§16-59-6  Commissioner of postsecondary education. –


Published: 2015

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TITLE 16

Education

CHAPTER 16-59

Board of Governors for Higher Education [See Title 16 Chapter 97 –

The Rhode Island Board of Education Act]

SECTION 16-59-6



   § 16-59-6  Commissioner of postsecondary

education. –

The council on postsecondary education, with approval of the board, shall

appoint a commissioner of postsecondary education, who shall serve at the

pleasure of the council, provided that his or her initial engagement by the

council shall be for a period of not more than three (3) years. For the purpose

of appointing, retaining, or dismissing a commissioner of postsecondary

education, the governor shall serve as an additional voting member of the

council. The position of commissioner shall be in the unclassified service of

the state and he or she shall serve as the chief executive officer of the

council on postsecondary education, the chief administrative officer of the

office of postsecondary commissioner, and the executive director of the

division of higher education assistance. The commissioner of postsecondary

education shall have any duties that are defined in this section and in this

title and other additional duties as may be determined by the council, and

shall perform any other duties as may be vested in him or her by law. In

addition to these duties and general supervision of the office of postsecondary

commissioner and the appointment of the several officers and employees of the

office, it shall be the duty of the commissioner of postsecondary education:



   (1) To develop and implement a systematic program of

information gathering, processing, and analysis addressed to every aspect of

higher education in the state, especially as that information relates to

current and future educational needs.



   (2) To prepare a strategic plan for higher education in the

state aligned with the goals of the board of education's strategic plan; to

coordinate the goals and objectives of the higher public education sector with

the goals of the council on elementary and secondary education and activities

of the independent higher education sector where feasible.



   (3) To communicate with, and seek the advice of those

concerned with, and affected by the board of education's and council's

determinations.



   (4) To implement broad policy as it pertains to the goals and

objectives established by the board of education and council on postsecondary

education; to promote better coordination between higher public education in

the state, independent higher education in the state as provided in subdivision

(10) of this section, and pre k-12 education; to assist in the preparation of

the budget for public higher education; and to be responsible, upon direction

of the council, for the allocation of appropriations, the acquisition, holding,

disposition of property.



   (5) To be responsible for the coordination of the various

higher educational functions of the state so that maximum efficiency and

economy can be achieved.



   (6) To assist the board of education in preparation and

maintenance of a five-year (5) strategic funding plan for higher education; to

assist the council in the preparation and presentation annually to the state

budget officer in accordance with § 35-3-4 of a total, public higher

educational budget.



   (7) To recommend to the council on postsecondary education,

after consultation with the presidents, a clear and definitive mission for each

public institution of higher learning.



   (8) To annually recommend to the council on postsecondary

education, after consultation with the presidents, the creation, abolition,

retention, or consolidation of departments, divisions, programs, and courses of

study within the public colleges and universities to eliminate unnecessary

duplication in public higher education, to address the future needs of public

higher education in the state, and to advance proposals recommended by the

presidents of the public colleges and universities pursuant to §§

16-32-2.1, 16-33-2.1 and 16-33.1-2.1.



   (9) To supervise the operations of the office of

postsecondary commissioner, including the division of higher education

assistance, and any other additional duties and responsibilities that may be

assigned by the council.



   (10) To perform the duties vested in the council with

relation to independent higher educational institutions within the state under

the terms of chapter 40 of this title and any other laws that affect

independent higher education in the state.



   (11) To be responsible for the administration of policies,

rules, and regulations of the council on postsecondary education with relation

to the entire field of higher education within the state, not specifically

granted to any other department, board, or agency and not incompatible with law.



   (12) To prepare standard accounting procedures for public

higher education and all public colleges and universities.



   (13) To carry out the policies and directives of the board of

education and the council on postsecondary education through the office of

postsecondary commissioner and through utilization of the resources of the

public institutions of higher learning.



   (14) To enter into interstate reciprocity agreements

regarding the provision of postsecondary distance education; to administer such

agreements; to approve or disapprove applications to voluntarily participate in

such agreements from postsecondary institutions that have their principal place

of business in Rhode Island; and to establish annual fees, with the approval of

the council on postsecondary education, for aforesaid applications to

participate in an interstate postsecondary distance education reciprocity

agreement.



   (15) To the extent necessary for participation, and to the

extent required and stated in any distance learning reciprocity agreement, to

implement procedures to address complaints received from out-of-state students

in connection with, or related to, any Rhode Island postsecondary institution,

public or private, that has been approved to participate in said reciprocity

agreement.



   (16) To exercise all powers and duties of the division of

higher education assistance as set forth under the terms of chapter 57 of this

title.



History of Section.

(P.L. 1981, ch. 32, § 3; P.L. 1987, ch. 596, § 5; P.L. 1991, ch. 266,

§ 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 86, § 54; P.L. 2014, ch. 145, art. 20, § 5;

P.L. 2015, ch. 141, art. 7, § 7; P.L. 2015, ch. 207, § 2; P.L. 2015,

ch. 231, § 2.)

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