West Virginia Code
(a) The Legislature finds that:
(1) Accountability and strategic planning are valuable and necessary components of establishing and achieving goals for higher education in this state and fulfilling missions of the institutions;
(2) To be most effective and efficient, the accountability and strategic planning process should be coordinated, streamlined, and nonduplicative; and
(3) Redundant reporting requirements exist in the accountability and strategic planning process which serve to waste scarce resources and decrease efficiency.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the accountability and strategic planning process for public higher education in this state continues in a unified and comprehensive manner while utilizing the resources of the higher education systems in an economical and efficient manner. To that end:
(1) The requirement for a statewide master plan for public higher education is repealed, and any provision of this code regarding the plan is void and of no effect;
(2) The requirements for state and institutional compacts for public higher education are repealed, and any provision of this code regarding the compacts are void and of no effect; and
(3) When collecting data from an institution, the commission and council first shall consider data generated from the unit-record student, registration, course and personnel files, the audited financial statements, and any source previously submitted formally to the commission or council from which the requested data may be obtained, so long as the data or information available through these sources reflects the most current reporting period.
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that members of the education partnership to achieve state goals and objectives engage in developing state compacts between and among themselves for the purpose of enhancing the well-being of the citizens of West Virginia. Such a compact constitutes a formal contract and focuses on the goals and objectives established pursuant to this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter. A compact is called for when achievement of specific goals or objectives requires significant collaboration and commitment of resources by more than one member of the partnership.
(b) The rules to be proposed relating to state compacts pursuant to subsection (c), section one of this article shall include, but are not limited to, the following components:
(1) A procedure to determine when a state compact is necessary or desirable;
(2) A procedure for determining the identity of parties to the compact and for establishing compact terms:
(A) Parties to the compact may be any two or more members of the education partnership to achieve state goals and objectives who are positioned to make significant contributions to meeting compact objectives; and
(B) The terms of the compact shall focus on achievement of objectives. The expected outcomes shall be stated in concrete terms that are measurable.
(3) A mechanism for negotiating agreement on compact objectives. The mechanism shall provide for negotiation and development of consensus among the parties and must be reasonable in its operation and outcomes expectations;
(4) A procedure for creating and consolidating commitment between and among parties to the compact. Most state compacts will extend over multiple years and will require that negotiation between education partners and elected state officials take into account the constraints of the political process and the limits on available resources; and
(5) A process for periodic review, assessment and reporting of progress toward meeting the compact objectives. The rule shall provide for objective analysis and reporting to the compact partners and to the elected officials of the state.
(c) In addition to authorizing the commission and the council to enter into state compacts pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section, it is the intent of the Legislature to encourage them strongly to develop implementation plans together with other members of the public higher education community to achieve system and institutional goals and objectives which are consistent with and supportive of the goals and objectives established in this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter.
(1) At a minimum, each implementation plan shall contain the following elements:
(A) Identification of the goal and the objectives to be achieved;
(B) Identification of the parties to the implementation plan and a process for developing consensus among the parties;
(C) A needs assessment or other mechanism to determine current status of the proposed objectives, including a survey of available resources and other data relevant to achieving the objectives;
(D) Identification of challenges or barriers to meeting objectives;
(E) Delineation of tasks to be performed;
(F) A specific time line for meeting objectives;
(G) An evaluation process administered periodically to determine progress in meeting the objectives during the life span of the plan; and
(H) A method for determining success in achieving the objectives following the closing date established by the time line.
(2) Implementation plans are internal documents developed among members of the public higher education community and are not subject to an external approval process.
(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.
(a) The purpose of the institutional and statewide data reporting system is to make information available through the official websites of the commission and council to parents, students, faculty, staff, state policymakers, and the general public on the quality and performance of public higher education.
(b) The information provided through the reporting system shall be consistent and comparable between and among state institutions of higher education. If applicable, the information shall allow for easy comparison with higher education-related data collected and disseminated by the Southern Regional Education Board, the United States Department of Education and other education data-gathering and data-disseminating organizations upon which state policymakers frequently rely in setting policy.
(c) The rules required by this article shall provide for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information on the performance of the state institutions of higher education, including health sciences education, in relation to the findings, goals, and objectives set forth in this article and §18B-1-1a of this code.
(1) The objective of this portion of the rule is to ensure that the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability and others identified in subsection (a) of this section are provided with full and accurate information while minimizing the institutional burden of recordkeeping and reporting.
(2) This portion of the rule shall identify various indicators of student and institutional performance that, at a minimum, must be reported annually, set forth general guidelines for the collection and reporting of data, and provide for the preparation and publication of the statewide data and reports.
The statewide annual report shall be analysis-driven, rather than simply data-driven, and shall present information in a format that can inform education policymaking. It shall outline significant trends, identify major areas of concern, and discuss progress toward meeting state and system goals and objectives. It shall be brief and concise, reporting required information in nontechnical language.
(d) The statewide data reporting system shall include the data for each separately listed, applicable indicator identified in the rule promulgated pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and the aggregate of the data for all public institutions of higher education.
(e) A statewide annual report shall be prepared using actual institutional, state, regional, and national data, as applicable and available, indicating the present performance of the individual institutions, the governing boards, and the state systems of higher education. The report shall be based upon information for the current school year or for the most recent school year for which the information is available, in which case the year shall be clearly noted.
(f) The president or chief executive officer of each state institution of higher education shall prepare and submit annually all requested data to the commission at the times established by the commission.
(g) The higher education central office staff, under the direction of the vice chancellor for administration, shall provide technical assistance to each institution and governing board in data collection and reporting and is responsible for assembling the statewide annual report from information submitted by each governing board.
(h) Current data shall be published to the statewide data reporting system prior to January 1 annually. The statewide annual report shall be completed and disseminated with copies to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability prior to January 1 annually, and the staff of the commission and the council shall prepare a report highlighting specifically the trends, progress toward meeting goals and objectives, and major areas of concern for public higher education, including medical education, for presentation to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability annually at the interim meetings in January.
(i) The Vice Chancellor for Administration shall make a digital copy of the statewide annual report available to the public for download from the official websites of the commission and council.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code to the contrary, the following statutorily mandated reports are not required to be prepared and submitted annually to the Legislature but this information and data previously contained therein shall be combined with other reports in a manner that reduces the cost and increases the efficacy of those reports. This includes:
(1) All personnel, classification, compensation and human resources reports set out in section four, article one-b of this chapter, section six, article two-b of this chapter and article nine-a of this chapter;
(2) All capital appropriation requests, priorities and campus and state capital development plans set out in section four, article one-b of this chapter, section six, article two-b of this chapter and article nineteen of this chapter;
(3) All academic related matters and reports including those detailing institutional reauthorization at section seven, article four of this chapter; training of institutional Boards of Governors set out in section nine, article one-d of this chapter and section one, article ten of this chapter dealing with institutional compliance with tuition and fee increases;
(4) All financial aid reports including PROMISE, HEAPS, the Higher Education Grant Program, the Nursing Scholarship Program, the Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship Program and others set out in chapter eighteen-c of this code.
(b) In order to create more efficiency, reporting deadlines of statutorily or rule mandated reports may be altered, as needed by the Commission without a statutory or rule-making change,: Provided, That the reports are always provided within any given calendar year.
(a) The commission and council, either jointly or separately, shall coordinate periodic training and development opportunities for members of the commission, council and institutional governing boards as provided in this section.
The training and development shall address the following topics:
(1) State goals, objectives and priorities for higher education;
(2) The accountability system for higher education set forth in this article;
(3) The general powers and duties of members; and
(4) Ethical considerations arising from board membership.
(b) Training and development is required as follows:
(1) A member newly appointed to the commission, council or a governing board shall complete three hours of training and development by the end of the first fiscal year of service if the appointment is made in the first half of a fiscal year. If the appointment is made in the second half of a fiscal year the member shall complete three hours of training and development by the end of the first half of the second fiscal year.
(2) With the exception of the ex officio members of the commission and the council and the student member of a governing board, each member shall complete at least six hours of training and development related to his or her duties within two fiscal years of beginning service and within every two fiscal years of service thereafter.
(c) Annually, by July 31, the chair of the commission, council and each governing board shall certify to the commission or council, as appropriate, the number of hours of training and development that each member received during the preceding fiscal year.
(d) If the certification indicates that a board member has not completed the training and development required by this section, the commission or council, as appropriate, shall send a notice to the affected board member, and to the Governor and the Secretary of State or to the institutional appointing entity that the board member is disqualified from continued service notwithstanding the provisions of sections five and six, article six, chapter six of this code. The commission or council, as appropriate, shall request the Governor or appointing entity to appoint a replacement for that board member.
(e) Annually, by September 30, the commission and council shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on the training and development that members of the commission and council and the governing boards under their respective jurisdictions have received during the preceding fiscal year. This information shall be included in the institutional and statewide report cards provided in section eight of this article.
(f) As used in this section, "member" means all members of the commission, council and the governing boards unless a specific exception is provided in this section.
(a) The intent of the Legislature in enacting this section is to direct the commission, council and State Board of Education to enter into a state compact, consistent with the provisions of section six of this article, on or before July 1, 2009, to develop and maintain a longitudinal education data system and to share educational information.
(b) The Legislature makes the following findings:
(1) Sound data collection, reporting and analysis are critical to building an education system capable of ensuring that all West Virginia students are adequately prepared for college and the global workforce. Elementary schools, middle schools, secondary schools and higher education institutions can improve instructional and educational decision-making using data that are collected and made available to them.
(2) State education policymaking benefits from partnerships between state education agencies and entities with expertise in education research. It is beneficial for West Virginia to establish systems and processes that permit qualified researchers to assist with state evaluation and research functions in a manner that is consistent with privacy protection laws.
(3) West Virginia is committed to establishing and maintaining a longitudinal student unit record data system that educators and policymakers can use to analyze and assess student progress beginning with early learning programs and continuing through post-secondary education and into employment. The commission, council and State Board of Education have designed, built and deployed some of the fundamental components of a longitudinal data system and have engaged in extensive efforts to link and use available education data effectively. Now, it is necessary to integrate and manage the various education data components in a cooperative manner to establish a data-driven, decision-making environment for this state's education system.
(4) Students will achieve improved learning outcomes because of the longitudinal data system established through the state compact mandated by this section.
(6) State use and management of education data shall be in accordance with all legal requirements protecting student privacy and shall protect personal information from intentional or accidental release to unauthorized persons and from intentional or accidental use for unauthorized purposes.
(1) "Longitudinal data system" means a student unit record data system that links student records beginning with early learning programs and continuing through post-secondary education, entry into the workforce and beyond. The system may consist of separate student unit record systems integrated through agreement and data transfer mechanisms.
(2) "Privacy protection laws" means the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. 1232g) and any other state or federal laws relating to the confidentiality and protection of personally identifiable information.
(3) "Research organization" means a governmental entity, institution of higher education, public policy organization or other person or entity conducting educational research that meets the following conditions:
(i) Qualified to perform educational research and protect the privacy of student data;
(ii) Seeks to perform research for a noncommercial purpose authorized by privacy protection laws; and
(iii) Agrees to perform the research pursuant to a written agreement meeting the requirements of privacy protection laws and best research practices.
(d) The state data-sharing compact entered into by the commission, council and State Board of Education shall contain the following:
(1) A plan to establish and maintain a longitudinal data system that links early learning, elementary, middle and secondary school student unit records with higher education institution student unit records;
(2) A plan to establish a data warehouse that integrates data from multiple student unit record systems and supports all of the uses and functions of the longitudinal data system;
(3) A list of areas for collaborative research and a preliminary plan for conducting that research;
(4) A system for entering into data sharing arrangements with each other and with research organizations consistent with subsection (f) of this section; and
(5) A provision that allows another party to the compact to review any draft report or study generated using that party's data at least ten days before the report or study is released publicly. During that ten day period, each party shall be given the opportunity to submit comments regarding the accuracy, conclusions and recommendations of the report or study.
(e) To facilitate implementation of the requirements of this section:
(1) The commission, council and State Board of Education are authorized to disclose data to the longitudinal data system and to each other consistent with the purposes of this section;
(2) With the assistance of the state Board of Education, the commission, council and state institutions of higher education shall collect the state Board of Education's unique identifier for all students who have attended public schools in West Virginia to facilitate better matching of student unit record data.
(3) The commission, council and State Board of Education shall collect, use, maintain, disclose and share data in accordance with personal privacy laws and shall develop security measures and procedures that protect personal information from intentional or accidental release to unauthorized persons and from intentional or accidental use for unauthorized purposes.
(f) A data sharing arrangement entered into with a research organization pursuant to this section shall meet the following criteria:
(1) Permitted by and undertaken in accordance with privacy protection laws;
(2) Receives prior approval from the state Superintendent of Schools or designee, the Chancellor for Higher Education or designee, and the Chancellor for Community and Technical College Education or designee, as appropriate, if data from that entity are being utilized in the research;
(3) Prohibits the personal identification of any person by individuals other than authorized representatives of the research organization who have legitimate interests in the information;
(4) Ensures the destruction or return of the data when no longer needed for the authorized purposes under the data sharing arrangement;
(5) Performed pursuant to a written agreement with the research organization that does the following:
(A) Specifies the purpose, scope and duration of the data sharing arrangement;
(B) Requires the recipient of the data to use personally identifiable information from education records only to meet the purpose or purposes of the data sharing arrangement stated in the written agreement;
(C) Describes specific data access, use and security restrictions that the recipient will undertake; and
(D) Contains such other terms and provisions as the commission, council and State Board of Education, as appropriate, consider necessary or appropriate.
(g) As a condition of participating in state-level financial aid programs provided for in chapter eighteen-c of this code, the commission may require nonpublic institutions of higher education to provide data for the longitudinal data system and data warehouse.