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Louisiana’s Current Legal Framework of Postsecondary Education: An Overview of Legal Authority and Responsibilities October 24, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Louisiana’s Current Legal Framework of Postsecondary Education: An Overview of Legal Authority and Responsibilities October 24, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Louisiana’s Current Legal Framework of Postsecondary Education: An Overview of Legal Authority and Responsibilities October 24, 2011

2 Management Boards: Management powers not vested in Regents; supervision and management of institutions Legislature: Appropriate funds to Management Boards; enact laws to supplement authority of Regents and Management Board and on other education matters Governor: Appoint members to Regents and Management Boards; set goals and priorities; carry out other executive powers Regents: Statewide planning, coordination, budgetary responsibility, Leadership and direction, capital outlay ranking and budget recommendations to governor and legislature

3 Constitutional allocation of powers, duties and roles ► Regents: Statewide planning, coordination, budgetary control and other enumerated powers of statewide leadership and direction ► Management Boards of LSU System, Southern, UL System: Management powers not vested in Regents remain with management boards, including management and supervision of institutions under control of each system ► Legislature: Appropriation authority and other legislative powers

4 Regents: Constitutional Functions (Article VIII, §5) ► Planning, coordination, budgetary responsibility for higher ed ► Represent the postsecondary education system ► Formulate and revise Master Plan ► Study merger of institutions, creation of new institutions and management boards; if one is proposed, make written recommendations within 1 year ► Develop and adopt funding formula ► Approve/eliminate degree programs, departments, etc. ► Formulate and recommend operating and capital budget

5 Management Boards: Constitutional Functions (Art. VIII, §§ 6-7.1) ► Management powers not specifically vested in Regents, including day to day supervision and operation, remain with Management Boards. §5 (E) ► UL System: institutions not managed by LSU System, Southern or LCTCS. §6 ► LSU System and Southern. §7 ► LCTCS: community, vo-tech, associate- degree-only institutions. §7.1

6 Appropriation Powers and Process under the Constitution ► Legislature appropriates funds to the Management Boards. §11 ► Each Management Board administers funds appropriated to it as provided by law. §12 ► Regents adopts funding formula, receives Management Boards’ budget proposals for each institution, submits budget recommendations and capital outlay rankings to governor and legislature; no authority to appropriate funds or make recommendations binding

7 Key Concerns and Questions ► Unclear lines of authority in critical areas ► What does “budgetary responsibility” mean? ► How to ensure accountability ► How to reflect master plan and funding formula priorities in appropriation of funds ► How to align those priorities with management boards’ distribution and expenditures once they get appropriations ► How to ensure fiscal viability of institutions and avoid adverse impact on educational services

8 Statutory Framework ► Consistent with the Constitution, Legislature has enacted laws governing each of the above entities and functions (Title 17)  LSU A&M: R.S. 17:1421 – 1607  LCTCS: R.S. 17: 1871 – 1875; ;  Southern: R.S. 17:  Regents: R.S. 17:  Proprietary Schools: R.S. 17:

9 Regents: Important Statutory Functions ► Constitutional functions also made statutory  Master Plan: formulation, timely revision, R.S. 17:3128  Represent higher ed; advise governor and legislature. R.S. 17:3121(E)  Recommend budget for next year, including approved budget for current year, to governor and legislature. R.S. 17:3129; 39:32.1  Recommend priorities for capital projects.  Revise/eliminate/approve/disapprove/modify existing program, department, division, or similar units of public institutions. R.S. 17:3125, 3126  Study need/feasibility of new institution or branches, conversion of 2-year institutions to 4-year institutions. R.S. 17:3127

10 Regents: Key Statutory Functions (Contd.) ► Formulate tuition and fee policy for public institutions and systems. R.S. 17: ► Develop guidelines for distribution of funds appropriated from Higher Education Initiatives Fund. R.S. 17: ► Develop student financial aid plan that supports Master Plan. R.S. 17: ► Along with BESE, provide for articulation. R.S. 17: ► Implement articulation & transfer programs. R.S. 17:3161 ► Develop and administer accountability process for evaluation of public institutions. R.S. 17:3134. ► Provide for dual enrollment program. R.S. 17:3137 ► Enter into GRAD Act agreements with public institutions. R.S. 17:3139.

11 Regents: Other Statutory Functions ► Appoint a commissioner of higher education to administer and implement board programs and policies. R.S. 17: ► Survey state colleges and universities for the purpose of establishing incubator facilities on qualified campuses.... R.S. 17: ► Require management boards to adopt and implement common core courses that articulate across institutions, taking into consideration the accreditation criteria of the institution receiving the credit. R.S. 17: ► Develop in collaboration with institutions and management boards, a program from the enrollment of Louisiana full-time classroom teachers and vocational-technical school instructors in courses of instruction for college credit offered on the main campus of said institutions, on a tuition-free basis, where space is available and where the applicant teacher or instructor meets any prerequisite course requirements and all other requirements of this Section....R.S. 17: ► Administer Proprietary School law. R.S. 17:

12 Management Board’s Statutory Functions ► Supervise, manage and oversee operations of institutions under their respective jurisdictions. R.S. 17:3218, 17:3351 ► Organize structure of system and institutions. R.S. 17:3301 ► Award certificates, confer degrees, and issue diplomas; identify its core curricula. R.S. 17:3165 ► Employ and approve employment, fix salaries, duties and functions of officers, faculty, personnel. R.S. 17: ► Oversee financial operations of schools. R.S. 17:3351

13 Management Board’s: Statutory Functions (Contd.) ► Under R.S. 17:3351, day-to-day operational control includes:  The right to recover debts owed;  Raise donations and other funds, federal grants, etc.  Receive and expend funds according to the master plan for higher education  Incur or issue debt with Bond Commission approval  Determine student fees, subject to legislative approval  Establish criteria for tuition waivers  Purchase land & buildings, subject to Regents approval  Sell, lease, exchange surplus property as allowed by law

14 Legal Concerns: Uncertainty in Critical Areas BoR powers v. Management Board powers  Unclear lines of authority between BoR’s constitutional powers and “as provided by law” and Management Boards’ “management powers not specifically vested in BoR”  Can the legislature supplement BoR’s powers if they are not “management powers”?  What does “budgetary responsibility” extend to?  What do “planning” and “coordination” extend to?

15 Legal Concerns: Uncertainty in Critical Areas (Contd.) ► Budgeting powers: though BoR has statewide planning and coordination powers and budgetary responsibility under the constitution, its budget recommendations not binding ► BoR’s statewide planning and coordination get “scrambled” in the appropriations process through institution-specific or regional interests ► Post-appropriation process: appropriations made directly to management boards; no way to enforce adherence to BoR’s recommendations on allocation to institutions and expenditures ► Unclear lines of authority even in dire circumstances such as financial exigency; no effective means to avoid adverse impact on educational services and fiscal viability

16 Factors to Consider ► Any recommendation on a single board has to address:  Legal consequences of consolidating assets, liabilities and obligations of various distinct legal entities (i.e., different management boards)  Fundamental difference between day-to-day operational functions and the long-term, statewide planning functions


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