(1) Develop, oversee and advance the public policy agenda pursuant to article one-d of this chapter to address major challenges facing the state, including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) The goals, objectives and priorities established in this chapter including specifically those goals, objectives and priorities pertaining to the compacts created pursuant to section seven, article one-d of this chapter; and
(B) Development and implementation of the master plan described in section five, article one-d of this chapter for the purpose of accomplishing the mandates of this section;
(2) Develop, oversee and advance the promulgation and implementation of a financing rule for state institutions of higher education under its jurisdiction. The rule shall meet the following criteria:
(A) Provide for an adequate level of educational and general funding for institutions pursuant to section five, article one-a of this chapter;
(B) Serve to maintain institutional assets, including, but not limited to, human and physical resources and eliminating deferred maintenance; and
(C) Invest and provide incentives for achieving the priority goals in the public policy agenda, including, but not limited to, those found in section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter;
(3) In collaboration with the council, create a policy leadership structure capable of the following actions:
(A) Developing, building public consensus around and sustaining attention to a long-range public policy agenda. In developing the agenda, the commission and council shall seek input from the Legislature and the Governor and specifically from the state Board of Education and local school districts in order to create the necessary linkages to assure smooth, effective and seamless movement of students through the public education and post-secondary education systems and to ensure that the needs of public school courses and programs can be fulfilled by the graduates produced and the programs offered;
(B) Ensuring that the governing boards carry out their duty effectively to govern the individual institutions of higher education; and
(C) Holding the governing boards and the higher education systems as a whole accountable for accomplishing their missions and implementing their compacts;
(4) Develop and adopt each compact for the governing boards under its jurisdiction;
(5) Review and adopt the annual updates of the institutional compacts;
(6) Serve as the accountability point to state policymakers:
(A) The Governor for implementation of the public policy agenda; and
(B) The Legislature by maintaining a close working relationship with the legislative leadership and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability;
(7) Jointly with the council, promulgate legislative rules pursuant to article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to fulfill the purposes of section five, article one-a of this chapter;
(8) Establish and implement a peer group for each institution as described in section three, article one-a of this chapter;
(9) Establish and implement the benchmarks and performance indicators necessary to measure institutional progress in achieving state policy priorities and institutional missions pursuant to section seven, article one-d of this chapter;
(10) Report to the Legislature and to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability annually during the January interim meeting period on a date and at a time and location to be determined by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates. The report shall address at least the following:
(A) The performance of its system of higher education during the previous fiscal year, including, but not limited to, progress in meeting the goals, objectives and priorities set forth in section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter and in the commission's master plan and institutional compacts;
(B) The commission's priorities for new operating and capital investments and the justification for the priority;
(C) Recommendations of the commission for statutory changes necessary or expedient to achieve state goals, objectives and priorities;
(11) Establish a formal process for identifying capital investment needs and for determining priorities for these investments for consideration by the Governor and the Legislature as part of the appropriation request process pursuant to article nineteen of this chapter.
(12) Develop standards and evaluate governing board requests for capital project financing in accordance with article nineteen of this chapter;
(13) Ensure that governing boards manage capital projects and facilities needs effectively, including review and approval or disapproval of capital projects, in accordance with article nineteen of this chapter.
(14) Acquire legal services as considered necessary, including representation of the commission, its, governing boards, employees and officers before any court or administrative body, notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary. The counsel may be employed either on a salaried basis or on a reasonable fee basis. In addition, the commission may, but is not required to, call upon the Attorney General for legal assistance and representation as provided by law;
(15) Employ a Chancellor for Higher Education pursuant to section five of this article;
(16) Employ other staff as necessary and appropriate to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the commission and the council, in accordance with article four of this chapter;
(17) Provide suitable offices in Kanawha County for the chancellor, vice chancellors and other staff;
(18) Advise and consent in the appointment of the presidents of the institutions of higher education under its jurisdiction pursuant to section six of this article. The role of the commission in approving an institutional president is to assure through personal interview that the person selected understands and is committed to achieving the goals, objectives and priorities set forth in the compact, in section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter;
(19) Approve the total compensation package from all sources for presidents of institutions under its jurisdiction, as proposed by the governing boards. The governing boards must obtain approval from the commission of the total compensation package both when institutional presidents are employed initially and afterward when any change is made in the amount of the total compensation package;
(20) Establish and implement the policy of the state to assure that parents and students have sufficient information at the earliest possible age on which to base academic decisions about what is required for students to be successful in college, other post-secondary education and careers related, as far as possible, to results from current assessment tools in use in West Virginia;
(21) Approve and implement a uniform standard jointly with the council to determine which students shall be placed in remedial or developmental courses. The standard shall be aligned with college admission tests and assessment tools used in West Virginia and shall be applied uniformly by the governing boards throughout the public higher education system. The chancellors shall develop a clear, concise explanation of the standard which they shall communicate to the state Board of Education and the state superintendent of Schools;
(22) Jointly with the council, develop and implement an oversight plan to manage systemwide technology including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) Expanding distance learning and technology networks to enhance teaching and learning, promote access to quality educational offerings with minimum duplication of effort; and
(B) Increasing the delivery of instruction to nontraditional students, to provide services to business and industry and increase the management capabilities of the higher education system.
(C) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or this code to the contrary, the council, commission and governing boards are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Chief Technology Officer for any purpose;
(23) Establish and implement policies and procedures to ensure that a student may transfer and apply toward the requirements for a bachelor's degree the maximum number of credits earned at any regionally accredited in-state or out-of-state community and technical college with as few requirements to repeat courses or to incur additional costs as are consistent with sound academic policy;
(24) Establish and implement policies and procedures to ensure that a student may transfer and apply toward the requirements for a degree the maximum number of credits earned at any regionally accredited in-state or out-of-state higher education institution with as few requirements to repeat courses or to incur additional costs as are consistent with sound academic policy;
(25) Establish and implement policies and procedures to ensure that a student may transfer and apply toward the requirements for a master's degree the maximum number of credits earned at any regionally accredited in-state or out-of-state higher education institution with as few requirements to repeat courses or to incur additional costs as are consistent with sound academic policy;
(26) Establish and implement policies and programs, in cooperation with the council and the governing boards, through which a student who has gained knowledge and skills through employment, participation in education and training at vocational schools or other education institutions, or Internet-based education programs, may demonstrate by competency-based assessment that he or she has the necessary knowledge and skills to be granted academic credit or advanced placement standing toward the requirements of an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree at a state institution of higher education;
(27) Seek out and attend regional, national and international meetings and forums on education and workforce development-related topics as, in the commission's discretion, are critical for the performance of their duties as members, for the purpose of keeping abreast of education trends and policies to aid it in developing the policies for this state to meet the established education goals, objectives and priorities pursuant to section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter;
(28) Promulgate and implement a rule for higher education governing boards and institutions to follow when considering capital projects pursuant to article nineteen of this chapter;
(29) Consider and submit to the appropriate agencies of the executive and legislative branches of state government an appropriation request that reflects recommended appropriations for the commission and the governing boards under its jurisdiction. The commission shall submit as part of its appropriation request the separate recommended appropriation request it received from the council, both for the council and for the governing boards under the council's jurisdiction. The commission annually shall submit the proposed allocations based on each institution's progress toward meeting the goals of its compact;
(30) The commission may assess institutions under its jurisdiction, including Marshall University and West Virginia University, for the payment of expenses of the commission or for the funding of statewide higher education services, obligations or initiatives related to the goals set forth for the provision of public higher education in the state;
(31) Promulgate rules allocating reimbursement of appropriations, if made available by the Legislature, to governing boards for qualifying noncapital expenditures incurred in providing services to students with physical, learning or severe sensory disabilities;
(32) Make appointments to boards and commissions where this code requires appointments from the State College System Board of Directors or the University of West Virginia System Board of Trustees which were abolished effective June 30, 2000, except in those cases where the required appointment has a specific and direct connection to the provision of community and technical college education, the appointment shall be made by the council. Notwithstanding any provisions of this code to the contrary, the commission or the council may appoint one of its own members or any other citizen of the state as its designee. The commission and council shall appoint the total number of persons in the aggregate required to be appointed by these previous governing boards;
(33) Pursuant to article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code and section six, article one of this chapter, promulgate rules necessary or expedient to fulfill the purposes of this chapter. The commission and the council shall promulgate a uniform joint legislative rule for the purposes of standardizing, as much as possible, the administration of personnel matters among the state institutions of higher education and implementing the provisions of articles seven, eight, nine and nine-a of this chapter;
(34) Determine when a joint rule among the governing boards under its jurisdiction is necessary or required by law and, in those instances, in consultation with the governing boards under its jurisdiction, promulgate the joint rule;
(35) Promulgate and implement a rule jointly with the council whereby course credit earned at a community and technical college transfers for program credit at any other state institution of higher education and is not limited to fulfilling a general education requirement;
(36) By October 1, 2011, promulgate a rule pursuant to section one, article ten of this chapter, establishing tuition and fee policy for all governing boards under the jurisdiction of the commission, including Marshall University and West Virginia University. The rule shall include, but is not limited to, the following:
(A) Comparisons with peer institutions;
(B) Differences among institutional missions;
(C) Strategies for promoting student access;
(D) Consideration of charges to out-of-state students; and
(E) Such other policies as the commission and council consider appropriate;
(37) Implement general disease awareness initiatives to educate parents and students, particularly dormitory residents, about meningococcal meningitis; the potentially life-threatening dangers of contracting the infection; behaviors and activities that can increase risks; measures that can be taken to prevent contact or infection; and potential benefits of vaccination. The commission shall encourage governing boards that provide medical care to students to provide access to the vaccine for those who wish to receive it; and
(38) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary sell, lease, convey or otherwise dispose of all or part of any real property that it owns, in accordance with article nineteen of this chapter.
(b) In addition to the powers and duties listed in subsection (a) of this section, the commission has the following general powers and duties related to its role in developing, articulating and overseeing the implementation of the public policy agenda:
(1) Planning and policy leadership, including a distinct and visible role in setting the state's policy agenda and in serving as an agent of change;
(2) Policy analysis and research focused on issues affecting the system as a whole or a geographical region thereof;
(3) Development and implementation of institutional mission definitions, including use of incentive funds to influence institutional behavior in ways that are consistent with public priorities;
(4) Academic program review and approval for governing boards under its jurisdiction. The review and approval includes use of institutional missions as a template to judge the appropriateness of both new and existing programs and the authority to implement needed changes.
(A) The commission's authority to review and approve academic programs for either Marshall University or West Virginia University is limited to programs that are proposed to be offered at a new location not presently served by that institution;
(B) The commission shall approve or disapprove proposed academic degree programs in those instances where approval is required as soon as practicable, but in any case not later than six months from the date the governing board makes an official request. The commission may not withhold approval unreasonably.
(5) Distribution of funds appropriated to the commission, including incentive and performance-based funds;
(6) Administration of state and federal student aid programs under the supervision of the vice chancellor for administration, including promulgation of rules necessary to administer those programs;
(7) Serving as the agent to receive and disburse public funds when a governmental entity requires designation of a statewide higher education agency for this purpose;
(8) Developing, establishing and implementing information, assessment, accountability and personnel systems, including maintaining statewide data systems that facilitate long-term planning and accurate measurement of strategic outcomes and performance indicators;
(9) Jointly with the council, promulgating and implementing rules for licensing and oversight for both public and private degree-granting and nondegree-granting institutions that provide post-secondary education courses or programs in the state. The council has authority and responsibility for approval of all post- secondary courses or programs providing community and technical college education as defined in section two, article one of this chapter.
(10) Developing, implementing and overseeing statewide and regional projects and initiatives related to providing post- secondary education at the baccalaureate level and above such as those using funds from federal categorical programs or those using incentive and performance-based funds from any source;
(11) Quality assurance that intersects with all other duties of the commission particularly in the areas of research, data collection and analysis, personnel administration, planning, policy analysis, program review and approval, budgeting and information and accountability systems; and
(12) Developing budgets and allocating resources for governing boards under its jurisdiction:
(A) For all governing boards under its jurisdiction, except the governing boards of Marshall University and West Virginia University, the commission shall review institutional operating budgets, review and approve capital budgets, and distribute incentive and performance-based funds;
(B) For the governing boards of Marshall University and West Virginia University, the commission shall distribute incentive and performance-based funds and may review and comment upon the institutional operating budgets and capital budgets. The commission's comments, if any, shall be made part of the governing board's minute record.
(c) In addition to the powers and duties provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this section and any other powers and duties assigned to it by law, the commission has other powers and duties necessary or expedient to accomplish the purposes of this article.
(d) The commission may withdraw specific powers of a governing board under its jurisdiction for a period not to exceed two years, if the commission determines that any of the following conditions exist:
(1) The governing board has failed for two consecutive years to develop or implement an institutional compact as required in article one-d of this chapter;
(2) The commission has received information, substantiated by independent audit, of significant mismanagement or failure to carry out the powers and duties of the governing board according to state law; or
(3) Other circumstances which, in the view of the commission, severely limit the capacity of the governing board to exercise its powers or carry out its duties and responsibilities.
The commission may not withdraw specific powers for a period exceeding two years. During the withdrawal period, the commission shall take all steps necessary to reestablish sound, stable and responsible institutional governance. Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session