Summary of May 3, 2018 NC-SARA Board Meeting

Members of the NC-SARA board met in Denver on May 3, 2017. The agenda and materials prepared for the meeting are available HERE. The NC-SARA Board took the following actions:

  • The Board clarified that institutional participation in SARA does not excuse or exempt institutions that participate in federally funded programs from the federal rules applicable to such programs.
     
  • The Board modified its Bylaws to establish shorter term limits for members and officers. Members appointed after June 1, 2018 may serve a maximum of two three-year terms; officers may serve two two-year terms during their time on the Board.
     
  • The Board modified data submission requirements for participating institutions to require institutions to report the number of in-state students (as well as out-of-state students) enrolled in distance education and to report the numbers of students they place in out-of-state learning placements. Both provisions will take effect in spring, 2019. (Institutions in spring 2018 have been asked to report voluntarily the numbers of students placed in out-of-state learning placements.)
     
  • The Board approved the creation of a student-searchable database/catalog of academic programs offered at a distance by SARA institutions. Institutional participation will be voluntary, no additional fees will be charged for participation, and implementation is planned for early 2019. Presentation slides about the database are available HERE.
     
  • The Board approved the proposed NC-SARA FY 2019 budget, including support for the creation of a searchable program database/catalog.

SARA’s rapid growth and unusual success has drawn a great deal of attention, and staff are frequently contacted by individuals interested in whether the “SARA approach” could help solve other problems. While staff have been very willing to discuss the “what, why and how” of SARA, we have resisted the idea of SARA taking on other worthy but not-directly-related work. Staff prompted Board discussion of this issue at the May 3 meeting. Following discussion, the Board authorized the Executive Director to bring forward for Board consideration only those proposed activities that meet all of the following seven points:

  • Related to the interstate delivery of postsecondary distance education;
     
  • Serves students, states and/or institutions;
     
  • The proposed activity would not be better provided by others;
     
  • NC-SARA is in an advantageous (if not unique) position to provide;
     
  • External demand is evident;
     
  • Financially viable within available resources; and
     
  • Have been discussed with stakeholders.

Potential additional activities would be considered by the NC-SARA Board and implemented only with their approval.

 

Marshall A. Hill
Executive Director, NC-SARA
May 9, 2018
 

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