Upon ratification and approval of the Western Regional Higher Education Compact by four or more of the specified states or territories in addition to this state, the governor shall execute the Compact on behalf of the state and perform other acts requisite to its formal ratification and promulgation.
The Compact for Education is enacted into law and entered into in behalf of the State of Alaska with all other states and jurisdictions legally joining in it in a form substantially as contained in AS 14.44.055.
The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education shall administer the state's participation in the Western Regional Higher Education Compact. The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education may adopt regulations to implement AS 14.44.010 - 14.44.040.
The Western Regional Higher Education Compact, recommended by the Western Governors' Conference on November 10, 1950, for adoption by the states or territories of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, is ratified and approved and the adherence of this state to this Compact, upon its ratification and approval by four or more of these states or territories in addition to this state, is declared.
State participation under Articles VIII and XIII of the Western Regional Higher Education Compact shall be limited to the provision of adequate services and facilities in the professional fields of study available through the Professional Student Exchange Program administered by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education. The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education shall establish funding priorities under AS 14.44.035 for the available fields of study by analyzing student access and state labor needs.
(a) The governor, with the advice and consent of the legislature, shall appoint the members for this state of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, created under the provisions of Article III of the Western Regional Higher Education Compact.
(b) The qualifications and terms of office of the members of the commission of this state shall conform with the provisions of Article IV of the Compact.
(c) The commissioners shall serve without compensation and shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
(a) One of the commission members shall be the governor; one shall be the state commissioner of education and early development; two shall be members of the state legislature selected by its respective houses and serving in the manner the legislature may determine; one shall be the president of the state Board of Education and Early Development; and two shall be appointed at large by and serve at the pleasure of the governor.
(b) The terms of office of the at-large members shall be four years; however, the first members shall be appointed as follows: one for two years, and one for four years. Each member shall hold office until a successor is appointed and qualified.
(c) The legislative and at-large members of the commission serve without compensation but are entitled to per diem and travel expenses provided by law for other state boards and commissions.
(a) As a condition of eligibility for receiving financial support from the state under the Professional Student Exchange Program of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, a program participant shall agree to repay to the state the support provided by the state on behalf of that person, plus interest.
(b) A repayment under this section shall be paid into the education loan fund created under AS 14.42.210 .
(c) If a program participant defaults on the repayment obligation, the provisions of AS 14.43.145 - 14.43.155 apply to collect on the obligation as if it were a defaulted loan under AS 14.43.
Article 02. COMPACT FOR EDUCATION
The terms and provisions of the Compact referred to in AS 14.44.010 are as follows: Article I
WESTERN REGIONAL HIGHER EDUCATION COMPACT
Whereas, the future of this Nation and of the Western States is dependent upon the quality of the education of its youth; and
Whereas, many of the Western States individually do not have sufficient numbers of potential students to warrant the establishment and maintenance within their borders of adequate facilities in all of the essential fields of technical, professional, and graduate training, nor all of the States have the financial ability to furnish within their borders institutions capable of providing acceptable standards of training in all of the fields mentioned above; and
Whereas, it is believed that the Western States, or groups of such states within the Region, cooperatively can provide acceptable and efficient educational facilities to meet the needs of the Region and of the students thereof:
Now, therefore, the States of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, and the Territories of Alaska and Hawaii do hereby covenant and agree as follows: Article II
Each of the compacting states and territories pledge to each of the other compacting states and territories faithful cooperation in carrying out all the purposes of this Compact. Article III
The compacting states and territories hereby create the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, hereinafter called the Commission. Said Commission shall be a body corporate of each compacting state and territory and an agency thereof. The Commission shall have all the powers and duties set forth herein, including the power to sue and to be sued, and such additional powers as may be conferred upon it by subsequent action of the respective legislatures of the compacting states and territories. Article IV
The Commission shall consist of three resident members from each compacting state or territory. At all times one Commissioner from each compacting state or territory shall be an educator engaged in the field of higher education in the state or territory from which the commissioner is appointed.
The Commissioners from each state and territory shall be appointed by the Governor thereof as provided by law in such state or territory. Any Commissioner may be removed or suspended from office as provided by the law of the state or territory from which the commissioner shall have been appointed.
The terms of each Commissioner shall be four years; provided however, that the first three Commissioners shall be appointed as follows; one for two years, one for three years, and one for four years. Each Commissioner shall hold office until a successor shall be appointed and qualified. If any office becomes vacant for any reason, the Governor shall appoint a Commissioner to fill the office for the remainder of the unexpired term. Article V
Any business transacted at any meeting of the Commission must be by affirmative vote of a majority of the whole number of compacting states and territories.
One or more Commissioners from a majority of the compacting states and territories shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Each compacting state and territory represented at any meeting of the Commission is entitled to one vote. Article VI
The Commission shall elect from its number a chairman and a vice chairman, and may appoint, and at its pleasure dismiss or remove, such officers, agents, and employees as may be required to carry out the purpose of this Compact; and shall fix and determine their duties, qualifications and compensation, having due regard for the importance of the responsibilities involved.
The Commissioners shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses from the funds of the Commission. Article VII
The Commission shall adopt a seal and bylaws and shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for its management and control.
The Commission may elect such committees as it deems necessary for the carrying out of its functions.
The Commission shall establish and maintain an office within one of the compacting states for the transaction of its business and may meet at any time, but in any event must meet at least once a year. The Chairman may call such additional meetings and upon the request of a majority of the Commissioners of three or more compacting states or territories shall call additional meetings.
The Commission shall submit a budget to the Governor of each compacting state and territory at such time and for such period as may be required.
The Commission shall, after negotiations with interested institutions, determine the cost of providing the facilities for graduate and professional education for use in its contractual agreements throughout the Region.
On or before the fifteenth day of January of each year, the Commission shall submit to the Governors and Legislatures of the compacting states and territories a report of its activities for the preceding calendar year.
The Commission shall keep accurate books of account, showing in full its receipts and disbursements, and said books of account shall be open at any reasonable time for inspection by the Governor of any compacting state or territory or designated representatives of the Governor. The Commission shall not be subject to the audit and accounting procedure of any of the compacting states or territories. The Commission shall provide for an independent annual audit. Article VIII
It shall be the duty of the Commission to enter into such contractual agreements with any institutions in the Region offering graduate or professional education and with any of the compacting states or territories as may be required in the judgment of the Commission to provide adequate services and facilities of graduate and professional education for the citizens of the respective compacting states or territories. The Commission shall first endeavor to provide adequate services and facilities in the fields of dentistry, medicine, public health, and veterinary medicine, and may undertake similar activities in other professional and graduate fields.
For this purpose the Commission may enter into contractual agreements -
(a) with the governing authority of any educational institution in the Region, or with any compacting state or territory, to provide such graduate or professional educational services upon terms and conditions to be agreed upon between contracting parties, and
(b) with the governing authority of any educational institution in the Region or with any compacting state or territory to assist in the placement of graduate or professional students in educational institutions in the Region providing the desired services and facilities, upon such terms and conditions as the Commission may prescribe.
It shall be the duty of the Commission to undertake studies of needs for professional and graduate educational facilities in the Region, the resources for meeting such needs, and the long-range effects of the Compact on higher education; and from time to time prepare comprehensive reports on such research for presentation to the Western Governors' Conference and to the legislatures of the compacting states and territories. In conducting such studies, the Commission may confer with any national or regional planning body which may be established. The Commission shall draft and recommend to the Governors of the various compacting states and territories, uniform legislation dealing with problems of higher education in the Region.
For the purposes of this Compact the word 'Region'shall be construed to mean the geographical limits of the several compacting states and territories. Article IX
The operating costs of the Commission shall be apportioned equally among the compacting states and territories. Article X
This Compact shall become operative and binding immediately as to those states and territories adopting it whenever five or more of the states or territories of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Alaska and Hawaii have duly adopted it prior to July 1, 1955. This Compact shall become effective as to any additional states or territories adopting thereafter at the time of such adoption. Article XI
This Compact may be terminated at any time by consent of a majority of the compacting states or territories. Consent shall be manifested by passage and signature in the usual manner of legislation expressing such consent by the legislature and Governor of such terminating state. Any state or territory may at any time withdraw from this Compact by means of appropriate legislation to that end. Such withdrawal shall not become effective until two years after written notice thereof by the Governor of the withdrawing state or territory accompanied by a certified copy of the requisite legislative action is received by the Commission. Such withdrawal shall not relieve the withdrawing state or territory from its obligations hereunder accruing prior to the effective date of withdrawal. The withdrawing state or territory may rescind its action of withdrawal at any time within the two-year period. Thereafter, the withdrawing state or territory may be reinstated by application to and the approval by a majority vote of the Commission. Article XII
If any compacting state or territory shall at any time default in the performance of any of its obligations assumed or imposed in accordance with the provisions of this Compact, all rights, privileges and benefits conferred by this Compact or agreements hereunder, shall be suspended from the effective date of such default as fixed by the Commission.
Unless such default shall be remedied within a period of two years following the effective date of such default, this Compact may be terminated with respect to such defaulting state or territory by affirmative vote of three-fourths of the other member states or territories.
Any such defaulting state may be reinstated by:
(a) performing all acts and obligations upon which it has heretofore defaulted, and (b) application to and the approval by a majority vote of the Commission. Article XIII
(a) The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education is authorized to act on behalf of this state in making arrangements for the placement of students in institutions and programs of higher learning outside the states which are parties to the Compact for establishing the Commission. For that purpose, the Commission may negotiate and enter into arrangements and contracts with this state or any appropriate agency of it, with public and private educational institutions and agencies, and with states and other governmental entities. These arrangements and contracts may provide for the obtaining of one or more places for students on either a special or continuing basis; the payment of partial or full tuition and other charges; and the furnishing of reciprocal, compensating or other advantages and benefits in support of the educational program involved.
(b) The authority conferred by (a) of this article shall be exercised only pursuant to written agreement between the Commission and an agency of this state having responsibility for or duties with respect to programs for assisting residents of this state to obtain higher education. Any such agreements shall include provisions for the payment of tuition and any other costs, and no such agreement shall be made which commits this state or any agency or officer of it to any obligation for which funds have not been appropriated or otherwise made available in accordance with law.
(c) Nothing contained in this article alters any of the obligations or restricts or impairs any rights which this state may have under the Compact establishing the Commission.
The terms and provisions of the compact referred to in AS 14.44.050 are as follows: Article I. Purpose and Policy.
COMPACT FOR EDUCATION.
Section A. It is the purpose of this compact to:
(1) establish and maintain close cooperation and understanding among executive, legislative, professional, educational and lay leadership on a nationwide basis at the state and local levels;
(2) provide a forum for the discussion, development, crystallization and recommendation of public policy alternatives in the field of education;
(3) provide a clearinghouse of information on matters relating to educational problems and how they are being met in different places throughout the nation, so that the executive and legislative branches of state government and of local communities may have ready access to the experience and record of the entire country, and so that both lay and professional groups in the field of education may have additional avenues for the sharing of experience and the interchange of ideas in the formation of public policy in education;
(4) facilitate the improvement of state and local educational systems so that all of them will be able to meet adequate and desirable goals in a society which requires continuous qualitative and quantitative advance in educational opportunities, methods and facilities.
Section B. It is the policy of this compact to encourage and promote local and state initiative in the development, maintenance, improvement and administration of educational systems and institutions in a manner which will accord with the needs and advantages of diversity among localities and states.
Section C. The party states recognize that each of them has an interest in the quality and quantity of education furnished in each of the other states, as well as in the excellence of its own educational systems and institutions, because of the highly mobile character of individuals within the nation, and because the products and services contributing to the health, welfare and economic advancement of each state are supplied in significant part by persons educated in other states. Article II. The Commission.
Section A. The Education Commission of the States, hereinafter called 'the commission,' is hereby established. The commission shall consist of seven members representing each party state. In addition to any other principles or requirements which a state may establish for the appointment and service of its members of the commission, the guiding principle for the composition of the membership on the commission from each party state shall be that the members representing such state shall, by virtue of their training, experience, knowledge or affiliations be in a position collectively to reflect broadly the interests of the state government, higher education, the state education system, local education and lay and professional public and nonpublic educational leadership. In addition to the members of the commission representing the party states, there may be not to exceed 10 nonvoting commissioners selected by the steering committee for the terms of one year. Such commissioners shall represent leading national organizations of professional educators or persons concerned with educational administration.
Section B. The members of the commission shall be entitled to one vote each on the commission. No action of the commission shall be binding unless taken at a meeting at which a majority of the total number of votes on the commission are cast in favor thereof. Action of the commission shall be only at a meeting at which a majority of the commissioners are present. The commission shall meet at least once a year. In its bylaws, and subject to such directions and limitations as may be contained therein, the commission may delegate the exercise of any of its powers to the steering committee or the executive director, except for the power to approve budgets or requests for appropriations, the power to make policy recommendations pursuant to Article III and adoption of the annual report pursuant to Article II(J).
Section C. The commission shall have a seal.
Section D. The commission shall elect annually, from among its members, a chairman, who shall be a governor, a vice chairman and a treasurer. The commission shall provide for the appointment of an executive director. Such executive director shall serve at the pleasure of the commission, and together with the treasurer and such other personnel as the commission may deem appropriate shall be bonded in such amount as the commission shall determine. The executive director shall be secretary.
Section E. Irrespective of the civil service, personnel or other merit system laws of any of the party states, the executive director subject to the approval of the steering committee shall appoint, remove or discharge such personnel as may be necessary for the performance of the functions of the commission, and shall fix the duties and compensation of such personnel. The commission in its bylaws shall provide for the personnel policies and programs of the commission.
Section F. The commission may borrow, accept or contract for the services of personnel from any party jurisdiction, the United States, or any subdivision or agency of the aforementioned governments, or from any agency of two or more of the party jurisdictions or their subdivisions.
Section G. The commission may accept for any of its purposes and functions under this compact any and all donations, and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials and services, conditional or otherwise, from any state, the United States, or any other governmental agency, or from any person, firm, association, foundation, or corporation, and may receive, utilize and dispose of the same. Any donation or grant accepted by the commission pursuant to this paragraph or services borrowed pursuant to paragraph (F) of this article shall be reported in the annual report of the commission. Such report shall include the nature, amount and conditions, if any, of the donation, grant, or services borrowed, and the identity of the donor or lender.
Section H. The commission may establish and maintain such facilities as may be necessary for the transacting of its business. The commission may acquire, hold, and convey real and personal property and any interest therein.
Section I. The commission shall adopt bylaws for the conduct of its business and shall have the power to amend and rescind these bylaws. The commission shall publish its bylaws in convenient form and shall file a copy thereof and a copy of any amendment thereto, with the appropriate agency or officer in each of the party states.
Section J. The commission annually shall make to the governor and legislature of each party state a report covering the activities of the commission for the preceding year. The commission may make such additional reports as it may deem desirable. Article III. Powers.
In addition to authority conferred on the commission by other provisions of the compact, the commission shall have authority to:
(1) collect, correlate, analyze and interpret information and data concerning educational needs and resources;
(2) encourage and foster research in all aspects of education, but with special reference to the desirable scope of instruction, organization, administration, and instructional methods and standards employed or suitable for employment in public educational systems;
(3) develop methods for adequate financing of education as a whole and at each of its many levels;
(4) conduct or participate in research of the types referred to in this article in any instance where the commission finds that such research is necessary for the advancement of the purposes and policies of this compact, utilizing fully the resources of national associations, regional compact organizations for higher education, and other agencies and institutions, both public and private;
(5) formulate suggested policies and plans for the improvement of public education as a whole, or for any segment thereof, and make recommendations with respect thereto available to the appropriate governmental units, agencies and public officials;
(6) do such other things as may be necessary or incidental to the administration of any of its authority or functions pursuant to this compact. Article IV. Cooperation with Federal Government.
Section A. If the laws of the United States specifically so provide, or if administrative provision is made therefor within the federal government, the United States may be represented on the commission by not to exceed 10 representatives. Any such representative or representatives of the United States shall be appointed and serve in such manner as may be provided by or pursuant to federal law, and may be drawn from any one or more branches of the federal government, but no such representative shall have a vote on the commission.
Section B. The commission may provide information and make recommendations to any executive or legislative agency or officer of the federal government concerning the common educational policies of the states, and may advise with any such agencies or officers concerning any matter of mutual interest. Article V. Committees.
Section A. To assist in the expeditious conduct of its business when the full commission is not meeting, the commission shall have a steering committee of 32 members which, subject to the provisions of this compact and consistent with the policies of the commission, shall be constituted and function as provided in the bylaws of the commission. One-fourth of the membership of the steering committee shall consist of governors, one-fourth shall consist of legislators, and the remainder shall consist of other members of the commission. A federal representative on the commission may serve with the steering committee, but without vote. The voting members of the steering committee shall serve for terms of two years, except that members elected to the first steering committee of the commission shall be elected as follows: 16 for one year and 16 for two years. The chairman, vice chairman, and treasurer of the commission shall be members of the steering committee and, anything in this paragraph to the contrary notwithstanding, shall serve during their continuance in these offices. Vacancies in the steering committee shall not affect its authority to act, but the commission at its next regularly ensuing meeting following the occurrence of any vacancy shall fill it for the unexpired term. No person shall serve more than two terms as a member of the steering committee; provided that service for a partial term of one year or less shall not be counted toward the two term limitation.
Section B. The commission may establish advisory and technical committees composed of state, local and federal officials, and private persons to advise it with respect to any one or more of its functions. Any advisory or technical committee may, on request of the states concerned, be established to consider any matter of special concern to two or more of the party states.
Section C. The commission may establish such additional committees as its bylaws may provide. Article VI. Finance.
Section A. The commission shall advise the governor or designated officer or officers of each party state of its budget and estimated expenditures for such period as may be required by the laws of that party state. Each of the commission's budgets of estimated expenditures shall contain specific recommendations of the amount or amounts to be appropriated by each of the party states.
Section B. The total amount of appropriation requests under any budget shall be apportioned among the party states as follows: one-third in equal shares; and the remainder in proportion to the population of each party state as shown in the most recent decennial census of population taken by the United States Bureau of the Census, or any agency successor thereto.
Section C. The commission shall not pledge the credit of any party state. The commission may meet any of its obligations in whole or in part with funds available to it pursuant to article II of this compact, provided that the commission takes specific action setting aside such funds prior to incurring an obligation to be met in whole or in part in such manner. Except where the commission makes use of funds available to it pursuant to article II(G) thereof, the commission shall not incur any obligation prior to the allotment of funds by the party states adequate to meet the same.
Section D. The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the commission shall be subject to the audit and accounting procedures established by its bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the commission shall be audited yearly by a qualified public accountant, and the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual reports of the commission.
Section E. The accounts of the commission shall be open at any reasonable time for inspection by duly constituted officers of the party states and by any persons authorized by the commission.
Section F. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to prevent commission compliance with laws relating to audit or inspection of accounts by or on behalf of any government contributing to the support of the commission. Article VII. Eligible Parties: Entry Into and Withdrawal.
Section A. This compact shall have as eligible parties all states, territories, and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. In respect of any such jurisdiction not having a governor, the term 'governor,' as used in this compact, shall mean the closest equivalent official of such jurisdiction.
Section B. Any state or other eligible jurisdiction may enter into this compact and it shall become binding thereon when it has adopted the same; provided that in order to enter into initial effect, adoption by at least 10 eligible party jurisdictions shall be required.
Section C. Any party state or jurisdiction may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing the same, but no such withdrawal shall take effect until one year after the governor of the withdrawing state or other jurisdiction has given notice in writing of the withdrawal to the governors of all other party states and jurisdictions. No withdrawal shall affect any liability already incurred by or chargeable to a party state or jurisdiction prior to the time of such withdrawal. Article VIII. Construction and Severability.
This compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes thereof. The provisions of this compact shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any state or of the United States, or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any state participating therein, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters. Article IX. State Defined.
As used in this compact, 'state,' means a state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.