Regents to merge CEU & SEATC

Posted Thursday, November 2, 2006 - 12:00am

College of Eastern Utah and the Southeast Applied Technology College will merge into a single college, according to the Utah State Board of Regents. The action was taken at their monthly meeting last Thursday in Salt Lake City. Pres. Ryan Thomas explained the actions at the all-campus meeting Tuesday.

According to the October 18 memorandum from Commissioner Richard E. Kendell, the regents recommended, "In order to meet the needs of the southeastern Utah community in the most effective and responsive manner, the mission and function of the Southeast Applied Technology College (SEATC) campus of the Utah College of Applied Technology (UCAT) should be merged with the College of Eastern Utah (CEU), a comprehensive community college. In effect, the missions of both institutions can be preserved and enhanced.

Their second recommendation centered around the legislature approving the merger. "In order for a merger to occur, the statute specifying the makeup of the UCAT will need to be amended during the 2007 regular legislative session. The Commissioner is directed to seek legislation to enable this proposed change. The merger would be effective July 1, 2007," said the memorandum.

Recommendation III discussed implementations the two schools needed to address before the merger could take place.

The commissioners wrote that, "The institutional mission of the UCAT campus needs to be a clearly identifiable addition to the mission of the College of Eastern Utah."

They addressed the two college's procedures and policies, including a line item budget for UCAT funding, that should be created in order to ensure UCAT funding as an integral part of the overall CEU budget.

A charge should be given to the commissioner of higher education and the president of the College of Eastern Utah to implement and monitor the combining of the institutional missions, to preserve the function and services of the UCAT campus. Benchmarks should be set for current UCAT activities and an accountability plan implemented. This should be done in consultation with the president of the Utah College of Applied Technology, said the document.

The commissioners outlined several models to restructure the administration of the College of Eastern Utah. The final model would be determined by the president of CEU, in consultation with the president of UCAT and the commissioner of higher education, continued the document.

The commissioners believed a transition team, consisting of representatives from CEU, SEATC, the commissioner's office, public school districts, and the regional business community served by CEU, should be formed and charged with developing a detailed plan for the merger of the two institutions, including: a. A plan for the merger of faculty and staff functions, policies and procedures; b. A plan for the leveraging of assets to build and support Career and Technical Education in the region; c. A plan for transitioning the SEATC Board of Directors into a Career and Technical Education Advisory Board, with representation on the Board for both the College of Eastern Utah, the Utah College of Applied Technology, and public education; and, d. A plan for articulating credit and non-credit programs.

The transition team should be appointed by the commissioner of higher education, in consultation with the UCAT President and CEU President, wrote Kendell.

The last two recommendations said, the planning for this anticipated change should commence immediately and the commissioner will prepare a progress report to the Regents and the UCAT Trustees no later than one year from the date of formal implementation.

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