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Letters of Intent for Projected New Academic Programs

(Revised September 2011) Letters of Intent serve two related purposes: to inform the Board of Regents of a campus' plan to develop a new academic program and allow the Board to decide whether the planning should continue; and to coordinate the development of new academic programs in the state. Accordingly, for all new programs, with the exception of proposed undergraduate programs below the baccalaureate level or certificates above the baccalaureate level, colleges and universities shall transmit Letters of Intent to the Deputy or Associate Commissioner for Academic Affairs, through the appropriate management board. Procedures and time lines for Letters of Intent are as follows:

  • A Letter of Intent may be filed at any time.
  • A separate document must be prepared for each projected program. The format to be followed is outlined in the Letter of Intent to Develop a New Academic Program template (see below). All five areas must be addressed.
  • Regents will circulate Letters of Intent to the Statewide Council of Chief Academic Officers for review and comment. Campuses will have 30 days to respond with feedback including support, recommendations, or detailed challenges to the program concept based on need, mission, or duplication. Staff will attempt to resolve challenges through discussion among interested parties; unresolved issues will be presented to the Board for a final decision.
  • Letters of Intent will be scheduled for consideration by the Board of Regents within 60 days after receipt of documentation, assuming no objections to the proposed program are received during the 30-day comment period.
  • Letters of Intent are valid for one year after approval by the Board of Regents. Upon expiration of this time period, a new Letter of Intent must be submitted.

The following factors will be considered in assessing Letters of Intent:

  • The program must be consistent with the existing role, scope and mission of the institution.
  • The program must be deemed essential for the wellbeing of the state, region, or academy, indispensable to fulfilling critical educational needs of the State, or able to demonstrably promote economic development in the State.
  • The program must not unnecessarily duplicate a program at another public institution of higher education in Louisiana.
  • The program must be consistent with the mandates within any legal settlement currently in force.
  • The institution must commit to allocate adequate funding to initiate and sustain the new program.

Template for Letter of Intent
Letter of Intent to Develop a New Academic Program