1997 Regular Session
To: Universities and Colleges
By: Representatives Martinson, Davis (102nd), Formby, Frierson, Guice, Howell, Janus, King, Moore, Read, Smith (35th), Stribling
House Bill 1211
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 37-4-3 AND 37-101-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT ANY STUDENT WHO HAS GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL WITH A QUALIFYING GRADE POINT AVERAGE SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO HAVE RECEIVED A CERTIFICATE OF INITIAL MASTERY OR EMPLOYABILITY OR ANOTHER SIMILAR CERTIFICATE IN ORDER TO BE FULLY ELIGIBLE FOR ADMISSION INTO ANY PUBLIC COMMUNITY OR JUNIOR COLLEGE OR ANY STATE INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-4-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-4-3. (1) From and after July 1, 1986, there shall be a State Board for Community and Junior Colleges which shall receive and distribute funds appropriated by the Legislature for the use of the public community and junior colleges and funds from federal and other sources that are transmitted through the state governmental organization for use by said colleges. This board shall provide general coordination of the public community and junior colleges, assemble reports and such other duties as may be prescribed by law.
(2) The board shall consist of ten (10) members of which none shall be an elected official and none shall be engaged in the educational profession. The Governor shall appoint two (2) members from the First Mississippi Congressional District, one (1) who shall serve an initial term of two (2) years and one (1) who shall serve an initial term of five (5) years; two (2) members from the Second Mississippi Congressional District, one (1) who shall serve an initial term of five (5) years and one (1) who shall serve an initial term of three (3) years; and two (2) members from the Third Mississippi Congressional District, one (1) who shall serve an initial term of four (4) years and one (1) who shall serve an initial term of two (2) years; two (2) members from the Fourth Mississippi Congressional District, one (1) who shall serve an initial term of three (3) years and one (1) who shall serve an initial term of four (4) years; and two (2) members from the Fifth Mississippi Congressional District, one (1) who shall serve an initial term of five (5) years and one (1) who shall serve an initial term of two (2) years. All subsequent appointments shall be for a term of six (6) years and continue until their successors are appointed and qualify. An appointment to fill a vacancy which arises for reasons other than by expiration of a term of office shall be for the unexpired term only. No two (2) appointees shall reside in the same junior college district. All members shall be appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate. (See Editor's Note) from the Fourth Mississippi Congressional District, who shall serve an initial term of five (5) years. All subsequent appointments shall be for a term of six (6) years and continue until their successors are appointed and qualify. An appointment to fill a vacancy which arises for reasons other than by expiration of a term of office shall be for the unexpired term only. All members shall be appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(3) There shall be a chairman and vice chairman of the board, elected by and from the membership of the board; and the chairman shall be the presiding officer of the board. The board shall adopt rules and regulations governing times and places for meetings and governing the manner of conducting its business.
(4) The members of the board shall receive no annual salary, but shall receive per diem compensation as authorized by Section 25-3-69, Mississippi Code of 1972, for each day devoted to the discharge of official board duties and shall be entitled to reimbursement for all actual and necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of their duties, including mileage as authorized by Section 25-3-41, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(5) The board shall name a director for the state system of public junior and community colleges, who shall serve at the pleasure of the board. Such director shall be the chief executive officer of the board, give direction to the board staff, carry out the policies set forth by the board, and work with the presidents of the several community and junior colleges to assist them in carrying out the mandates of the several boards of trustees and in functioning within the state system and policies established by the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges. The State Board for Community and Junior Colleges shall set the salary of the Director of the State System of Community and Junior Colleges. The Legislature shall provide adequate funds for the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, its activities and its staff.
(6) The powers and duties of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges shall be:
(a) To authorize disbursements of state appropriated funds to community and junior colleges through orders in the minutes of the board.
(b) To make studies of the needs of the state as they relate to the mission of the community and junior colleges.
(c) To approve new, changes to and deletions of vocational and technical programs to the various colleges.
(d) To require community and junior colleges to supply such information as the board may request and compile, publish and make available such reports based thereon as the board may deem advisable.
(e) To approve proposed new attendance centers (campus locations) as the local boards of trustees should determine to be in the best interest of the district. Provided, however, that no new community/junior college branch campus shall be approved without an authorizing act of the Legislature.
(f) To serve as the state approving agency for federal funds for proposed contracts to borrow money for the purpose of acquiring land, erecting, repairing, etc. dormitories, dwellings or apartments for students and/or faculty, such loans to be paid from revenue produced by such facilities as requested by local boards of trustees.
(g) To approve applications from community and junior colleges for state funds for vocational-technical education facilities.
(h) To approve any university branch campus offering lower undergraduate level courses for credit.
(i) To appoint members to the Post-Secondary Educational Assistance Board.
(j) To appoint members to the Authority for Educational Television.
(k) To contract with other boards, commissions, governmental entities, foundations, corporations or individuals for programs, services, grants and awards when such are needed for the operation and development of the state public community and junior college system.
(l) To fix standards for community and junior colleges to qualify for appropriations, and qualifications for community and junior college teachers.
(m) To have sign-off approval on the State Plan for Vocational Education which is developed in cooperation with appropriate units of the State Department of Education.
(n) To approve or disapprove of any proposed inclusion within municipal corporate limits of state-owned buildings and grounds of any community college or junior college and to approve or disapprove of land use development, zoning requirements, building codes and delivery of governmental services applicable to state-owned buildings and grounds of any community college or junior college. Any agreement by a local board of trustees of a community college or junior college to annexation of state-owned property or other conditions described in this paragraph shall be void unless approved by the board and by the board of supervisors of the county in which the state-owned property is located.
(7) The State Board for Community and Junior Colleges shall require all community and junior colleges to provide that any student who has graduated from high school in the state with a qualifying grade point average shall not require a certificate of initial mastery or employability or any other similar certificate to be fully eligible for admission to any of the community and junior colleges regardless of the curriculum or coursework completed by the student.
SECTION 2. Section 37-101-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-101-15. (a) The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning shall succeed to and continue to exercise control of all records, books, papers, equipment, and supplies, and all lands, buildings, and other real and personal property belonging to or assigned to the use and benefit of the board of trustees formerly supervising and controlling the institutions of higher learning named in Section 37-101-1. The board shall have and exercise control of the use, distribution and disbursement of all funds, appropriations and taxes, now and hereafter in possession, levied and collected, received, or appropriated for the use, benefit, support, and maintenance or capital outlay expenditures of the institutions of higher learning, including the authorization of employees to sign vouchers for the disbursement of funds for the various institutions, except where otherwise specifically provided by law.
(b) The board shall have general supervision of the affairs of all the institutions of higher learning, including the departments and the schools thereof. The board shall have the power in its discretion to determine who shall be privileged to enter, to remain in, or to graduate therefrom, except that the board shall provide that any student who has graduated from high school in the state with a qualifying grade point average shall not require a certificate of initial mastery or employability or any other similar certificate to be fully eligible for admission to any of the state institutions of higher learning regardless of the curriculum or coursework completed by the student. The board shall have general supervision of the conduct of libraries and laboratories, the care of dormitories, buildings, and grounds; the business methods and arrangement of accounts and records; the organization of the administrative plan of each institution; and all other matters incident to the proper functioning of the institutions. The board shall have the authority to establish minimum standards of achievement as a prerequisite for entrance into any of the institutions under its jurisdiction, which standards need not be uniform between the various institutions and which may be based upon such criteria as the board may establish.
(c) The board shall exercise all the powers and prerogatives conferred upon it under the laws establishing and providing for the operation of the several institutions herein specified. The board shall adopt such bylaws and regulations from time to time as it deems expedient for the proper supervision and control of the several institutions of higher learning, insofar as such bylaws and regulations are not repugnant to the constitution and laws, and not inconsistent with the object for which these institutions were established. The board shall have power and authority to prescribe rules and regulations for policing the campuses and all buildings of the respective institutions, to authorize the arrest of all persons violating on any campus any criminal law of the state, and to have such law violators turned over to the civil authorities.
(d) For all institutions specified herein, the board shall provide a uniform system of recording and of accounting approved by the State Department of Audit. The board shall annually prepare, or cause to be prepared, a budget for each institution of higher learning for the succeeding year which must be prepared and in readiness for at least thirty (30) days before the convening of the regular session of the Legislature. All relationships and negotiations between the state Legislature and its various committees and the institutions named herein shall be carried on through the board of trustees. No official, employee or agent representing any of the separate institutions shall appear before the Legislature or any committee thereof except upon the written order of the board or upon the request of the Legislature or a committee thereof.
(e) For all institutions specified herein, the board shall prepare an annual report to the Legislature setting forth the disbursements of all moneys appropriated to the respective institutions. Each report to the Legislature shall show how the money appropriated to the several institutions has been expended, beginning and ending with the fiscal years of the institutions, showing the name of each teacher, officer, and employee, and the salary paid each, and an itemized statement of each and every item of receipts and expenditures. Each report must be balanced, and must begin with the former balance. If any property belonging to the state or the institution is used for profit, the reports shall show the expense incurred in managing the property and the amount received therefrom. The reports shall also show a summary of the gross receipts and gross disbursements for each year and shall show the money on hand at the beginning of the fiscal period of the institution next preceding each session of the Legislature and the necessary amount of expense to be incurred from said date to January 1 following. The board shall keep the annual expenditures of each institution herein mentioned within the income derived from legislative appropriations and other sources, but in case of emergency arising from acts of providence, epidemics, fire or storm with the written approval of the Governor and by written consent of a majority of the Senators and of the Representatives it may exceed the income. The board shall require a surety bond in a surety company authorized to do business in this state, of every employee who is the custodian of funds belonging to one or more of the institutions mentioned herein, which bond shall be in a sum to be fixed by the board in an amount that will properly safeguard the said funds, the premium for which shall be paid out of the funds appropriated for said institutions.
(f) The board shall have the power and authority to elect the heads of the various institutions of higher learning and to contract with all deans, professors, and other members of the teaching staff, and all administrative employees of said institutions for a term of not exceeding four (4) years. The board shall have the power and authority to terminate any such contract at any time for malfeasance, inefficiency, or contumacious conduct, but never for political reasons. It shall be the policy of the board to permit the executive head of each institution to nominate for election by the board all subordinate employees of the institution over which he presides. It shall be the policy of the board to elect all officials for a definite tenure of service and to reelect during the period of satisfactory service. The board shall have the power to make any adjustments it thinks necessary between the various departments and schools of any institution or between the different institutions.
(g) The board shall keep complete minutes and records of all proceedings which shall be open for inspection by any citizen of the state.
(h) The board shall have the power to contract, on a shared-savings, lease or lease-purchase basis, for energy efficiency services and/or equipment as prescribed in Section 31-7-14, not to exceed ten (10) years.
* * *
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.