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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Policy Number: 
B-062
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the process and procedures for other educational assistance programs by institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. B-062 - Support for Educational Assistance
    1. The Tennessee Board of Regents is committed to the need for the continued professional growth and development of employees. Support for educational assistance of personnel and their dependents is an important vehicle for addressing that need. The programs for TBR employees and dependents are available subject to funds being budgeted and available within the institution/System Office.
    2. The Office of Human Resources is responsible for the administration of the various programs with the exception of the program for dependents of veterans (B-062) and two programs offered to general state employees and the dependents of licensed teachers and State employees (B-061).
    3. Exceptions to the provisions of the programs for TBR employees can be made upon recommendation of the president and approval by the Chancellor.
  2. Types of Support for Educational Assistance
    1. The guidelines for Educational Assistance (P-130, P-131, B-061, B-062) contain a total of eleven (11) programs.
    2. The programs are:
      1. P-130 – Educational Assistance for TBR Employees
        1. Faculty or Administrative/Professional Staff Grant-in-Aid Program
        2. Faculty or Administrative/Professional Staff Tuition or Maintenance Fee Reimbursement Program
        3. Employee Audit/Non-credit Program
        4. Clerical and Support Staff Maintenance Fee Payment Program
        5. Fee Waiver for TBR/UT System Employees Program (formerly PC-191)
      2. P-131 – Educational Assistance for Spouse and Dependents of TBR Employees
        1. Fee Discount for Spouse and/or Dependent Children Program
      3. B-061 – Educational Assistance for State Employees and Dependents of State
        1. Employees or Public School Teachers
          1. Public Higher Education Fee Waiver for State Employees Program
          2. Fee Discount for Dependent Children of Licensed Public School Teachers or State Employees Program
      4. B-062 – Other Educational Assistance Programs
        1. Veterans’ Dependents’ Post-Secondary Education Program
        2. Disabled and Elderly Persons
    3. Complete eligibility information is contained within each Guideline.
  3. Taxation of Educational Assistance Programs
    1. Undergraduate and graduate course tuition, paid by the Tennessee Board of Regents institutions and the University of Tennessee System for their employees is eligible for exclusion from the employees' gross annual income, in accordance with Internal Revenue code (IRC) Section 127.
  4. Veterans’ Dependents’ Post-Secondary Education Program
    1. Effective July 1, 2008, T.C.A. § 49-7-102 was amended to provide that: every dependent child in this state under the age of twenty-three (23) years, whose parent was killed, died as a direct result of injuries received, or has been officially reported as being either a prisoner of war or missing in action while serving honorably as a member of the United State armed forces during a qualifying period of armed conflict, or was formerly a prisoner of war or missing in action under such circumstances, or the spouse of such veteran, is entitled to a waiver of tuition, maintenance fees, student activity fees, required registration or matriculation fees, and shall be admitted without cost to any institutions of higher education owned, operated and maintained by the state.
      1. Therefore, this program is available to both TBR employees and persons outside of the Tennessee Board of Regents system.
      2. TBR employees qualifying as a spouse or dependent for benefits under this program shall use this program first and shall not be simultaneously eligible for benefits under other programs in this guideline.
      3. Exceptions: Grant-in-Aid and Desegregation Program recipients.
    2. Eligibility
      1. The office responsible for veteran’s affairs issues shall be responsible for determining eligibility and providing application forms to those wishing to obtain benefits under this program.
      2. To be eligible for educational assistance benefits under this program, a dependent child or spouse shall:
        1. Present official certification from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs that the parent or spouse veteran was killed or died as a direct result of injuries as stated above; or
        2. Present official certification from the U.S. Department of Defense that the parent or spouse service member has been officially reported as being a prisoner of war or missing in action while serving honorably during a qualifying period of armed conflict; or
        3. Present Certificate of Release of Discharge from Active Duty, Department of Defense Form 214, for the veteran or service member from whom the eligibility for the benefits derives.
      3. The deceased veteran, prisoner of war or missing in action service member shall have been a citizen of Tennessee at the time of the qualifying event.
      4. The dependent child or spouse, prior to receiving benefits under this program, shall have or possess the necessary qualifications required for admission. To maintain eligibility, the recipient shall be in active pursuit of a specific and declared degree or certificate program.
      5. No dependent child or spouse shall be entitled to receive benefits after the conclusion of any term during which the parent (father or mother) of the dependent child or spouse is officially removed from the status of being a prisoner of war or being a service member missing in action.
      6. Eligibility of a veteran’s spouse for benefits shall terminate ten (10) years after the death of the veteran; however, eligibility shall terminate immediately upon the spouse’s remarriage within this period.
        1. The spouse's eligibility shall extend to the end of the term in which the ten (10) year period expires.
        2. A spouse who has previously earned an undergraduate degree or certificate shall not be eligible for benefits.
        3. Otherwise, the spouse shall be eligible for benefits until one of the following occurs:
          1. Prior to the expiration of benefits, the spouse earns an undergraduate degree or certificate; or
          2. The spouse has accumulated one hundred thirty-five (135) semester hours excluding required remedial or developmental hours, or the equivalent; or
          3. The spouse has attempted one hundred fifty (150) semester hours, or the equivalent, inclusive of required remedial or developmental hours.
      7. A dependent child shall be matriculated as a full-time student at a state institution of higher education prior to attainment of age twenty-three (23). However, the age limitation of dependent children shall not be strictly applied. Once declared eligible, a dependent child shall remain eligible until one of the following has occurred:
        1. Prior to attaining age 23 the dependent earns an undergraduate degree or certificate; or
        2. The dependent has accumulated one hundred thirty-five (135) semester hours excluding required remedial or developmental hours, or the equivalent; or
        3. The dependent has attempted one hundred fifty (150) semester hours, or the equivalent, inclusive of required remedial or developmental hours.
      8. For purposes of this program, the following definitions are provided:
        1. “Dependent Child” means a natural or adopted child of a veteran or service member who is claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes.
        2. “Parent” means the parent of a natural or adopted child whom such parent claims as a dependent for federal income tax purposes.
        3. “Qualifying period of armed conflict” means any hostile military operation for which U.S. military campaign medals as listed in T.C.A. § 49-7-102 are authorized.
        4. “Service member” means a Tennessee resident who is engaged in active U.S. military service.
        5. “Served honorably” means the character of service condition as reported on Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (Department of Defense Form 214).
        6. “State institution(s) of higher education” means any post-secondary institution operated by the Board of Trustees of The University of Tennessee system or the Tennessee Board of Regents of the state university, community college and colleges of applied technology system that offers courses of instruction leading to a certificate or degree.
        7. “Veteran” means a Tennessee resident who has entered and served honorably in the U.S. armed forces.
    3. Fees Paid/Type Courses Paid/Number of Hours
      1. The participant is entitled to a waiver of tuition and/or maintenance fees, and/or student activity fees, and/or required registration or matriculation fees, and shall be admitted without cost to any TBR institution.
      2. A full-time student load (12 semester hours or equivalent) is required.
    4. Payback Provisions
      1. None
    5. When the Participant May Attend
      1. Students may apply for benefits during the next registration or enrollment period for the next complete term after July 1, 2000.
    6. Accounting/Budgeting 
      1. Any fees waived by statute that are calculated and credited to revenue for administration purposes should be written off against a contra revenue account.
      2. No expenditures should be charged to scholarships and fellowships.
    7. Where the Participant May Attend
      1. Any public institution of higher education in Tennessee
  5. ​​Disabled and Elderly Persons Program
    1. In accordance with T.C.A. § 49-7-113 and TBR Guideline B-060, certain disabled and elderly students, as well as state service retirees, are able to enroll in courses free or at a reduced rate.
    2. Eligibility
      1. For audit courses, no fee is required for persons with a permanent, total disability; persons 60 years of age or older and domiciled in Tennessee; and persons who have retired from state service with 30 or more years of service, regardless of age.
      2. For credit courses, a reduced fee is charged to persons with a permanent, total disability, and persons who will become 65 years of age or older during the academic semester in which they begin classes and who are domiciled in Tennessee.
    3. Fees Paid/Type Courses Paid/Number of Hours
      1. A fee of $70 per semester or $60 per trimester may be assessed for credit courses. (This fee includes maintenance fees and all mandatory fees; it does not include any non-mandatory fees including, but not limited to, course-specific fees, materials fees, online course fees, application fees, parking fees, etc.)
      2. Disabled/elderly program students shall enroll in credit courses on a space-available basis.
      3. There is no limit on the number of courses that may be taken during a semester.
      4. The institution where the disabled/elderly program student is attending classes will provide forms for processing fees waived or assessed.
    4. Payback Provisions
      1. None
    5. When the Participant May Attend
      1. Employees participating in this program, in counsel with their immediate supervisors, should limit the number of courses so as to maintain an optimum level of job performance.
      2. Employees participating in this program should schedule courses at times other than during regularly scheduled work hours unless annual leave or flex time, based on the institution's needs, have been approved.
    6. Accounting/Budgeting
      1. Any fees set by statute are considered the fee rate for that group. The fees are not considered waived.
      2. No expenditures should be charged to scholarships and fellowships.
    7. Where the Participant May Attend
      1. Employees may enroll at any public Tennessee institution.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; All state and federal statutes, codes, Acts, rules and regulations referenced in this guideline.

History

Presidents Meeting February 7, 2006; Presidents Meeting November 8, 2006; Presidents meeting August 21, 2007; Presidents Meeting November 6, 2007; Presidents Meeting November 5, 2008. Revisions approved at Presidents Meeting February 4, 2014; Revisions approved at Presidents Meeting, August 18, 2015.

Policy Number: 
B-061
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the process and procedures for educational assistance to state employees and their dependents and the dependents of public school teachers by institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. B-061 - Support for Educational Assistance
    1. The Tennessee Board of Regents is committed to the need for the continued professional growth and development of employees. Support for educational assistance of personnel and their dependents is an important vehicle for addressing that need. The programs for TBR employees and dependents are available subject to funds being budgeted and available within the institution/college of applied technology/System Office.
    2. The Office of Human Resources is responsible for the administration of the various programs with the exception of the program for dependents of veterans (B-062) and two programs offered to general state employees and the dependents of licensed teachers and State employees (B-061). These forms are available from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission at THEC Fee & Discount Waivers
    3. Exceptions to the provisions of the programs for TBR employees can be made upon recommendation of the president/director and approval by the Chancellor.
  2. Types of Support for Educational Assistance
    1. The guidelines for Educational Assistance (P-130, P-131, B-061, B-062) contain a total of eleven (11) programs.
    2. The programs are:
      1. P-130 – Educational Assistance for TBR Employees
        1. Faculty or Administrative/Professional Staff Grant-in-Aid Program
        2. Faculty or Administrative/Professional Staff Tuition or Maintenance Fee Reimbursement Program
        3. Employee Audit/Non-credit Program
        4. Clerical and Support Staff Maintenance Fee Payment Program
        5. Fee Waiver for TBR/UT System Employees Program (formerly PC-191)
      2. P-131 – Educational Assistance for Spouse and Dependents of TBR Employees
        1. a. Fee Discount for Spouse and/or Dependent Children Program
      3. B-061 – Educational Assistance for State Employees and Dependents of State Employees or Public School Teachers
        1. Fee Discount for Dependent Children of Licensed Public School Teachers or State Employees Program
        2. Public Higher Education Fee Waiver for State Employees Program
      4. B-062 – Other Educational Assistance Programs
        1. Veterans’ Dependents’ Post-Secondary Education Program
        2. State Employees Age 65 or Above Program
    3. Complete eligibility information is contained within each Guideline.
  3. Taxation of Educational Assistance Programs
    1. Undergraduate and graduate course tuition, up to $5250 per year, paid by the Tennessee Board of Regents institutions and the University of Tennessee System for their employees is eligible for exclusion from the employees' gross annual income, in accordance with Internal Revenue code (IRC) Section 127.
  4. Public Higher Education Fee Waiver for State Employees Program - This fee waiver program is for general state employees exclusive of TBR and UT system employees.
    1. These rules implement the provisions of the T.C.A. § 8-50-114. The Code enables full-time employees of the State of Tennessee to be eligible for enrollment in one course consisting of no more than four (4) credit hours or one hundred twenty (120) clock hours per term at any State supported college or university or Tennessee College of Applied Technology without paying tuition charges, maintenance fees, mandatory fees, or RODP on-line course fees.
      1. Employees are responsible for all other fees, including, but not limited to special course fees, books and supplies, application fees, applied music fees, lab fees, off-campus facilities fees, parking fees and traffic fines.
    2. Pursuant to T.C.A. § 10-5-101 et seq., employees of the State’s regional library system became employees of the Department of State, effective July 1, 1999. As such, they became eligible to participate in the State’s educational assistance programs.
      1. In addition, effective September 8, 1999, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission determined that Human Resource Agency employees are not State employees as that term is defined in the Commission’s rules governing these programs and thus are not eligible for fee waivers.
    3. Course enrollment will be permitted on a "space available" first-come-first served basis.
      1. State employees may register no earlier than four (4) weeks prior to the first day of classes.
      2. No tuition paying student shall be denied enrollment in a course because of state employee enrollments pursuant to this section.
    4. State employees must receive credit for the course in which they are enrolled.
      1. In addition, changes may not be made from credit to audit during the course of the term.
      2. Other guidelines and procedures for administration of this program are available from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission at Fee Waiver & Discount Programs
  5. Fee Discount for Dependents of Licensed Public School Teachers, Retired Teachers, or State Employees Program
    1. These rules implement the provisions of T.C.A. § 49-7-101 et seq. and § 8-50-101 et seq.
      1. The Codes enable children under the age of twenty-four (24) to receive a twenty-five percent (25%) discount on tuition at any state operated institution of higher learning if their parent:
        1. Is employed as a full-time licensed teacher in any public school in Tennessee or as a full-time employee of the state of Tennessee;
        2. Is a retired teacher - THEC Rule 1540-01-05-.01 defines a retired teacher as a certified teacher who retires after a minimum of thirty (30) years of full-time creditable service in Tennessee public schools or who receives disability retirement after a minimum of twenty-five (25) years of full-time creditable service in Tennessee public schools.
        3. Is a retired employee of the state of Tennessee who retired after a minimum of twenty-five (25) years of full-time creditable service;
        4. Was killed in the line of duty while a full-time employee of the state of Tennessee; or
        5. Died while a full-time employee, though not "in the line of duty"; or
        6. Died while employed as a public school teacher and the child is using the benefit at the time of the parent/teacher's death.
    2. Tuition includes undergraduate maintenance fees and college of applied technology program fees; it does not include any other fees, including, but not limited to, application for admission fees, student activity fees, debt service fees, lab fees, applied music fees, books and supplies, dormitory charges or meal plans.
    3. Other guidelines and procedures for administration of this program are available from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission at THEC Fee Waiver & Discount Programs   
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; All state and federal statutes, codes, Acts, rules and regulations referenced in this guideline.

History

Presidents Meeting, February 7, 2006; Presidents Meeting, November 6, 2006; President Meeting, May 15, 2007; Presidents Meeting November 6, 2007; August 16, 2011 presidents meeting. Revised January 17, 2014 per THEC Rule 1540-01-05 promulgated due to revision of T.C.A. § 49-7-119, which became effective July 1, 2013: Revised at Presidents Meeting, August 19, 2014; Revised at Presidents Meeting, August 18, 2015.

Policy Number: 
B-060
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges
Purpose: 

The purpose of the following guideline is to outline significant provisions for consistent administration of fees, charges, and refunds at the institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. These guidelines largely represent a consolidation of existing statements and practices. They are intended to serve as a reference document for institutional staff responsible for implementing and communicating fee-related matters. The guideline contents include general and specific provisions for: maintenance fees; out-of-state tuition; debt service fees; student activity; miscellaneous and incidental fees; deposits; and refunds.

These guidelines supersede all previous fee and refund guidelines, and may be revised by action of the Tennessee Board of Regents or the Chancellor. Exceptions to the guidelines may be made by the Chancellor upon written request by a president.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. General Provisions
    1. Establishment of Fees and Charges
      1. The Tennessee Board of Regents must establish or approve all institutional fees and charges unless specific exceptions are provided. The Board has adopted a practice of approving changes in fees and charges one time per year at the Board meeting when the annual operating budgets are considered. This is usually the regular June meeting of the Board.
      2. The institution president is responsible for the enforcement and collection of all fees and charges. Fees and charges which specifically do not require Board approval must receive formal approval by the president or designee.
      3. Institutions should attempt to follow a general format in publishing information on fees and charges, including but not limited to the following:
        1. All statements which include the fee amount should be complete and specific enough to prevent misunderstanding by readers.
        2. When a fee is quoted, the refund procedures should be clearly stated.  If there are qualifying conditions for refunds, those conditions also should be stated. If there is no refund, it should be labeled as non-refundable.
        3. Whenever possible, specific dates related to the payment of fees and the refund procedures should be stated.
        4. It should be made clear that all fees are subject to change at any time.
    2. Approval of Exceptions
      1. In accordance with these guidelines, the president of an institution or designee has the authority to determine the applicability of certain fees, fines, charges, and refunds, and to approve exceptions in instances of unusual circumstances or for special groups.
      2. All such actions should be properly documented for auditing purposes.
    3. Appeals Process
      1. An appeals process should be established by each institution, and communicated to students, faculty, and staff.
      2. The process should provide for final appeal to the president or designee.
      3. Separate appeals processes may exist for different types of fees, charges, and refunds.
    4. Payment of Student Fees
      1. As provided in the Tennessee Board of Regents Policy on Payment of Student Fees and Enrollment of Students (No. 4:01:03:00):
        1. An applicant for admission to an institution will be considered and counted as a student when all assessed fees have been paid in cash, when the initial minimum payment due under the deferred payment plan has been paid, or when an acceptable commitment from an agency or organization approved by the institution has been received by the institution.
        2. An applicant shall possess an acceptable commitment when they have timely submitted an application(s) for financial aid with the reasonable probability of receiving such.
      2. Pursuant to the above condition, institutions with a continuous registration process must require payment of all applicable fees or payment of the initial minimum payment due under the deferred payment plan prior to the regular registration period as defined by each institution.
        1. Students who do not prepay all fees or have an acceptable approved financial aid deferment will forfeit pre-registration privileges and must enroll under the normal registration process.
      3. A prepayment plan to assist parents and students with planning and budgeting their academic year expenses is authorized.
        1. Under the plan, students may choose the expenses they wish to prepay including tuition, and fees.
        2. Expenses can be prepaid over a period of eight months.
  2. Maintenance Fees 
    1. Description of Fees
      1. The Maintenance Fee is a charge to students enrolled in credit courses. It is an enrollment or registration fee and is calculated based on the number of Student Credit Hours (SCH's) for two-year institutions or student contact hours for colleges of applied technology for which the student enrolls. Fees are established by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
      2. The same fee is applicable to courses for which the student is enrolled on an audit basis.
    2. Rates
      1. Rates are established by the Board and incorporated in a fee schedule. The hourly rate will be discounted when undergraduate students enroll in greater than 12 hours stated otherwise elsewhere in this guideline.
      2. Developmental courses are charged at the two-year institution hourly rate. If a student enrolls in both regular and developmental courses, the rates shall be assessed at the hourly rate for each up to the current amount of 12 undergraduate hours. The discounted tuition rate will then apply to any additional courses.
      3. For institutions with multiple summer sessions, maintenance fees and tuition may be assessed by using the current part-time rate with no maximum amount for total credit hours enrolled.
      4. Maintenance fees may not be waived. However, specific exceptions are provided in the following instances:
        1. Pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-7-113, exceptions exist for certain disabled and elderly students, as well as state service retirees. For audit courses, no fee is required for persons with a permanent, total disability, persons 60 years of age or older and domiciled in Tennessee and persons who have retired from state service with 30 or more years of service, regardless of age. For credit, a fee of $70 per semester or $60 per trimester may be charged to persons with a permanent, total disability, and persons who will become 65 years of age or older during the academic semester in which they begin classes and who are domiciled in Tennessee. (Note: This fee includes all mandatory fees; it does not include course-specific fees such as all miscellaneous course fees, materials fees, application fee, online course fees and parking fees.) This only applies to enrollment on a space available basis, which permits registration no earlier than four (4) weeks prior to the first day of classes.
        2. Pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-7-102, certain statutory fee exceptions exist for dependents and spouses of military personnel killed, missing in action, or officially declared a prisoner of war while serving honorably as a member of the armed forces during a period of armed conflict. If these provisions are invoked by a student, the correct applicable law should be determined.
      5. Military reserve and national guard personnel who are mobilized to active military service within six months of attendance at a TBR institution and whose mobilization lasts more than six months shall be charged upon re-enrollment at such institution the tuition, maintenance fees, student activity fees and required registration or matriculation fees that were in effect when such student was enrolled prior to mobilization. After re-enrollment, no increase in tuition, maintenance fees, student activity fees or required registration or matriculation fees shall be assessed to such student until a period of time equal to one year plus the combined length of all military mobilizations has elapsed. In no event, however, shall a student’s tuition and fees be frozen after re-enrollment for more than four years.
        1. To be eligible for the tuition and fee freeze, the student shall have completed military service under honorable conditions and shall re-enroll in a TBR institution within six months of release from active duty.
        2. A student eligible for the tuition and fee freeze may transfer from one state institution of higher education to another state institution of higher education one time with such student’s tuition and fees calculated at the institution to which the student transfers as if the student had been in attendance at that institution before the mobilization that resulted in the student’s tuition and fee freeze at the initial institution.
    3. Accounting Treatment
      1. A revenue account for Maintenance Fees is used to record both the revenue assessed and refunds made.
      2. As provided in GASB Statements 34 and 35, summer school revenues and expenditures must be accrued at fiscal year-end. Summer school activity will not be allocated to only one fiscal year.
      3. In some cases full fees are not assessed to students. These occur when statutes establish separate rates for such groups as the disabled, elderly, and military dependents. The difference between normal fees and special fees is not assessed. Fees not assessed in these cases do not represent revenue. For administrative purposes the fees may be calculated and credited to revenue, then written off against a contra revenue account.
      4. Agreements/contracts may be executed with a third party (federal agency, corporation, institution, etc.), but not with the individual student, to deliver routine courses at a fixed rate or for the cost of delivering the course and may provide for fees not to be charged to individual students. Individual student fees will be assessed as usual and charged to the functional category Scholarships and Fellowships. The amount charged to or paid by the third party is credited to the appropriate Grants and Contracts revenue account.
      5. In some cases a non-credit course provides an option to grant regular credit. If a separate (or additional) fee is collected because of the credit, that amount is reported as Maintenance Fee revenue.
      6. Full-time employees of the Tennessee Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee systems may enroll in one course per term at any public postsecondary institution, with fees waived for the employee.
        1. No tuition paying student shall be denied enrollment in a course because of enrollment of TBR and UT employees.
        2. Spouses and dependents of employees of the Tennessee Board of Regents system may be eligible for a student fee discount for undergraduate courses at Tennessee Board of Regents institutions and the University of Tennessee.
      7. Tennessee Board of Regents institutions exchange funds for tuition fees of employees’ spouses and dependents who participate in a Tennessee Board of Regents educational assistance program. This also applies to exchanging of funds for maintenance fee discounts between Tennessee Board of Regents institutions and the University of Tennessee institutions. 
      8. To the extent they are not reimbursed by the State, fee waivers for full-time State employees and fee discounts to children of certified public school teachers shall be accounted for as a scholarship.
  3. Out-of-State Tuition 
    1. Description of Fee
      1. This is an additional fee charged to students classified as non-residents who are enrolled for credit courses, including audit courses. This fee is in addition to the maintenance fee.
      2. Out-of-state tuition fee rates are established by the Tennessee Board of Regents and are incorporated in the annual fee schedule.
      3. Applicability of out-of-state tuition is determined pursuant to Tennessee Board of Regents Policy on Regulations for Students In-State and Out-of-State for the Purpose of Paying College Fees and Tuition and for Admission Purposes (No. 3:05:01:00). The business office will collect fees based upon student classification as determined by the appropriate authority within the institution.
    2. Accounting Treatment
      1. A revenue account for out-of-state tuition is used for recording both credits for fees and debits for refunds.
      2. Other accounting is the same for out-of-state tuition as that outlined under Maintenance Fees except that separate out-of-state accounts are used.
        1. In the case of fees not collected from students under grants and contracts, the same expense account under Scholarships and Fellowships may be used.
  4. eRate
    1. Description of Fee
      1. The eRate is available to students who enroll at TBR institutions, who are classified as non-residents of Tennessee, and who are enrolled exclusively in online courses.
      2. The eRate is 150% of the institution's approved undergraduate maintenance fee.
      3. The hourly rate will not be discounted for students receiving the eRate and enrolling in greater than 12 undergraduate hours.
      4. To qualify for an eRate, students must:
        1. Meet all institution admission requirements and must
        2. Be verified as an online out-of-state student enrolled exclusively in courses delivered online by a procedure documented by the institution.
        3. Out-of-state students in item 2. above refers to geographic location and does not include undocumented students living in Tennessee.
      5. Students enrolled in any type courses other than online (on-ground, telecourse, distance education, etc.) will not be eligible for the eRate specified in this guideline and will instead incur traditional non-resident fees and charges.
        1. Students who enroll in both online courses and other type courses and subsequently drop the other type courses will not then become eligible for the eRate. 
      6. Institutions enrolling eRate students as defined in this guideline must provide a method to mitigate any negative impact on the opportunity for Tennessee student enrollment in online courses.
    2. Accounting Treatment
      1. The eRate is comprised of the maintenance fee and a 50% markup that represents the out-of-state tuition portion.
      2. The maintenance fee and the out-of-state tuition should each be recorded as outlined in sections II and III above.
  5. Debt Service Fees
    1. The amount of debt service fees will be approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Separate rates are recommended by each institution based on requirements of the institution.
    2. For simplicity of administration and communication, institutions may combine debt service with maintenance fees in quoting fee rates, in fee billings and charges, and in making refunds.
    3. Revenue from debt service fees will be recorded in the unrestricted current fund and then transferred to the retirement of indebtedness fund as either a mandatory transfer or a non-mandatory transfer. The portion of debt service fee revenue used for current-year debt service will be reported as a mandatory transfer. Any additional debt service fee revenue will be transferred to the retirement of indebtedness fund as a non-mandatory transfer.
    4. At the conclusion of the debt retirement for a given project, the debt service fee attributed to the project will cease. Any new project requires the approval of a new debt service fee on its own merits without the reallocation of any existing fee. Any continuation of fees necessary for renewal and replacement of a project for which the debt is totally retired must be approved for that purpose by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
  6. Student Fees 
    1. A student government activity fee may be established pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-8-109. Any increase in this fee shall be subject to a referendum for student body approval or rejection. The fee will be administered in accordance with the provisions adopted by each institution. These fees will be restricted current funds additions. These fees are refundable on the same basis as maintenance fees or as established by the institution.
    2. Student activity fees (other than student government activity fees) will be approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Such fees may be recommended by each institution based on services to be provided which are related to the activity fee. These fees will be unrestricted current funds revenues. These fees are refundable on the same basis as maintenance fees or as established by the institution.
  7. Technology Access Fees
    1. A fee shall be levied by each institution for the purpose of providing student access to computing and similar technologies. It is refundable on the same basis as maintenance fees or as established by the institutions. Institutions shall establish expenditure accounts and designated revenue accounts for purposes of recording technology access fees and expenditures.
    2. Use
      1. Technology Access Fees (TAF) are composed of two pools. Pool 1 represents the TAF prior to FY 1997-98 when it did not exceed $30 annually. Pool 2 represents the difference between the current TAF rate and the pre-1997-98 TAF rate. Items 2 and 3 below shall apply to use of Pool 2 TAF funds.
      2. The TAF should be used by TBR institutions for direct student benefit, for items such as new and improved high technology laboratories and classrooms, appropriate network and software, computer and other equipment, and technological improvements that enhance instruction. Use of Pool 2 TAF is limited to the following items:
        1. Computers and other technical laboratory supplies, equipment, and software and maintenance.
        2. Network costs (WWW internet, interactive video, etc.)
        3. "Smart" or multimedia classroom equipment and classroom modifications.
        4. Lab and course staffing - student and staff assistance for lab and classroom uses; community colleges are limited to 25% maximum (Pool 2 current-year TAF revenues) for student or staff employees.
        5. Renewal and replacement reserves as necessary.
        6. New machines for faculty use when faculty are actively engaged in developing and conducting on-line courses.
        7. Faculty and staff development directly related to the introduction or application of new technology which impacts students. These guidelines should have the flexibility to place instructional technology in a faculty lab where course materials are being prepared. For example, TAF funds can be used to create faculty labs to include the purchase of computers and to conduct faculty training and course development. (Travel costs for faculty and staff are excluded; however, consultants may be hired as needed for training.)
        8. Infrastructure (wiring, network, servers, etc.) necessary to provide students maximum computing capability. A ceiling is established of 50% of the total project costs from which technology access fees can be used.
        9. Expand technology resources in library, i.e., video piped anywhere on campus, interactive video room for distance education, network for web video courses.
      3. As part of the July budget process, each institution shall prepare a detailed spending plan for the use of funds generated by the TAF. Prior to submission of July budgets, the Chancellor or his designee shall randomly select 25% of institutions for review of TAF spending plans. Each institution selected shall submit their TAF spending plan as part of their July budget. These spending plans shall be reviewed by the Chancellor or his designee for compliance with TAF use guidelines and Board policy. A report of this review shall be filed with the Board.
      4. The spending plan will be maintained by the institution and will be updated throughout the year as needed. The President shall ensure that the spending plan is prepared. At the end of the fiscal year, a summary of the actual money generated and actual use of the money shall be prepared and maintained by the institution.
      5. Compliance with these guidelines will be audited by the internal audit staff and reported to the Board as determined by the internal auditor's annual risk-based planning process or other appropriate means.
  8. Specialized Academic Fees
    1. Certain academic programs require expensive maintenance/updating of equipment and software and the employment of highly qualified staff. The high costs of instruction for these programs can be offset by establishing specialized academic fees, with the Board’s approval. To receive approval for a specialized academic fee, a program will be required to meet criteria 1., High Cost of Instruction as defined below. Additionally, the program should document meeting criteria 2.-7., as applicable.
      1. High Cost of Instruction. Programs qualifying for charging specialized academic fees must demonstrate that they are more costly than other programs offered by the institution. If appropriate, the extraordinary cost of the program must be validated including benchmarking with similar programs in the region and nation.
      2. High Demand. The number of students enrolled in the program and the student credit hours generated are sufficient to justify additional fees.
      3. High Cost of Updating/Maintaining Equipment and Software. Programs qualifying for charging specialized academic fees are expected to be those that require extensive maintenance and regular updating of equipment and/or software, all of which are very expensive. An average hardware/software cost per student credit hour serves as the basis for determining the amount of the fee.
      4. Accreditation. Meeting standards of specific accrediting agencies may also qualify a specialized program for charging specialized academic fees.  The accrediting standards that justify a fee are those that specify the possession and use of certain equipment and unique software that are extraordinarily costly and/or the employment of faculty with specific credentials that demand high salaries.
      5. High Recognition and Quality. The programs approved for specialized academic fees are expected to be distinctive and with a regional or national reputation. The program must demonstrate that it has achieved exceptional recognition in its particular enterprise.
      6. High Value to Tennessee. The program must demonstrate that it is a good investment for the State of Tennessee to justify charging extra fees to the student. The program should be distinctive and not one duplicated in other TBR institutions and should be of integral value to Tennessee.  The graduates’ earning potential and the associated benefit to the state economy should be projected, as well as the efforts taken by the institution to aid graduates in finding appropriate employment in Tennessee.
      7. Impact on Affected Students. Through surveys, questionnaires, or other suitable means, the program must demonstrate that the charging of additional fees will not diminish enrollment. The program should demonstrate that enrolled students realize that the potential earning power in the work force justifies their additional investment.
    2. Institution must submit documentation of the above applicable criteria when requesting approval of a specialized academic fee. Specialized academic course fee revenues are limited to funding related costs accumulated in the instruction function.
  9. Miscellaneous Course Fees
    1. All miscellaneous fees must be approved by TBR. Fees for courses requiring special off-campus facilities or services do not require Board approval but should reflect the cost of the facilities or services.
  10. Incidental Fees and Charges
    1. Uniform Rates and Policies - Institutions 
      1. The following fees will be uniformly charged (or, if applicable, to the extent that they remain within the set range) at all institutions both as to the amount and condition of assessment. Charges are subject to approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
        1. Application Fee:
          1. Undergraduate - Not less than $5.00 or more than $25.00.
    2. Institutions
      1. Returned Check Fee: $30.00 per check - nonrefundable. All institutions will charge a returned check fee that is the maximum set by state law.  This fee will apply to all returned checks received by the institution, whether from students, faculty, staff, or other parties. The Board will review state statutes each spring to determine any changes. (T.C.A. § 47-29-102)
    3. Colleges of Applied Technology
      1. Each college of applied technology will assess a nonrefundable fee for individual instructional projects pursuant to a schedule approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
    4. Other Fees and Charges Subject to Board Approval
      1. Institutions
        1. The following fees may be assessed by all institutions. Specific rate recommendations will be developed separately by each institution for approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents. In review of the recommendations, the Board staff will consider the consistency of fees for comparable services among institutions.
          1. Motor Vehicle Registration - nonrefundable. A fee may be levied by each institution per academic year, per fiscal year and/or per academic term for motor vehicle registration, and such fee shall be applicable to each student, faculty and staff member.
          2. Campus Access Fee - At institutions where registration of specific vehicles is not necessary a campus access fee may be assessed in lieu of a motor vehicle registration fee. It is refundable on the same basis as maintenance fees or as established by the institution.
          3. Traffic Fines - nonrefundable. These fines will apply to all employees and students.
          4. Applied Music Fees. This fee is charged for private music lessons or small group training sessions. It is refundable on the same basis as maintenance fees or as established by the institution.
          5. Late Registration Fee. A late registration fee up to $100 will be charged during the entire period of late registration. The effective date of the fee will be determined by each institution.
          6. Facilities Fee. This fee will be used to improve facilities and fund expenditures such as replacing carpets in student lounges, remodeling classrooms, etc. The fee would not be used for routine maintenance or new construction, but would be used to make improvements to areas that have an impact on students. The intended projects will be disclosed during the normal budget cycles. The fee is refundable on the same basis as maintenance fees.
      2. Institutions and Colleges of Applied Technology
        1. Transcript Fee. There will be no charge for transcripts; however, institutions and colleges of applied technology shall set a limit on a reasonable number of copies at any one time and may establish a nonrefundable charge for the cost of copying transcripts in excess of that number.
      3. Fees and Charges to be Established and Administered by the Institution.
        1. The following fees and charges may be established and administered by each institution. No specific approval or notification to the Tennessee Board of Regents will be required unless subject to other Board or State requirements. The institution will establish appropriate refund policies. 
          1. Sales of goods and services of a commercial nature, including bookstores, food services, vending, laundry and similar activities.
          2. Rental of non-student housing and facilities.
          3. Admissions fees to athletic and other events open to the public, including special events sponsored by campus organizations and activities.
          4. Sales and services of educational activities such as clinical services, publications, etc.
          5. Registration for conferences, institutes, and non-credit activities (see XIII.A.4.).
          6. Fees for use of campus facilities for recreational purposes.
          7. Parking permits and parking meters for use by guests and visitors.
          8. Colleges of Applied Technology may assess a fee for specific school instructional projects to defray incidental costs incurred by the college of applied technology in performing the project.
          9. Nonrefundable library fines, which will apply to students, faculty, staff, and other library users.
          10. Child Care Fees - Kindergarten, Preschool, Early Childhood, Day Care, or similarly defined activities. The refund policy will be established by the institution.
          11. Special Exam Fee - nonrefundable. The fee will be determined based upon cost to the institution.
          12. Standardized Test Fees - nonrefundable. The fee will be determined based upon the cost for administering the tests.
          13. Identification Card Replacement - nonrefundable.  There will be no charge for the original identification card. A fee may be set by each institution to offset the cost of replacing the card. This fee applies only to student ID cards and not to faculty and staff ID's.
          14. Change of Course or Section Fee - nonrefundable. If the change is caused by the institution, there will be no charge for the change. If two or more forms are used at one time, they will be treated as one change/form. Institutions may waive the fee for schedule changes.
  11. Deposits
    1. Breakage deposits may be recommended by the institution for Board approval for courses in which it can be shown that there is a reasonable chance of loss or damage to items issued to students. The amount of the deposit should be related to the materials issued and subject to a 100% refund.
    2. A deposit may be established by the institution for rent or lease of buildings and facilities or for the issuance of other institutional property or equipment. Deposits should be subject to a 100% refund if no damage or loss occurs. The amount of such deposits should be related to the value of the facilities or equipment subject to loss and the general ability of the institution to secure reimbursement should loss or damage occur.
  12. Other Fee and Charge Considerations
    1. Institutions may submit for Board of Regents approval fees and charges not specifically covered by those guidelines when the establishment of a fee or charge is justified by the institution.
      1. Fees may be established to control the utilization of facilities and services or to offset the cost of extraordinary requirements as a result of specific programs or activities. [Reference Tennessee Board of Regents Policy on Access to and Use of Campus Property and Facilities (No. 1:03:02:50).]
      2. When fees and charges are incorporated in agreements with outside contractors and vendors, specific rates, refunds and conditions must be clearly stated.
      3. Fees for auxiliary services must take into consideration that Auxiliary Enterprises should be a break-even operation with rates and charges generating revenue sufficient to cover all expenses as defined in operating budget guidelines.
      4. Fees established for non-credit courses and activities shall be sufficient to cover the total costs incurred in providing instruction plus a minimum of 25% of the annual instructional salary costs including contractual salary costs or personal services contracts.
      5. Students enrolled for six or more hours are eligible for full-time privileges, i.e., access to social, athletic, and cultural functions, pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-8-109.
  13. Refunds and Fee Adjustments
    1. Adjustments to all fees and charges must be in accordance with the following provisions except as previously stated, or when required by federal law or regulation to be otherwise.
    2. Pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 49-7-2301 and 49-7-2302, students called to active military or National Guard service during the semester are entitled to a 100% adjustment or credit of mandatory fees.
    3. Maintenance Fee Refunds and Adjustments
      1. Refunds are 100% for courses canceled by the institution.
      2. Changes in courses involving the adding and dropping of equal numbers of SCH's for the same term at the same time require no refund or assessment of additional maintenance fees, unless the dropping and adding involves TNeCampus courses. The change of course fee would be applicable.
      3. The fee adjustment for withdrawals or drops during regular terms (fall and spring) is 75% from the first day of classes through the fourteenth calendar day of classes and then reduced to 25% for a period of time which extends 25% of the length of the term. When the first day of the academic term falls on a Saturday, the 100% refund period is extended through the weekend until the following Monday morning (12:01 am). There is no fee adjustment after the 25% period ends. Dropping or withdrawing from classes during either the 75% or the 25% fee adjustment period will result in a fee adjustment of assessed maintenance fees based on the total credit hours of the final student enrollment.
      4. For summer sessions and other short terms, the 75% fee adjustment period and the 25% fee adjustment period will extend a length of time which is the same proportion of the term as the 75% and 25% periods are of the regular terms.
      5. All fee adjustment periods will be rounded to whole days and the date on which each fee adjustment period ends will be included in publications. In calculating the 75% period for other than the fall and spring and in calculating the 25% length of term in all cases, the number of calendar days during the term will be considered. When the calculation produces a fractional day, rounding will be up or down to the nearest whole day.
      6. A full refund (100%) is provided on behalf of a student whose death occurs during the term. Any indebtedness should be offset against the refund.
      7. A 100% refund will be provided for students who enroll under an advance registration system but who drop a course or courses prior to the beginning of the first day of class.
      8. A 100% refund will be provided to students who are compelled by the institution to withdraw when it is determined that through institutional error they were academically ineligible for enrollment or were not properly admitted to enroll for the course(s) being dropped. An appropriate official must certify in writing that this provision is applicable in each case.
      9. When courses are included in a regular term's registration process for administrative convenience, but the course does not begin until later in the term, the 75%/25% fee adjustment periods will be based on the particular course's beginning and ending dates. This provision does not apply to classes during the fall or spring terms which may meet only once per week. Those courses will follow the same refund dates as other regular courses for the term.
      10. The fee adjustment is calculated as the difference between (1) the per credit hour cost of originally enrolled hours and (2) the per credit hour cost of the courses at final enrollment after adjustments have been applied for all courses dropped. Adjustments are calculated at the full per credit hour rate less the fee adjustment credit at the applicable fee adjustment percentage (regardless of the original number of hours enrolled). Not all drops/withdrawals will result in fee adjustments.
    4. Out-of-State Tuition Refunds and Fee Adjustments
      1. The fee adjustment provision for out-of-state tuition is the same as that for maintenance fees. The 75% fee adjustment period and the 25% fee adjustment period will follow the same dates as the fee adjustment periods for maintenance fees. When 100% of maintenance fees are refunded, 100% of out-of-state tuition also is refunded. Calculation procedures are the same as those specified for maintenance fees.
    5. Debt Service Fee Refunds
      1. Debt service fees will be subject to the same refund policy as maintenance fees.
Sources: 

Authority

T. C.A. §§ 47-29-102, 49-7-102, 49-7-113, 49-7-2301, 49-7-2302, 49-8-109

History 

December 2, 1977 TBR meeting.  Revised March 14, 1980 TBR meeting; November 13, 1991 presidents meeting; November 8, 1982 presidents meeting; July 1, 1984; November 1, 1988; May 15, 1990 presidents meeting; August 14, 1990 presidents meeting; November 1§0, 1992 presidents meeting; August 10, 1993 presidents meeting; November 9, 1993 presidents meeting; August 9, 1994 presidents meeting; May 8, 1995 presidents meeting, August 8, 1995 presidents meeting, November 8, 1995 presidents meeting, February 6, 1996 presidents meeting, May 14, 1996 presidents meeting, November 12, 1996 presidents meeting, May 6, 1997 presidents meeting, July 16, 1997 called Board meeting, November 5, 1997 presidents meeting, February 17, 1998 presidents meeting via conference call, August 25, 1998 presidents meeting, May 9, 2000 presidents meeting, August 8, 2000 presidents meeting, November 8, 2000 presidents meeting, February 13, 2001 presidents meeting, August 21, 2001 presidents meeting, May 21, 2002 presidents meeting, February 11, 2003 presidents meeting, May 20, 2003 presidents meeting, February 10, 2004 presidents meeting, August 17, 2004 presidents meeting, February 8, 2005 presidents meeting, May 17, 2005 presidents meeting, February 8, 2006 presidents meeting, May 16, 2006 presidents meeting, August 16, 2006 presidents meeting, May 15, 2007 presidents meeting, August 21, 2007 presidents meeting, November 6, 2007 presidents meeting, February 17, 2009 presidents meeting; May 12, 2009 presidents meeting; August 11, 2009 presidents meeting; November 10, 2009 presidents meeting; February 16, 2010 presidents meeting; February 15, 2011 presidents meeting; May 17, 2011 presidents meeting; August 16, 2011 presidents meeting; May 16, 2012 presidents meeting; August 21, 2012 presidents meeting; Revised at Presidents Meeting, February 4, 2014; Revised at Presidents Meeting, August 18, 2015; Revised at Presidents Meeting, November 10, 2015; Presidents Meeting February 2, 2016; August 8, 2017.

Policy Number: 
B-026
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

These guidelines set forth the leasing procedures for all institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. 

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Approvals Required
    1. Institution as Lessee and Lessor.
      1. All agreements involving or related to the lease of real property for a term of more than five (5) years or a consideration of more than $150,000 per year shall be approved by the Chancellor, including any amendment or cancelation (TBR Policy No. 1:03:02:10).
      2. Documents for all leases and lease amendments with consideration of more than $150,000 per year or a term longer than five (5) years shall be approved by the State Building Commission in accordance with T.C.A. § 12-2-115 and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
      3. Signatures required include:
        1. The Lessor (signature shall be acknowledged by a notary public).
        2. President of the Institution (signature shall be acknowledged by a notary public).
        3. Chancellor or designee.
          1. State Attorney General and Reporter in compliance with T.C.A. § 12-2-115.
          2. Commissioner of General Services if procured by STREAM.
          3. Governor (this signature is required for lease-outs). 
    2. Leases for more than $150,000 per year or for more than five (5) years.
      1. All proposed leasing actions for real property with consideration more than $150,000 per year or for a term of more than five (5) years shall be submitted to the State Building Commission and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission by the Office of Facilities Development, Tennessee Board of Regents for review and analysis prior to taking action by the institution.
      2. ​Leases approved during the annual budget review process will not require prior approval of the State Building Commission Executive Sub-Committee. (SBC Policy)
      3. ​After review and analysis, the State Building Commission and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission shall provide comments to the Tennessee Board of Regents. (SBC Policy)
    3. Leases for $150,000 or less per year and for five (5) years or less where the institution is the Lessee or Lessor, using one of the following approved forms: the Tennessee Board of Regents Standard Lease Agreement, Mutual Use Agreement, Transient Use Agreement, or Tenant Use Agreement, shall be approved by:
      1. President of the institution
      2. The Chancellor 
    4. Leases for which operating funds will be requested or for more than five (5) years.
      1. Any lease which is for a term longer than five (5) years or in which the total of the consideration, maintenance costs, utility costs and/or custodial costs are estimated to exceed $150,000 per year, and funding for same is requested through state appropriations, shall be approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC Policy).
  2. Non-Discrimination
    1. Institutions engaging in a real estate transaction, including sale, rental or lease, shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex or national origin. See T.C.A. § 4-21-601.
    2. No state employee or agent shall enter into a commercial agreement on behalf of the state with a club which denies to a person entry, use of facilities or membership or unreasonably prevents the full enjoyment of such club on the basis of sex, race, creed, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or disability. See T.C.A. § 4-21-803.
  3. Recording of Leases
    1. Leases in which the institution is the Lessee which require State Building Commission approval shall be recorded by the Commissioner of General Services in the county or counties where the property is located (per T.C.A. § 12-2-105).
  4. Advertising for Leased Space
    1. Where the institution is the lessee, advertising shall be required in all transactions involving new, succeeding, superseding leases or lease renewals except:
      1. Where the annual rent does not exceed $50,000 or where the term of the lease is one (1) year or less.
      2. Where property is owned by a governmental agency and leased to another governmental agency.
      3. Where a supplemental agreement is made to an existing lease for additional space at a negotiated price without modifying the original lease term (Reference T.C.A. § 12-2-114).
      4. Where the space required by the entity has special and unique requirements as determined by the Commission.
  5. Special and Unique Space
    1. The space to be leased has characteristics, such as location, size, or quality which can only be satisfied by one landowner, as determined by a reasonable survey, and will have an annual rent of less than $50,000.
    2. The space to be leased will be let for less than 30 days; will have a total cost of $50,000 or less; and is for an auditorium, hearing room, conference or related space.
  6. Forms and Documentation Required
    1. Submit to the Chancellor one (1) copy each of the following forms at the appropriate times described above. Copies of all forms are available from the Office of Facilities Development upon request.
      1. Space Action Request Form 
        1. One (1) copy required with initial submittal of request for leased space.
      2. State University and Community College System of Tennessee (Tennessee Board of Regents) standard Lease Agreement Form
        1. Minimum of three (3) copies required after approval has been given to enter into a lease agreement.
        2. Use the Tennessee Board of Regents standard Lease Agreement Form unless prior approval has been obtained to use any other form.
        3. There should be no changes or additions to the standard Lease Agreement Form without prior approval.
      3. Statement of Financial Interest for Leased Property
        1. For all leases subject to the State Building Commission approval, when the institution is the Lessee, the Lessor shall identify persons with a financial interest in the leased property on the Statement of Financial Interest for Leased Property when submitting the lease agreement.
      4. Conflict of Interest
        1. No individual, company, or other entity involved in the evaluation or negotiation of proposals should have a financial interest or have the appearance of a conflict of interest unless disclosed and addressed in accordance with SBC Policy, Item 12.
        2. A written conflict of interest disclosure documenting the independence of each person involved must be completed and retained as part of the procurement file. 
      5. Space Action Request, Office Space Requirements Analysis, Finance and Administration Form RSM-1A
        1. Document space needs on this form, adapting as necessary to include classroom and class laboratory space needs and submit with initial submittal of request for leased space.
      6. Supplemental Data Questionnaire, Finance and Administration Form RSM-1B
        1. Document space needs on this form and submit with initial submittal of request for leased space.
      7. Certification of Funds Available
        1. For all leases subject to State Building Commission approval, a letter signed by the President of the institution or the Chancellor certifying that funds are available must accompany the lease proposal.
        2. Institution Certification of Funds shall be acknowledged and certified by Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.
      8. Summary of Analysis of Lease Proposals Received
        1. If advertising and receipt of lease proposals is performed by the institution, a summary of analysis of lease proposals must accompany the lease proposals including cost analysis.
      9. Enrollment Projections and Program Documentation
        1. Provide historical enrollments and enrollment projections and documentation of programs to be offered at the site of the proposed leased facility shall accompany the lease proposal as justification for the need to lease space.
  7. State Statutes on State Leases & Disposals of Real Property
    1. The following State Statutes on State leases and disposals of real property are referenced for your information. Copies are available from the Office of Facilities upon request.
      1. T.C.A. § 4-15-102 - State Building Commission - Powers and Duties
      2. T.C.A. § 12-2-112 - Disposal of Surplus Interests in Real Property and Energy Resources
      3. T.C.A. § 12-2-114 - State Leases - Procedure
      4. T.C.A. § 12-2-115 - Approval of Lease Instrument where State is Lessee or Lessor
      5. T.C.A. § 49-8-111 - Powers Regarding Property
  8. Lease Policies of the State Building Commission
    1. Item 7, Leases of Real Property as published in By-Laws, Policy and Procedure of the State Building Commission of Tennessee, compiled February 2014 is referenced for your information. Copies are available from the Office of Facilities upon request. 
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; All state statutes referenced in this guideline.

History

Presidents Meeting, May 14, 1991; Presidents Meeting November 5, 1997; Presidents Meeting February 13, 2007. Revised at Presidents Meeting November 11, 2015.

Policy Number: 
B-025
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

The purpose of this guideline is to establish procedures for the acquisition and disposal of real property at institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. 

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. This guideline establishes procedures for the acquisition and disposal of real property in fee interest.
      1. Authorization
        1. Only the Chancellor and Board have the authority, whether by gift or purchase, to acquire and dispose of real property.
      2. Title of Property Acquired
        1. Property that is acquired shall be titled in the name of the Tennessee Board of Regents and for the State University and Community College System of Tennessee for the use and benefit of the institution.
      3. Master Plan
        1. Property that is proposed for acquisition or disposal must be identified in an approved Facilities Master Plan for subject institution prior to taking any action.
        2. The acquisition of gift property does not apply to this condition.
      4. State Building Commission
        1. With the exception in 4c below of gifts of real property, the acquisition and disposal of any interest in real property in fee interest shall be subject to the approval of the State Building Commission Executive Sub-Committee and shall be done in accordance with procedures established by the State Building Commission (Reference T.C.A. §§ 4-15-102, 12-2-112 and 49-8-111).
        2. The following completed documents (five copies each) shall be submitted to the Chancellor to obtain approval to acquire or dispose of real property:
          1. Form RPM 1 Recorded Deed to Property Land Acquisition Questionnaire; or
          2. Land Disposal Questionnaire;
          3. As applicable Survey of property;
          4. If needed, Tax Assessors Map Facilities Evaluation Survey; and, if applicable,
          5. Environmental Identification
        3. Only the Chancellor and Board may accept gifts of real property and may dispose of real property acquired by gift or devise; however, acquisition of any interest in real property by gift or devise that obligates the institution, Tennessee Board of Regents or state of Tennessee to expend state of Tennessee funds for capital improvements or continuing operating expenditures shall be approved by the State Building Commission Executive Sub-committee in accordance with T.C.A. § 4-15- 102(d)(2) prior to acceptance by the Chancellor and Board (see TBR Policy No. 4:01:04:00).
        4. No deed transferring title of property to the Tennessee Board of Regents shall be recorded without the written approval of the Chancellor and in the instance of 4.c. above, State Building Commission approval shall be confirmed by the Chancellor prior to recording the Deed.]
      5. Inspection
        1. Facilities Evaluation
          1. If property to be acquired includes any structures, a facilities evaluation survey shall be conducted of each building.
          2. All required renovations and/or alterations to make the facility(ies) functionally usable in accordance with all applicable codes and current standards of use shall be evaluated with estimated cost to complete and source of funds identified prior to any action to acquire.
        2. Environmental Identification
          1. Prior to any action to acquire real property, the property and all structures, if any, shall be inspected and tested for the identification of any contaminants, including asbestos, PCBs, underground storage tanks, hazardous wastes and other environmental concerns.
          2. If any contaminants are identified, a plan for their disposal or neutralization shall be included with the request to acquire subject property, including estimated costs and identification of responsibility for abatement.
      6. Relocation Assistance
        1. Persons, businesses, farms and non-profit organizations relocated by State real property acquisition projects are eligible for relocation assistance in accordance with the provisions of T.C.A. § 13-11-101 et seq., and the Federal Uniform Relocation Assistance and Land Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as administered by the Department of Finance and Administration.
      7. Proceeds from Sale of Real Property
        1. The receipts from the sale or conveyance of real property shall be deposited in the capital outlay fund of the selling institution in accordance with TCA 49-8-111.
        2. However, if the receipts are the result of a devise or gift which designated the purpose of the gift for a particular use, any funds from a sale or conveyance of the property may be transferred from the capital outlay fund of the selling institution to the appropriate account in order to effectuate the donor's intent. 
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; All state statutes referenced in this guideline.

History

May 14, 1991 Presidents Meeting; revised May 12, 1992; revised February 13, 2007.

Policy Number: 
B-022
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
Community Colleges
Purpose: 

In conjunction with the provisions of TBR Policy Nos. 4:01:02:30 and 4:02:09:00 each institution governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents shall have a campus facility master plan which should address building development for the institution's mission and enrollment growth, land acquisition and disposal, vehicular and pedestrian circulation, parking facilities, outdoor physical education, recreation and athletic facilities (where applicable), utilities and landscaping. 

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Campus Facility Master Plans
    1. Campus facility master plans should be internally reviewed by campus staff at least every two years.
      1. If an update of the existing master plan is deemed necessary by the President, the campus should document the need and initiate a request to retain a professional consultant through the Board office.
    2. New master plans and updates shall be prepared by professional consultants appointed by the State Building Commission. They shall be approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents, submitted to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for review and comment and approved by the State Building Commission.
    3. New building construction or addition projects should be addressed in the master plan prior to the submission for funding to the Tennessee Board of Regents.
    4. The costs of obtaining consultant services for campus facility master plans should be funded from institutional sources. 
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203

History

TBR Presidents Meeting November 13, 1990; Revised November 8, 2006 Presidents Meeting.

Policy Number: 
B-020
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges
Purpose: 

The primary mission of institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents System is the creation and dissemination of knowledge. To carry out this mission, it is often desirable for the institution and its affiliated units to charge fees for providing goods and services that enhance, promote, or support its instructional, research, public service, and all other educational and support functions in order to meet the needs of the students, faculty, staff and members of the public participating in institutional events.

Educational business activities shall be established and carried on only when pursuant to, and in accordance with, an authorization and statement of purpose approved by the institution's president or designee.

The purpose of Section II. is to provide uniformity in the classification and operation of auxiliary enterprises at the institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents System. Also provided are examples to supplement the various System policies, procedures, and reports concerning the operation of auxiliary enterprises. Reference is made to reporting forms which shall be provided by the Board staff.

Definitions: 
  • Definitions of Educational Business Activity and Auxiliary Enterprises are given as part of the guideline.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Educational Business Activity
    1. Definition of Educational Business Activity - Each educational business activity shall meet the following three conditions:
      1. The activity is deemed to be an integral part in the fulfillment of the institution's educational, research, public service, and campus support functions, and other educational and support activities, without regard to profit.
      2. The activity is needed to provide an integral good or service at a reasonable price, on reasonable terms, and at a convenient location and time.
      3. The activity is carried out for the primary benefit of the campus community but with sensitivity to the total community
    2. Concept of Unrelated Activities
      1. All institutions should comply with applicable laws and regulations pertaining to such activities, and educational business activities not falling within the conditions established above may be unrelated business income activities and subject to unrelated business income tax.
  2. Auxiliary Enterprise Operation
    1. Role and Scope of Auxiliary Enterprise Operation
      1. Definition of Auxiliary Enterprises:
        1. An auxiliary enterprise furnishes a service to students, faculty, or staff, and charges a fee directly related to, but not necessarily equal to, the cost of the service.
        2. The public may be served incidentally in some auxiliary enterprises.
        3. They are essential elements in support of the education program, and conceptually should be regarded as self-supporting. Little or none of the revenue comes from educational and general sources, but in the case of housing and food services, there may be a limited amount of sales to the institution.
        4. Other examples of auxiliary enterprises are college union, college stores, rental facilities, institutionally operated vending services, recreational areas, faculty clubs, laundries, certain parking facilities.
        5. This definition has been approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the State Comptroller, and the State Department of Finance and Administration in the publication Financial Reporting for Tennessee Public Colleges and Universities, with the following exceptions:
          1. Revenue and expenses of student centers (college unions), but not the auxiliaries housed therein, are to be classified under the category of student services.
      2. Pursuant to the foregoing, the following activities should be classified as auxiliary enterprises:
        1. Housing, including dormitories, apartments, and all other housing.
        2. Food Services.
        3. College Stores, including bookstores, hobby shops, mini-markets, etc.
        4. Vending Services, including food vending and other non-food vending.
        5. Post Offices, limited to the cost of revenue-related services, and excluding campus distribution.
        6. Parking facilities, if subject to an indebtedness which is being liquidated through revenues or if otherwise operated in a manner within the definition of auxiliary enterprises.
        7. Laundries, beauty shops, barber shops, etc.
        8. Any other activity which meets the approved definition.
        9. Student recreation centers subject to indebtedness.
      3. Users of Auxiliary Enterprises
        1. Auxiliary enterprises exist for the purposes of providing services to students, faculty, and/or staff, and any service to the public should only be incidental in nature.
          1. For example, student housing facilities are operated for the benefit of students, and occupancy should be limited to students and student housing personnel, provided that, on a space available basis, such housing may be provided to faculty or staff.
          2. In the case of food services, bookstores, etc., while non-students who are guests or who otherwise have business on the campus may be served, the institution or school should not actively seek non-campus trade.
      4. Concept of Auxiliary Enterprises as Self-Supporting
        1. The goal for all auxiliary enterprises, both individually and cumulatively, is for revenues to at least equal expenditures and transfers.
          1. It is recognized that some auxiliary enterprises may have difficulty in providing necessary services at reasonable prices on a break-even basis, but justification for each such enterprise must be provided to the Board through the annual operating budgets analysis.
        2. All rate structures should be recommended and set on the basis of projected expenditures and transfers.
    2. Purchasing of Goods and Services for Auxiliary Enterprises
      1. General
        1. Purchases for auxiliary enterprises generally fall into two major categories:
          1. Purchases for resale; and
          2. Purchases for consumption or use in the operation of the auxiliary enterprise.
            1. Examples of purchases for consumption or use by the auxiliary enterprises are furnishings for dormitory rooms, general supplies, office supplies, etc.
            2. Purchases for resale include items which are to be resold, including textbooks and other course related materials and supplies, and other miscellaneous items which are needed on a regular basis by the users of the enterprises.
        2. Purchases for auxiliaries are subject to the provisions of the Board purchasing policy (no. 4:02:10:00).
    3. Classification of Revenues and Expenditures for Auxiliary Enterprises
      1. All Revenues and Expenditures will be classified first under the appropriate specific auxiliary enterprise. Further details relative to appropriate classifications are provided below.
      2. Classification of Revenues: The source of funds is the primary determinant of revenue classification. Only nominal amounts may be reported as "Other" or "Miscellaneous". With regard to the Federal Work Study Program, an amount equal to the federal share of FWS salary expenditures shall be reported as restricted revenue. Supplemental schedules must clearly identify both restricted and unrestricted revenues. On all applicable statements, restricted auxiliary revenue should be reported under Auxiliary Enterprises regardless of the source. Restricted auxiliary revenues should be reflected as auxiliary enterprises revenue rather than grants and in the same amount as the auxiliary enterprises restricted expenditures.
      3. Classification of Expenditures: Expenditures should basically be classified by activity, with breakdowns by object classification or grouping of objects. The following specific provisions shall be applicable to classifications of expenditures:
        1. Staff benefits and FWS expenditures should be reported by activity. In Athletics, the “Grant-in-Aid” classification should include scholarships, room and board, books, fees and other costs directly associated with individual student athletes.
        2. Where several activities are managed by one office, the managing office may be listed as a separate activity with object classifications shown. The last line of the operating expenditures shall show the allocation of these costs to the operating activities. The management of a group of activities may also be reported under one of the activities by detail object, with the appropriate allocation shown as the last item under operating expenditures.
        3. Operating expenditures for prorated plant costs may be shown as one line, or they may be shown in further breakdowns under the Plant Allocation heading. Extraordinary Maintenance costs may be listed separately under plant operations. However shown, the Maintenance and Operation of Plant Costs must be clearly identifiable.
        4. An “Excess (Deficit) of Revenues over Expenditures” sub-total before transfers must be included.
        5. Transfers must be classified as Mandatory or Non-Mandatory, and detailed by the fund to which the transfer is made.
        6. All direct costs will be charged to the appropriate activity. Where actual incurred costs apply to more than one activity, the costs will be allocated or prorated to each auxiliary enterprise. Salaries and wages will be utilized as the allocation base, unless otherwise designated. For example, vending and contracted food services must have the appropriate cost of the person(s) or activity which coordinates or manages them allocated as an expenditure. These are direct costs which are not replaced by institutional support allocations.
      4. Allocation of Institutional Support to Auxiliaries:
        1. Auxiliary enterprises shall be charged directly for the specific and specialized services or benefits they receive, whether the initial charge is in Institutional Support, Student Services, or some other functional area. For example, if an employee is directly responsible for the management of an Educational and General activity and an Auxiliary Enterprise activity, their salary and related expenses should be prorated.
        2. Institutional Support functions which provide no benefit to Auxiliary Enterprises may not be allocated, such as the chief academic officer, catalogs and bulletins, and graduation expenses.
        3. All other institutional support costs shall be allocated on the basis of salaries and wages. “Direct” charges which are charged to auxiliaries should be broken down by object classification between salaries and wages and all other objects.
        4. Institutional Support allocation should be a separate line item expenditure on supplemental reports.
      5. Plant Costs Allocated to Auxiliaries:
        1. Proportionate amounts of all Operation and Maintenance of Plant costs shall be allocated to Auxiliary Enterprises. The allocations shall be made on the basis of the most accurate information and the most reasonable basis in accordance with the following provisions.
        2. A direct charge basis shall be used when the institution maintains a work order or other costing system which records this information. The total of all costs incurred by the Maintenance and Operation of Physical Plant must be included in the costing system. Where only a portion of the costs is accounted for by direct job orders, the balance of the costs shall be prorated on the basis of square footage or on the basis of the direct charges which have been identified.
        3. In the absence of accurate costing information, the Maintenance and Operation costs shall be allocated on a square footage basis. Where adjustments are made to any of the allocations, for example, dormitories which are not used in the summer, similar adjustments shall be calculated and recorded for Educational and General Facilities which may not have been in full use during all periods of the year. Due to the difficulty of establishing a reasonable basis for allocation, Care of Grounds costs may also be allocated on a square footage basis.
        4. It is permissible to allocate some cost elements, such as Custodial Services and Maintenance and Repairs, on a direct charge basis and other costs such as Utilities on a square footage basis. The administrative expense of Maintenance and Operation must be allocated on the same basis that other direct services are allocated. Where a square footage basis is used, the administrative costs must be allocated on the basis of the relative direct charges made to auxiliaries. Any allocation basis other than direct charge of square footage must be approved by the Board staff.
      6. Replacement of Equipment and Facilities
        1. Any mandatory allocations for accumulating funds for the replacement of equipment and facilities must be made in accordance with the bond indenture or other binding external agreements. In financial reporting, these items shall be listed under Mandatory Transfers as transferred to Funds for Renewal and Replacement.
        2. Non-Mandatory Transfers may be permitted, based upon the excess of revenues over expenditures and other transfers. Where a particular auxiliary or group of auxiliaries, such as dormitories, does not have a sufficient excess of revenues over expenditures and other transfers, Non-Mandatory Transfers to Renewals and Replacements are not permitted.
      7. Debt Service
        1. Mandatory Debt Service Requirements must be shown as transfers to Funds for the Retirement of Indebtedness in accordance with external binding agreements such as bond indentures and agreements with the Tennessee State School Bond Authority. Strict adherence to the absolute transfers required by these external agreements must be made. Where agreements require only that the earnings will be available for debt retirement but do not specify where deficiencies in Debt Services Requirements are to be generated by the institution, the Mandatory Transfer may not include any amount in Excess of Revenues Over Expenditures and other Transfers.
        2. Other transfers to Retirement of Indebtedness will be based strictly upon the nature of the transaction. Only where funds to increase Debt Service Requirements are planned by the institution to come from the auxiliary activity may Non-Mandatory Transfers to Debt Service be shown. Where funding for Retirement of Indebtedness is made from debt service fees assessed to all students from general funds or from other sources, the addition to Retirement of Indebtedness funds shall not be shown as an auxiliary transfer.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203

History

May 22, 1979 SBR Presidents meeting. Revised July 1, 1984; February 16, 1988; November 8, 2006; Revised at Presidents Meeting, February 4, 2014.

Policy Number: 
B-010
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the process regarding collection of accounts receivable at the System Office and institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Definitions: 
  • Disposable earnings - means that part of the earnings of an individual remaining after the deduction from those earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. General
    1. This guideline applies to the collection of all accounts and notes receivable by institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents System. Institutions shall, to the maximum extent practicable, require payment in advance for all services and goods to avoid the creation of receivables.
      1. TBR Policy on the Payment of Fees. Policy No. 4:01:03:00 requires (with limited exceptions) that all assessed fees be paid in advance by a student before being considered enrolled for any academic term.
      2. Types of Receivables. Accounts and notes receivable may be generated from programs and activities including but not limited to:
        1. Student loan programs;
        2. Deferred payment programs;
        3. Traffic and parking fines;
        4. Library fines;
        5. Bad checks;
        6. Contracts;
        7. Property rental; 
        8. Damage, loss, or liability to the institution by others; and 
        9. Financial aid adjustments.
      3. Security Deposits. Institutions are authorized to require any person to post a deposit or security bond, or provide appropriate insurance to offset potential obligations to the institution arising from programs or activities.
      4. Statute of Limitations. Pursuant to T.C.A. § 28-1-113, there is no time limit on the institutions' authority to collect receivables unless otherwise expressly provided by statute.
  2. General Collection Procedures
    1. Institution Procedure. Each institution shall establish a written systematic process and procedure for collecting receivables from all persons including students and employees.
      1. The provisions included in this guideline may be modified by an institution based on sound and responsible management practices.
      2. Any modifications should result in more cost-effective procedures or provide better or more convenient service to debtors of the institution without compromise to collection.
    2. Billing. Collection efforts should begin no later than thirty days after the obligation has been incurred or other fixed due date.
      1. An institution may negotiate alternative payment arrangements with debtors when such arrangements offer the best prospect of collecting the debt.
      2. An account becomes delinquent based on payment criteria established by the institution for the type of debt involved. An institution shall include a schedule defining delinquent periods.
      3. For example, debts from students may not be classified as delinquent until a student fails to enroll in a subsequent fall or spring semester where the provisions of the "Record Holds" in II.E. below would apply.
      4. On the other hand, rent for facility usage may become delinquent when rent is not paid by the tenth day after the due date.
    3. Delinquent Accounts. A minimum of three billings or letters of contact shall be sent by the institution at thirty-day intervals once an account becomes delinquent.
      1. For debts of $100 or more, the third letter should indicate that the account will be referred to a collection agency if payment is not made within a specified date.
      2. Sending letters by certified mail is optional.
    4. Defaulted Accounts. Accounts are classified as defaulted when the institution’s established collection efforts for the type of debt have failed to produce payment.
      1. Receivables of $100 or more shall be referred to a collection agency if the institution's collection efforts are unsuccessful.
      2. The accounts should be submitted to the agency within a reasonable time after the final collection letter is sent if the debtor has not responded.
      3. Referral of accounts under $100 to a collection agency is not required.
        1. No additional collection efforts are required for receivables under one-hundred dollars ($100.00), except as provided for under the Record Holds (Section II.E) and Employee Receivables (Section III.).
        2. See Section X. for write/off procedures.
    5. Record Holds. Institutions are authorized to issue diplomas, certificates of credit , or official transcripts only after the student involved has satisfied all debts or obligations owed to the college, including, but not limited to, its bookstores, libraries, food service centers, dormitories, infirmaries, or hospitals. However, this does not prevent the conferring of the degree.
      1. This limitation does not apply to debts of less than one-hundred dollars ($100.00).
      2. This limitation shall not apply to debts or obligations:
        1. Evidenced by notes or other written contracts providing for future payment, such as, but not limited to, loans authorized under federal or state education or student assistance acts.
        2. An amount owed under the institution’s installment payment plan for enrollment fees which is not yet due shall not cause a hold to be applied. A notice stating specific amount due should be sent to each student prior to completion of registration.
      3. Notwithstanding the limitation above, the colleges in the college system of Tennessee shall issue a certificate of credit or official transcript for a student seeking admission to any college in that system if the student has entered a written agreement (acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay) to satisfy the outstanding debt or obligation owed to the college issuing the certificate of credit or official transcript. Any certificate of credit or official transcript so issued shall indicate that it is subject to an outstanding debt owed to the issuing college. The college receiving such a certificate of credit or official transcript shall not subsequently issue a diploma, certificate of credit, or official transcript to that student until it received proof that the student has satisfied the outstanding debt to the college that issued the certificate of credit or official transcript.
    6. Enrollment Holds.
      1. A student must pay any past due debts and obligations owed to the institution incurred in prior academic terms before being permitted to register at the institution unless the debt is less than $100 or an acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement (see section II. G) for the prior debt or obligation has been executed.
      2. Institutions shall allow enrollment when the outstanding obligation is less than $100.
      3. Additionally, all known debts and obligations to the institution incurred during the current term and $100 or greater must be satisfied prior to a student being allowed to pre-register for any future terms.
      4. An amount owed under the institution’s deferred payment plan for enrollment fees which is not yet due shall not cause an enrollment hold to be applied.
      5. A student that is currently assigned to a collection agency will be allowed to register if the student signs an agreement (acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay) that acknowledges they will not be allowed to receive a diploma, certificate of credit or official transcript until the debt is paid in full. The student account will not be recalled from the collection agency.
    7. Acknowledgement of Debt/Promise Agreement for Prior Debt and Obligations. A student that has prior outstanding debt and was not enrolled in the preceding semester (excluding summer semester) may execute an acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement with the institution and be allowed to register.
      1. The agreement will require that the debt be fully satisfied before a diploma or degree will be issued.
      2. The agreement will require continuous enrollment (Fall and Spring). If continuous enrollment is not maintained the institution may continue with normal collection procedures as delineated herein or pursuant to the terms of any previously executed repayment agreement.
      3. A student may only ever execute one such agreement with the institution.
      4. "Continuous enrollment" means a student is enrolled in the fall and spring semesters of a single academic year unless granted a medical or personal leave of absence. Allowable medical or personal reasons may include illness of the student; illness or death of an immediate family member; extreme financial hardship of the student or student’s immediate family; fulfillment of a religious commitment encouraged of members of that faith; fulfillment of required initial active duty for training as a National Guard or Reserve member or for National Guard or Reserve mobilization.
    8. Aging. All receivables should be aged at least annually.
    9. Documentation. Accurate records of correspondence, telephone calls, and personal contacts with borrowers shall be maintained. Institutions shall comply with record maintenance, safekeeping, and retention regulations for federally funded loans.
  3. Employee Receivables
    1. Procedure for Withholding. Employee receivables (including student employees) may result from, among other things, traffic and parking fines, library fines, institution services or bad checks.
      1. In order to recoup the amount owed from the employee's paycheck, notice of intent to withhold must be sent to the employee by registered or certified mail, email, or personally delivered.
        1. The notice should inform the employee of the amount alleged to be owed and should specify that he may elect to pay the debt in full, authorize deductions from his paycheck or, if the employee is terminating, the check for accrued but unused annual leave, or contest the intent to withhold through an institutional or UAPA hearing.
        2. Subsequent to receiving a pre-deprivation notice of the debt owing, the employee, within 15 calendar days of receipt of such notice, must:
          1. Pay the debt in full;
          2. Authorize the institution to withhold a designated amount from each subsequent paycheck or, if the employee is terminating, from the accrued but unused annual leave until the debt is paid in full;
          3. Elect to contest the intent to withhold through an institutional hearing; or,
          4. Elect to contest the intent to withhold through a contested case hearing held pursuant to T.C.A. § 4-5-301, et seq.
      2. If the employee elects an institutional hearing, the employee shall appear on behalf of himself but is entitled to be advised by counsel.
        1. The Chief Business Officer of a campus or unit or their representative, or a representative of the department involved in the debt, shall be present to represent the institution.
        2. The case will be heard before one hearing officer designated to hear all cases on that date.
        3. The hearing officer must be an individual who is not so closely connected with the collection of the debt that they cannot render an unbiased and objective decision on the validity of the debt.
        4. Such hearing should be held within one week of the decision to elect the hearing.
        5. The hearing officer shall render a decision on the validity of the debt. If the debt is ruled valid, the debt shall be deducted from the employee's payroll check beginning at the end of the next appropriate pay period in accordance with deduction schedules.
        6. If the employee elects a UAPA hearing, the Office of General Counsel should be notified immediately.
        7. If the employee refuses to pay, authorize deduction, or specify or waive a hearing process, a UAPA hearing must be initiated.
        8. The employee's failure to appear at either an institutional or UAPA hearing will constitute default, or, if a prima facie case is presented that the debt is owed, it will be deemed valid; the appropriate deductions may then be made.
        9. Additionally, if a UAPA hearing, a Default Order must be issued.
        10. If the employee does not appeal the Default Order, funds may be deducted as specified.
    2. Limitations on Amounts to be Withheld. The deduction from any check shall not exceed the maximum deductible under state garnishment laws.
      1. The maximum amount of disposable earnings of an individual for any work week which is subjected to garnishment may not exceed:
        1. Twenty-five percent (25%) of his disposable earnings for that week; or
        2. Thirty (30) times the federal minimum hourly wage at the time the earnings for any pay period become due and payable, whichever is less.
      2. In the case of earnings from any pay period other than a week, an equivalent amount shall be in effect.
      3. These limits are applicable to retirement funds, but are not applicable to checks for accumulated annual leave.
      4. Additionally, the above limits do not apply to employee overpayments.
    3. Retirement Funds. If a former employee is found to owe a debt to the state, retirement funds may be utilized to pay off the amount owing to the extent permitted by Tennessee law.
      1. The same procedural steps outlined in III.A. for notice and the opportunity for a hearing must be followed.
      2. Accumulated retirement contributions of a former employee terminated for any reason and for which he has made application, or monthly benefits of a retired employee are subject to withholding to the extent permitted by Tennessee law.
      3. A copy of the final order resulting from an institutional or UAPA hearing, or a signed waiver of hearing and written agreement of the former employee authorizing deductions should be sent to the director of the retirement system along with a written request to withhold, specifying the reason for the claim and the total amount involved.
    4. Recovery of Overpayments to Employees. Unlike cases in which the employee owes the institution money, in instances of overpayments to employees there is no obligation to provide a hearing.
      1. The institution is obligated, however, to attempt to recoup the funds. The institution should advise the employee in writing of the overpayment and the institution’s proposed actions to correct the overpayment.
      2. The method of repayment will depend upon the amount of the overpayment, the time which has elapsed between the overpayment and its discovery, the hardship which immediate repayment might cause the employee because of amount of current salary and personal expenses, the culpability of the employees in not reporting the overpayment, and the longevity as well as the expectation that the employee will remain in state government until the repayment is completed.
      3. If a current employee receives overpayment, the refund may be made in one of the following ways:
        1. Repayment by the employee by cash or check; or,
        2. Adjustment of deductions to be made automatically from the employee's paycheck, either with a single deduction or a series of deductions made from each paycheck until the full amount is recovered.
        3. The amount of partial payments recovered by the latter method should be reasonable and systematic so that full recovery will be completed within the shortest period possible.
      4. If overpayment is discovered after the employee terminates employment with the state, an account receivable should be established.
        1. The former employee should be notified of the overpayment, the circumstances of the overpayment and a request that the employee contact the appropriate campus official.
        2. If the employee has not received his final paycheck, the appropriate deduction from that check can be made.
        3. If the final paycheck has been received, negotiations for reimbursement should be initiated.
        4. If repayment cannot be negotiated or collected, the account should be turned over to the collection agency.
        5. In the event collection is not possible, proper write/off procedures should be followed.
      5. In instances in which the employee has agreed to systematic deduction(s) from his paycheck(s), written authorization from the employee is encouraged.
      6. Each campus shall draft forms to document overpayments, the steps taken to recoup same, any negotiated repayment plan, the amounts received, and any write/off of the overpayment.
  4. Dishonored Payments
    1. Enrollment Fees. Pursuant to the Board Policy on the Payment of Fees and Enrollment of Students (4:01:03:00), if any student tenders payment of fees by a check or credit card that is subsequently dishonored by the financial institution, and the payment is not redeemed in cash within the time period specified below, the institution has the option to not consider that student enrolled at the institution.
      1. At the discretion of the institution, the student may be considered enrolled and will be assessed the applicable returned check fee, the late registration fee, and will be denied grade reports, transcripts and future registration privileges until such dishonored check is redeemed.
      2. Institutions have the discretion to allow enrollment when the outstanding obligation is $200 or less.
      3. Institutions may deny future check writing privileges to students that have paid registration fees with checks that are subsequently dishonored.
      4. While institutions have discretion in how these situations will be handled, all students must be treated the same at that institution. 
      5. A student paying enrollment fees with a check that is dishonored must redeem the check within five (5) calendar days from receipt of the notice.
        1. Notice should be sent by the institution to the student no more than three (3) working days from receipt of notice of a bad check from the bank.
        2. Notice by certified mail is optional.
        3. The institution will have five (5) working days after the expiration of the five (5) calendar days to pursue any additional collection efforts deemed necessary.
        4. Immediately after the five (5) working days, the student will be deleted if the check has not been redeemed in full if that option is selected by the institution.
        5. Enrollment fees including returned check fees for students de-enrolled for bad checks should be reversed.
    2. Non-Student or Non-Employee. Any person other than a student or employee who tenders a check for payment for goods or services which is subsequently dishonored shall be given the opportunity to redeem the check and pay the amount due in cash. The person shall be given notice of the dishonored check, sent certified mail, demanding payment within five (5) days.
    3. Collection of Dishonored Checks. A check presented for payment of any goods or services which is subsequently dishonored shall be treated as an account receivable under Section II. Any transactions that have been processed should be reversed when possible and appropriate.
    4. Future Check-Writing. Receipt of one or more bad checks from any person may result in that person becoming ineligible to make payments by check thereafter, or to have any check cashed by the institution. A record of individuals who have written bad checks should be maintained.
  5. Federal Loans
    1. Federal Regulations. Collection officers should be certain that they are consulting the most recent legal authorities concerning Federal loans. These authorities include interpretative materials, issues letters, manuals, Congressional Enactments and Federal Department of Education Regulations.
    2. Pre-Loan Counseling. Federal regulations require an institution to conduct entrance counseling to stress the importance of repayment, describe the consequences of default and emphasize the terms of repayment. An individual with Federal Regulations expertise should be available during and after the session to answer questions.
    3. Exit Interview. An individual or group exit interview must be conducted to discuss the borrower's financial responsibilities and to obtain updated information. Exit interview materials may be sent by certified mail to borrowers who do not attend the exit interview.
      1. The borrower should be provided with a copy of the note and two copies of the repayment schedule.
        1. These schedules can be provided either in person or by certified mail.
        2. The borrower should promptly sign and return one of the schedules to the institution.
        3. A minimum payment of $30 per month should be required for Perkins Loans made prior to October 1, 1992, $40 per month for Perkins Loans made after October 1, 1992, and $15 per month for Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL) and Nursing Student Loan (NSL) programs.
    4. Grace Period Notices. Contact with the borrower should be made during the initial and post-deferment grace periods.
      1. For a nine-month grace period, notices are required 90 days, 180 days and 240 days after the grace period begins.
      2. For a six-month grace period, notices are required at 90 days and 150 days.
      3. The last contact should coincide with the first billing notice.
    5. Billings. A written notice and statement of account should be sent at least 30 days before the first payment is due. If a coupon system is used, coupons should be sent instead of statements. Future statements should be sent at least 15 days before each payment is due.
    6. Late Payments or Delinquent. Three past due notices should be sent beginning when the debt is fifteen days past due. The second notice is sent 30 days from the first notice. A final demand letter should be sent within 15 days of the second past due notice. If all past-due follow-up procedures have failed to elicit a response, a telephone call is required within 30 days of the final demand letter.
    7. Cancellation or Deferments. An institution may postpone loan repayments for a 12 month period if the borrower will be providing services eligible for loan cancellation or deferment.
      1. Interest does not accrue and the loan is not considered delinquent when in a deferred status.
      2. The borrower must request deferment and cancellation status on an annual basis.
      3. If, at the end of the postponement period, the borrower does not qualify for cancellation or deferment, the postponed payments are due.
    8. Acceleration. The borrower must be given written notice of intent to accelerate at least 30 days in advance. This can be included in the final demand letter.
    9. Federal Loans Not Written Off. Annual collection efforts should be pursued for Federal loans that are not able to be written off or turned over to the U.S. Department of Education.
    10. Perkins Loans. The IRS/ED skip-tracing service should be used for Perkins Loans.
  6. Collection Agencies
    1. General. The Tennessee Board of Regents shall provide, on a system-wide basis, collection services through one or more companies.
      1. The service should provide for the referral of all types of delinquent accounts and notes from the institutions to the designated company only after campus collection efforts have been exhausted.
      2. The terms of the contract and RFP govern all collection actions.
      3. Unless otherwise prohibited by law or regulation, any note, contract or lease which may result in accounts receivable to the institution should contain a provision pursuant to which the person will be responsible for the costs of collection and reasonable attorneys' fees in the event of default, and should further provide for the assignment of the account or note to the proper agency.
    2. Billing Services. Institutions may use an outside billing service to collect payments on accounts receivable. The service should be familiar with all provisions of loan programs and provide prompt, clear and accurate bills.
    3. Credit Bureaus. Institutions may report all loans when made to a credit bureau. The institution must obtain the borrower's consent to report loans not in default by including a statement in the promissory note or some other document that is signed by the borrower at the time the loan is made.
    4. Collection Agency. Accounts that are still delinquent 30 days after the final collection letter should be turned over to a collection agency. Receivables less than $100 are not required to be turned over to a collection agency.
    5. Reporting Requirements. The collection agency should be required to report the status of delinquent loans periodically to each institution and to the Tennessee Board of Regents.
    6. Revised Repayment Plan. A revised repayment plan agreement should be signed by the borrower if the borrower returns to repayment status.
    7. Recalling Accounts from Collection Agency. No account should be recalled from a collection agency other than debts eligible for deferment, postponement, cancellation, bankruptcy, death, disability or some other mitigating circumstance (institutional error, etc.).
      1. No account should be recalled in order for a borrower to re-enroll or obtain a transcript.
      2. A student who is currently assigned to a collection agency will be allowed to register if the student signs a repayment agreement that acknowledges they will not be allowed to graduate until the debt is paid in full. The student account will not be recalled from the collection agency.
      3. The borrower should pay the accelerated amount plus collection costs to the collection agency.
  7. Litigation
    1. General. After all other attempts at collection have failed, the institution must authorize litigation of accounts of $2,000 or more providing litigation costs do not exceed the amount which can be recovered. Generally the collection services contract will provide for litigation when appropriate.
    2. Federal Loans. If a Federal loan cannot be litigated for any of the following reasons, it should be assigned to the U.S. Department of Education:
      1. Borrower has no assets;
      2. Address unknown;
      3. Debtor is incarcerated;
      4. Debtor is on Public Assistance;
      5. Unable to serve borrower with court papers;
      6. Litigation is in process and debtor skips;
      7. Expected cost of litigation exceeds amount to be recovered from borrower.
  8. Bankruptcy
    1. General Information - Each institution shall designate a bankruptcy contact person to serve as a liaison between the institution and the Attorney General's office.
      1. Once notice of, or a petition for, bankruptcy is received, all collection efforts against the debtor must cease immediately.
      2. If the account is at a collection agency, the file must be returned to the institution immediately.
      3. The institution should immediately forward the file to the Attorney General's office with a Referral Form and the documentation specified on the Referral Form.
      4. The institution should also provide a copy of this information to the TBR General Counsel's office.
      5. The Attorney General's office will advise the institution when and if collection efforts may resume, depending on the debt's discharge ability.
        1. NOTE: Effective for actions filed on or after 5/28/91, the period during which an educational loan may not generally be discharged will increase from five (5) years to seven (7) years.
        2. This period is calculated from the date the loan first came due to the date the bankruptcy action was filed, exclusive of periods during which repayment obligations are suspended.
        3. Additionally, obligations to repay an "overpayment" of, or any other obligation to repay an "educational benefit" provided by a governmental unit or under a program funded by a government unit or non-profit institution will be excepted from discharge during the same seven year period under either Chapter 7 or 13 unless the borrower establishes that repayment constitutes undue hardship. 
    2. Chapter 7 (Liquidation) Upon receiving any notice of the filing of a petition, all collection efforts against the debtor must be suspended immediately until the bankruptcy has been discharged.
      1. Collection efforts may continue against an endorser.
      2. The institution shall immediately forward the file to the Attorney General's office with a Referral Form and the documentation specified on the Referral Form.
      3. A copy of this information should also be provided to the TBR General Counsel's office.
      4. Educational loans: If the date of bankruptcy filing is after the expiration of the exception period, the loan should be written off once the notice of discharge is received unless there is some other basis upon which to challenge discharge ability.
        1. The Attorney General's office will contact the institution to advise whether the debt is dischargeable.
        2. However, if there is an endorser, collection efforts may proceed against him.
        3. If the date of bankruptcy filing is before the expiration of the exception period, collection activity may be reinstated once the notice of discharge is received due to the self/executing nature of the exception unless the debtor has been able to establish discharge ability of the debt through an adversary proceeding.
        4. If the institution is served with a summons and complaint, the institution shall immediately fax to the Attorney General's bankruptcy unit a copy of the Summons and Complaint, the debt payoff amount, the date the note went into repayment, and any deferment and/or forbearance history.
        5. A copy of this information should also be provided to the TBR General Counsel's office.
      5. Other debts: The institution shall immediately forward the file to the Attorney General's office with a Referral Form and the documentation specified on the Referral Form.
        1. A copy of this information should also be provided to the TBR General Counsel's office.
        2. When the notice states "No assets," unless the institution is a secured creditor (in which case a proof of claim would have been filed), the debt must be written off once the Attorney General's office provides the institution with notice of discharge.
    3. Chapter 13 (Reorganization)
      1. NOTE: For petitions filed on or after 11/5/90, an educational loan is non-dischargeable if the loan first became due within five years calculated from the date the loan first came due to the date the bankruptcy action was filed, exclusive of periods during which repayment obligations are suspended.
      2. Effective for bankruptcies filed on or after 5/28/91, that same five (5) year period was increased to seven (7) years. See NOTE above for further details.
      3. Regardless of the date of filing or the nature of the debt owing, upon receiving any notice of the filing of a petition, all collection efforts against the debtor and endorser must cease immediately.
        1. The institution shall immediately forward the file to the Attorney General's office with a Referral Form and the documentation specified on the Referral Form.
        2. A copy of this information should also be provided to the TBR General Counsel's office.
        3. The Attorney General's office will advise the institution whether the debt is dischargeable and the extent to which collection activities may be reinstated.
      4. If the seven (7) year exception period applies and the debtor serves the institution with a summons and complaint the institution shall immediately fax to the Attorney General's bankruptcy unit a copy of the Summons and Complaint, the debt payoff amount, the date the note went into repayment, and any deferment and/or forbearance history.
        1. A copy of this information should also be provided to the TBR General Counsel's office.
      5. Other debts: The institution shall immediately forward the file to the Attorney General's office with a Referral Form and the documentation specified on the Referral Form.
        1. A copy of this information should also be provided to the TBR General Counsel's office.
        2. The Attorney General's office will advise the institution as to the discharge ability of the debt.
  9. Write Offs
    1. Authority. The Tennessee Board of Regents and its institutions are authorized to write off uncollectible receivables pursuant to policies outlined in Chapter 0620-1-9 of the rules of the Department of Finance and Administration.
      1. This includes the write off of any account of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or greater and/or accounts aggregating twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) or more.
      2. Receivables submitted for write off must have been subjected to appropriate collection efforts in accordance with this guideline and institution procedures.
    2. Reserve. A reserve for doubtful accounts should be established for activities for which accounts receivable represent a material amount to the activity income.
      1. The reserve should be reported in the financial records of the institution.
      2. Receivables which prove to be uncollectible after prescribed collection efforts have been exhausted should be written off by a charge to the reserve for doubtful accounts after appropriate approvals are obtained.
    3. Approval. The proposed write offs must be approved by institution officials not directly involved in recording and collection of accounts receivable.
      1. The institution president and chief business officer should certify compliance with the prescribed statute and collection guidelines.
      2. The accounts submitted for write off should be single accounts of $5,000 or more and/or accounts aggregating $25,000 or more. The write off request summary and certification, along with a detailed list of the accounts, should be submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance's office for approval.
      3. The write off request must be approved by the Chancellor or designee and General Counsel and forwarded by TBR for approval by the Commissioner of Finance and Administration and the Comptroller of the Treasury.
        1. TBR will send approved write offs to the institution for the appropriate accounting.
      4. Requests for the write off of single accounts of less than $5,000 and/or accounts aggregating less than $25,000 shall be approved at the institution level by the appropriate officials.
        1. These requests do not require additional approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents office or State Departments.
    4. State/TBR Employees. Any debtors identified by the TBR or State as employees with debts $50 and above will not be approved for write off.
      1. Information on the employing institution or agency will be returned to the institution for additional collection efforts.
      2. If the debtor is a state employee, the Chief Business Officer of the department employing the debtor should be notified.
      3. The department employing the individual will be responsible for taking the appropriate action to collect the debt.
      4. If the department is unsuccessful in collecting the debt, written notification will be sent to the institution.
        1. The written notification shall be submitted with the next write off request for approval.
      5. If the debtor works for another TBR institution, the Chief Business Officer of the employing institution should be notified and will be responsible for collecting the debts utilizing the steps in Section III, Employee Receivables, of this policy.
        1. Written notification should be sent to the requesting institution if collection efforts are unsuccessful.
        2. The written notification shall be submitted with the next write off request for approval.
        3. The institution may agree to payment through payroll deductions if the employee signs a payroll deduction authorization.
    5. Former TBR Employees. If a debt or obligation was incurred while a TBR employee, the debt constitutes an account receivable; refer to Section II.
    6. Holds on Written Off Receivables. A hold on transcripts and future registration will continue until the debt is cleared for former students whose receivables were written off if the debt was one-hundred ($100) dollars or more.
      1. Institutions will continue to withhold certificates of credit, diplomas, grade reports, and transcripts for these accounts until they are paid in full or meet the criteria established in T.C.A. § 49-9-108.
      2. A student who has prior outstanding debt and was not enrolled in the preceding semester (excluding summer semester) may execute a repayment agreement with the institution and be allowed to register. The repayment agreement will require that the debt be fully satisfied before a diploma or degree will be issued. A student may only ever execute one such repayment agreement with the institution.
  10. Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Contract Clause
    1. Include the standard language printed below in all future contracts with third party service providers that have access to the institution’s customers’ non-public financial information.
      1. “Throughout the term of this Agreement, Service Provider shall implement and maintain ‘appropriate safeguards,’ as that term is used in § 314.4(d) of the FTC Safeguard Rule, 16 C.F.R. § 314, for all ‘customer information,’ as that term is defined in § 314.2(b) of the FTC Safeguard Rule, delivered to Service Provider by Institution pursuant to this Agreement.
      2. The Service Provider shall implement an Information Security Program (‘the Program’) as required by the FTC Safeguard Rule.
      3. Service Provider shall promptly notify the Institution, in writing, of each instance of;
        1. Unauthorized access to or use of that nonpublic financial customer information that could result in substantial harm or inconvenience to a customer of the Institution; or
        2. Unauthorized disclosure, misuse, alteration, destruction or other compromise of that nonpublic financial customer information.
      4. Service Provider shall forever defend and hold Institution harmless from all claims, liabilities, damages, or judgments involving a third party, including Institution’s costs and attorney fees, which arise as a result of Service Provider’s failure to meet any of its obligations under this provision.
      5. Service Provider shall further agree to reimburse the Institution for its direct damages (e.g., costs to reconstruct lost or altered information) resulting from any security breach, loss, or alteration of nonpublic financial customer information caused by the Service Provider or its subcontractors or agents.
      6. Service Provider grants Institution the right to conduct on-site audits, as deemed necessary by the Institution, of the Service Provider’s Program to ensure the integrity of the Service Provider’s safeguarding of the Institution’s customers’ nonpublic financial information.
      7. Institution retains the right to unilaterally terminate the Agreement, without prior notice, if Service Provider has allowed a material breach of its Program in violation of its obligations under the GLBA, if Service Provider has lost or materially altered nonpublic financial customer information, or if the Institution reasonably determines that Service Provider’s Program is inadequate.
      8. Within thirty (30) days of the termination or expiration of this Agreement, Service Provider shall, at the election of Institution, either:
        1. Return to the Institution; or
        2. Destroy (and shall cause each of its agents to destroy) all records, electronic or otherwise, in its or its agent’s possession that contain such nonpublic financial customer information and shall deliver to the Institution a written certification of the destruction.” 
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; Public Chapter 739 of the Public Acts of the State of Tennessee, 2018; T.C.A. §§ 28-1-113, 4-5-301 et seq., 49-9-108; 16 C.F.R. § 314

History

November 16, 1977, TBR presidents meeting. Revised July 1, 1984. Revised May 17, 1988.  Revised May 12, 1992.  Revised August 9, 1994, TBR presidents meeting.  Revised November 9, 1994, TBR presidents meeting.  Revised May 14, 1996, presidents meeting.  Revised August 25, 1998, presidents meeting. Revised May 11, 1999, presidents meeting.  Revised May 21, 2001 presidents meeting.  Revised May 16, 2006 presidents meeting.  Revised November 8, 2006 presidents meeting; Presidents Meeting August 19, 2008; Presidents Meeting November 5, 2008; Presidents Meeting, May 21, 2013; Presidents Meeting February 2, 2016; Presidents Meeting May, 2018.

Policy Number: 
2:08:30:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Academic Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges
Purpose: 

The Tennessee Board of Regents will support the unique needs of international students and international faculty at TBR institutions.

 

Policy/Guideline: 

The Tennessee Board of Regents encourages its constituent institutions to receive international students and faculty into their communities in order to strengthen and expand the global academic market of ideas and knowledge. The TBR recognizes that international students and scholars have legitimate special needs, many of which are imposed by federal immigration laws and others which are ethical responsibilities.

In general, TBR institutions, which have international students, faculty, or academic staff, shall provide trained personnel to deliver services required by law and not discriminate against any international student, faculty, or academic staff member on the basis of national origin.

Procedures: 
  1. Recruitment and Admission of Students
    1. TBR institutions that choose to contract with any organization, agency, or agent which recruits international students on a per capita fee basis must either use agents vetted through a recognized professional group or base the payment of recruitment fees upon a successful matriculation outcome.
    2. TBR institutions will accept international students for admission to their programs according to TBR Policy 2:01:00:00, established academic criteria and such other requirements as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may impose upon non- immigrant foreign nationals, excluding from such decisions any economic benefit, which may accrue, to the institution or the system.
    3. Admission Standards
      1. All TBR institutions will seek reasonable and appropriate consistency in determining admissions standards for degree-seeking students, including use of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores, transfer credit policies, transcript evaluation, recognition of degrees from foreign institutions, and the like, recognizing that differential policies in such areas may damage the academic credibility of the TBR System.
    4. Student Financial Matters
      1. All TBR institutions will establish reasonable and appropriate consistency in determining procedures for tuition payment, acceptance deposits, and other financial matters, taking into account the logistical constraints, which may be posed by international currency transfers.
    5. Student Discipline
      1. All TBR institutions shall inform international students regarding the student conduct and disciplinary policies.
      2. The customs of the international student’s home country shall not, in most instances, be a defense to violations of student conduct and discipline policies.
  2. Academic Support and Other Services
    1. Orientation
      1. Institutions that receive international students must provide an orientation program that specifically addresses the particular needs of those individuals.
    2. Health Insurance
      1. Every international student will enroll in annual health insurance coverage contracted by the TBR, unless a waiver is granted for comparable or superior coverage.
      2. The premium for such insurance may be added to the student's regular institutional billing for tuition, fees, and services.
      3. Institutions must inform international students of all required immunizations at time of admission.
    3. Student Privacy and Foreign Students
      1. The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits institutions to comply with information requests from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICE) in order to comply with the requirements of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
    4. English Proficiency
      1. An offer of admission for a degree-seeking student must not be made when it has been verified that a student does not have adequate English proficiency for the individual institution.
      2. Postponement of admission pending improvement of English skills is preferable to failure or delays in time to degree due to language deficits.
        1. Any TBR institution that conditionally admits students with English proficiency performance below established standards must provide either an appropriate, professionally staffed ESL program or provide access to such a program to remedy such deficiencies.
          1. Students will pay fees for such programs, if not otherwise provided by standard institutional tuition.
          2. Institutions should establish mandatory standard proficiency levels which are expected in order for students conditionally admitted due to language deficiencies to achieve unconditional admission.
    5. Academic and Logistical Accommodation of Foreign Students
      1. TBR institutions must provide international students with fair and reasonable access to classes, and other programs and services, recognizing that normal domestic deadlines and procedures for their delivery may require modification in order to accommodate the extended timeframe often created by the international admissions process.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203

History

Board Meeting March 26, 2009; TBR Board Meeting December 2, 2010; Revised at Board Meeting, September 28, 2018.

Policy Number: 
2:08:20:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Academic Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges
Purpose: 

The Tennessee Board of Regents will support faculty and academic staff in developing global competence and engagement in international education programs or courses.

Policy/Guideline: 

The institutions of the TBR System recognize the value of faculty and academic staff developing global competence and as such extend the Tennessee liability coverage to faculty and staff engaging in international education programs or courses to the extent that it is applicable in foreign jurisdictions. These institutions encourage and support activities abroad for professional development, teaching, research, and service with the host countries. The TBR recognizes that these activities vary not only in purpose, but also in duration, type of arrangement with the host country, responsibilities to the home institution, and funding source. Despite these considerable variations, certain overall principles and policy apply.

Procedures: 
  1. The Responsibilities of the Faculty and Academic Staff
    1. Faculty and academic staff abroad must adhere to the following:
      1. Policies - Are governed by the same policies that define faculty and academic staff rights and responsibilities on the home campus.
      2. Compliance with the Law/Awareness of Customs - Must act in accordance with the laws of the host country, and should make themselves aware of the local customs.
      3. Deliver Value - Must be willing, upon return to the home campus, to provide the broadest value to the institution of the time spent abroad.
      4. Adherence to Guidelines - Engaged in faculty exchanges must be familiar with TBR Guideline A-051 Faculty Exchange.
      5. Contracting Requirements- Faculty and staff shall adhere to all applicable contracting requirements, including appropriate contract approval and legal review.
  2. The Responsibilities of the Institution and the System
    1. Orientation - The institution, also known as the home institution, must provide orientation and training for faculty or academic staff with international program responsibilities abroad.
    2. Academic Freedom - The home institution must seek to extend the same rights, responsibilities, and protections of academic freedom that apply on the home campus. Institutions shall, however, inform faculty that the host institution has the right to determine the ultimate parameters of academic freedom involving that faculty member’s presence on the host campus, including the classroom.
    3. Incentives to Pursue and Accept Assignments Abroad - The TBR and its institutions must consider ways to provide incentives for faculty and academic staff to accept professional assignments abroad. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, policies on retirement and fringe benefits; replacement of instruction for academic departments when faculty are on international assignment; and consideration of international activities during tenure and promotion evaluations.
  3. Host Country Considerations
    1. To promote the free exchange of ideas and knowledge, there shall be no restrictions placed on the destinations of faculty or academic staff who engage in legitimate research or teaching, participate in technical assistance projects, consulting, or academic conferences, or engage in similar activities appropriate to their professional development with the exception of nations where the U. S. Department of State currently advises against travel or tourism by Americans.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203

History

Board Meeting March 26, 2009; Revised September 28, 2018 by Board approval.

Pages

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