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Publications : G-140

Policy/Guideline Area

General Guidelines

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges


This guideline describes a system for campus-based approval and numbering of publications of community colleges, and colleges of applied technology as required by T.C.A. § 12-7-106 et seq., and rules of the Higher Education Publications Committee. The cited authorities set forth criteria against which each campus will review the appropriateness of each publication, require that descriptive information be maintained in a central location and provide for affixing an identifying number to each covered publication.


  • Publications - is defined as any printed matter which is produced for general distribution outside the campus.


  1. Covered Publications
    1. Examples of publications which require a publication number are:
      1. Undergraduate and graduate catalogs;
      2. Admissions applications (unless part of a catalog);
      3. Housing applications;
      4. Financial aid applications;
      5. Brochures, posters, calendars, pamphlets, fliers, programs, etc., promoting cultural or athletic events;
      6. Alumni and development solicitation materials;
      7. Seminar and workshop registration forms, brochures;
      8. Research project reports (if generally distributed);
      9. Agricultural brochures, pamphlets, etc.;
      10. Treasurer's reports and other "outside" financial reports;
      11. Campus telephone directories;
      12. Employee benefits booklets, posters, etc.’
      13. Purchasing requests for bids;
      14. Purchase order forms;
      15. Employment applications;
      16. Placement forms;
      17. Athletic ticket applications.
    2. Other publications which must have a publication number, but usually are not produced for general public distribution:
      1. Campus, college and department newsletters;
      2. Faculty and student handbooks;
      3. Employee training manuals.
    3. Certain printed materials which are intended solely for internal use may be excluded from the requirement that a publication number be affixed, e.g.:
      1. Work processing forms for internal use, e.g., work orders, requisitions, transfer vouchers, voucher authorizations, vehicle requests, personnel action forms and similar documents;
      2. Research project reports not generally distributed;
      3. Research survey instruments, classroom test instruments Instructional material (even if sold at campus bookstore);
      4. Personnel and fiscal policy manuals;
      5. Grade reports;
      6. Tickets for athletic and cultural events;
      7. Student newspapers and yearbooks;
      8. Meal tickets;
      9. Traffic citations.
  2. Campus Review of Publication Requests
    1. Each President shall designate a person or committee to review and approve publications by the following criteria specified in the rules of the Higher Education Publications Committee:
      1. All publications should be justified and be within funding abilities of a campus or unit. Criteria for review of publications should include, but not be limited to, the most economical method for producing the publications consistent with the goals and projected audiences of the publications. Other criteria to be considered should include number of copies needed to meet the publication's goals and to reach its projected audience; type of paper to be selected; use of photographs and color; typography; method of printing; page size; and method of typesetting.
      2. When considering requests for approval of new publications or when reviewing existing publications, the person or persons responsible for such review and approval should continually consider alternatives to existing or traditional methods of printing and distribution so as to achieve maximum economics while maintaining the integrity of the publications. Participating campuses should inform the person or persons responsible for review and approval of publications about available technical assistance for writing specifications for bids, when taking bids is appropriate, and when publications are being printed off the campus. Consideration should be given to the most economical method of distributing publications.
      3. All publications must comply with state and federal laws and regulations.
      4. All publications should be produced on the campus when economically feasible.
      5. All publications approved for off-campus printing must comply with system and institutional purchasing procedures.
      6. No publication citing or reproducing a rule issued under the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act shall be approved prior to receiving written assurance from the Secretary of State that the rule is in effect. (Such requests shall be coordinated through the SBR Office of General Counsel.)
      7. One-time approval of a periodic publication is permissible if subsequent issues conform substantially to the original approved design.
  3. Recording of Information
    1. Pertinent information on institutional publications must be recorded in one location for each campus and must be maintained on a continuous basis for submitting to the Higher Education Publications Committee on call.
    2. When such reports are requested, each President shall submit a letter certifying that each report listed in the report has been found justified under the campus procedure.
    3. As specified in statutes, each institution shall maintain centrally the following information on each approved publication:
      1. Name of publication;
      2. Department producing publication;
      3. Purpose and brief description of publication's contents;
      4. Number of copies authorized to be printed;
      5. A general list of distribution;
      6. Estimated cost of printing and distribution;
      7. Name and address of private printer;
      8. Publication number assigned.
  4. Numbering of Publications
    1. Each publication whose approval is required under this guideline shall have a discrete identifying number assigned which shall be affixed adjacent to the identification of the institution.
      1. For example, the system being used at the Board office includes a number "SBR AA-001-89," indicating a publication of Academic Affairs which is the first of calendar year 1989 for the Board office.
  5. Private Printing
    1. Any publication not printed at facilities operated by the state or a public higher education institution shall include the printer's name and address and the number of copies printed.
  6. Distribution
    1. No automatic distribution of reports or publications shall be made, except as specified for public reports in T.C.A. § 12-6-118, unless so provided in other statutes or policies of the Board or requested by the recipient.
  7. Procedures
    1. All campuses shall have written procedures for approving publications.



T.C.A. § 49-8-203; All statutes, rules, and regulations referenced in this procedure.


February 14, 1989 Presidents Meeting.

This guideline reiterates practices already in effect, as reflected in the statutes and rules cited and in Board staff memoranda to the Presidents dated June 9, 1982, and October 4, 1988.