Community colleges should be allowed to award bachelor degrees if and only if by doing so:
> They do no harm to the existing community college system.
> They do not harm the existing state higher education system.
To assure no reduction in availability, affordability, quality and openness, of the existing system, community colleges offering bachelor degrees should be required to abide by the following rules. The following rules are designed to assure that no existing community college resources are directly or accidentally diverted to bachelor degree programs, as that would harm the existing community college system and the state's higher education system. Any harm would not be in the taxpayers best interest.
1) Community colleges must have a state approved cost accounting system, to accurately separate community college costs from bachelor degree costs.
2) State approved overhead and burden rates must apply to all bachelor degree use of community college assets, staff and facilities.
3) No community college tuition, fees, etc. are to be used for bachelor degree programs.
4) No existing community college funds are to be used for the bachelor degree programs.
5) No direct or indirect use of local/property tax without local referendum specific to the bachelor degree program/s. Post referendum continued separation of prime mission and baccalaureate program/s funding.
6) No use of community college foundation funds donated for community college use. This does not prohibit the community college foundation from collecting and funding community college bachelor associated items, providing that funds donated for community college use are not commingled with bachelor degree funds. Note: With a few specific exceptions, existing foundation funds are community college only funds.
7) Bachelor degrees programs must not displace community college students.
8) Bachelor degrees programs must not displace community college program space. The community college must have state approved surplus space for the bachelor degree program/s or a funded plan for it.
9) Bachelor degree programs may not displace or substitute for community college programs. For example, a community college may not start a bachelor degree program in nursing if it is limiting enrollment to an associate degree nursing program or it does not have an associate degree program in nursing.
10) The program must have a state approved matriculation agreement with a local 4-year institution/s that accepts all program course work so as to eliminate student risk if the community college bachelor degree program is terminated before enrolled students (including part time ones) graduate.
11) Community colleges must use a state approved 10-year repayment plan for all direct and indirect cost associated with startup and/or initiation of a bachelor degree program that are expended after imposition of these rules. The goal is to allow studying/planning, but not to allow community college funding of bachelor degree programs under a planning/study category.
To avoid duplication of limited state higher education resources and harming the state higher education system the following rules should also apply to the proposed bachelor programs.
a) Bachelor degree programs to be offered must not be available at a state institution within a one-hour commute from the community college.
b) The closest two state universities and all others offering the specific proposed community college bachelor program, after having been offered community college space and assets at state approved rates to provide a local program, decline to provide it.
All other existing state higher education board (or equivalent) review/rules shall apply to each community college requested new bachelor degree program. State and/or federal funding of community college bachelor degrees remain a legislative prerogative.