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RULE §5.76General Principles for Off-Campus Educational Units

(a) An off-campus educational unit is not a separate general academic institution and therefore is not independent as regards academic, administrative, and fiscal matters, but has varying degrees of dependence upon the parent institution in such matters.

(b) The general purpose of off-campus educational units of all sizes is to meet the education needs of the people of Texas with a level of service that is appropriate for the area and cost effective to offer. Their specific purpose is directly related to the teaching of courses for academic credit from the parent institution(s) and/or for health professions' medical training.

(c) Off-campus educational units are not intended to duplicate the full array and types of offerings available at regular general academic campuses. The intent is to:

  (1) Focus on teaching and on delivery of high demand courses and programs. Research conducted at off-campus educational units should be limited to that necessary for the courses and programs offered.

  (2) Develop articulation agreements with community colleges in the area for provision of lower-division courses. In general, off-campus educational units are not intended to offer lower-division courses. Lower-division courses can only be offered in accordance with Chapter 4.101-4.108 of this title, relating to Approval of Distance Education and Off-Campus Instruction for Public Colleges and Universities, and related Board procedures.

  (3) Make extensive use of technology to limit the number of faculty required for the location and take full advantage of technological advances that promise to improve quality of learning, access to programs, and efficient use of existing resources. An off-campus educational unit shall meet the Board's technology standards.

  (4) Libraries shall be models of the effective use of technology in libraries and depend heavily on the TexShare electronic resource sharing efforts.

(d) Degree programs offered at off-campus educational units must be offered by and in the name of the parent institution(s).

  (1) No program may be offered at an off-campus educational unit that does not have prior approval to be offered at the parent institution, except under unusual and approved circumstances.

  (2) The Board must be notified of programs offered at off-campus educational units. The Board shall maintain a list of these degree programs and make that list readily available to the public. The Board reserves the right to order the discontinuance of programs offered at off-campus educational units in accordance with standard Board policies and procedures.

  (3) The parent institution must commit to providing a program long enough for a student to have a reasonable opportunity to graduate before the resource is withdrawn or to make other reasonable arrangements for students to complete programs that they have started.

(e) Off-campus educational units shall adhere to quality and approval criteria regarding courses, programs, student services and other academic matters contained in §§4.101-4.108 of this title (relating to Approval of Distance Education and Off-Campus Instruction for Public Colleges and Universities) and in the (Notification and Approval Procedures for Distance Education and Off-Campus Programs and Courses and Guidelines for Institutional Plans for Distance Education and Off-Campus Instruction located in Board policies).

(f) Off-campus educational units shall use locally provided facilities, where possible. Except where specifically authorized by the Legislature or the Board, nothing in these sections is to be interpreted as permitting the acquisition by gift or purchase of real property for the purpose of establishing or operating an off-campus educational unit. The facilities of off-campus educational units shall comply with Chapter 17 of this title, relating to Campus Planning.

(g) The following faculty-related provisions apply to all off-campus educational units:

  (1) The majority of faculty members at an off-campus educational unit must, by some means, have significant involvement with the parent institution.

  (2) Faculty must comply with the provision of §§4.101-4.108 of this title and related Board policies.

  (3) Faculty must be hired and evaluated by the same processes and with the same criteria as faculty performing similar duties at the parent institution.

  (4) The parent institution should not make a permanent commitment to faculty exclusively working at a teaching site or center, unless the faculty will be transferred to the parent institution should their program be eliminated or consolidated.

  (5) Programs offered by an off-campus educational unit's own faculty should have enrollments sufficient to support efficient operations.

(h) An off-campus educational unit is financially dependent upon its parent institution(s) and supported within the budget of the institution(s). It is not eligible to request separate legislative funding. Institutions should not overcommit resources to a geographic area before a sufficient and sustained level of demand is achieved. Formula generated funds earned at an off-campus educational unit are expected to be applied to financing its operation.

(i) The Commissioner shall establish policies concerning how a location receives designation as a specific type of off-campus educational unit and how to expand educational activities.

(j) Courses offered at off-campus educational units must be reported separately and accurately in required Board reports. Semester credit hours completed at the unit must be reported appropriately by the parent institution(s) and shall be funded as determined by the Legislature.

(k) An off-campus educational unit shall be headed by an appropriate administrator whose title does not suggest that the unit is an independent institution. The number of local administrators and faculty shall be less than that at a free standing general academic institution of comparable size. Additional administrative and academic program support shall be provided by the parent institution(s) and the system(s).

(l) A higher education center's name must be approved by the Board, and may not be changed without prior Board approval. Recognition of a higher education center may be withdrawn by the Board.

Source Note: The provisions of this §5.76 adopted to be effective May 28, 2003, 28 TexReg 4126

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