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RULE §1.20Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)--The person appointed by the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) to hear a contested case and to propose findings of fact and conclusions of law, under §2003.041 of the Texas Government Code, for adoption by the Board, regarding a determination that has been made by the Commissioner with which the party disagrees.

  (2) ADR--Alternative dispute resolution. A nonjudicial, informally conducted forum for the voluntary settlement of contested matters through the intervention of an impartial third party.

  (3) Alternative dispute resolution coordinator or ADR coordinator--The agency employee appointed by the Commissioner to coordinate and oversee ADR procedures and mediators.

  (4) Board--The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; as used in this subchapter, "Board" means the agency acting through its voting members in a decision-making capacity.

  (5) Commissioner--The Commissioner of Higher Education; as used in this subchapter, "Commissioner" means the agency acting through its executive, and his or her designees, staff, or agents, as distinguished from the agency acting through Board members in a decision-making capacity.

  (6) Contested Case--A circumstance in which the Board or Commissioner shall allow a full evidentiary hearing as provided under the APA and this subchapter, if the right is properly invoked. In such a case, the Board shall finally determine the rights, duties, or privileges of the party. Right to a hearing is established only by explicit statutory provisions or by rules found in Title 19 of the Texas Administrative Code. There is no statute in the Texas Education Code, or rule herein, which requires the Commissioner to initiate a contested case hearing in the absence of a written petition for same, as defined herein.

  (7) Contested Case Status--The condition that is established by a person who has a right to a contested case hearing, by the filing of a properly pled petition.

  (8) Mail or mailed--Deposit(ed) into United States mail, certified, return receipt requested, unless otherwise provided by this subchapter. In determining the timeliness of a pleading, a postmark shall be evidence of the date of mailing, and the markings on a green card or on certified mail shall be evidence of the date of receipt. Certified mail that is refused or not claimed shall be considered received upon the earliest date of notice. When a document has been placed into United States mail, certified, return receipt requested, it shall be assumed that it was received on the third day after it was mailed, in the absence of a showing otherwise.

  (9) Mediator--The person appointed by the Board's ADR coordinator to preside over an ADR proceeding, regardless of which ADR method is used.

  (10) Participant--When used in relation to ADR, the Commissioner, the Board's counsel, a respondent in a contested case, and his or her attorney; or if parties have been named, the named parties.

  (11) Party--Each person or agency named or admitted as a party to a hearing.

  (12) Private mediator--A person in the profession of mediation who is not a Texas state employee and who has met all the qualifications prescribed by Texas law for mediators

  (13) SOAH--The State Office of Administrative Hearings

Source Note: The provisions of this §1.20 adopted to be effective February 26, 2004, 29 TexReg 1658

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