1997 Regular Session
To: Universities and Colleges
By: Senator(s) Farris
Senate Bill 2634
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 37-29-1 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 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 37-29-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-29-1. (1) The creation, establishment, maintenance and operation of junior colleges is authorized. Until May 1, 1996, they shall offer to students, who have completed not less than seventeen (17) high school units, courses correlated to those of senior colleges or professional schools. From and after May 1, 1996, junior colleges shall offer to students who have completed not less than nineteen (19) high school units, courses correlated to those of senior colleges or professional schools. They shall offer education and training preparatory for occupations such as agriculture, industry, business, homemaking and for other occupations on the semi-professional and vocational-technical level. They may offer courses and services to students regardless of their previous educational attainment or further academic plans.
(2) 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 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.
(3) In addition to the foregoing, the junior colleges shall provide, through courses or other acceptable educational measures, the general education necessary to individuals and groups which will tend to make them capable of living satisfactory lives consistent with the ideals of a democratic society.
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 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.
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SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.