a.  Principles

The Board of Regents is a policy making as opposed to an administrative body.  It is bi-partisan by law and non political by tradition.  Just as the Kansas institutions of higher education should not be subjected to political pressures, so should the Board be protected against political pressures.

The constitutional and statutory role of the Board of Regents varies for different higher education institutions.

i.  The Board coordinates certain activities of the public higher education system. (K.S.A. 74-3202c, 74-3205d)  The system consists of the state universities, Washburn University, Washburn Institute of Technology, the community colleges and the technical colleges.  (K.S.A. 74-3201b(e))  The Board’s coordination functions with regard to these institutions include:

(1)  Determining institutional roles, reviewing institutional missions, and approving performance agreements for each institution;

(2)  Developing a comprehensive plan for coordinating all program and course offerings and locations, including transfer and articulation procedures;

(3)  Developing a unified budget for state funding of the system institutions, distributing state and federal funds, and requiring accountability for use of those funds;

(4)  Representing the system before the Governor and the Legislature; and

(5)  Collecting, aggregating and reporting common and institution specific information documenting effectiveness of each community college, technical college, Washburn University, Washburn Institute of Technology and state university in meeting its mission and goals. (K.S.A. 71-801, 72-4480, 72-6525, 76-771)

ii.  With regard to the state universities, the Board also governs them, which means that the Board has the authority to control these institutions and to supervise their operation and management.  (K.S.A. 76-712)  The Board’s governing functions include:

(1)  Appointing the chief executive officer at each state university and having an employer/employee relationship with those chief executive officers;

(2)  Having authority to oversee many of the daily operational functions of the state universities, though the Board has chosen to delegate actual performance of those functions to the chief executive officers and their staffs;

(3)  Maintaining the state universities’ physical assets; and

(4)  Developing policy on a wide range of institutional issues.

All policies and procedures adopted by any state university, whether or not such policy or procedure requires Board approval, shall be in conformity with the policies and procedures of the Board and the laws of the State of Kansas and the United States.

iii.  Each community college, technical college and Washburn Institute of Technology is governed (i.e. operated, managed and controlled) by its local board of trustees, governing board or board of control.  However, the Board has statutorily been given authority to perform specific functions with regard to those institutions.  These functions include:

(1)  Establishing guidelines for accreditation;

(2)  Aligning and approving courses, programs, and course/program locations for state funding purposes; and

(3)  Facilitating mergers and other consolidation activities.

iv.  The Board regulates institutions that are subject to the Kansas Private and Out-of-State Postsecondary Education Institution Act, which means the Board administers and implements the provisions of the Act with regard to those institutions.  (K.S.A. 74-32,162 et seq.)  The Board’s role with regard to private and out-of-state postsecondary institutions that are subject to the Act is a consumer protection function that includes:

(1)  Reviewing the institutions and their programs to determine compliance with statutorily prescribed standards; and

(2)  Collecting and analyzing information, including student, course, financial aid and program demographics, that will assist the Board in improving the quality of private and out-of-state postsecondary education.  (K.S.A. 74-32,184)

b.  Procedures

i.  Councils

The Board of Regents has established a structure of councils and committees through which most proposals initiated by an institution or sector shall be vetted before a recommendation is made to the Board.  The formal structure through which a typical proposal will progress is illustrated in the flow chart shown below.

ii.  Involvement and Participation

As a general rule, individuals and groups who are directly affected by a proposal, or have a vested interest in a proposal, shall be given an opportunity to review and provide advice about the proposal prior to its final adoption.  This ensures that all perspectives on a concept have been considered in the review and approval process. 

For proposals that clearly have system-wide impact, council leaders shall ensure system participation in the development process.  Review and action by higher-ranking bodies is facilitated by meaningful involvement by affected parties at the initial stages of development.

iii.  Development of Proposals

While there may be justifiable exceptions, most proposals shall be developed primarily by those persons who are likely to be responsible for implementation, and appropriate councils, committees, or task forces shall develop or review proposals that are intended for action by Board standing committees and/or the Board (or the President and Chief Executive Officer, as applicable).

Councils, committees, task forces and other such groups do not have authority to prevent further review of a proposal by other councils, committees, or Board Committees.

In the context of this policy, “system-wide” means those proposals that may impact many or all of the institutions having a reporting relationship to the Kansas Board of Regents.

iv.  Role of the President and Chief Executive Officer

If it is uncertain whether a proposal is system-wide or non system-wide in impact, the President and Chief Executive Officer will decide the issue. 

v.  Timeliness of Review and Action

Participants in the review process shall make every reasonable effort to facilitate review and action on proposals.  Timeliness and responsiveness to serve students and employers is a system-wide value.