From Victor's PCC manual:
As of July 1,1999, MHEC's role in program approval has been significantly reduced. When a University System of Maryland institution's President certifies that a proposed new program can be offered within existing institutional resources, and the Board of Regents concurs that the proposed program is consistent with the institution's mission, then MHEC may deny approval only on well defined and narrowly limited grounds. (These are 1. "inconsistency of the proposed program with the institution's approved mission," 2. "unreasonable program duplication which would cause demonstrable harm to another institution," or 3. "violation of the State's equal educational opportunity obligations under state and federal law.") Furthermore, MHEC must act within sixty days of program submission. As an additional simplification of the process, Certificate Programs based on existing approved degree programs are approved automatically once MHEC is notified.