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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Lead Institutions : G-110

Policy/Guideline Area

General Guidelines

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges


The purpose of this guideline is to establish the operational guidelines for lead institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.


  1. Introduction
    1. Each community college governed by the State Board of Regents serves as the lead institution for a geographical area designated by the Board as the institution's primary service area.
    2. As outlined below, the lead institution's general responsibilities include program planning within its primary service area, as well as providing administrative assistance to the colleges of applied technology within its designated area. There is no plan on the part of the Board of Regents to merge TCATs with lead institutions. The role of the lead institution is that of facilitator; budget management, program management, and personnel management is the responsibility of the TCAT. Additional lead institution responsibilities may be specified by the Board or Chancellor to ensure effective program coordination and operations management within the primary service areas.
  2. Program Planning
    1. The lead institution is responsible for coordinating the development and delivery of vocational-technical, career, and job training programs and support services in its primary service area.
    2. To fulfill this responsibility, the general objectives of the lead institution, in cooperation with the colleges of applied technology, are to meet the needs within its service area for:
      1. Occupational and academic diagnostic services;
      2. Developmental education in the basic skills;
      3. Job/vocational education and occupational training;
      4. Special business and industrial training;
      5. Technical education at the sub-baccalaureate collegiate level or the non-collegiate entry level;
      6. Job placement and counseling;
      7. College transfer (community college only); and
      8. Continuing education and community service.
    3. The Board staff shall provide assistance to the lead institutions and colleges of applied technology in developing such plans as the Job Training and Coordination Plan and programs as may be necessary to provide, cause to provide, or recommend the provision of appropriate levels of sub-baccalaureate education and training services.
  3. Administrative Services
    1. The lead institution administrative service responsibility will include accounting, budgeting, purchasing, personnel, and student records.
      1. For the performance of these services, the TCAT will reimburse the lead institution for services on the basis of student enrollment and consideration of cost to provide such services.
    2. Charges for services provided by the lead institution will be evaluated annually. Effective coordination of services from the lead institution to the TCAT will require regularity of meeting and communication.
    3. At a minimum, it is expected that representatives of both parties meet no less than quarterly to review status of services and required reporting to the Board.
    4. Following is a summary of minimum services provided:
      1. Accounting and Budgeting
        1. The lead institution provides support and guidance in budget development and revisions as per Board policies and guidelines.
        2. In addition, monthly revenue and expenditure reports will be provided to each TCAT.
        3. These reports will be reconciled by the TCAT no later than the 20th day of the following month.
        4. The operating account maintained at the TCAT will be reconciled by the TCAT with the lead institution, at a minimum, monthly.
        5. Annual financial reports will be prepared by the lead institution.
          1. The annual report will be presented to the TCAT prior to submittal to the Board Office.
        6. Problems encountered in accounting, budgeting, and fiscal management, if not resolved at the local level, should be reported to the Vice Chancellor for Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.
        7. Any request for approval of a budget revision, involving adjustments from one functional area to another, must be transmitted to the Chancellor.
      2. Purchasing
        1. The lead institution will purchase supplies and equipment from specifications provided by the TCAT.
        2. The TCAT will maintain an operating account, not to exceed $25,000, for purchasing supplies and materials at the local level.
        3. The TCAT may bid items at the local level to limits established by TBR and Lead Institution purchasing policies and procedures.
        4. These accounts will be reconciled by the TCAT on a monthly basis with the lead institution.
        5. The lead institution will maintain an equipment inventory for the TCAT after the director has certified the accuracy and presence of items in the inventory on an annual basis.
      3. Personnel
        1. The lead institution will provide support in hiring personnel, maintaining personnel records, including required reports to the Board and other external agencies, and performing the payroll for the TCATs.
          1. In hiring personnel, the role of the lead institution is to provide support in developing, distributing, and/or advertising position announcements, and monitoring affirmative action procedures.
          2. The responsibility for selecting personnel is with the TCAT director, subject to Board policies and guidelines relating to the district classification/compensation plans, faculty salary ranges, and availability of funds in the budget.
        2. New positions not included in the budget, must be approved in advance by the Chancellor.
          1. The lead institution and TCAT shall mutually agree on which entity actually prepares and submits reports on personnel records, including leave, payroll deductions, longevity pay, affirmative action, EEO reports, and Board-approved benefits.
        3. The TCAT will follow the affirmative action plan of the lead institution unless it has in place a plan approved by the Board legal counsel.
      4. Student Records
        1. The lead institution will maintain records and provide reports to the TCATs and the Board on required student information.
        2. The TCAT has the responsibility to provide to the lead institution student data in the prescribed format for processing.
      5. Student Financial Aid
        1. The lead institution will provide guidance to the TCAT staff on financial aid program operations, assist in processing payment approval documents, prepare award checks and forward them to the TCAT, maintain required accounting records, and accept and maintain records on repayments collected by the TCAT.
        2. The TCAT will maintain individual student financial aid records, forward appropriate payment approval documents to the lead institution, and disburse checks to students.
        3. The lead institution will complete appropriate reports requiring financial aid fiscal records for the TCAT from information furnished by the TCAT. 
      6. Institutional Research
        1. The lead institution performs various research activities for the TCAT. These activities will include, but are not limited to, the following:
          1. Assist in preparation and justification for new program proposals.
          2. Provide assistance and support for annual Facilities Inventory and Capital Improvements requests.
          3. Provide assistance with the preparation of the Annual Report.
          4. Provide support and direction for the Lead Institution Job Training Coordination Plan and annual update.
          5. Provide support and guidance for the TCAT Five-Year Strategic Plan and annual updates.
          6. Assistance and guidance with preparation of the Budget Summary and Analysis.   


November 14, 1984 SBR Presidents meeting and November 16, 1984, AVTS Sub-Council meeting.  Revised:  August 16, 1988, Presidents Meeting; September 22, 1989 (Result of Change Made to Purchasing Policy); August 25, 1998 Presidents Meeting; February 11, 2003 Presidents Meeting; November 12, 2003 TTC Directors’ Sub-Council meeting; August 21, 2007 Presidents Meeting.