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 vision statements have been adopted by the Board of Trustees.

Subpart A. Vision statement. It is the core value of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities 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 state 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 state universities, which offer undergraduate instruction and degrees; and
  4. Graduate programs, delivered by state universities, including instruction through the master's degree, specialist certificates and degrees, and applied doctoral degrees.

Part 3. Definitions. The following definitions have the meanings indicated for all Board policies unless the text clearly indicates otherwise.

Subpart A. Board. "Board" means the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Subpart B. Consolidated colleges. "Consolidated Colleges" means community and technical colleges that under board direction have formally reorganized into single comprehensive institutions.

Subpart C. Executive officers. "Executive officers" means those persons appointed by the board to manage Minnesota State Colleges and Universities or one of its institutions, and includes the chancellor, vice chancellors, and the presidents.

Subpart D. Board policy. "Board policy" means a policy statement enacted by the board to provide the governing authority and structure for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and its constituents, in accordance with the System's mission and philosophy. Board policies are to be concise statements of the board on matters of governance it deems important to the system and its operation, consistent with governing law.

Subpart E. Campus policy or procedure. "Campus policy or procedure" is a policy or procedure approved by the president to govern the operation of the college or university, consistent with Board policy and System procedure.

Subpart F. Policy change. "Policy change" means adoption of a new Board policy, or amendment or repeal of an existing Board policy.

Subpart G. Procedure change. "Procedure change" means adoption of a new System procedure, or amendment or repeal of an existing system procedure.

Subpart H. Statutes. "Statute(s)" means the Minnesota Statutes.

Subpart I. State. "State" means the State of Minnesota.

Subpart J. System. "System" means Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, including the Board of Trustees, and its colleges, universities and System office.

Subpart K. Operating instructions. "Operating instructions" means instructions approved by the chancellor, chancellor's designee responsible for the area, or executive director of internal auditing, giving explicit direction, instructions or guidance on internal forms, processes and other administrative or managerial matters, consistent with Board policy and System procedure.

Subpart L. System office. "System office" means the central administrative and staff office under the direction and supervision of the chancellor.

Subpart M. System procedure. "System procedure" means a procedure approved by the chancellor to implement Board policies. System procedures specify the manner in which policies, law, or managerial functions shall be implemented by the colleges, universities and System office.

Subpart N. Technical change. "Technical change" means 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, shall 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. Policy adoption. Each proposed Board policy change shall 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 shall 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 D. 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 E. 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 shall be made available electronically to the colleges, universities and the general public in the same manner as Board policies.

Subpart F. Operating instructions. The chancellor, chancellor's designee responsible for the area, and executive director of internal auditing are authorized to issue operating instructions consistent with Board policy and System procedure.

Subpart G. Campus policies and procedures. Campus policies and procedures may be adopted by the president of a college or university consistent with Board policy and System procedure.

Subpart H. 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 shall 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 I. Form and effect.

  1. Publication. Board policies and system procedures shall be maintained by the chancellor in hard copy format and on the system website.  Changes in Board policies and System procedures shall be entered on the System website as soon as practicable, but not later than five business days following board adoption of policy changes or chancellor approval of procedures.  The board shall 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, campus policy or procedure, or system guideline, Board policy shall govern. In the event of a conflict between System procedure and any campus policy or procedure, System procedure shall govern.
  4. Severability. Unless otherwise provided, the provisions of all Board policies and system procedures shall be severable.

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

  1. System legislative or administrative positions or proposals. The board must have approved System proposals brought before Federal and state legislatures or executive branches on behalf of the board, the System 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 System.
  2. Administrative or legislative appearances on Minnesota State Colleges and Universities 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 System Government Relations Office of requests so that the board will be aware of appearances and so the Office may provide logistical support, background assessments and other assistance as needed. Employees covered by the MnSCU 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:

  • Policy 1A.2 Board of Trustees
  • To view any of the following related statutes, go to the Revisor's Web site ( 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: 1/25/17

Date & Subject of Amendments:

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

11/18/14 - Amended Part 2, updating the board’s vision and mission statements to reflect the board’s adoption of the strategic framework. Amended Part 6, Subpart E to clarify that system procedures will be made available electronically in the same manner as board policies. Amended Part 6, Subpart I to eliminate the need to print paper copies of policy and procedures and to include language requiring that the board be given notice when a policy or procedure has been published.

11/16/11 - Effective 1/1/12, the Board of Trustees amends all board policies to change the term "Office of the Chancellor" to "system office," and to make necessary related grammatical changes.

Additional HISTORY