(a) In order to promote a coordinated system of two-year postsecondary education in Arkansas, to provide an effective delivery system for adult education programs, and to assure an orderly and effective development of a system of publicly and locally supported institutions, the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) To function as a coordinating body between the technical and community colleges in the system and the public schools, universities, state colleges, and other educational institutions in Arkansas;
(2) To determine service areas containing all counties within the state and to recommend adoption of such service areas to the full board, who shall designate which system institution within the service area shall be responsible for fulfillment of the two-year postsecondary educational needs of the service area;
(A) To review, evaluate, and coordinate budget requests for the institutions in the system.
(i) The full board shall present to the General Assembly and to the Governor prior to each regular session of the General Assembly a single budget report containing the recommendations for separate appropriations to each of the respective institutions.
(ii) The recommendations will be consistent with a comprehensive master plan of two-year postsecondary education in Arkansas adopted by the board.
(iii) The recommendations, insofar as possible, will be based upon standard techniques of objective measurement of need and unit cost figures arrived at through comparative data secured from the several institutions.
(iv) Specific needs of institutions based upon existing programs and deficiencies will be given consideration;
(A) To develop, in conjunction with the institutions, the Governor, and the Legislative Council, a single set of budget forms which will be utilized by all parties in making requests and recommendations for the funding of two-year postsecondary institutions in the system.
(B) The forms and process will require that the total income and expenditures of each institution must be considered in the request process;
(5) To determine, in coordination with the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee, that state funds are used in conformity with the grants of such funds;
(6) To determine a minimum level for student tuition and fees to be charged by institutions within the system in regard to the funding formula;
(7) To plan, in cooperation with the State Board of Career Education, the allocation of federal funds for instructional programs and student services, including funds for vocational and technical education, retraining, adult basic education, and general adult education;
(8) To recommend to the General Assembly the location and priorities for establishment or expansion of institutions or for abolition of institutions; and
(A) To develop a standardized method of calculating the full-time equivalent enrollment for use by each two-year postsecondary institution in this state.
(B) Such calculation shall provide for the inclusion of students attending off-campus programs offered by the institution.
(b) The board shall develop and maintain short-range and long- range plans for providing current and appropriate occupational and technical training for adults and may solicit information for its planning activities from the State Board of Education, the Department of Workforce Services, any industry training program of the state, any apprenticeship training program of the state, and other state agencies, institutions, and departments.
(c) The board shall have approval or disapproval authority over all future conversions of state-supported postsecondary vocational-technical institutions to technical colleges and all consolidations of postsecondary vocational-technical institutions with community colleges or four-year institutions or their branches which must be authorized by the General Assembly.
(d) The board shall recommend and review proposals for the establishment of curricula and for major changes in curricula of institutions within the system. It shall emphasize flexibility in responding to local business and industry needs.
(1) The board shall define the requirements of appropriate degrees and certificates and authorize the award thereof in the institutions within the system.
(2) The board shall approve all degree programs at the associate degree level or above at any state-supported postsecondary institution, including those established and administered under § 6-51-701 et seq.
(f) The board shall cooperate with the board of directors of any school district to encourage the use and sharing of facilities and staff in the offering of secondary vocational programs, including instruction in agricultural subjects, trades, or industrial subjects.
Acts 1991, No. 1244, § 7; 1995, No. 854, § 3; 1997, No. 1114, § 9.