THE STATE AND ITS GOVERNMENT
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
21-N:8-a Division of Educator Support and Higher Education.
I. There is hereby established within the department the division of educator support and higher education, under the supervision of an unclassified director of higher education whose responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to, providing the following functions in accordance with applicable law:
(a) Support to the higher education commission established in paragraph II.
(b) Development and administration of standards governing the professional development of educators from pre-service preparation through ongoing professional development.
(c) Administration of standards for certifying and recertifying educational personnel, including monitoring local staff development efforts.
(d) Provide materials and information concerning certificate holders to boards providing licenses relative to Medicaid to schools.
I-a. There is hereby established within the division of educator support and higher education the position of background check coordinator who shall be a classified employee. The background check coordinator shall be qualified to hold such position by reason of education and experience. The position shall be subject to any other employment requirements as determined by the department.
II. (a) There is hereby established a higher education commission which shall consist of the following members:
(1) The president of the university of New Hampshire, the president of Keene state college, the president of Plymouth state university, and the president of Granite State college.
(2) Two presidents from institutions within the community college system of New Hampshire, to be chosen by the board of trustees of the community college system.
(3) The chancellor of the university system of New Hampshire.
(4) The chancellor of the community college system of New Hampshire.
(5) The commissioner of the department of education.
(6) Six representatives of the private 4-year colleges in New Hampshire appointed by the governor and council on recommendation by the New Hampshire College and University Council, with no more than one representative from any one college.
(7) One member to be appointed by the governor and council as a representative from a for-profit college or university not a member of the New Hampshire College and University Council.
(8) Four members to be appointed by the governor and council who shall be residents of the state and of the lay public, having no official connection with any college, university, or private postsecondary career school as an employee, trustee, or member on a board of directors.
(9) Two members to be appointed by the governor and council, who shall be residents of the state and shall represent private postsecondary career schools.
(b) The terms of appointed members, except as otherwise indicated above, shall be for 5 years and until a successor is appointed and qualified. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term.
(c) Commission appointments shall be made in such a way as to preserve broad and equitable representation on the basis of gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic groups in the state.
(d) The members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for actual travel and other expenses incurred in the performance of their duties on the commission from funds appropriated to the department of education specifically for this purpose.
(e) The commission shall:
(1) Regulate institutions of higher education pursuant to RSA 292:8-b through RSA 292:8-kk. The commission may accept accreditation by a recognized accrediting association in place of its own independent evaluation.
(2) Regulate private postsecondary career schools pursuant to RSA 188-G.
(3) Administer financial aid programs as provided in state and federal law for students attending higher education institutions, except as otherwise provided by law.
(4) Apply for, accept, and expend state, federal, or other grants.
(5) Oversee the functions of the Veterans Education Services as authorized by Congress.
(6) Establish and collect reasonable annual fees related to the performance of statutory duties.
(7) Enter into cooperative interstate or international agreements to further operating efficiencies, student access, and educational opportunities.
(8) Be the designee for the integrated postsecondary education data system as developed by the United States Department of Education.
(9) Adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A relative to:
(A) Organization and operation of the higher education commission established in this section.
(B) Approval and regulation of institutions of higher education pursuant to RSA 292:8-b through RSA 292:8-kk.
(C) Approval and regulation of private postsecondary career schools pursuant to RSA 188-G.
(D) Administration of financial aid programs for institutions of higher education, except as otherwise provided by law.
(E) Establishment and collection of reasonable fees for functions performed by the division of higher education and the higher education commission as required in this section.
(10) Assume other responsibilities as may be provided in state or federal law.
III. There is hereby established in the office of the treasury the higher education fund to be administered by the higher education commission. The fund shall be nonlapsing and continually appropriated to the higher education commission for the purposes established in this chapter. All fees collected by the commission relative to the performance of its duties shall be deposited into the fund.
Source. 2011, 224:126, eff. July 1, 2011. 2013, 164:1, eff. June 28, 2013. 2014, 132:1, eff. June 16, 2014. 2016, 43:1, eff. July 2, 2016. 2018, 315:1, eff. Aug. 24, 2018. 2019, 132:4, eff. Aug. 24, 2019. 2020, 6:27, eff. Mar. 9, 2020; 38:36, eff. Jan. 1, 2021.