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NDUS Home  |  Employees  |  Policies and Procedures  |  SBHE Policies

SBHE Policies

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SUBJECT: 100s: Introduction EFFECTIVE: September 26, 2012
Section: 100.6 Authority and Responsibility of the State Board of Higher Education

  1. The SBHE was established by an initiated measure approved by the voters in 1938 (now Ar. VIII, 6 of the North Dakota Constitution). Art. VIII, 6 states the SBHE "shall have the control and administration of" all of the state institutions established in the state constitution at that time and "such other state institutions of higher education as may hereafter be established." Further, the SBHE "shall have full authority over the institutions under its control" and "full authority to organize or reorganize within constitutional and statutory limitations, the work of each institution under its control, and do each and everything necessary and proper for the efficient and economic administration of said state educational institutions." The SBHE shall appoint a commissioner of higher education as its "chief executive officer." In 1990, the SBHE established a unified system of higher education, with its Commissioner/Chancellor as the system's chief executive officer. Later, the state legislature enacted North Dakota Century Code 15-10-01.2, which states:

    The institutions of higher education under the control of the state board of higher education are a unified system of higher education, as established by the board, and are designated as the North Dakota university system.

  2. Holding the NDUS in its trust, the SBHE:
    1. Ensures the NDUS achieves the purposes of its mission and goals;
    2. Ensures the NDUS is properly led and managed;
    3. Maintains the quality of academic programs;
    4. Provides responsible policies and procedures for proper governance;
    5. Safeguards NDUS assets;
    6. Honors the mission and integrity of each institution and its people;
    7. Serves as a catalyst to create more efficient and effective programs and services through partnership and resource sharing;
    8. Maintains student affordability;
    9. Represents the institutions to the public and vice versa, assisting where appropriate in the understanding of each other's needs;
    10. Ensures effective stewardship of its financial, physical, and intellectual assets;
    11. Achieves cost savings due to economies of scale, where appropriate;
    12. Secures cooperative and planning advantages;
    13. Shapes, supports, and achieves complementary institution missions;
    14. Ensures excellence in programs, faculty, and students;
    15. Minimizes unnecessary duplication through cooperative endeavors;
    16. Gains public and legislative support for the NDUS through unified efforts; and
    17. Shields institutions from direct political and other outside interference.

  3. In fulfilling its mission and vision, the SBHE will govern the institutions in the NDUS in accordance with the North Dakota Constitution and state statutes and will be guided by the belief statements and core values adopted by the SBHE. The people of North Dakota created the SBHE through the North Dakota Constitution to ensure the institutions and their employees were protected from political interference. Recognizing the legitimacy and importance of such protection and believing each institution properly retains substantial responsibility for its own affairs, the SBHE and the NDUS honor the integrity of each institution and its people. The SBHE will provide the leadership and governing environment necessary to maximize the opportunities for the NDUS institutions to be successful in fulfilling their individual missions and enhancing the economic and social vitality of North Dakota.

  4. The North Dakota Constitution provides the SBHE with broad powers and specifies the SBHE retains any powers it does not specifically delegate to the institutions. The SBHE has adopted the following guiding principles regarding the responsibility of the SBHE, as stewards of the NDUS, and the institutions.
    1. SBHE approval for new or discontinued programs and organizational units ensures the overall pattern of service to the state is coherent and efficient.
    2. SBHE review of institutional and program quality ensures the institutions provide positive educational experiences and seek continually to improve. Academic program quality and faculty quality determinations are made by faculty peers and institution administrators. The SBHE's responsibility is to support, provide oversight, and hold the institutions accountable for results.
    3. SBHE budget guidelines and final approval of budget requests promote equity and appropriate investment of state resources throughout the NDUS.
    4. SBHE priority-setting of facility requests promotes facilities funding on the based on statewide need.
    5. On matters that involve major costs for equipment or facilities which could be shared effectively among institutions, such as computing and telecommunications, the SBHE expects and will help facilitate such sharing.
    6. The SBHE sets NDUS priorities regarding all requests of the legislature and executive branch. Those representing the institutions are not to undermine those priorities.
    7. The SBHE is the appointing authority for institution presidents and has final authority concerning contract terms. The SBHE shall exercise this authority in consultation with the Chancellor and has delegated to the Chancellor authority to conduct searches and recommend a candidate and contract terms to the SBHE.
    8. The SBHE delegates substantial authority and responsibility to each institution's president through the Chancellor, as defined in SBHE Policy 305.1, and holds each accountable for performance.
    9. The SBHE shall have access to information about students, programs, faculty, staff, and finances of each institution to carry out its responsibilities.
    10. The Chancellor shall alert the SBHE's attention any difficulties in the application of any of the above responsibilities that threaten to impede institutional effectiveness or efficiency. The SBHE is committed to free and fair inquiry and just resolution of such difficulties.
    11. General education courses and programs are central to the mission of all NDUS institutions and overlap among institutions is expected and necessary. However, the SBHE will continue to guard against unnecessary program duplication and collaborative delivery will be encouraged where the quality of the program can be maintained and the total cost of delivery can be reduced.
    12. Professional, technical, vocational, and graduate courses and programs require institutional and SBHE judgments regarding their number and missions.
    13. The SBHE retains authority for naming, professorship and endowed chairs, physical structures, a and academic units including a college, school, department, center or institute nd academic units including a college, school, department, center or institute.

  5. Within the framework of the NDUS is a division of labor between the Chancellor and the services operating at each institution. In addition to a strong SBHE and Chancellor, achieving the advantages and purposes of a multi-institution NDUS require the energies, leadership, and talent of equally strong presidents who are dedicated to the mission and goals of their respective institution. While the principal role of the SBHE and Chancellor lie in policy, overall direction, and planning, the leadership demanded of the presidents is primarily focused on implementation and direct operational control. Generally, system-level services exist only when there is a strong rationale justifying cost efficiencies and unnecessary duplication of functions. These include academic policy, planning, and quality assessment; capital planning and construction; budgeting; human resources policy and compliance; institutional research; risk management; auditing; legal services; information technology systems and services shared among the institutions; and legislative and community relations.

  6. The Chancellor is the chief executive officer of the SBHE and NDUS and exercises such powers as are necessary for SBHE and NDUS governance and functions. Chancellor duties and responsibilities are delegated in SBHE Policy 304.1 and other SBHE policies or directives.

  7. A president is the chief executive officer of their respective institution and a member of the Chancellor's executive staff. The presidents report to and are responsible to the Chancellor. This designation includes the right and responsibility to manage the institution within the overall policies and directives issued by the Chancellor and SBHE. Presidents' duties and responsibilities are delegated in SBHE Policy 305.1 and other SBHE policies or SBHE or Chancellor directives.

Reference: SBHE Policy - 304.1   305.1  

Reference: N.D. Const. Art. VIII, 6; N.D.C.C. 15-10-01.2

New policy, SBHE minutes, March 30, 2001; Amendment, SBHE minutes, April 15, 2004; Amendment, SBHE minutes, September 26, 2012; Revised by legal counsel, April 30, 2018.
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