Institute Affairs Policies

Institutional Academic Policy Review


This policy describes the process CalArts will follow in adopting institutional academic policies. Schools and programs may establish additional school or program academic policies, provided that those policies are not inconsistent with institutional academic policies.

Definition of Institutional Academic Policy

Institutional academic policies are those that relate to the educational process and that govern the academic standards and requirements for students to maintain matriculated status and to qualify for a degree or certificate. Policies include but are not limited to, academic standards for admission, continuation, degree/certificate completion, student academic/métier standing, academic honesty, and student reviews.

Need Statement & Policy Discussion Process

Any member of the community may suggest the need for a new policy or revisions to existing policy by submitting a written need statement to the Office of the Provost. Issues may emerge from trends at the Institute, through federal or state legislation or regulation, changes in best practices, new mandates, or in a variety of other ways.

The written need statement should include:

  1. The purpose and scope of why the Institute needs to enact a policy, explain who the policy applies to, what the policy is about, and list any specific exclusions.

  2. The stakeholders who should work together on developing the policy.

  3. A proposed timeline for review and approval of the new policy.

Once the written need statement is received by the Office of the Provost, the author will work with the chairs of the Academic Council and Deans Council to present their need statement to each Council for discussion. Consent should be given by the majority of Council members of at least one Council to proceed and then a timeline for review and approval will be set and the stakeholders whom should be developing the policy will be affirmed. If both Councils reject the need statement, the statement may be revised and re-presented.

Policy Review & Approval Process

Proposed new or revised policies will be reviewed and approved in the order listed:

  1. Joint Academic Council & Deans Council
    a. The author will present the proposed new or revised policy to the Joint Academic Council & Deans Council.

    b. If the consensus of the Joint Academic Council & Deans Council is not reached, then a joint sub-committee of members from the Academic and Deans Council shall resolve the issue. Each Council shall appoint an equal number of representatives to the sub-committee. The policy may go straight to the sub-committee or, if desired, to each individual Council for discussion prior to the convening of the sub-committee. A member of the Office of the Provost will be an ex-officio member of the subcommittee. The Joint Academic Council & Deans Council will establish a deadline by which the sub-committee shall resolve the issue. Upon resolution, the policy will return to the Joint Academic Council & Deans Council for approval. If the sub-committee cannot reach a decision, the Provost will make the final recommendation to the Joint Academic Council & Deans Council.

  2. Review by the Institute’s legal counsel: The Office of the Provost will send the policy to the Institute’s legal counsel for review of legal implications.

  3. Provost: All academic policies must have the approval of the Provost prior to becoming effective.

Policy Format

The following major sections should be considered in the order listed for each policy:

  1. Policy (the guide to decision making)

  2. Procedure (sequential steps necessary to carry out the policy) (if applicable)

  3. Effective date (identify the month/year the policy becomes effective)

  4. Review date (identify the month/year the review shall occur)

  5. Revision history

  6. Responsible Office

Ongoing Review & Revision of Policies

To maintain an effective set of academic policies, all academic policies have a regular schedule of review and revision, which should occur approximately every five (5) years. The review date (month and year) of the review shall be specified upon incorporation of the policy (i.e., revised November 2017). The review process follows the policy review and approval process listed above.

An academic policy may be revised at any time, not just during its normal review process. Anyone may suggest updating, revising, or canceling a policy by sending a written need statement to the Provost’s Office. If an academic policy should be revised or canceled before the regular review cycle, the written need statement clearly states why the author suggests the review should be undertaken immediately, identify the stakeholders who should work together to revise the policy, and the proposed timeline for review and approval.

Editorial Authority

In maintaining policies, the Provost’s Office shall not alter the sense, meaning, effect or substance of any adopted policy, but within such limitations, may renumber policies, change the titles of policies or subtitles (and titles of individuals and departments to conform with such changes as are made by the Board, President, Provost or authorized department or divisions), rearrange sections and/or paragraphs, strike out figures or words which are merely repetitious, change capitalization for the purpose of uniformity, and correct clerical or typographical errors.

Policy Retention & Access

All policies once approved, shall be filed with the Provost’s Office. Policies shall be available to all students, faculty, and staff through Periodically, a broad Institute announcement of the availability of an academic policy will be made. The announcement will include a brief explanation of the policy and where it is published. 

Policy Category:
Adopted Date:
Aug 2011
Revision History:
Formation of Academic Policy, 2016-2017
Review Date:
Responsible Office:
Office of the Provost