The Council engages in a comprehensive, ongoing process to analyze the need for new or existing degrees and programs, for additional off-campus centers and degree-program locations, and to consolidate or eliminate programs by the four-year institutions.
The state’s System Design Plan embraces a principle called “expand on demand,” which bases future system-expansion decisions on a showing of proven citizen and market demand. Near-term growth is focused at university branch campuses, comprehensive universities and university centers, where existing capacity is available without major new state capital investments.
State law outlines a process for approving major proposed expansions of the higher education system based on the expand-on-demand principle. Major expansions are those requiring significant capital investments to create new institutions or to affect “mission changes” at existing institutions. A mission change is a change in the level of degrees awarded by an institution, or the creation of a new type of institution not currently authorized in law.