1A.1 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Organization and Administration

Board Policies
Chapter 1 - System Organization and Administration
Section A - System & Office Operations

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Part 1. Name of Organization
The name of the organization is the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Part 2. Vision and Mission Statements
The following vision and mission statements have been adopted by the Board of Trustees.

Subpart A. Vision statement
The core value of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is to provide an opportunity for all Minnesotans to create a better future for themselves, for their families, and for their communities.

Subpart B. Mission statement
The core commitments of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities are to ensure access to an extraordinary education for all Minnesotans, be the partner of choice to meet Minnesota’s workforce and community needs, and deliver to students, employers, communities and taxpayers the highest value/most affordable higher education option.

Subpart C. College and Universities related missions
Each college and university has a distinct mission that is consistent with, and supportive of, the overall mission of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities provides high quality programs comprising:

  1. Technical education programs delivered principally by technical colleges, which prepare students for skilled occupations that do not require a baccalaureate degree.
  2. Pre-baccalaureate programs, delivered principally by community colleges, which offer lower division instruction in academic programs, occupational programs in which all credits earned will be accepted for transfer to a baccalaureate degree in the same field of study, and remedial studies.
  3. Baccalaureate programs delivered by universities, which offer undergraduate instruction and degrees; and
  4. Graduate programs, delivered by universities, including instruction through the master's degree, specialist certificates and degrees, and applied doctoral degrees.

Part 3. Definitions
The following definitions apply to all board policies unless the text clearly indicates otherwise.

The Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Board policy
A policy statement enacted by the board to provide the governing authority and structure for Minnesota State and its constituents, in accordance with the Minnesota State mission and philosophy. Board policies are to be concise statements of the board on matters of governance it deems important to Minnesota State and its operation, consistent with governing law.

College and university policy or procedure
A policy or procedure approved by the president to govern the operation of the college or university, consistent with board policy and system procedure.

Consolidated colleges
The community and technical colleges that under board direction have formally reorganized into single comprehensive institutions.

Executive officers
Persons appointed by the board to manage Minnesota State or one of its colleges or universities, and includes the chancellor, vice chancellors, and the presidents.

Minnesota State
See Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
Minnesota State Board of Trustees, Office of the Chancellor, its colleges and universities, and the system office.

Operating instructions
Instructions approved by the chancellor, chancellor's designee responsible for the area, or chief audit officer, giving explicit direction, instructions or guidance on internal forms, processes, and other administrative or managerial matters, consistent with board policy and system procedure.

Pilot program
An experimental program of limited duration supported by the chancellor and designed to promote the interests of students. The pilot program may be inconsistent with current board policy and may lead to amendments of board policy and system procedure.

Policy change
The adoption of a new board policy, or amendment or repeal of an existing board policy.

Procedure change
The adoption of a new system procedure, or amendment or repeal of an existing system procedure.

Minnesota Statutes.

See Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

System office
The central administrative and staff office under the direction and supervision of the chancellor.

System procedure
A procedure approved by the chancellor to implement board policies. System procedures specify the manner in which policies, law, or managerial functions must be implemented by the colleges, universities and system office.

Technical change
A change that does not alter the meaning of a board policy or system procedure, including correction of errors in spelling, case, or syntax, or format changes.

Part 4. Legal Basis
The legal basis for the Board of Trustees and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is established under Minn. Stat. Ch. 136F.

Part 5. Rules of Procedures
Robert's Rules of Order, in its most recent revised edition, must be the rules of procedure for all meetings to the extent that they are not inconsistent with law, these operating policies, or any special rule of the board.

Part 6. Board Policies and System Procedures

Subpart A. General authority to enact policies
The board is authorized by Minn. Stat. §136F.06, Subdivisions 1 and 2 to adopt suitable policies for the institutions it governs. These policies are broad general directions developed by the board to govern the colleges, universities, and system office. These policies are not subject to the administrative requirements of state agencies including public hearing examiners and contested case procedures required by Minn. Stat. Ch. 14.

Subpart B. Proposed changes to policies or procedures
The chancellor may convene working groups or seek consultation from any party to develop a proposed policy or procedure change. Before the adoption of any change in board policy or system procedure other than a technical change, the proposed change must be:

  1. Submitted to the chancellor's cabinet and presidents for review and comment.
  2. Published for comment through electronic posting or transmission to interested parties.
  3. Discussed with bargaining groups in meet and confer when required under a collective bargaining agreement.

Any board policy change proposed by the system's executive officers must be approved by the chancellor or chancellor's designee prior to submission to the board for consideration.

Subpart C. Pilots
After consultation with the board chair, vice chair, and general counsel, the chancellor may institute a pilot program. The chancellor may temporarily suspend applicable board policies and system procedures to the extent necessary to implement the pilot. The board policies and system procedures suspended by the pilot must be identified in the pilot proposal. The chancellor shall inform the board of scheduled pilots before implementation, including the specific policies being suspended and provide updates as appropriate.

Subpart D. Policy adoption
Each proposed board policy change must be assigned to a committee by the chair, or to the board meeting as a committee of the whole. The committee shall take the matter under consideration and make such recommendations to the board as it deems appropriate. Except for technical changes, final board action must not occur earlier than the calendar month following the first committee reading. Technical changes may be approved by the board on its consent agenda and may be approved in the same month as committee consideration of the proposed technical changes.

Subpart E. Suspension
Any provision of these policies may be suspended in connection with the consideration of a matter before the board by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the board.

Subpart F. System procedures
The chancellor is authorized to approve system procedures when necessary to provide additional administrative instructions to board policy or to other administrative actions. These procedures must be made available electronically to the colleges, universities and the general public in the same manner as board policies.

Subpart G. Operating instructions
The chancellor, chancellor's designee responsible for the area, and chief audit officer are authorized to issue operating instructions consistent with board policy and system procedure.

Subpart H. College and university policies and procedures
College and university policies and procedures may be adopted by the president of a college or university consistent with board policy and system procedure.

Subpart I. Periodic review
The chancellor shall establish procedures to ensure that each board policy and System procedure is reviewed at least once every five years. The policy or procedure must be reviewed to determine whether it is needed, that it is current and complete, not duplicative of other policies, does not contain unnecessary reporting requirements or approval processes, and is consistent with style and format requirements. The chancellor shall periodically report to the board on the review of policies and may make recommendations for amendment or repeal if appropriate.

Subpart J. Form and effect

  1. Publication. Board policies and system procedures must be maintained by the chancellor in hard copy format and on the Minnesota State website. Changes in board policies and system procedures must be entered on the Minnesota State website as soon as practicable, but not later than ten business days following board adoption of policy changes or chancellor approval of procedures.  The board must be notified when the policy and procedure has been published.
  2. Format. Board policies and system procedures must be written in accordance with style and format standards established by the chancellor, and must include historical notations on changes made.
  3. Effect. In the event of a conflict between board policy and any system procedure or operating instruction, or campus policy or procedure, board policy shall govern. In the event of a conflict between system procedure and any campus policy or procedure, system procedure must govern.
  4. Severability. Unless otherwise provided, the provisions of all board policies and system procedures must be severable.

Part 7. Legislative or Administrative Proposals
Interaction with the legislature and other state or federal agencies.

  1. Minnesota State legislative or administrative positions or proposals. The board must have approved Minnesota State proposals brought before federal and state legislatures or executive branches on behalf of the board, Minnesota State or its institutions. Once board approval has been granted, all institutions are expected to actively support board approved requests and to respect the priority of the board. The board shall have a method for timely response to proposals or positions not originated by the board, but which may affect the operation of the Minnesota State.
  2. Administrative or legislative appearances on Minnesota State concerns. Employees asked to provide expert testimony before federal and state legislatures or executive branches on legislative issues shall make every effort to quickly accommodate requests, and shall notify the Minnesota State Government Relations Office of requests so the board will be aware of appearances and the office may provide logistical support, background assessments and other assistance as needed. Employees covered by the Minnesota State Personnel Plan for Administrators, who are responsible for providing expert testimony on legislative or state agency issues, and take positions contrary to the board, must disclose at the outset that their testimony is contrary to the board's position.

Related Documents:

To view any of the following related statutes, go to the Revisor's Office website. You can conduct a search from this site by typing in the statute number.
  • Minnesota Statute 136F
  • Minnesota State Laws Chapter 14

Policy History:

Date of Adoption: 8/12/92
Date of Implementation: 8/12/92
Date of Last Review: 1/29/20

Date & Subject of Amendments:

01/25/23 – technical change replaced the title executive director of internal auditing with chief audit officer.

01/29/20 - Organized the definitions in Part 3 in alphabetical order, added the definition of pilot and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, replaced the definition of system with a reference to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities definition, replaced system and MNSCU with Minnesota State, added information on pilots in Part 6, Subparts C and E, and applied the new writing and formatting standards.

01/25/17 - Amended to rename "guidelines" to "operating instructions" in an effort to clarify that compliance is mandatory.

Additional HISTORY