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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Policy Number: 
1:02:10:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Governance, Organization, and General Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office, Board Members
Purpose: 

The Tennessee Board of Regents is required to submit an annual report to the governor and the legislature at the end of each fiscal year. In addition, the president of each institution is required by Article IX of the Bylaws of the Board to submit an annual report to the Board, through the Chancellor, of the work and condition of the institution under their control. The following policy is adopted concerning the preparation and submission of these reports.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Reports of the Board
    1. The Chancellor shall prepare the annual report of the Board for submission to the governor and legislature.
    2. The report shall reflect the operations of the Board, and the condition and progress of institutions under the Board's jurisdiction.
    3. The report may contain any necessary recommendations to the governor and to the legislature for the future progress of the System, and may emphasize a particular theme for each year, reflecting the activities of the Board and the institutions which relate to that theme.
  2. Reports of Institutions
    1. The president of each institution shall submit an annual report of the institution to the Board, through the Chancellor, not later than September 15 of each year.
    2. The report shall be for the fiscal year ending June 30 of that year, and shall provide sufficient information to reflect the work and condition of the institution for the fiscal year.
    3. In providing information which reflects the work and condition of the institution, the annual report should include information in the following general areas:
      1. Academic programs and activities;
      2. Enrollments, student life activities and degrees conferred;
      3. Faculty and other personnel;
      4. Financial conditions and status; and
      5. Development, renovation and maintenance of physical facilities.
    4. In addition, the report may include any additional information concerning the institution which will fulfill special functions or uses of the report for the institution.
    5. The Chancellor may require any or all institutions to provide additional information on the work and condition of the institutions, and may designate the format and content of the report or portions thereof if necessary to ensure adequate or uniform information.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; TBR Bylaws

History

TBR Meetings, June 25,  1976; September 30, 1983; June 19, 1998

Policy Number: 
1:02:03:20
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Governance, Organization, and General Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office, Board Members
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is to establish ethical standards for members of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Preamble
    1. Public Trust
      1. The Tennessee Board of Regents is charged by statute with governance of the state universities, community colleges, and Tennessee colleges of applied technology in the state university and community college system. The state universities are subject to the authority of a local governing board of trustees, referred to as a state university board.
      2. To ensure effectiveness, the Regents must adhere to the strictest of ethical standards.
    2. Time Commitment
      1. In undertaking the duties of the office, a Regent shall make the necessary commitment of time and diligence to carry out the Regent’s public governance responsibilities.
      2. A Regent must regularly attend and actively participate in board and committee meetings and special assignments.
    3. Regent Authority
      1. Individual members of the Board enjoy equal rights with all other members:
        1. The right to vote,
        2. The right to participate fully in all considerations before the Board,
        3. The right to enter motions and to submit recommendations, and
        4. All rights and privileges afforded the Board by law and regulation when sitting in deliberative session.
      2. As individuals, when not participating in meetings of the Board or any of its duly constituted committees, members enjoy the same rights and privileges of any citizen of the State of Tennessee as pertains to the governance, control, and management of institutions under the Board.
      3. As individuals, members shall not speak for the Board unless so specifically authorized by the Board. 
    4. Regent Responsibilities
      1. When participating in meetings of the Board or its duly constituted committees, members are responsible for the entire System.
      2. They are responsible for representing the entire System without regard for any congressional district or area of the State or for any individual institution within the State.
      3. Members are enjoined from espousing the cause of any one institution over the interests of others or the System as a whole. 
  2.  Code of Ethics Policy
    1. Conflict of Interest
      1. A conflict of interest occurs when the personal interests, financial or otherwise, of a Regent actually or potentially diverge from the Regent’s obligations as a Board member.
        1. It is a conflict of interest for any person or any company with whom such person is an officer, a director, or an equity owner of greater than 1% interest to bid on any contract for products or services for a governmental entity if such person or a relative (spouse, parent, sibling, child) is a member of the board having responsibility for letting or approving such contract. 
        2. Each Regent will abide by the Board’s Conflicts of Interest Policy 1:02:03:10 as amended from time to time.
        3. A Regent shall not use the authority, title, or prestige of the office to solicit or otherwise obtain a private financial, social, or political benefit for the Regent or any other person which would be inconsistent with the public interest.
        4. A Regent shall abstain from any deliberations or vote on a matter which the Regent identifies as a conflict of interest.
    2. Gifts and Expenses
      1. No Regent shall accept or receive, directly or indirectly, from any person, firm, or corporation to whom any contract for the purchase of materials, goods, supplies, equipment or services for the Board or its member institutions may be awarded any money or anything of value or any promise, obligation, or contract for future awards or employment. 
      2. Regents serve without compensation. However, they are entitled to receive reimbursement for expenses incurred while representing the Board in their official capacity. 
    3. Financial Disclosure
      1. Each Regent shall, upon appointment to office and annually each January thereafter, file the financial interest disclosure form in Policy 1:02:03:10 with the Secretary of the Board of Regents.
  3.  Compliance
    1. Disclosure Requirements
      1. Persons who believe that a conflict of interest may exist either personally or with respect to another person covered by the ethics policy shall make a written disclosure of the facts and circumstances surrounding the situation.
      2. For members of the Board, disclosure should be made to the General Counsel (TBR Policy 1:02:03:10, Section VII)
    2. Review of Disclosures
      1. Disclosures made under Section II by or about a member of the Board of Regents shall be evaluated by the Board or a duly appointed committee thereof. A member of the Board making a self-disclosure shall not be entitled to vote regarding the disposition of the disclosure. (TBR Policy 1:02:03:10, Section X)
    3. Hearing
      1. An appointed Board member accused of a material violation of this Code of Ethics is entitled to a due process contested case hearing in accordance with T.C.A. § 49-8-204(c).
    4. Removal
      1. Upon a finding in a contested case hearing that an appointed Board member materially violated the Code of Ethics, the appointed Board member may be removed from the Board by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board membership. (T.C.A. § 49-8-204 (b))
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. §§ 12-3-106; 49-8-101 et seq.; 49-8-203 et.seq.

History

TBR Board Meeting, December 5, 2003.

Policy Number: 
1:02:03:10
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Governance, Organization, and General Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office, Board Members
Purpose: 

This policy is intended to define the general principles which should guide the actions of members of the Board and of employees; offer illustrations of activities which potentially constitute a conflict of interest; make Board members and employees aware of disclosure requirements related to conflicts of interest; describe the process by which those disclosures shall be evaluated and decisions rendered; and describe the appeals process regarding such decisions.

Definitions: 
  • Conflict of interest - occurs when the personal interests, financial or otherwise, of a person who owes a duty to the Tennessee Board of Regents and its constituent Institutions (Regents and all employees) actually or potentially diverge with the person’s professional obligations to and the best interests of the TBR and its Institutions.

  • Conflict of commitment - occurs when the personal or other non-work related activities of an employee of the TBR and its constituent Institutions impair the ability of that employee to meet their commitments of time and energy to the TBR and its Institutions.

  • Family member - includes the spouse and children (both dependent and non-dependent) of a person covered by this policy.

  • Immediate family – for purposes of Section VI.A.1.b.(2)(c), means spouse, dependent children or stepchildren, or relatives related by blood or marriage.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Objectives of the Conflicts of Interest Policy
    1. Members of the Tennessee Board of Regents and all employees of the TBR and its constituent Institutions all serve the interests of the State of Tennessee and its citizens, and have a duty to avoid activities and situations which, either actually or potentially, put personal interests before the professional obligations which they owe to the State and its citizens.
  2. Pertinent Federal Regulations, State Laws, and TBR Policies
    1. The following lists are intended to indicate sources of information which may provide additional guidance regarding conflict of interest situations.
    2. This policy is intended to be consistent with all pertinent Federal and State laws, regulations, and policies, as well as with other TBR policies.
    3. To the extent that conflicts arise, Federal and State laws, regulations, and policies shall take precedence.
    4. The lists are not intended to be exhaustive and additional laws, regulations, and policies may be implicated in a given conflict of interest situation.
      1. Federal Regulations
        1. The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), acting through the Public Health Service (PHS) (which includes the National Institutes of Health (NIH)), have promulgated policies and regulations regarding conflicts of interest and disclosure of financial interests by investigators who receive funding from these Federal agencies.
        2. The NSF policy regarding researcher conflicts of interest is contained in Section 510 of NSF Publication 95-26, the Grant Policy Manual. The PHS regulations, upon which the NSF policy is modeled, are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations at 42 CFR 50.601 et seq. and 45 CFR 94.1 et seq.
        3. Other Federal agencies (e.g., the Veterans’ Administration or the Food and Drug Administration) may require as a condition to a contract, disclosure and management of conflicts of interest (see, for example, Veterans’ Administration Acquisition Regulation 852.209-70).
      2. Tennessee State Law
        1. Various statutes contained in the Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) are pertinent to the issue of conflicts of interest within the TBR System, including:
          1. T.C.A. § 8-50-501, Disclosure statements of conflict of interests by certain public officials
          2. T.C.A. § 12-2-208, Purchase by officer unlawful – penalty for violation
          3. T.C.A. § 12-2-415, State surplus property disposition regulation
          4. T.C.A. § 12-2-416, Violation of § 12-2-415
          5. T.C.A. § 12-2-417, State employee violation – punishment
          6. T.C.A. § 12-4-106, Prohibition against receiving rebates, gifts, money or anything of value -- Conflict of interest
          7. T.C.A. § 12-4-101, Personal interest of officers prohibited
          8. T.C.A. § 12-4-102, Penalty for unlawful interest
          9. T.C.A. § 12-4-103, Bidding by state employees prohibited
          10. T.C.A. § 12-4-104, Penalty for unlawful transactions
          11. T.C.A. § 49-8-203(d), Powers and duties (of the Board of Regents)
        2. It is significant to note that violation of some of these statutes may lead to criminal penalties (e.g., violation of T.C.A. § 12-4-103 is a Class E felony).
      3. TBR Policies
        1. The following TBR policies and guideline deal with issues which implicate conflict of interest situations:
          1. TBR Policy 4:02:10:00, Purchasing Policy and Procedures
          2. TBR Policy 4:02:20:00, Disposal of Surplus Personal Property
          3. TBR Policy 5:01:05:00, Outside Employment
          4. TBR Policy 5:01:06:00, Intellectual Property
          5. TBR Guideline P:090, Nepotism
  3. Supplementary Institutional Policies and Regulations
    1. As each Institution may deem necessary and appropriate, TBR Institutions are authorized to develop additional Institution-specific policies, regulations, and procedures relating to conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment, provided such policies and regulations are consistent with Federal and State law and with this and other policies of the Tennessee Board of Regents.
  4. Applicability
    1. This policy shall apply to all persons serving as members of the Board of Regents and to all persons employed (either as full-time, part-time or temporary employees) by the Tennessee Board of Regents and its constituent Institutions.
  5. General Principles
    1. It is the policy of the Tennessee Board of Regents that employees should avoid external commitments which significantly interfere with the employee’s duties to the TBR and its constituent Institutions (conflicts of commitment). See also TBR Policy 5:01:05:00, Outside Employment. Disclosures of conflicts of commitment shall be made as required under Policy 5:01:05:00 and evaluated as indicated in that policy.
    2. It is the further policy of the Tennessee Board of Regents that both Regents and employees should avoid situations where the self-interests of the Regent or employee diverge from the best interests of the TBR and its Institutions (conflict of interest).
    3. The mere existence of either a potential or actual conflict of interest does not mean that such conflict must necessarily be eliminated.
      1. Where the potential detriment to the TBR and its Institutions is at most minor and inconsequential, and the conflict does not indicate violation of Federal or State law, regulation, or policy, those persons charged with evaluating disclosures should allow the activity to proceed without interference.
      2. For those situations which do not implicate Federal or State law, regulation or policy, the standard by which it should be determined whether a conflict of interest should be managed, reduced, or eliminated is whether that conflict would appear to a reasonable person to call into question the integrity or judgment of the affected Regent or employee.
  6. Situations and Activities Creating a Conflict of Interest
    1. In the following situations and activities, there is at least the appearance, and possibly the actuality, of an employee allowing his or her personal interests, and not the best interests of the TBR and its constituent Institutions, to affect that employee’s judgments. This list is illustrative, and not exhaustive.
      1. Self-dealing
        1. Situations in which a Regent or employee can appear to influence or actually influence an Institutionally-related decision from which that person or a member of that person’s family stands to realize a personal financial benefit is self-dealing, and a conflict of interest.
        2. Examples of self-dealing activities are numerous, and include those listed below.
          1. Purchase of State-owned property by an employee absent fair and open bidding.
            1. It is unlawful for any state employee to purchase surplus state-owned property absent a fair and open bidding process (see T.C.A. § 12-2-208 and T.C.A. § 12-2-417).
            2. Such purchases are also prohibited under TBR Policy 4:02:20:00.
          2. Institutional purchases from businesses in which an employee or family member has a financial interest.
            1. T.C.A. § 12-4-103 declares that it is unlawful for any state official or employee to “bid on, sell, or offer for sale, any merchandise, equipment or material, or similar commodity, to the state of Tennessee” or “to have any interest in the selling of the same to the state” during that person’s term of employment and for six months thereafter.
            2. Disclosure of any such transaction by an employee or member of the employee’s family or by a business in which an employee or member of the employee’s family has any significant (more than 4%) ownership interest or for which an employee or employee family member serves as an officer is required by this policy.
            3. T.C.A. § 12-4-106(b)(2013) declares that it is a conflict of interest for any person or any company with whom such person is an officer, a director, or an equity owner of greater than 1% interest to bid on any public contract for products or services for a governmental entity if such person or "immediate family" of such person is a member of a board or commission having responsibility for letting or approving such contract.
            4. For purposes of this section only, "immediate family" means spouse,dependent children or stepchildren, or relatives related by blood or marriage.
          3. Use of Educational Materials from Which a Faculty Member Derives Financial Benefit in That faculty Member’s Teaching Activities.
            1. Any faculty member who wishes to use in his or her teaching activities educational materials (e.g. a textbook) which he or she has authored, or in which he or she otherwise stands to benefit financially from such use, a conflict of interest disclosure shall be made per Section VII of this policy.
            2. Whether the use of such materials shall be permitted shall be evaluated either under the terms of Institutional policy, or in the absence of such policy, by the Review Committee established under Section X of this policy.
            3. Such evaluation shall include consideration of suitable substitute materials and ensure that the needs of students are best served by use of the materials in which the faculty member has an interest.
          4. Acceptance of Gifts, Gratuities, or Favors
            1. Gifts. No employee shall knowingly solicit or accept, directly, or indirectly, on behalf of himself or herself or any member of the employee’s household, for personal use or consumption any gift, including but not limited to any gratuity, service, favor, food, entertainment, lodging, transportation, loan, loan guarantee or any other thing of monetary value, from any person or entity that:
              1. Has, or is seeking to obtain, contractual or other business or financial relations with the institution in which the individual is employed; or
              2. Has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee.
          5. Exceptions
            1. The prohibition on accepting gifts in Section (4)(a) above, does not apply to:
              1. A gift given by a member of the employee’s immediate family, or by an individual, if the gift is given for a non-business purpose and is motivated by a close personal friendship and not by the position of the employee;
              2. Informational materials in the form of books, articles, periodicals, other written materials, audiotapes, videotapes, or other forms of communication.
              3. Sample merchandise, promotional items, and appreciation tokens, if they are routinely given to customers, suppliers or potential customers or suppliers in the ordinary course of business, including items distributed at tradeshows and professional meetings where vendors display and promote their services and products;
              4. Food, refreshments, foodstuffs, entertainment, or beverages provided as part of a meal or other event, including tradeshows and professional meetings, if the value of such items does not exceed fifty dollars ($50.00) per occasion; provided further, that the value of a gift made pursuant to this subsection may not be reduced below the monetary limit by dividing the cost of the gift among two or more persons or entities identified in Section VI.A.1.b.(4).
              5. There may be circumstances where refusal or reimbursement of a gift (such as a lunch or dinner) may be awkward and contrary to the larger interests of the institution. In such circumstances, the employee is to use his or her best judgment, and disclose the gift including a description, estimated value, the person or entity providing the gift, and any explanation necessary within fourteen (14) days to their immediate supervisor;
              6. Food, refreshments, meals, foodstuffs, entertainment, beverages or intrastate travel expenses that are provided in connection with an event where the employee is a speaker or part of a panel discussion at a scheduled meeting of an established or recognized membership organization which has regular meetings;
              7. Participation in institution or foundation fundraising and public relations activities, i.e. golf tournaments and banquets, where persons or entities identified in Section VI.A.1.b.(4) provide sponsorships; and
              8. Loans from established financial institutions made in the ordinary course of business on usual and customary terms, so long as there are no guarantees or collateral provided by any person described in Section VI.A.1.b.(4)
      2. Inappropriate use of students or support staff
        1. Employees shall ensure that the activities of students or support staff are not exploited for the benefit of any external activity of the faculty member.
        2. Prior to assigning any such non-Institutionally related task (which is more than incidental or de minimus in nature) to a student or member of the support staff, an employee shall disclose such proposed activities and obtain approval.
      3. Inappropriate use of State owned resources
        1. Employees may not make significant use of State owned facilities, equipment, materials or other resources, not otherwise available to the public, in the course of activities which are not related to the Institution and which are intended for personal benefit, without prior disclosure and approval.
      4. Failure to disclose intellectual property
        1. TBR Policy 5:01:06:00 governs the rights and responsibilities which persons affiliated with the TBR and its Institutions have regarding intellectual property developed during the term of their affiliation with the TBR.
        2. Among the responsibilities enumerated in the policy is that of disclosure of inventions and those copyrightable works which may be reasonably expected to have commercial value which they have jointly or solely developed or created during their affiliation with the TBR and its Institutions.
  7. General Disclosure Requirements
    1. Persons to whom this policy applies who believe that a conflict of interest may exist either personally or with respect to another person covered by this policy shall make a written disclosure of the facts and circumstances surrounding the situation.
    2. No particular format is required, but the disclosure should adequately describe the pertinent facts and circumstances.
    3. For members of the Board, disclosure shall be made to the General Counsel.
    4. Employees of the System Office shall make disclosure to either their immediate supervisor or to the General Counsel.
    5. At the colleges, disclosures shall be submitted to the employee’s immediate supervisor or other person designated by the President to receive such disclosures.
    6. Disclosures made by a President r shall be submitted online to the Tennessee Ethics Commission.
  8. Special Disclosure Requirements for Researchers Applying For or Receiving NSF or PHS Funding
    1. Under the policies and regulations indicated under Section 2.1 herein, investigators seeking funding from either the National Science Foundation or the Public Health Service are required to disclose to the investigator’s employer all significant financial interests of the investigator;
      1. That would reasonably appear to be affected by the research or educational activities funded or proposed for funding by the NSF or PHS; or
      2. In entities whose financial interests would reasonably appear to be affected by such activities.
        1. Such disclosures must be submitted prior to the time the proposal is submitted to the Federal agency.
        2. Further, such disclosures must be updated during the period of the award; either annually or as new reportable financial interests arise.
        3. The Institution is responsible for eliminating or managing such conflicts prior to receipt of the award.
        4. To facilitate such disclosures, the accompanying disclosure form (Exhibit 1) is available.
      3. Each Institution is responsible for determining if a grant, services, or other contract with Federal agencies other than the Public Health Service or the National Science Foundation requires disclosure and / or management of conflicts of interest, and for ensuring that any such requirements are met.
      4. Disclosure of financial interests made pursuant to this Section VIII notwithstanding, such disclosure does not eliminate the responsibility for making disclosures under Section VII, when specific conflict of interest situations arise.
  9. Special Disclosure Requirements for Regents and Certain TBR Employees
    1. Members of the Board of Regents, the Chancellor of the TBR, members of the senior staff of the TBR System Office (all Vice Chancellors and the General Counsel), the Presidents of all TBR institutions, coaches, assistant coaches and employees of athletic departments who are exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act are required to file a financial disclosure form within one month of their initial appointment and annually thereafter in January.
    2. Disclosure of financial interests made pursuant to this Section IX notwithstanding, such disclosure does not eliminate the responsibility for making disclosures under Section VII, when specific conflict of interest situations arise.
      1. Members of the Board of Regents shall make their disclosure using a form as indicated in (Exhibit 2) submitted to the TBR Office of General Counsel.
      2. The Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents system and the President of each college by the Tennessee Board of Regents are required by Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-50-501(a)(15) to file an online Statement of Disclosure of Interests Form with the Tennessee Ethics Commission at https://apps.tn.gov/conflict/, Form ss-8005 (State Officials). For the Chancellor and the Presidents this Statement of Disclosure will meet the requirements of this Policy.
      3. Senior staff at the TBR System Office are required to complete a Statement of Disclosure of Interest Form. That disclosure shall be made using the Tennessee Ethics Commission Form ss-8005 (Exhibit 3) and accompanying instructions and submitted to the TBR Office of General Counsel.
      4. Coaches, assistant coaches, exempt employees of the athletic department and other institutional personnel required to complete a disclosure form shall also use the Tennessee Ethics Commission Form ss-8005, Statement of Disclosure of Interest Form and accompanying instructions. The form shall be submitted to the institution’s Human Resource Officer or other person designated by the institution’s President.
  10.  Review of Disclosures
    1. Disclosures made under Section VII of this policy by a member of the Board of Regents, the Chancellor, or by a President shall be evaluated by the Board or a duly appointed committee thereof. A member of the Board making a disclosure shall not be entitled to vote regarding disposition of the disclosure.
    2. Disclosures made under Section VII of this policy by a person employed by the TBR System Office shall be evaluated by a committee composed of the General Counsel, the Vice Chancellor for External Affairs, and the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance. If the disclosure is made by one of those three persons, that person shall not be entitled to vote regarding disposition of the disclosure.
    3. Each TBR Institution shall establish at least one Review Committee comprised of no fewer than three persons to receive and evaluate disclosures generated under Sections VII and VIII herein by employees of the Universities, Community Colleges, and Colleges of Applied Technology. Policies and procedures regarding such matters as selection of members, duration of membership, frequency of meetings, etc. shall be adopted by each Institution.
      1. A template Institutional policy is included herein as (Exhibit 4).
      2. An Institution which fails to explicitly adopt a policy shall be expected to follow the terms of the template policy.
      3. Following evaluation of the disclosure, the Committee shall render a decision regarding the issue(s) presented by the disclosure.
      4. Any disclosure which indicates an actual violation of law shall be forwarded to the President of the Institution along with the Committee’s findings.
    4. Persons potentially committing a conflict of interest violation under consideration by a conflict of interest review Committee shall receive notice of the Committee’s evaluation, and be given an opportunity to appear before that Committee.
  11.  Sanctions
    1. Failure to observe restrictions imposed as a result of review of a conflict of interest disclosure or a knowing failure to disclose a conflict of interest may result in disciplinary proceedings under TBR and Institutional policy.
  12. Appeals
    1. Decisions made by the Board of Regents may not be appealed.
    2. Decisions made by the Central Office Review Committee may be appealed to the Chancellor. Decisions of the Chancellor shall be final and binding.
    3. Decisions made by an Institutional Review Committee may be appealed to the President of the Institution. Decisions of the President shall be final and binding.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; All State and Federal statutes, codes, and/or rules referenced in this policy.

History

TBR Meeting March 20, 1992; TBR Meeting December 11, 1992; TBR Meeting June 11, 1998; TBR Meeting June 28, 2002; TBR Meeting September 26, 2003; TBR Meeting June 11, 2004; TBR Meeting September 25, 2008; August 20, 2014; ministerial revisions -Changed reference from T.C.A. 12-3-106 to 12-4-106 and made corrections to definitions changing relative to immediate family and corresponding different definitions to comply with change in statutes of 2013. 

Policy Number: 
G-140
Policy/Guideline Area: 
General Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges
Purpose: 

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.

Definitions: 
  • Publications - is defined as any printed matter which is produced for general distribution outside the campus.
Policy/Guideline: 
  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.
Sources: 

Authority

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

History

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.

Policy Number: 
G-130
Topics Outline: 
Policy/Guideline Area: 
General Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

This guideline advises the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) System Office and its constituent institutions, as recipients of federal funds, of the obligation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).

Definitions: 

Definitions are part of the body of the Guideline.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Access
    1. The Department of Justice defines persons with LEP as "those individuals who have a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English." Because English is not the primary language of these individuals, they may have a limited ability to function in a setting where English is the primary language spoken, such as a TBR institution.
    2. TBR and its institutions may encounter LEP persons in the form of international students, faculty, staff and other individuals seeking services and access to programs.
    3. There are specific TBR policies and guidelines that deal with the ability to read, write, speak or understand English, including:
      1. Policy 2:03:00:00 "Admissions" - provides the basic English requirement for entering students.
      2. Guideline A-100 "Learning Support" - outlines learning support opportunities to assist students in reading and writing.
      3. Policy 2:08:30:00 "Admission and Delivery of Services to International Students and for the Employment and Delivery of Services to International Faculty and Academic Staff at TBR Institutions" - provides requirements related to English proficiency and the provision of professionally staffed ESL programs if the institution admits students not meeting those requirements.
    4. The provisions below apply to other situations involving persons with LEP.
      1. TBR System Office and campus staff will post services available to LEP persons in highly visible areas and also provide trained personnel to provide meaningful services and access to programs for these persons.
      2. TBR System Office and campus staff will promptly identify the language and communication needs of the LEP person who makes himself or herself known to the institution.
      3. TBR system Office and campus staff will then have options to address the LEP person's needs.
        1. These options may include but are not limited to:
          1. Using language identification cards (or "I speak cards") or posters to determine the language;
          2. Maintaining an accurate and current list showing the name, language, phone number and hours of availability of a staff interpreter, if applicable;
          3. Contacting the appropriate staff member to interpret, in the event that an interpreter is needed and/or if an employee who speaks the needed language is available and is qualified to interpret;
          4. If necessary, obtaining an outside interpreter if a staff interpreter is not available or does not speak the needed language.
    5. When translation of vital documents is needed, the appropriate Title VI Coordinator will submit documents for translation into frequently-encountered languages to the responsible staff person or interpreter. Documents being submitted for translation must be in final, approved form.
    6. TBR Title VI Coordinators will regularly assess the efficacy of these procedures, including but not limited to mechanisms for securing interpreter services, equipment used for the delivery of language assistance, complaints filed by LEP persons, and feedback from the public and community organizations.
    7. Individuals who believe they have not been provided reasonable access to LEP services may file a complaint with the appropriate Title VI Officer within 180 days after the last incident of denial.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.

History

New Guideline approved, Presidents Meeting November 7, 2012.  

Policy Number: 
G-120
Policy/Guideline Area: 
General Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the operational guidelines for compliance with Office of Civil Rights guidelines as well as Title VI and Title IX and Section 504 at institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introductory Information
    1. This Method of Administration (MOA) for Compliance with Office of Civil Rights Guidelines, Title VI, Title IX, and Section 504 as applied to the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology and TBR Community Colleges offering vocational technical education was developed in 1985 in accordance with federal laws and regulations.
  2. Organization to Meet Civil Rights Responsibilities
    1. Organization of Compliance Program
      1. Administrative Unit Directing Compliance Program
        1. The Division of Policy and Strategy, Office of Student Success, Tennessee Board of Regents, will be responsible for implementing and directing the compliance program. The division personnel will utilize resources of other divisions and agencies as the MOA dictates.
      2. Compliance Director
        1. TBR Director of Student Initiatives, Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, TN 37214
      3. Line of authority of Compliance Director
        1. Chancellor, Tennessee Board of Regents
        2. Vice Chancellor for Student Success Tennessee Board of Regents
          1. The line of authority represented above is a direct line from the Compliance Director to the agency administering the MOA to the governing body for postsecondary vocational technical education in Tennessee.
      4. Organizational Plan
        1. Review of internal policies and procedures
          1. TBR Senior Staff members review policy matters relating to their respective areas and facilitate further review by the appropriate Sub-Councils of institutional representatives.
          2. Following review of the various sub- councils, policy matters are then transmitted to the Presidents' Council.
          3. If approved by the Presidents' Council and the Chancellor, policy additions or revisions are transmitted to the Tennessee Board of Regents for approval.
        2. Development of a Civil Rights Compliance Program
          1. The Compliance Director will coordinate activities of appropriate TBR staff and institutional personnel to ensure an effective civil rights compliance program is in place for all postsecondary vocational technical education in Tennessee.
        3. Development of technical assistance activities
          1. The Vice Chancellor for Student Success will work with appropriate members of TBR System Staff to provide technical assistance to all institutions offering postsecondary vocational technical education in Tennessee.
        4. Coordination of three components
          1. The Compliance Director will coordinate the selection of staff to provide the above-mentioned functions.
    2. Personnel Assigned to Implement the Compliance Program
      1. Vice Chancellor Student Success, Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, Tennessee 37214 (615) 366-3948
      2. Special Assistant to the Chancellor, Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, Tennessee 37214 (615) 366-4473
      3. Director Student Initiatives, Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, Tennessee 37214 (615) 365-3929
      4. General Counsel, Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, Tennessee 37214 (615) 366-4438
      5. Vice Chancellor Business and Finance, Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, Tennessee 37214 (615) 366-4413
      6. Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, Tennessee 37214 (615) 366-4406
      7. Executive Director of Facilities Development, Tennessee Board of Regents 1 Bridgestone Park Nashville, Tennessee 37214 (615) 366-4432
  3. Review of State Policies and Programs
    1. Conduct of State Policy Review
      1. Internal Operations of State Agency
        1. The Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance will be responsible for the review of the Policies and Guidelines of the TBR which govern employment for all personnel in the system to ensure their compliance with Presidential Executive Order 11246, as amended.
        2. The Compliance Director will be responsible for the review of state operated programs to assure that policies and procedures do not discriminate against target populations as to race, color, national origin, sex, and handicap.
          1. The Legal Counsel for the TBR will assist in the review.
        3. Results of the review will be reported in the annual report according to the guidelines outlined in Part V of the MOA.
      2. Formulas for Distribution
        1. Each year, the Vice Chancellor for Student Success will be responsible for the review of the five year plan, annual plan, appropriate state records and laws which outline the formulas for distribution of federal and state funds.
        2. The formulas will be reviewed to assure that identified factors, computation of factors, and importance (weighting) assigned to factors utilized in funding formulas do not discriminate against target populations.
        3. All formulas used to distribute federal and state funds to any institution will be reviewed annually for discriminatory factors.
        4. The Legal Counsel and Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance for the TBR will assist in the review of funding formulas.
        5. The formulas reviewed will affect funding to institutions for the following programs:
          1. Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology
          2. Community colleges
        6. Results of the review will be reported in the annual report according to the guidelines outlined in Part V of the MOA.
      3. Requirements for Admission and Administration
        1. The Tennessee Board of Regents will review the establishment of requirements for admission to and the administration of vocational education programs to assure that discriminatory factors do not exist and to assure compliance with Title VI, Title IX, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
        2. The Vice Chancellors for Student Success and Academic Affairs will take responsibility for such reviews.
      4. Competitive Grants
        1. Each year, the Vice Chancellor for Student Success and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will review criteria utilized for awarding competitive grants to assure that no factors are included which discriminate against target populations.
        2. Methods of disseminating information, providing technical assistance, and awarding competitive grants will be reviewed for discriminatory factors.
        3. The Legal Counsel for the Tennessee Board of Regents will assist in the review of the policies and procedures.
        4. Results of the review will be reported in the annual report according to guidelines outlined in Part V of the MOA.
      5. Approval of Action by Local Entities
        1. Actions initiated by local entities, including community colleges, and colleges of applied technology, are reviewed by members of the TBR System Office Staff to ensure that local entities do not discriminate against target populations.
        2. The Legal Counsel of the TBR will assist in the review.
        3. Results will be reported in the annual report according to guidelines outlined in Part V of the MOA.
      6. State Operated Institutions
        1. Each year, the Vice Chancellors for Student Success and Academic Affairs will be responsible for the review of the policies and guidelines for colleges of applied technology and community colleges to assure that policies and procedures do not discriminate against target populations and that the same are in compliance with Sections IV - IX of the OCR guidelines.
        2. The Director of Student Initiatives and Legal Counsel of the TBR will assist in the review.
        3. Results will be reported in the annual report according to guidelines outlined in Part V of the MOA.
    2. Method of Review for State Policies and Procedures
      1. The staff member assigned responsibility for each review will examine each policy and guideline in relation to the OCR guidelines and Title VI, Title IX and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and develop any recommendations for change.
      2. The Compliance Director shall coordinate the review of all state policies and be responsible for preparing the annual report to be submitted July 1 each year.
    3. State Policy Review Schedule
      1. The schedule for policy review will begin on September 1 annually and the annual report will be submitted on July 1.
      2. The report will identify any significant changes in policies or guidelines that could affect civil rights compliance.
    4. Review of State Institutions
      1. The Tennessee Board of Regents operates 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology and 13 Community Colleges which are state institutions.
      2. These state institutions will comprise a pool of sub recipients which will follow the procedures and schedule outlined in Part IV.
      3. The Compliance Director will be responsible for assigning staff to conduct the reviews. Staff from institutions will participate in reviews of institutions other than their own.
      4. If a state operated institution is found to be in non-compliance, the TBR will assume the responsibility to assure voluntary compliance.
      5. Results of the reviews will be reported in the annual report according to guidelines outlined in Part V of the MOA.
  4. Ensuring Compliance by Sub-recipients
    1. Statement of Objectives
      1. To implement a systematic agency level review procedure to ensure that all institutions are reviewed within a five year period in order to identify possible discrimination through periodic review of available state and local data.
      2. To design a system for conducting on-site reviews for at least 11% of the systems in the agency level review pool.
      3. To develop an on-going technical assistance program for institutions to assist in preventing and eliminating discriminatory policies and procedures.
      4. To develop a process for voluntary compliance by institutions found to be in non- compliance.
    2. Identification of Possible Institutional Violations through Agency Level Reviews
      1. Agency level reviews or desk audits will be conducted by the Office of Student Success, Tennessee Board of Regents.
        1. Annually, at least 11% of the sub recipient pool will be scheduled for an agency level review.
        2. The Divisions of Academic Affairs and the Division of Facilities Management will assist with the audits.
      2. The TBR will schedule reviews to reach, at the earliest possible date, those institutions most likely to have compliance problems.
      3. Beginning with a pool of all sub recipients, the following will be omitted:
        1. Those previously reviewed (if any) in the five year cycle;
        2. Those that are subjects of pending litigation in Federal or State Courts because of alleged discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or handicap; and
        3. Those that are subjects of pending or recent investigations or enforcement proceedings by OCR.
      4. From those remaining in the pool, the Compliance Program Director will select at least 11% of the total number of institutions using the following factors to determine which are most in need of immediate review:
        1. Knowledge of an institution's practices that raise potential civil rights compliance problems;
        2. Reports of possible non-compliance obtained from complaints filed by parents, students, civil rights groups or others;
        3. Reports from State Civil Rights Agencies or State Advisory Committees that raise questions about potential civil rights compliance problems; and
        4. information or reports on institutions from OCR that indicate possible compliance problems.
      5. Conducting the reviews
        1. The Tennessee Board of Regents Staff will conduct agency level reviews of institutions using data and documents already available in its system office.
        2. Following are documents and data to be examined in the review:
          1. VEDS enrollment data.
          2. Annual program evaluation reports.
          3. Annual accountability reports.
          4. Annual appropriations requests.
          5. Capital Outlay requests.
          6. Quarterly enrollment reports.
          7. Annual analysis of faculty salaries by sex and race.
          8. Annual affirmative action reports.
          9. Annual budget analysis detailing promotions and salary distribution.
          10. Request for new programs.
          11. Five year plan data, and annual update.
          12. Job Training Coordination Plan and update.
          13. Information derived from complaints or reports from consumer groups, public agencies, parents, or students.
          14. Letters of findings issued by OCR.
          15. EEO complaints.
          16. Audit reports.
        3. The agency level review will use the following information as indicators of compliance:
          1. Enrollment ratios comparable to target populations in the service area.
          2. Constant or positive enrollment trend among target populations.
          3. Positive trend in employment of target populations.
          4. Positive trends in data related to graduates or completers among target populations.
          5. Positive trends in opportunities available to target populations in activities and programs of the institution.
          6. The per-student appropriation of Federal and State funds with respect to the number of minority students in vocational education programs.
          7. Participation of race, color, national origin (including student of limited English skills), sex, and handicap in apprentice-related programs.
      6. Notification of Institutions
        1. At the commencement of the agency level review, the Vice Chancellor for Student Success will send a letter to each institution that will undergo an agency level review at least 30 days prior to the start of the review.
          1. The letter will outline the purpose of the review, the areas to be reviewed and the date for completion of the review.
          2. The letter will also ask the institution to cooperate by supplying any information not in possession of the TBR.
        2. Following completion of all agency level reviews and a determination of which institutions will be scheduled for on-site reviews, the Vice Chancellor for Student Success will notify each institution of one of the following courses of action:
          1. That although the agency level review revealed no apparent problems, the institution will, nevertheless, be the subject of an on-site review; or
          2. That the agency level review revealed some possible violations (to be listed), and that these specific problem areas, as well as a general review of the institution's operations, will be the subject of an on-site review.
      7. Timetable for Agency Level Review
        1. July: Selection of institutions to be reviewed and notification sent to President.July-August: Information gathered and file prepared on each institution being reviewed.
        2. September: Analysis of information as to compliance.
        3. November: Letters of notification issued indicating results of agency level reviews.
    3. Identification of Institutional Violations through On-Site Reviews
      1. Number of Reviews per Year
        1. An on-site review will be conducted for a minimum of 11% of the institutions in each of the agency level review pools.
        2. The agency level review criteria will assign institutions points according to an indicated degree of possible non-compliance.
        3. After ranking all institutions by point totals, the sub recipients chosen for an on- site review will be those which receive the lowest point total.
        4. Letters of notification will include any areas of concern and offer technical assistance even if the institution is not chosen for an on-site review.
      2. Selection of Institutions for On-Site Review
        1. All institutions having indicators of compliance problems during the agency level review will be targeted for on-site review.
        2. Agency level findings that will trigger an on-site review include:
          1. Enrollment Ratios - The enrollments of target populations at an institution will be compared to the identified target populations to be served from the service area. This comparison should determine positive or negative ratios of overall service.
          2. Enrollment Trends - Enrollment changes for target populations from 1980-85 will be considered. A positive or negative trend for a particular program area should be determined.
          3. Feeder School Ratios - Concentrations of target populations sent from a feeder high school in relation to available populations at that school will be examined. A positive or negative availability rate will be determined.
          4. Employment Trends - A review of changes in employment of target populations will be made by comparing 1980-85 staffing ratios. A positive or negative trend for employment will be determined.
          5. Planning Reports - A review of the data in the five year strategic plan and annual updates which indicates that an institution is not meeting criteria for serving target populations.
        3. If the number of institutions selected for on-site reviews does not equal at least 11% of those selected for agency level reviews, the balance will be selected randomly from the pool of those reviewed at the agency level in that year.
      3. Conducting the Review
        1. The on-site review is designed to further examine the indicators of possible non- compliance and verify indicators of compliance from the agency level review and to consider factors beyond the data examined to determine compliance or non- compliance.
        2. The data utilized in the agency level review only indicate possible non- compliance by an institution.
        3. The on-site review will be designed to investigate related factors in order to determine compliance or non-compliance.
        4. Examples of areas of further investigation for each criterion are outlined below:
          1. Investigation Criteria Problem Areas;
          2. Enrollment ratios;
          3. Disproportionate Methods of enrollments and registration;
          4. Recruitment procedures;
          5. Enrollment trends;
          6. Decreasing enrollments;
          7. Changes in target populations;
          8. Registration procedures;
          9. Changes in school admission policy;
          10. Feeder School Ratios;
          11. Exclusion of target populations methods of recruitment and registration;
          12. Employment Trends;
          13. Reduction in target population employed;
          14. Employment policies and procedures;
          15. Recruitment and position announcement policies;
          16. Planning Analysis and Reports;
          17. Any signal of non-compliance;
          18. Recommendations for changing institutional procedures.
      4. Problem areas not addressed in the agency level review
        1. Depending on the data indicating possible non-compliance, the Compliance Program Director and staff assigned for the on-site review will determine areas of inquiry for the on-site review.
        2. The following indicators are examples of areas of inquiry for the on-site review.
          1. Discriminatory faculty assignments;
          2. Failure to provide handicapped student access to programs;
          3. Procedures for faculty selection;
          4. Procedures used for notifying the public of the sub recipient’s nondiscriminatory policies and practices;
          5. Numerical limitations for admission of students to vocational education programs;
          6. Apprentice or other institution limitations for enrollment;
          7. Criteria for admission to vocational education programs where admission depends on, for example, past academic performance, record of disciplinary infractions, counselors' approval, faculty recommendations, interest inventories, high school diplomas, or standardized tests;
          8. Relationships with unions or other agencies providing training;
          9. Special provisions or programs for handicapped students or other special needs students;
          10. Relationship of programs for special needs students to total vocational programs;
          11. Programs of financial assistance for students;
          12. Guidance and counseling procedures and activities;
          13. Written policies and procedures for recruitment and enrollment;
          14. Placement procedures and opportunities;
          15. All agency level review findings of compliance will be verified.
      5. Timetable
        1. November: Notification of on-site review
        2. February - April: On-site reviews conducted and institution notified of results
        3. May - June: Voluntary compliance plans due.
    4. Use of Technical Assistance as a Means of Preventing Civil Rights Violations
      1. A technical assistance program will assist in preventing and detecting discrimination and seeking corrective action.
        1. The assistance will be provided by the Tennessee Board of Regents Staff to all levels of postsecondary vocational instruction within the TBR system.
        2. The Compliance Program Director will coordinate requests for technical assistance.
        3. The program will be designed to provide institutions assistance in the following areas:
          1. Content and purpose of OCR guidelines.
          2. Components and purpose of MOA.
          3. Data and information requested by institutions relative to discriminatory practices and corrective options.
          4. Information and guidelines to assist in achieving compliance.
      2. Institutions will be notified of the availability of assistance through correspondence, presentations at meetings, and on an individual basis.
        1. The frequency of notification will vary but will occur at least once a year when notification of approval for funding is sent.
        2. Technical assistance will be offered as visits from TBR specialists, written information being provided, programs at sub-council or presidents' meetings, training sessions, and questions answered on an individual basis.
      3. Technical assistance will be available to all institutions chosen for an agency level review. Institutions found to be in non-compliance as a result of an on-site review will be offered technical assistance with the development of a voluntary compliance plan.
      4. The following staff of the Tennessee Board of Regents will be responsible for technical assistance activities:
        1. Vice Chancellor for Student Success,
        2. Director of Student Initiatives,
        3. Special Assistant to the Chancellor,
        4. Legal Counsel; Tennessee Board of Regents,
        5. Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance,
        6. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs,
        7. Executive Director of Facilities Management
    5. Obtaining Voluntary Compliance
      1. Development of the Voluntary Compliance Plan
        1. Institutions found to be in violation of the guidelines as a result of an on-site review must agree to take steps to eliminate the violations.
        2. The Compliance Program Director will determine if the violations are major or minor and the institutions will comply as follows:
          1. Minor Violations - The Compliance Program Director will have an informal discussion with the institution as to corrective action. The institution may be found to be in compliance by submitting a letter describing corrective action to the Compliance Program Director.
          2. Major Violations - Institutions found to have major violations must submit a voluntary compliance plan describing actions to be taken to eliminate violations and a timeframe for completion. The plan will assume the format of an audit report (findings, recommendations, system reply) and will be submitted to the Compliance Program Director within 60 days of the on-site compliance review notification of findings. The discussions between institutions and Compliance Program Director will be formal and may involve other staff as deemed necessary. The Compliance Program Director will be responsible for assigning appropriate personnel for technical assistance.
          3. Follow-up of Violations - One year after an institution has agreed to remedy violations, the Compliance Program Director will assign the necessary staff to monitor the progress of the institution. Each violation identified in the voluntary compliance plan will be reviewed for progress in meeting desired outcomes. Specifically, indicators identified in Part IV: B.3.b. will be targeted for review.
      2. Notification to OCR
        1. The Compliance Program Director will notify the OCR regional office if the following conditions are in existence:
          1. An institution is not in compliance and fails to take corrective action;
          2. The institution fails to submit a voluntary compliance plan (notification of OCR will occur no later than 90 days after on-site review);
          3. The institution submits a plan that is inadequate but is working in good faith with the TBR to remedy deficiencies (notification of OCR will occur no later than 120 days after TBR issued on-site compliance review of findings)
        2. In all cases of notification of OCR, the Compliance Director will describe the efforts made by the Tennessee Board of Regents to secure voluntary compliance.
  5. Annual Civil Rights Compliance Report
    1. A report will be submitted by the Tennessee Board of Regents every other July 1 to the U.S. Office of Education, Office of Civil Rights.
      1. Compliance Organization and Staff
        1. Any changes in present personnel as to authority or responsibility.
        2. Any changes in organization or personnel.
      2. State Policy Review
        1. Findings of state policy review.
        2. Action taken by the Tennessee Board of Regents to amend and correct any policies or procedures found to have discriminatory effects.
      3. Review of State Operated Institutions and Programs
        1. Identification of state operated institutions having agency level review.
        2. Findings of review of institutions and list of institutions receiving on-site reviews.
        3. Copy of voluntary compliance plans for each institution involved.
        4. Action taken by the Tennessee Board of Regents to correct any problems identified.
      4. Technical Assistance
        1. List of institutions requesting technical assistance.
        2. Summary of other technical assistance.
      5. Institutions Referred to OCR
        1. List of institutions referred to OCR for failure to achieve voluntary compliance.
        2. Any response from OCR.
      6. Monitoring Activities
        1. Outline of activities by the Tennessee Board of Regents to monitor corrective action taken by institutions.
        2. Any correspondence with OCR as a result of monitoring activities.

 

 

Sources: 

Authority

Title VI; Title IX, Section 504; Title II of the ADA 

History

June 28, 1985, Tennessee Board of Regents Meeting; May 19, 2009 Presidents Meeting; November 14, 2017Presidents Meeting.

Policy Number: 
G-090
Topics Outline: 
Policy/Guideline Area: 
General Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

The following guidelines set forth considerations for the printing and use of letterhead stationery for all units of the Tennessee Board of Regents System. They are in accordance with the general rules and regulations of the Higher Education Publications Committee.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. General Statement
    1. Each institution shall develop implementing procedures consistent with these guidelines. Exceptions to the guidelines are subject to prior approval by the Chancellor.
    2. Each president shall designate an individual, office, or committee to approve the printing and purchase of all letterhead stationery bearing the name of the institution and be responsible for enforcement of the institution's guidelines.
    3. Different types of letterhead on each campus shall be kept to a minimum.
    4. The following shall apply to all stationery printed or purchased with institutional funds:
      1. Letterhead
        1. All letterhead shall be printed on 8 1/2" x 11" or smaller standard size, 20 or 24-pound white or colored paper with a bond, wove or laid finish, No. 4 grade, with or without watermark, with 25% or less cotton fiber.
        2. All letterhead shall be printed with no more than a three color ink logo.
        3. The institution name shall appear at the top or bottom of the page.
        4. Names of offices or individual titles, addresses, and phone numbers may be printed on letterhead; however, no individual names may be printed on letterhead.
        5. All letterhead shall be offset printed, whether by the institution, the State, or commercial printer, without benefit of any engraving, thermograph printing, or any form of raised letter printing.
      2. Envelopes
        1. All stationery envelopes shall be printed with no more than three color ink on 24-pound white or colored wove or laid paper, in standard sizes, with the name and address of the institution printed in the upper left corner in accordance with postal regulations.
    5. As an alternative to letterhead stationery, less expensive inter-office memoranda should be used for on-campus or informal correspondence. 
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203

History

November 8, 1982 SBR Presidents Meeting. Revised July 1, 1984.  Revised November 8, 2006 Presidents’ Meeting.

Policy Number: 
G-080
Policy/Guideline Area: 
General Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

The following guideline implements the Tennessee Board of Standards policy on membership dues and subscriptions paid for from State funds. Campus libraries are exempt from the guideline in its entirety.

Definitions: 
  • Membership Dues or Subscriptions - are any expenditure from state funds by an institution which entitle subscription of material or membership, associate membership, or participation in activities of an organization.
  • Organization - is a group (public or private), association, or society whose purpose is to promote common interests and share information.
  • Publication directly related to the mission - means a publication without which the mission of the institution would be impossible or difficult to perform.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. General Statement
    1. Each president is responsible for enforcement of the provisions below. This responsibility may, at the president's discretion, be delegated to other employees of the institution.
  2. Approval
    1. Each institution shall develop, make known, and enforce a process for approval of memberships and subscriptions.
      1. The president or designee(s) shall approve all memberships and subscriptions except as provided below.
  3. Criteria
    1. An institution may be a member of an organization or maintain subscriptions if the membership or subscription is directly related to the goals and mission of the institution.
    2. An institution may not pay the membership dues or subscription of an individual.
      1. An exception may be granted in instances where an organization does not permit institutional membership or where an individual membership (in the name of an institutional representative) is less expensive than an institutional membership.
      2. However, memberships necessary to maintain or enhance an employee's professional status (e.g. American Institute of Certified Public Accountants or Bar membership dues) should be considered the responsibility of the employee and the association dues considered a personal expense.
    3. Duplicate memberships and subscriptions should be evaluated with the intention of eliminating unneeded duplicate membership/subscription per institution.
    4. Where membership dues are included as part or all of the expense of an organization meeting for which the institution pays the expense of an employee to attend, the appropriate expenses shall be considered membership dues under these guidelines and should be subject to the established membership approval process.
    5. Faculty and staff membership in civic organizations is encouraged; however, state funds may not be used to pay for memberships.
    6. No institution may subscribe to political publications for other than instructional purposes.
    7. An institution may subscribe to newspapers within its service area for public information and instructional-related purposes.
    8. Newspaper clipping services must be approved by the president or designee.
      1. The need for the service shall be clearly set forth in writing.
      2. The written justification should address the following points:
        1. The type of clipping service requested. (For example, all statewide daily newspapers.)
        2. The use of information provided by the service.
          1. Who the clippings are circulated to in the institution.
          2. How the clippings benefit the institution.
      3. A statement that the clipping service is the most economical means of fulfilling the institution's need
  4. Exceptions
    1. Exceptions to these guidelines may be approved by the Chancellor. 
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203

History

May 25, 1982 SBR presidents meeting. Revised July 1, 1984; Presidents Meeting February 13, 2002; Presidents Meeting August 19, 2003; May 12, 2009 presidents meeting.

Policy Number: 
G-075
Policy/Guideline Area: 
General Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office, Board Members
Purpose: 

This guideline is issued to aid Tennessee Board of Regents (“TBR”) System in the implementation of a Litigation Hold Notice Procedure to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provisions regarding preservation of Electronically Stored Information.

Definitions: 
  • Electronically Stored Information (“ESI”) - refers to all forms of electronic data and documents including, but not limited to, metadata, electronic mail, word processing documents, calendars, voice messages, videos, digital photographs, information in personal digital assistants (PDA) in any location where data may be stored.
  • Litigation Hold Procedure – is a process whereby an institution, when sued in federal court or when reasonably anticipating federal litigation, issues a litigation hold notice communication suspending the normal operation of paper and electronic document destruction policies for particular records that are relevant to the federal litigation.
  • Litigation Hold Notice Letter – is the communication that is distributed to preserve information and prevent or suspend destruction of paper documents and electronic data that must be retained during a litigation hold (attached as Exhibit 1). 
  • Records Coordinator - refers to the individual at an institution who has been appointed by the President to serve as the institution’s Records Coordinator/Official. The Records Coordinator has the authority and responsibility to dispose of paper and electronic documents in accordance with approved records disposition authorizations under TBR Policy 1:12:01:00 Records Retention and Disposal of Records. Prior to the destruction of any records, the Records Coordinator must determine if the action should be delayed due to audit or federal litigation hold requirements.
  • Evidence - refers to  hard copy and electronic / digital recordings, videotapes, writings, material objects, photographs, drawings, diagrams, testimony, or other things presented to the senses that are offered to prove the existence or nonexistence of a fact.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. Federal law requires parties to a lawsuit pending in federal court to preserve electronic data and documents pertaining to the lawsuit in conformance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. There is a legal duty to preserve evidence (e.g., documents and things), including electronic documents, when the institution has notice that the evidence is relevant to pending federal litigation.
    2. This guideline explains that TBR Institutions must develop a comprehensive written Federal Litigation Hold Notice Procedure (“Litigation Hold Procedure”) to retain Electronically Stored Evidence (“ESI”) evidence that is relevant to a federal lawsuit as required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
      1. An institution’s Litigation Hold Procedure must include the components described in this guideline pursuant to which the institution intends to preserve and retain all evidence, including ESI that is relevant to pending federal litigation in order to avoid penalties for non-compliance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
    3. The penalties for non-compliance with the federal law regarding electronic evidence retention in federal litigation are severe and potentially costly. The consequences for an institution could include, but are not limited to:
      1. Monetary sanctions;
      2. Payment of the opposing party’s attorneys’ fees and costs;
      3. Preclusion of the institution’s evidence at trial;
      4. Dismissal of the institution’s claims and counterclaims; and
      5. Default judgments against the institution.
    4. Each institution is solely responsible for payment of any monetary sanctions issued by the court resulting from the institution’s non-compliance with electronic record retention requirements as required by federal law hence the importance of an institutional litigation hold procedure.
  2. Litigation Hold Application
    1. The Litigation Hold Procedure shall apply to any evidence, paper or electronic documents and data or things, maintained by an institution that is relevant to a federal lawsuit.
      1. Such evidence shall be preserved and retained by the institution pursuant to the provisions of the Litigation Hold Notice until the conclusion of both the litigation and the requisite time period after the litigation as outlined in TBR Policy 1:12:01:00 Records Retention and Disposal of Records.
      2. Notwithstanding the records retention and disposition schedule outlined in TBR policy, upon issuance of a Litigation Hold Notice, institutions must suspend routine purging, overwriting, re-using, deleting, or any other destruction of electronic information relevant to a federal law dispute, including electronic information wherever it is stored.
      3. This includes, but is not limited to, electronic information at an institution work station, on a laptop, in a personal digital assistant, on a CD-rom, at an employee’s home, etc.
      4. The retention requirement includes all forms of attorney-client privileged and non-attorney-client privileged electronic documents.
        1. In the context of federal litigation, although all information must be preserved, no data will be disclosed to the opposing party without first being reviewed to determine legal necessity, relevance, and privilege.
        2. Privileged documents (e.g., attorney-client communications) will not be disclosed to the opposing party.
    2. The same preservation requirement exists for paper documents such that institutions must suspend routine or intentional destruction of paper documents that are relevant evidence in a federal lawsuit as outlined in a Litigation Hold Notice.
  3. Purpose of a Litigation Hold Notice
    1. There will be instances in which an institution must implement a Litigation Hold Notice that requires the retention of certain paper and electronic records for an indefinite period of time due to pending federal litigation.
    2. A Litigation Hold Procedure is the process whereby an institution, when sued in federal court, sends a Litigation Hold Notice suspending the normal operation of document destruction policies for particular records that are relevant to the federal litigation.
    3. Notwithstanding the applicable records retention schedule, documents that are subject to a particular Litigation Hold Notice must be retained until the hold is removed.
    4. The Records Coordinator, or a designee, at an institution is responsible for implementing the Litigation Hold Procedure upon notice of the need for a Litigation Hold Notice to preserve relevant ESI and paper documents.
    5. Identifying instances in which a Litigation Hold Notice is required and its subsequent implementation requires collaboration of multiple individuals at the institution, including the institution’s Legal Counsel.
    6. The Litigation Hold Notice Procedure that results in the issuance of a Litigation Hold Notice Letter is outlined in this section. The implementation of an institutional Litigation Hold Notice requires adherence to the procedure outlined in this guideline or an alternative process established at an institution that includes the components of the procedure outlined in this guideline.
  4. Institution’s Notification of Federal Litigation
    1. Responsible Party: All Employees
      1. All employees have an affirmative duty to inform the institution’s Records Coordinator when they receive official notification of federal litigation against the institution.
    2. Official Notice Federal Litigation
      1. Employees are considered to be in receipt of official notice of federal litigation when they receive a complaint, summons, and/or other official documents related to a federal lawsuit.
    3. Employee’s Notification of Federal Litigation to Records Coordinator
      1. Responsible Party: All Employees
        1. Based on the factors outlined in Section IV. B. of this guideline, employees who have official notice of federal litigation against the institution must inform the institution’s Records Coordinator, in writing, of the matter within two (2) business days of their receipt of notification.
    4. Records Coordinator’s Issuance of Litigation Hold Notice Letter
      1. Responsible Party: Records Coordinator
        1. In consultation with and under the direction of Legal Counsel, the institution’s Records Coordinator, or designee, will issue an Official Litigation Hold Notice Letter regarding the matter to the appropriate individuals within five (5) business days of receipt of notification of pending federal litigation.
        2. The Litigation Hold Notice Letter must state the categories of electronic and paper documents, including ESI, that must be retained until further notice and that electronic information must be preserved in its original electronic form, so that all information contained within it, whether visible or not, is also available for inspection.
          1. It is not sufficient to retain only a paper copy of ESI. A Model Litigation Hold Notice Letter is attached to this guideline as Exhibit 1.
          2. Institutions must consult with Legal Counsel prior to issuing a Litigation Hold Notice Letter.
    5. Employees’ Compliance with the Litigation Hold Notice Letter
      1. Responsible Party: Employee recipients of the litigation hold notice
        1. In response to an official Litigation Hold Notice Letter issued by the institution’s Records Coordinator, or designee, all individuals who receive the notice must compile paper and electronic documents and data (including e-mails, voicemails, videos, etc.) as instructed in the notice letter.
        2. Electronic records must be retained in the original electronic format (e.g., burned to disk/CD, saved in a secure folder on the system server that is not subjected to unannounced deletion, etc.).
        3. It is not sufficient to print paper copies of electronic records as they must be maintained in their original electronic format.
        4. It is the responsibility of individuals to whom the litigation hold notice is issued to retain all records that are responsive to the notice until they receive written notification indicating otherwise.
  5. Assessment of the Litigations Hold Notice
    1. The Records Coordinator, in conjunction with the appropriate administrators and Legal Counsel, shall assess the effectiveness of the institution’s Litigation Hold Notice Procedure on a periodic basis, as deemed necessary by the institution.
    2. The Records Coordinator shall make certain that necessary revisions to the Litigation Hold Notice Procedure are made at the time of the review to address any changes in the institutional organization that may affect the implementation and effectiveness of the Procedure.
  6. Publication of the Litigation Hold Notice Procedure
    1. To promote uniform compliance with the Litigation Hold Procedures by all personnel employed by an institution and to achieve TBR institutions’ duty to preserve and retain relevant paper and electronic evidence in federal litigation, institutions shall, at a minimum, display and distribute its Litigation Hold Notice Procedure, or this Guideline in the absence of an institutional Procedure in accordance with the standard distribution methods.
    2. The institution’s current Litigation Hold Notice Procedure or, in the absence of an institutional procedure, this Guideline, shall be available upon request for review and copy at all times during normal business hours. 
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

History

Source: Approved at Presidents Meeting, November 6, 2007.

Policy Number: 
G-040
Policy/Guideline Area: 
General Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
Community Colleges
Purpose: 

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the operational guidelines for expenditures on system-owned residencies furnished to TBR Presidents at institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Expenditure Guidelines
    1. The Board of Regents and the institutions under its control furnish to the presidents system-owned residencies in recognition of the role these staff members must play in official entertainment and other official functions in these residencies.
    2. Expenditures are required to furnish, maintain, repair, renovate, and operate these residencies. The following guidelines apply to expenditures on these residencies by the respective institutions for their presidents:
      1. The institution will pay all utility bills for these residencies.
      2. The institution will pay for necessary repairs and maintenance to keep these buildings in an acceptable state of repair and operation.
      3. The institutions will finance any major renovations and expansions of these buildings, subject to their being approved by the Chancellor.
      4. The institutions will purchase and replace furniture and furnishings used in public and/or official entertainment areas in these residencies. Staff members will provide furniture used in private or family areas. Carpets or rugs and wall and window coverings will be purchased through normal institutional purchasing procedures and will be in a cost range in keeping with the quality of the residencies and for long wear and service.
      5. Staff members occupying these residencies will be expected to purchase any furniture or furnishings which are for their own personal convenience and may take them when they or their heirs leave the residency.
      6. The Board and institutions will provide the necessary grounds keeping and custodial personnel to maintain the grounds and residencies at an acceptable level of cleanliness and attractiveness along with required cleaning and grounds keeping supplies and equipment.
      7. Staff members occupying these residencies are expected to use appropriate judgment and discretion in the expenditures of money for operation, maintenance, repairs, and furnishings.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203

History

Approved by Chairman of SBR Committee on Finance and Business Operations, September 1, 1975; Presidents’ Meeting February 13, 2002.

Pages

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