Bill Text: WV SCR49 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Requesting study on higher education governance, finance, and other issues considered appropriate

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-05 - Referred to Rules [SCR49 Detail]

Download: West_Virginia-2019-SCR49-Introduced.html

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 49

(By Senators Rucker, Blair, Azinger, Baldwin, Beach, Boley, Cline, Maynard, Plymale, Roberts, Romano, Stollings, Trump, and Unger )

[Originating in the Committee on Education; Reported on March 5, 2019]

 

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study higher education governance, finance, and any other higher education issues it considers appropriate.

Whereas, House Bill 2815, passed during the 2017 legislative session, required the Higher Education Policy Commission to examine the question of general revenue appropriations to individual higher education institutions per student, and per credit hour, and by other relevant measures at all higher education institutions, including four-year baccalaureate institutions and the community and technical colleges; and

Whereas, Higher education central office staff created a formula for distributing legislative appropriations to the four-year state institutions of higher education, and after a public comment period, created a second modified formula based on comments they received during the public comment period; and

Whereas, In between creation of the first and second formulas for distributing appropriations to the four-year state institutions of higher education, the higher education central office staff also created a formula for distributing legislative appropriations to the community and technical colleges; and

Whereas, None of the aforementioned formulas have been officially adopted or approved by any commission, council, committee, body, or group of any kind; and

Whereas, In May 2017, Governor Jim Justice requested the Higher Education Policy Commission conduct a study to examine the question of how to sustain higher education opportunity in each region of West Virginia; and

Whereas, The Higher Education Policy Commission sought assistance from the National Center for Higher Education Management Services (NCHEMS) to undertake the study; and

Whereas, NCHEMS published its recommendations in a report dated August 6, 2018; and

Whereas, On June 26, 2018, Governor Jim Justice, by executive order, created the Blue Ribbon Commission on Four-Year Higher Education; and

Whereas, The commission was charged with reviewing, studying, and assessing the current state of four-year higher education in the State, including but not limited to: (1) The adequacy of current funding levels for four-year institutions of higher education; (2) the current governance structure relating to four-year institutions of higher education; (3) the role and value of the Higher Education Policy Commission; (4) the identification of bureaucratic inefficiencies that cause a negative impact; (5) measures to be taken to facilitate the long-term viability of higher education delivery in communities across the state; and (6) anything else the commission deems necessary to provide a thorough evaluation in preparation of its report; and

Whereas, The commission’s review was limited to four-year higher education and did not include the community and technical colleges; and

Whereas, Community and technical college education is a vital part of ensuring the future economic prosperity of West Virginia and its citizens; and

Whereas, House Bill 3096 and Senate Bill 673, both of which were inspired by the work of the Blue Ribbon Commission, were introduced during the 2019 regular session of the Legislature; and

Whereas, The scale of the changes to the higher education system being contemplated requires a more in-depth review and consideration by the Legislature prior to making substantial statutory changes to the state system of higher education; therefore, be it

Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study higher education governance, finance, and any other higher education issues it considers appropriate; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the study shall at least include a review of the funding formulas created by the higher education central office staff, the NCHEMS report dated August 6, 2018, the work of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Four-Year Higher Education, any legislation inspired by the work of the Blue Ribbon Commission, input from community and technical college representatives, input from baccalaureate institution representatives, and input and support from higher education central office staff; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2020, on its findings, conclusions, and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report, and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

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