Meeting to Vote on Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Mandate Relief Bills

Meeting to Vote on Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
Mandate Relief Bills

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
8 E-W East Wing
10:30 a.m.

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SB 1133 (Sen. D. White) – Permits all PASSHE institutions to provide graduate instruction at the doctoral level in areas of study leading to professional doctoral degrees – also known as applied doctoral degrees.  Currently, only Indiana University of Pennsylvania has the ability to offer a doctoral level degree.  Under the legislation, IUP remains the only institution that can offer a doctor of philosophy (PhD).

A05938 – The Chair will offer a technical amendment on behalf of the Prime Sponsor.

SB 1211 (Sen. MJ White) – Provides additional flexibility for the Universities by removing the required delegation of all projects to the schools by the Department of General Services.  PASSHE and the Universities currently cannot modify, repair or renovate any facility erected by DGS unless prior written notice is given by DGS.  Since DGS is not a user of the facilities, their understanding of University needs and priorities is limited.

A05936 The Chair will offer a technical amendment on behalf of the Prime Sponsor

SB 1221 (Sen. Dinniman) – Removes impediments that greatly impact the entrepreneurial ability of the Universities to guide affiliated not-for-profit foundations which are designed to generate alternative revenues for the Universities and PASSHE in the face of declining state funds.  These not-for-profit affiliated foundations can receive an array of gifts that the universities by law cannot accept.  Currently law — the Adverse Interest Act – prohibits the Universities from having any direct voting membership on the governing board and limits the degree to which University employees such as the President can assist with fund raising efforts that are designed to benefit the University.

A06171 – Senator Dinniman will offer an amendment that states nothing shall be construed to alter or affect the responsibilities and duties of affiliated entities under the “Right-to-Know Act”

SB 1239 (Sen. Boscola) – Provides the Universities with the flexibility to achieve greater efficiencies in procurement, construction and renovation project management and contract approvals by streamlining the current, duplicative levels of required approvals under then Commonwealth Attorneys Act.  All contacts are to be made available to the public by listing them with the State Treasury Department in accordance with the Right to Know Act.

SB 1322 (Sen. Smucker) – Permits the state-owned universities to enter into an agreement with an entity for cooperative procurement of supplies and services.  Cooperative purchases made through this consortium will be done in accordance with current competitive bidding requirements.

SB 1308 (Sen. Tomlinson) – Encourages more research activities to generate and commercialize intellectual property and technology transfer by removing State barriers that have a chilling effect on research. Faculties are currently not permitted to receive compensation for assisting companies in the development of intellectual property which the firms have purchased or licensed from the University. This legislation addresses an unintended consequence of the State Adverse Interest Act and would exempt these types of transactions from the Adverse Interest Act and will encourage entrepreneurial leadership and the development of cutting edge research within the PASSHE institutions. While generating supplemental resources for Universities, it can also lead to the creation of small businesses that generate jobs and revenues for Pennsylvania.