HB1692 (2012) Detail

Making changes to the administration of the university system of New Hampshire.


8Feb2012… 0475h

05/02/12 1884s





AN ACT establishing additional reporting requirements for the university system of New Hampshire.

SPONSORS: Rep. Parsons, Straf 3; Rep. O'Brien, Hills 4; Rep. Bettencourt, Rock 4; Rep. Weyler, Rock 8; Rep. DeLemus, Straf 1; Rep. D. McGuire, Merr 8; Rep. Hill, Merr 6; Rep. Kreis, Merr 6; Rep. Chandler, Carr 1

COMMITTEE: Education


This bill requires the board of trustees of the university system of New Hampshire to submit an annual accountability and transparency report and a report on the board’s autonomy efforts.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

8Feb2012… 0475h

05/02/12 1884s




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twelve

AN ACT establishing additional reporting requirements for the university system of New Hampshire.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Paragraph; State College and University System; Legislative Oversight. Amend RSA 187-A:2-b by inserting after paragraph II the following new paragraph:

III.(a) By January 31 of each year, the board of trustees of the university system of New Hampshire shall submit an annual accountability and transparency report on the university system office to the chairpersons of the house and senate finance and education committees, the chairpersons of the public higher education study committee, the speaker of the house of representatives, the senate president, the governor and council, the house clerk, the senate clerk, and the state library. The report shall include a description of the results from efforts to control costs and prices while sustaining and improving the quality of programs and services and student success in earning degrees.

(b) The report shall include the following information about the university system office:

(1) Highlights from the previous fiscal year.

(2) Major initiatives completed in the past year.

(3) Analysis of the prior fiscal year budget.

(4) Number of employees.

(5) Responsibilities.

(6) Organizational chart.

(7) Goals for the upcoming fiscal year.

(c) The report shall contain reports on progress in achieving the university system’s goals including:

(1) Access and accountability.

(2) Efficiency and effectiveness.

(3) Workforce and economic development.

(4) World-class academic programs and research.

(d) The university system board of trustees shall make the report available to the public by posting it in a conspicuous location on the university system website, along with copies of the reports filed by the university system under RSA 187-A:16, RSA 187-A:22, and RSA 187-A:25-a. The board shall also make minutes from the board of trustees’ meetings and such other reports and information as the board of trustees determines would enhance the accountability and transparency of the university system office.

2 Report on Board Autonomy Efforts. The university system board of trustees shall submit a report by November 30, 2012 to the house and senate education committees and the house and senate finance committees on the status of the work of the board of trustees to modify current board policies and procedures to enhance the ability of the 4 component institutions of the university system to operate with the highest measure of autonomy and self-governance to achieve their respective unique educational missions while continuing to operate as a well coordinated system of public higher education, subject to the supervision of the board of trustees. This report shall include information regarding the estimated fiscal impact of such work.

3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.



Amended 03/09/12


AN ACT establishing additional reporting requirements for the university system of New Hampshire.


      The University System of New Hampshire states this bill, as amended by the House (Amendment #2012-0475h), will have an indeterminable effect on state revenue and expenditures in FY 2013 and each year thereafter. There is no fiscal impact on county or local revenue or expenditures.


    The University System of New Hampshire states this bill eliminates the position of System chancellor and transfers the associated duties to the volunteer chair of System’s board of trustees; reduces the size of the System’s board of trustees; and restricts the ability of the System’s board to appoint employees, under the auspices of a newly created “business manager”, to “up to 11 university system administrators to provide a well coordinated system of higher education.” Based on testimony from several sponsors, the System interprets this last provision as restricting the board from hiring full-time equivalent (FTE) employees at the System’s central office.

    The System states the FY 2012 budget for the chancellor’s office is $11.2 million, down from $12.6 million in FY 2010, and FY 2011 spending on the centralized administrative services of the chancellor’s office represented 1.4% of expenditures for the System as a whole. The System states currently the chancellor’s office is staffed by 71.1 FTE employees, who perform a number of centralized functions for the member institutions, including legal counsel, government relations, policy analysis, information technology planning, academic program coordination, controller, budget, treasury, internal audit, capital planning, contracts administration, purchasing, payroll, accounts payable, tax administration, human resources and financial systems, employee benefits and compensation, and support for the System’s volunteer board of trustees. The System states these centralized functions are not duplicative of functions at the individual institutions.

    The System states, due to a lack of clarity in the specific terms of the bill and an uncertainty regarding the potential future actions the board may take in response to this bill, it cannot provide precise estimates of the fiscal impact of this bill. The System does however state the reduction in positions in the chancellor’s office will not result in any cost reduction for the System as a whole, as the services no longer provided by the chancellor’s office would need to be replaced at the individual institutions, and could lead to duplicative costs at each of the 4 member institutions. The System also states Moody’s Investor Services, cited this bill as a challenge to the System’s maintenance of their Aa3 bond rating and stable outlook. To the extent ratings agencies view this bill’s modifications to the governance and management ability of the system as negative, the System could experience increased borrowing costs.