(a) The Legislature finds that West Virginia long has recognized the value of education and, on a per capita income basis, ranks very high among the states in its investment to support public education. The Legislature further finds that a combination of state and national demographic and economic factors as well as significant changes in methods of course and program delivery compel both the state and public higher education to create a process that will strengthen institutional capacity to provide the services so valued by the citizens of the state and so essential to promoting economic vitality.
(b) Therefore, each state college or university except the exempted schools, shall prepare an institutional compact for submission to the commission and each community and technical college shall prepare an institutional compact for submission to the council. When the process herein provided is completed, the resulting institutional compact shall contain at a minimum the following basic components:
(1) Institutional strategies for focusing resources on meeting the goals and objectives set forth in this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter; and
(2) Commission or council strategies for promoting and supporting the institution in fulfilling its mission and objectives, to make it more competitive with its peers and to ensure the continuity of academic programs and services to its students.
(c) In addition to the basic contract components described in subsection (b) of this section, each compact shall contain at least the following elements:
(1) A determination of the mission of the institution which specifically addresses changes necessary or expedient to accomplish the goals and objectives articulated by the state and the appropriate statewide master plan;
(2) A detailed statement of how the compact is aligned with and will be implemented in conjunction with the master plan of the institution;
(3) A comprehensive assessment of education needs within the institution’s geographic area of responsibility;
(4) A strategy to ensure access to comprehensive community and technical college and workforce development services within each respective region of the state consistent with the mission of the institution;
(5) Provision for collaboration and brokering of education services as necessary or expedient to carry out the institutional mission and meet its objectives;
(6) Provision of student services at the optimum level to support the institutional mission and to achieve state goals and objectives;
(7) Strategies for using existing infrastructure and resources within each region, where feasible, to increase student access while controlling costs and maintaining academic quality; and
(8) Other public policy objectives or initiatives adopted by the commission or council pursuant to the intent and purposes of this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter.
(d) Each institutional compact shall be updated bi-annually and shall follow the same general guidelines contained in this section.
(e) Development and updating of the institutional compacts is subject to the following conditions:
(1) The ultimate responsibility for developing and updating the compacts at the institutional level resides with the board of advisors or the board of governors, as appropriate. It is the responsibility of the commission or council to provide technical assistance as requested and to assist the institution, with the exception of the exempted schools, in development of the strategies to promote and support the institution pursuant to subsection (b) of this section;
(2) The commission and the council each shall establish a date by which institutions, with the exception of the exempted schools, under their respective jurisdictions shall submit their compacts to the commission or council pursuant to the provisions of this article. The date established by each state-level coordinating board shall apply uniformly to all institutions under the jurisdiction of that coordinating board and shall meet the following additional conditions:
(A) Allow sufficient time for careful analysis of the compacts by the central office staff and for review by members of the commission or the council, as appropriate; and
(B) Allow sufficient time for the institutions to make necessary revisions to the compacts as provided in this section.
(3) The commission shall review each compact from the institutions under its jurisdiction and either confirm the compact or return it with specific comments for change or improvement. The council shall review each compact from the institutions under its jurisdiction and either adopt the compact or return it with specific comments for change or improvement. The commission and council, respectively, shall continue this process as long as each considers advisable;
(4) By May 1 bi-annually, if the institutional compact of any institution as presented by that institution is not confirmed by the commission or adopted by the council, then the commission or council is empowered and directed to develop and adopt the institutional compact for the institution and the institution is bound by the compact so adopted; and
(5) As far as practicable, the commission and council each shall establish uniform processes and forms for the development and submission of the institutional compacts by the institutions under their respective jurisdictions, taking into consideration the differences in institutional missions and objectives. As a part of this function, the commission and council each shall organize the statements of legislative goals and objectives contained in this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter in a manner that facilitates the purposes therein.
(f) Assignment of geographic areas of responsibility. -–
(1) The commission shall assign geographic areas of responsibility to the state institutions of higher education under its jurisdiction, except for the exempted schools. For institutions other than the exempted schools, the geographic areas of responsibility are made a part of their institutional compacts to ensure that all areas of the state are provided necessary programs and services to achieve state goals and objectives. The commission and the council each shall develop data-based measures to determine the extent to which institutions, with the exception of the exempted schools, under their respective jurisdictions are providing higher education services aligned with state goals and objectives and institutional missions within their geographic areas of responsibility. This information shall be reported in the statewide report card established pursuant to section eight of this article.
(2) The council shall assign geographic areas of responsibility to the state institutions of higher education under its jurisdiction, including the administratively linked institution known as Marshall Community and Technical College, the administratively linked institution known as the Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology and the regional campus known as West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
(3) The geographic areas of responsibility for the state institutions of higher education known as West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Marshall University and West Virginia University are assigned by the Legislature.
(4) The benchmarks established in the institutional compacts include measures of programs and services by geographic area throughout the assigned geographic area of responsibility.
(g) The compacts shall contain benchmarks to be used to determine progress toward meeting the objectives established in the compacts. The benchmarks shall meet the following criteria:
(1) They shall be objective;
(2) They shall be directly linked to the objectives in the compacts;
(3) They shall be measured by the indicators described in subsection (h) of this section; and
(4) Where applicable, they shall be used to measure progress in geographic areas of responsibility.
(h) The rules required by subsection (c), section one of this article shall include indicators which measure the degree to which the goals and objectives set forth in this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter are being met by the institutions under the jurisdiction of the commission and the council, respectively.
(1) The rules pertaining to benchmarks and indicators in effect for the commission and the council on the effective date of this section remain in effect for the institutions under their respective jurisdictions until amended, modified, repealed or replaced by the commission or the council, respectively, pursuant to the provisions of this article, section six, article one of this chapter and article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(2) The rules shall set forth at least the following as pertains to all state institutions of higher education, except the exempted schools:
(A) The indicators used to measure the degree to which the goals and objectives are being met;
(B) Uniform definitions for the various data elements to be used in establishing the indicators;
(C) Guidelines for the collection and reporting of data; and
(D) Sufficient detail within the benchmarks and indicators to provide the following information:
(i) Measurable evidence that the pursuits of the institution are focused on the education needs of the citizens of the state and are aligned with the objectives of the institutional compacts and statewide master plans;
(ii) Delineation of the objectives and benchmarks for an institution so that the commission or council can precisely measure the degree to which progress is being made toward achieving the goals and objectives provided in this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter: Provided, That the commission has no authority regarding the objectives and benchmarks for exempted schools; and
(iii) Identification of specific objectives within the master plan or compact of an institution that are not being met or toward which sufficient progress is not being made.
(3) In addition to any other requirement, the rule established by the council shall set forth at least the following as pertains to community and technical college education:
(A) Benchmarks and indicators which are targeted to identify the following:
(i) The degree to which progress is being made by institutions toward meeting state goals and objectives and the essential conditions for community and technical college education pursuant to section three, article three-c of this chapter;
(ii) Information and data necessary to be considered by the council in making the determination required by section three, article two-c of this chapter; and
(B) Sufficient detail within the benchmarks and indicators to provide clear evidence to support an objective determination by the council that an institution’s progress toward achieving state goals and objectives and the essential conditions for community and technical college education is so deficient that implementation of the provisions of section four, article two-c of this chapter is warranted and necessary.
(i) The commission shall confirm the compacts developed for the institutions under its jurisdiction, with the exception of the exempted schools, by the boards of governors or the boards of advisors pursuant to this section and consistent with the powers and duties prescribed in section four, article two-a of this chapter and section one, article six of this chapter.
(ii) The council shall approve the compacts developed for the institutions under its jurisdiction, by the boards of governors or the boards of advisors pursuant to this section and consistent with the powers and duties prescribed in section four, article two-a of this chapter and section one, article six of this chapter.