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Inter-Institutional Relationships & Off-Campus Offerings : A-020

Policy/Guideline Area

Academic Guidelines

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges


The purpose of this guideline is to establish the criteria and process for Interinstitutional relationships and off-campus offerings by institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.


  1. Off-Campus Centers
    1. An off-campus instructional unit shall be considered an off-campus center (OCC) if it involves a significant continuing commitment of institutional resources as evidenced by faculty, staff, facilities, and equipment, and if it fulfills standards established for centers by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
      1. Each OCC's purpose shall be clearly defined in the institution's annual Role and Scope statement.
      2. Each OCC's degree and non-degree offerings must be consistent with the institution's Role and Scope statement. The non-degree offerings must comply with the guidelines as set forth in the Tennessee Higher Education Commission document, Guidelines for Awarding and Reporting CEU's. This document addresses the particular case when an institution may offer a non-degree program in an area in which it has no degree offering.
      3. Course and program delivery by joint institutional OCC's shall be determined by written agreement between participating institutions and approved by the Chancellor.
      4. A proposal for the establishment of a new OCC shall be forwarded to the Board for approval. Requirements for approval shall include:
        1. A "needs assessment" survey.
        2. Evidence of the OCC's ability to meet the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools standards.
        3. A five (5) year projected budget for continued operation.
      5. At five (5) year intervals, or upon request of the Board or Board staff, an evaluation of each OCC shall be made on the following bases:
        1. A current "needs assessment" survey.
        2. Demonstrated ability of the OCC to meet both institutional Role and Scope statements and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools standards.
        3. A five (5) year projected budget for continued operation.
  2. Off-Campus Degree and Non-Degree Offerings
    1. The president of each institution should designate a contact regarding off-campus offerings.
    2. Where thirty (30) mile territorial boundaries overlap, affected institutions will coordinate off-campus offerings of each, preferably a written agreement between the institutions should be consummated which covers the off-campus offerings of each institution.
    3. Prior to contracting (preliminary investigations and discussions may proceed on a unilateral basis) with client groups, an institution contemplating off-campus offerings within thirty (30) miles of another shall communicate its proposal in writing. The institution receiving the request shall respond in writing not later than thirty (30) days after receipt of the proposal letter. If the institution receiving the request does not wish to provide the service, it shall communicate same. If, however, the institution receiving the request rejects the proposal:
      1. The institution placing the request will not commence registration.
      2. The institution receiving the request must:
        1. Provide the course or program.
        2. Show just cause why the course should not be offered by either institution.
      3. In the event an accord cannot be reached by the representatives of each institution, the representatives should refer the matter to their presidents. If, ultimately, an agreement cannot be reached, the institutions shall refer the matter to the Board staff.
    4. Proposed contracts for regional or statewide delivery of courses and programs to business entities or special interest groups must be in accordance with Board policy.
    5. Off-campus courses and programs delivered by the media and which require initial and/or periodic group meetings are to be treated in accordance with paragraph II.D. of this guideline. If media delivery system does not necessitate group meetings, then formal communications are not required.
  3. Exceptions
    1. Exceptions to this guideline may be made upon recommendation of a president and approval by the Chancellor. 



T.C.A. § 49-8-203; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools rules and regulations; Tennessee Higher Education guidelines.


February 10, 1978 TBR Presidents meeting; Presidents meeting July 1, 1984.