R141, Functions of the Commissioner of Higher Education

R141-1.Purpose: To describe the duties and responsibilities of the Commissioner of Higher Education.


 2.1.Utah Code §53B-1-105 (Duties of the Commissioner of Higher Education)

 2.2. Policy and Procedure R120, Bylaws of the Board of Higher Education

 2.3. Policy and Procedure R143, Succession Plan for Commissioner of Higher Education

 2.4. Policy and Procedure R203, Search Committee Appointment and Function, and Board members’ Selection of Presidents of Institutions

2.5. Policy and Procedure R205, Presidential Appointment, Term of Office, and Compensation and Benefits

 2.6Policy and Procedure R209, Evaluation of Presidents

 R141-3. Functions: The Commissioner of Higher Education serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Higher Education (Board) and performs the following functions:

 3.1.Policy Coordination: Facilitates and coordinates the execution of all Board policies and procedures.

 3.2. Leadership: Provides state level leadership in any activities affecting the Utah System of Higher Education  in support of the best interests of the state and the policies of the Board of Higher Education, taking a collaborative approach that enhances the ability of member institutions to contribute to state and Board of Higher Education goals.

 3.3. Master Planning: Coordinates the master planning efforts of the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) through developing and implementing, jointly with leadership from the Board of Higher Education and institutions, a strategic planning process for USHE that collectively marshals system and institutional resources to address the educational needs of the state.

 3.4. Public Information: Serves as the spokesman for the Utah System of Higher Education consistent with  direction established by the Board.

 3.5. Council of Presidents: Serves as Chairman of the Council of Presidents in a collegial and collaborative manner, including coordination of meeting agendas and Council  recommendations to the Board; facilitating communication among the presidents.

3.6. Presidential Hiring: Coordinate the presidential hiring processes on behalf of the Board and provides the Board with recommendations regarding the finalists recommended by the search committee.

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

 3.8. Consultation: Provides leadership, advice and consultation as may be sought by institutional Presidents or directed by the Board.

 3.9. Support Programs: Administers approved statewide support programs, subject to applicable Board policies.

 3.10. Board Agenda: Prepares and presents the agenda for all Board meetings after consultation with the Council of Presidents and the Board.

 3.11. Policy Considerations:  Provides sound professional advice and recommendations independent of any one group’s or interest’s perspective to the Board of Higher Education on all board and committee action agenda items, and all matters that do or should come to the attention of the Board of Higher Education, including advice on institutional and system budget requests, new programs, policy proposals, and an overall legislative agenda.

 3.12. Communications: Supports the work of individual presidents and serves as a liaison between presidents and the Board of Higher Education; directs continuous communication between the colleges and universities, the Board of Higher Education, and the Office of the Commissioner, related to problems and issues of common interest to the Utah System of Higher Education; establishes and maintains positive, productive relationships with the Board of Higher Education, the institutional presidents, the boards of trustees, and the legislative and executive branches of state government;.

 3.13. Reporting Relationship of the Commissioner’s Staff: Leads the staff of the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE) so that it fulfills its statutory responsibilities and duties to the Board of Higher Education.

 3.13.1. All members of the Commissioner’s staff shall be hired upon recommendation of the Commissioner and shall report directly to him or her. The standing and special committees of the Board shall work with the Commissioner’s staff through the Commissioner.

 3.13.2. Associate Commissioners and other staff members involved in committee work and other assignments shall report to the Commissioner, who shall then report to the Board, unless the Commissioner on a case by case basis specifically requires an Associate Commissioner or staff member to report directly to the Board.

 3.13.3. Members of the Board in fulfilling committee assignments should be cognizant of lines of authority and should obtain the Commissioner’s authorization in dealing with Associate Commissioners or other staff members.

Approved May 18, 2012