Topeka Here are key elements of a plan approved by the Senate to restructure higher education governance in Kansas:
- The existing nine-member Board of Regents would be abolished, and a new board of the same size and name would replace it. Its members would be appointed to four-year, staggered terms by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. Members would be limited to two terms after their initial terms. No more than five members could belong to the same political party; no more than three graduates of one institution could serve at the same time, and no two members could be from the same county.
- The new board would be divided into three commissions of three members each: Commission for State Educational Institutions to supervise the state's six universities; Commission for Community Colleges and Vocational-Technical Education to oversee the community colleges and vo-techs, and a Commission for Higher Education Coordination to provide coordination and conflict resolution for six state universities, Washburn University of Topeka, 19 community colleges, 11 vocational schools and technical colleges and 17 private colleges. Each commission could recommend policy changes, but all nine board members would have to vote their approval.
- Supervision of the state's 19 community colleges and 11 vocational schools and technical colleges would be transferred from the State Board of Education to the new Board of Regents. Washburn also would be coordinated by the new regents. However, the community colleges and Washburn would retain their own boards of trustees and regents for governance.
- The new Board of Regents would adopt and administer a comprehensive plan for coordination of higher education; present a unified budget for higher education to the governor and Legislature each year; determine institutional roles and review missions and goals; approve programs, courses and their locations, and develop annually a policy agenda for higher education.
- The institutions and commissions would develop "core performance indicators" for each of the schools and the Board of Regents would approve them. Schools meeting their performance goals would be rewarded with bonuses of up to 2.5 percent of their previous year's budget.