implementation of the teach-out plan. A monitoring report should be used to provide periodic reports to the Provost on the status of the teach-out. The Provost will oversee the Dean/Program Chair during the execution of the teach-out plan.

In the unlikely event of the closure of United States University (USU), the institution will at all times maintain the highest level of regulatory compliance regarding all governmental and accrediting laws, rules, and regulations throughout the teach out and closure process.

Student Completion Support

Students will be notified immediately in the event of the initiation of teach-out protocol. All obligations to students will be continued by developing a course schedule and maintaining student learning and support services which will afford them the opportunity to complete their programs of study prior to the closure of the school. An education plan course schedule or completion timeline of the courses needed per session will be issued to each student. The Office of the Provost and Registrar will conduct regular audits of student progress to ensure students are on track for completion within established timeframes. The Library will remain open to the end of the teach-out period to ensure students retain access to resource materials. The online databases will remain available as well.

Financial aid eligibility and student assistance are to be maintained throughout the duration of the teach-out period. Institutional scholarships will be honored.

Articulation agreements between USU and institutions offering a programmatically similar academic portfolio will be announced. Representatives of the Office of the Provost and Registrar will facilitate individual transfer agreements via direct contact with their counterparts at these institutions.

Provisions for Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff will be notified as to final date of employment. Calculation of sums owed at the time of closure will be calculated and discussed individually with each faculty and staff member. Policies concerning the rehiring of employees whose position had been eliminated due to a reduction in force are being reviewed for refinement as a contingency for accommodating potential changes in university needs while completing the teach-out. All personnel policies and benefits are being maintained for current employees. Benefits and payroll processes, currently being maintained by accounting software, will not be disrupted during the teach-out period. Every effort will be made to assist faculty and staff members in their reemployment efforts.

Governing Board Obligations

The Board of Trustees will continue to meet with focus on this Teach-Out Plan. The plan will be updated at regular intervals in order to keep the Board up to date on student enrollments, reductions in force, financials, and the disposition of assets. The Board will remain in existence during the course of the teach-out period until such a time it is determined that the Board has fulfilled its stated purpose on behalf of USU.

Overarching Goal of Policy

USU seeks to ensure fulfillment of its obligations to students, employees, and regulatory agencies throughout the teaching-out of its programs and the closure of the school. The overarching goal of the institution in the management of its teach-out is to uphold the integrity of the school, maintain student services, and ensure appropriately credentialed faculty are available to instruct and support students.