(a) Each higher education organization shall establish and operate an employee continuing education and development program under a joint rule or rules promulgated by the governing board. Funds allocated or made available for employee continuing education and development may be used to compensate and pay expenses for any employees pursuing additional academic study or training to equip themselves better for their duties.
The rules shall encourage continuing education and staff development and shall require that employees be selected on a nonpartisan basis using fair and meaningful criteria which afford all employees opportunities to enhance their skills and productivity in the workforce of the organization. These rules also may include reasonable provisions for the continuation or return of any employee receiving the benefits of the education or training, or for reimbursement by the state for expenditures incurred on behalf of the employee.
(b) Subject to legislative appropriation therefor, the commission and council shall promote and facilitate additional, regular, training and professional development for employees engaged in human resources-related activities at all organizations. The training and professional development:
(1) Shall be developed with emphasis on distance learning, in consideration to limiting travel demands on employees; and
(2) Shall be in addition to and may not supplant the training and professional development regularly provided to any class of employees by each organization prior to the effective date of this section.