REVIEW OF PROPOSED NEW POST-SECONDARY PROGRAMS AND LOCATIONS
Purpose and Scope
(1) This rule implements Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 348.603, which assigns to the Office of Degree Authorization under purview of the Student Assistance Commission responsibility to prevent new publicly funded postsecondary programs or locations from causing detrimental duplication or significantly adverse intersegmental impact. The rule further implements ORS 348.594, 348.596, and 348.992 insofar as those sections relate to ORS 348.603.
(2) Before a proposed new publicly funded postsecondary program or location may be implemented, ORS 348.603 requires that the Office of Degree Authorization shall have reviewed the proposal and taken action if either detrimental duplication or adverse intersegmental impact seems likely. If the Office cannot resolve all issues through recommendations to proposing and responding schools or their ultimate governing boards, or through mediation between representatives of involved boards, the Oregon Student Assistance Commission has final authority for approval or disapproval of the program or location that is proposed.
(3) ORS Chapters 326 and 351 provide for the cooperation of the State Board of Education and the State Board of Higher Education and require compliance with decisions of the Oregon Student Assistance Commission in exercising its final authority for approval or disapproval of a proposed new program or location.
(4) When the Commission determines by a preponderance of the evidence subsequent to an institutional complaint that both (a) a proposed new program or location would cause detrimental duplication or significant adverse impact on one or more segments and (b) that there is no proven unmet workforce need for the program, and if mediation and negotiation efforts are unsuccessful, the Commission must find in favor of an institution demonstrating that detrimental duplication or significant adverse impact would occur.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.603
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.603
Hist.: ECC 24, f. & ef. 1-19-76; SSC 2-1997(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-25-97; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 2-2000, f. 7-7-00, cert. ef. 7-20-00; ODA 4-2000, f. & cert. ef. 11-13-00; ODA 2-2003, f. 10-29-03, cert. ef. 11-1-03
(1) "Commission" means the Oregon Student Assistance Commission.
(2) "Office" means the Office of Degree Authorization, a statutory unit of the Commission, through which all new postsecondary program and location proposals are reviewed.
(3) "Program" means any organized teaching and learning activity with open enrollment of which successful completion qualifies a student for a degree, a certificate of substantial academic or vocational learning short of a degree, a certificate of preparation related to new or modified occupational licensure, or another academic or vocational certificate that represents a shorter period of activity but has value as a public credential. An activity is not a "program" if it leads to no document other than proof of attendance, which accordingly does not signify or imply measured or measurable academic or vocational learning and does not signify or imply measured or measurable preparation for new job duties, provided that the activity is advertised solely for intrinsic intellectual or recreational value or is advertised explicitly as continuing education for previously qualified workers seeking review or additional knowledge related to their current occupations.
(4) "New program" means any program not previously approved by the Office or the Commission, or by their predecessor review authorities, regardless of whether it comprises new instructional components or the reassembled components of existing programs. "New program" does not mean addition of a minor area of optional specialization within an existing program when there is no substantial change in the credential awarded. Reorganization or renaming does not in itself constitute a new program.
(5) "New location" of an approved program means a facility where students collectively may receive instruction in the program face-to-face or through telecommunications in a community not previously so served, including a non-Oregon location within 50 miles of where a comparable program is located in Oregon. "New location" does not mean a medium of statewide or universal transmission through which students separately and privately receive instruction for distance learning.
(6) "Segment" of education refers to one of the following:
(a) Oregon community colleges, community college districts, or service districts, together with every other postsecondary program or location ultimately sponsored by the State Board of Education;
(b) Oregon state-owned institutions of higher education and related organizational units, together with every other postsecondary program or location ultimately sponsored by the State Board of Higher Education;
(c) The Oregon Health and Science University, any hereafter created public corporations for higher education, and any organizational units of such public corporations, together with every postsecondary program or location under their ultimate sponsorship;
(d) Private Oregon degree-granting institutions and organizations and all non-Oregon entities offering residential instruction in Oregon for credit toward full degrees approved by the Office of Degree Authorization, together with every postsecondary program or location they sponsor; and
(e) Private nondegree career schools offering instruction in Oregon and licensed under ORS 345, together with every postsecondary program or location they sponsor.
(7) "Publicly funded" means controlled by an agency of government or by a public corporation as occurs in categories (6)(a) through (6)(c) above, regardless of specific sources and applications of funds, or controlled by a private entity as occurs in categories (6)(d) and (6)(e) above but subsidized with appropriated public funds received directly for program operation rather than indirectly in the form of student financial aid.
(8) "Detrimental duplication" occurs when a proposed new publicly funded program or location is likely to divert enough students from existing similar programs to imperil the viability of existing programs when the number of potential students is limited by factors such as interest, qualifications needed for admission, internship openings for students, and job openings for graduates. Detrimental duplication cannot be shown if the Commission finds that the proposed program or location meets an unmet workforce need in the state.
(9) "Adverse intersegmental impact" means that the detriment of duplication would fall on a school or its students in a segment other than that of the school proposing the new program or location, except that a publicly funded program or location proposed by a private school or other organization has adverse intersegmental impact if it is detrimental to a school in any of the five segments.
(10) "Community not previously so served" means a location in addition to or outside of the geographic regions or specific sites for which the program is approved. Programs operating prior to August 12, 1998 are considered approved for any geographic regions or specific sites included in their original public notice.
(11) "Offered" means at least half of the credit or clock hours necessary to complete the specified program are provided at the location in a two-year period. The credit or clock hour percentage does not include courses that meet general education requirements of pre-existing approved programs at the location.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.603
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.603
Hist.: ECC 24, f. & ef. 1-19-76; ECC 25, f. & ef. 6-8-77; ECC 1-1983, f. & ef. 9-19-83; SSC 2-1997(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-25-97; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 2-2000, f. 7-7-00, cert. ef. 7-20-00; ODA 4-2000, f. & cert. ef 11-13-00; ODA 2-2003, f. 10-29-03, cert. ef. 11-1-03
The ultimate governing board of a school or system that may propose or oppose new publicly funded postsecondary programs and locations must ensure conformity to the following procedure:
(1) A proposing board, or its school by delegation, shall notify other potentially affected segments and the Office of its intent to propose a new postsecondary program or location. Each sector of Oregon postsecondary education must designate at least two recipients for this notice. Notice served upon these recipients by letter or e-mail shall meet the notice requirements of these rules for all potentially affected schools in each sector. Notice shall be given at least 16 days before the proposing board intends to ratify the proposal and in a manner approved by the Office. If an objection is filed, then board ratification shall be postponed until the adverse impact claim has been resolved. Multiple sites, geographic regions or statewide service for a program may be listed in a single notice at the proposing institution's option. Only sites or regions included in this notice shall be considered proposed locations.
(2) In order to exercise rights under this rule, a school or segment concerned that apparent duplication might be detrimental must respond to the proposer and give a response copy to the Office within 15 days of receiving the notice of intent to propose a new program or location.
(3) The proposing school shall contact within 7 days of receiving an objection any responding school that says it may be affected. Within 15 days of being contacted every responder must join the proposer for informal discussion among school officers constituting an effort to resolve all concerns. The parties may jointly invite the Office or any advisory panel to enter the discussion as a resource and mediator. Lacking agreement, the proposer if it so chooses may postpone board ratification up to the time limit set by step 8 below. The proposer must notify ODA and the objector of its intentions.
(4) If agreement is not reached informally, a school that anticipates damage because of the proposer's latest declaration of intent may within 15 days of the meeting required in section 3 submit to the Office and the proposing school a written demur to explain why it anticipates damage and to question where applicable the proposer's projections for enrollment, internships, or job placement of graduates. The Office may advise withdrawal of the responder's demur if it is not found persuasive.
(5) Within 15 days after receiving a demur that is not subsequently withdrawn, the proposing school if it so chooses may respond in writing so as to restate or offer modification of its proposal. A copy of any such communication must be provided to ODA.
(6) If unsatisfied with a proposer's response, the demurring school or schools may within 15 days of receipt continue demurral by replying in writing to argue for withdrawal or specific modification of the proposal.
(7) If no agreement emerges from the exchange of written ideas, the Office will within 15 days convene the disagreeing schools for a discussion of quality of evidence on all sides and formal negotiations. Staff members of the ultimate governing boards may attend. At any stage of negotiations, the Office may recommend acceptance of the proposal in its latest form or upon request by all parties may assemble a review panel of academic experts having no conflict of interest to assist and advise the parties.
(8) If negotiation at the institutional level fails to produce complete agreement, the proposing school shall either withdraw the proposal or within 60 days of the meeting required in section 7 obtain a decision from its ultimate governing board as to whether the board wishes to go forward with the proposal in some form after acquiring full knowledge of objections by responders. The ultimate governing board shall report its decision immediately to the Office.
(9) If the decision of the proposer's ultimate governing board does not satisfy the ultimate governing board of every demurring school, the Office shall recommend a resolution to the boards. If the boards do not all accept the recommendation, the Commission shall appoint a mediator to mediate between their representatives to seek a negotiated resolution at the board level.
(10) If negotiation between board representatives does not produce agreement within 90 days of the date that the issue was referred to the boards for mediation under Section 9, the Office shall refer the question with accompanying record for decision by the Commission, which may at its discretion arrange to have one or more commissioners hear arguments in review but shall not receive any evidence not already in the record as distributed by the Office to all parties before mediation. The Commission must act within 180 days of the date that the issue is referred to ODA for a recommendation as set forth in section (7) above. The Commission must approve the proposed program if the proposing school proves that it meets an unmet workforce need in the state.
(11) A final program review decision made by the Commission and issued through the Office is an agency order other than contested case, which may therefore be appealed by any engaged board, through petition for review without jury to the Circuit Court for Marion County or to the circuit court in the county where petitioner resides.
(12) Nothing in these rules precludes OSAC through ODA from encouraging and accepting agreements among all potentially affected sectors regarding new programs and locations in situations in which such agreements are a more effective and efficient way to establish and improve post-secondary service to Oregonians than program-by-program notice and response.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 348.603
Stats. Implemented: ORS 348.603
Hist.: ECC 24, f. & ef. 1-19-76; SSC 2-1997(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-25-97; ODA 2-1998, f. & cert. ef. 8-12-98; ODA 4-2000, f. & cert. ef. 11-13-00; ODA 2-2003, f. 10-29-03, cert. ef. 11-1-03