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105, Commissioner of Technical Education – Functions

105.1 Purpose

To prescribe the duties and functions of the Utah System of Higher Education Commissioner (UCA 53B-2a-102[2][b]).

105.2 Approval

Utah Board of Higher Education approval: June 8, 2016. Revised: September 13, 2017; March 21, 2019.

105.3 References

  • UCA 53B-2a-102, Commissioner of Technical Education – Appointment – Duties
  • UCA 53B-2a-104, Utah System of Technical Colleges Board of Trustees – Powers and Duties
  • UCA 53B-2a-106, Technical Colleges – Duties
  • UCA 53B-2a-107, Technical College Presidents – Appointments – Duties
  • UCA 53B-2a-112, Technical Colleges – Relationships with other Public and Higher Education Institutions – Agreements – Priorities – New Capital Facilities
  • UTech Policy 114, Council of Presidents

105.4 Functions

The Utah System of Higher Education (System) Commissioner is the chief executive officer of the Board of Higher Education (Board), and chief administrative officer of the System. He or she is appointed by the Board upon approval by the Utah State Governor and with consent of the Senate. The Commissioner serves at the discretion of the Board and performs the following functions:

4.1 Leadership: Under the direction of the Board, provides state-level collaborative leadership in activities affecting the System. Taking a collaborative approach that enhances the ability of each technical college to contribute to state and Board goals, performs complex intellectual leadership in the development of initiatives and activities that benefit, and are in the best interests of, the System.

4.2 Strategic Planning: Actively participates in national career and technical education associations and events to maintain a deep understanding and awareness of national career and technical education trends, innovations, and legislation to inform and advise the Board of best practices and strategic initiatives that will improve the quality and effectiveness of the state’s technical colleges. Under the direction of the Board and with input of technical colleges, develops and implements a vision and annual statewide strategic plan which supports and unifies the strategic plans of individual technical colleges under the direction of the Board. Advises and supports the Board to ensure the System maintains a clear vision and mission, further elevating its position as the statewide leader in career and technical education.

4.3 Policy Coordination: Under the direction of the Board, facilitates, coordinates, and ensures that Board policies and procedures are properly executed by staff and campus presidents. Provides information and recommendations to the Board on needed policy improvements or changes.

4.4 System Performance and Accountability: Collaborates with technical college presidents and secures Board support for system-wide definitions, standards, performance criteria, metrics, and independent audits that support consistency, integrity, and compliance. Represents the Board as the primary state executive with ultimate responsibility for the outcomes of the System.

4.5 Educational Partnerships: Promotes educational pathways by coordinating and collaborating with secondary and post-secondary educational partners.

4.6 Accreditation: Provides system-wide support of technical college accreditation efforts. Maintains positive, productive relationships with accrediting agencies.

4.7 Relationships: As directed by the Board, establishes and maintains positive, productive relationships with diverse stakeholders including executive and legislative branches of state government, the Board, technical college presidents and their respective boards of directors, state secondary and post-secondary educational and economic development leaders, business/industry and community leaders, and citizens. Serves as a respected expert capable of driving and positively influencing career and technical education initiatives and decisions.

4.8 Budget Development and Fiscal Oversight: Coordinates development of System budget requests for consideration by the Board and legislature. Identifies and promotes opportunities to secure additional funding sources for the System. Is accountable for budgets, operations, capital facilities, and other fiscal responsibilities through reports and requests for approval to the Board, the Governor’s Office, the Utah State Legislature, and auditors.

4.9 Public Information: Serves as a champion for technical colleges with understanding of the role of career and technical education and its impact on economic and workforce development in communities across the state. As assigned, serves as the primary spokesperson for the System in a manner consistent with decisions, direction, and communication plans established by the Board. In collaboration with the technical college presidents, develops and implements statewide plans, and supports college plans to inform citizens about the availability, cost, and advantages of career and technical education.

4.10 Council of Presidents: Serves as Chair of the Council of Presidents. Leads the Council in a collegial and collaborative manner, including coordination of meeting agendas/minutes and presenting Council recommendations to the Board. Facilitates communication among technical college presidents.

4.11 Presidential Hiring: Coordinates the presidential hiring process on behalf of the Board and provides the Board with recommendations regarding finalists recommended by a presidential search committee.

4.12 Presidential Review: Facilitates presidential review processes and provides the Board with his or her recommendation regarding presidential performance and compensation.

4.13 Training and Consultation: Provides ongoing training and professional development for technical college presidents in helping them to fulfill their duties as the executive leader of each college and in training their local boards in proper state policies and procedures. Provides leadership, advice, and consultation as may be sought by technical college presidents or directed by the Board.

4.14 Support Programs: Develops and administers statewide initiatives.

4.15 Policy Considerations: Provides sound and objective professional advice and recommendations to the Board on agenda items and matters that do or should come to the attention of the Board, including advice on technical college and system budget requests, new programs, policy proposals, and an overall legislative agenda.

4.16 System Communication: Acts as a liaison between presidents and the Board, facilitating continuous communication among the technical colleges, the Board, and the Office of the Commissioner related to problems and issues of common interest to the System.

4.17 Secondary Student Access: Works closely with the Utah State Board of Education Superintendent and Career and Technical Education Director to promote secondary student access and participation in technical college programs.

4.18 Rural Access: Develops strategies for providing career and technical education in rural areas of the state for review and approval by the Board.

4.19 Committee Service: Serves on various boards, councils, committees, and commissions as required by Utah statute or as otherwise necessary to promote and advance the mission of the System.

4.20 Other Duties: Provides leadership and carries out other tasks and assignments as requested by the Board, Governor’s Office, or Legislature.

4.21 Commissioner’s Office Management: Appoints, hires, and leads a staff of professional and administrative personnel to fulfill statutory responsibilities and duties to the Board in areas that include the following. All such duties and assignments shall be done in accordance with System policies and with approval of the Board.

4.21.1 Budgets and audits;

4.21.2 Development of policies;

4.21.3 Facilities, including capital development and facility/property leases;

4.21.4 Management information systems, general data collection, and security;

4.21.5 Strategic planning efforts for the System;

4.21.6 Instructional programs, certificates, curriculum, educational partnerships, and employer relations;

4.21.7 Contact and relationships with the Utah State Legislature, Governor, Utah State Board of Education, and other state agencies and constituencies; and

4.21.8 Public relations.