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S.M. 1996, c. 38
THE COUNCIL ON POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION ACT
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(Assented to November 19, 1996)
WHEREAS the creation and sharing of knowledge in an atmosphere of open and critical thought is essential to meaningful citizenship and participation in a democratic society;
AND WHEREAS universities and colleges are among Manitoba's principal assets and a main instrument to ensure the long-term social, cultural and economic well-being of the province and its citizens;
AND WHEREAS it is essential to promote excellence in the post-secondary education system while ensuring that it provides choice and accessibility for students and makes the best use of available resources;
AND WHEREAS post-secondary education must be well-coordinated in order to establish a basis for broader, future-oriented partnerships among the universities, among colleges, between universities and colleges, and between post-secondary institutions and government;
AND WHEREAS it is in the public interest to enact legislation that establishes a council to plan and coordinate, in consultation with universities and colleges, a strong and dynamic post-secondary education system in the province that is nationally and internationally competitive;
THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
1 In this Act,
"board" means the board of governors or board of regents of a university or college; (« conseil »)
"college" means a college established under The Colleges Act; (« collège »)
"collegiate program" means a program that is taken to attain secondary school standing or that is approved by the minister under The Education Administration Act; (« programme d'études collégiales »)
"council" means the Council on Post-Secondary Education established in section 2; (« Conseil »)
"denominational theological program" means a program or subject for which credits are given only for a degree or diploma in theology; (« programme d'études en théologie confessionnelle »)
"Fund" means the Post-Secondary Grants Fund referred to in section 19; (« Fonds »)
"minister" means the member of the Executive Council charged by the Lieutenant Governor in Council with the administration of this Act; (« ministre »)
"post-secondary education" means education in programs and subjects normally offered by universities or colleges, but does not include a collegiate program or a denominational theological program; (« enseignement postsecondaire »)
"student" means a student of a university or college; (« étudiant »)
(a) The University of Manitoba,
(b) a college declared to be affiliated with The University of Manitoba under The University of Manitoba Act, and
(c) a university established under The Universities Establishment Act. (« université »)
COUNCIL ON POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION
2(1) The Council on Post-Secondary Education is established as a body corporate.
2(2) The Corporations Act does not apply to the council except to the extent determined by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
3(1) The mandate of the council is to plan and coordinate the development of a post-secondary education system in the province that promotes excellence in and accessibility to education, supports the coordination and integration of services and facilities, and promotes fiscal responsibility.
3(2) In carrying out its mandate, the council may not interfere with
(a) the basic right of a university or college to formulate academic policies and standards;
(b) the independence of a university or college in fixing standards of admission and of graduation; or
(c) the independence of a university or college in the appointment of staff.
4 In carrying out its mandate, the council shall
(a) act as an intermediary between post-secondary institutions and the government; and
(b) operate within a framework of accountability established by the minister, who may give the council general direction on matters that relate to its mandate and that are, in the minister's opinion, of significant public interest.
5(1) The council is to consist of 11 members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
5(2) The members are to be appointed for the term fixed in the order appointing them, which must not exceed three years.
5(3) Members of the council are eligible to serve no more than two consecutive terms.
5(4) A member whose term expires continues to hold office until reappointed or a successor is appointed.
5(5) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may fill a vacancy on the council by appointing a person to fill the unexpired term of the former member, and an appointment to an unexpired term is not to be considered as a term of office for the purpose of subsection (3).
5(6) A vacancy in the membership of the council does not impair the capacity of the remaining members of the council to act.
5(7) Members are to be paid the remuneration and expenses that the Lieutenant Governor in Council determines.
6(1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall designate one of the members of the council as chairperson and another as vice-chairperson of the council.
6(2) The chairperson is to preside over meetings of the council.
6(3) If the chairperson is absent or otherwise unable to act or if the office is vacant, the vice-chairperson has all the powers and shall perform the duties of the chairperson.
7 A majority of the members constitute a quorum of the council.
8 In consultation with the minister, the council may make any by-laws it considers necessary for the administration of its affairs, including by-laws to establish committees.
9 There may be appointed as provided in The Civil Service Act any officers and employees that are necessary to carry out the work of the council and the administration of this Act.
10(1) For the purpose of carrying out its mandate, the council has the capacity and powers of a natural person, except that it may not acquire, hold or dispose of an interest in real property, other than a leasehold interest, without first obtaining the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
10(2) The council is an agent of Her Majesty in right of the province.
DUTIES AND POWERS
11 To carry out its mandate, the council shall
(a) assess, on an ongoing basis, the post-secondary educational needs of the province and the ability of universities and colleges to meet those needs;
(b) within a framework established by the minister and after consultation with the universities and colleges and with students,
(i) determine priorities in the provision of post-secondary education, and
(ii) in accordance with those priorities, allocate funding to universities and colleges, or to programs within universities or colleges, with a view to avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort and expense within the post-secondary education system;
(c) advise and assist universities and colleges in planning for the development and delivery of academic programs, services and facilities;
(d) advise and assist universities and colleges in the development of a clear mandate for each institution;
(e) develop and implement, in cooperation with universities and colleges, accountability requirements for each university and college for the core functions of teaching, research and service, including the development of consistent and effective criteria for measuring their performance;
(f) facilitate the implementation of appropriate credit transfer arrangements between universities and colleges;
(g) exercise the powers and duties delegated to the council by the minister under section 6 of The Colleges Act; and
(h) advise the government on post-secondary education and related matters in the province.
12 The council may
(a) review and evaluate post-secondary programs and services and any other related matters;
(b) in consultation with the universities and colleges, develop policies for specialization and cooperation in the delivery of post-secondary programs and services;
(c) require a university or college to provide to the council, in the form and within the time period requested by the council, any financial or other information that the council considers necessary;
(d) recommend to the minister that the government enter into agreements and cooperative arrangements with extra-provincial authorities in order to provide Manitobans with access to post-secondary programs and services not available in the province;
(e) in consultation with the universities and colleges and with students, establish policies for tuition fees charged by universities and colleges;
(f) appoint a person or a committee to review and report on any matter concerning a university or college;
(g) request the auditor of a university or college to provide reports to the council on any matter related to the finances of the university or college;
(h) request the auditor of a university or college to undertake additional audits or other work in relation to the university or college and to report on that audit or other work to the council.
13 The council shall
(a) manage the business and affairs of the council and ensure that they are conducted in accordance with this Act;
(b) hold regularly scheduled meetings and any other meetings that it considers appropriate;
(c) prepare and maintain full and accurate records of its proceedings, transactions and finances;
(d) develop and maintain a multi-year operating and program plan; and
(e) at least every five years, conduct an organizational and operational review of the council in accordance with guidelines provided by the minister.
14(1) In this section, "program of study" means a group of credit courses that leads to the granting of a degree, diploma or certificate by a university or college.
14(2) A university or college that wishes to establish, make significant modifications to, or cease to provide a program of study, service or facility involving money at the disposal of the council shall first obtain the council's written approval.
14(3) After advising the minister, the council may grant an approval under subsection (2) for a limited period or may impose other terms and conditions on an approval, and a university or college shall comply with any terms and conditions that are imposed.
15 The fiscal year of the council is the period from April 1 to March 31 of the following year.
16(1) Within six months after the end of each fiscal year, the council shall prepare and submit to the minister an annual report of its operations during that fiscal year, and the report must include audited financial statements and any other information that the minister requests.
16(2) The minister shall lay the report of the council before the Legislative Assembly if it is in session, and if it is not, the minister shall without delay make the report public and, within 15 days after the beginning of the next session, lay a copy of the report before the Legislative Assembly.
16(3) The council shall provide the minister with any financial or other information that the minister may request.
17(1) The council shall establish and maintain an accounting system satisfactory to the minister.
17(2) The records, accounts and financial transactions of the council shall be audited annually by the Provincial Auditor, and the costs of the audit shall be paid out of the Fund.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES
18(1) Before the beginning of each fiscal year, the council shall
(a) inquire into the financial requirements of universities and colleges; and
(b) prepare an annual funding plan that includes a budget for that fiscal year indicating
(i) the grants that the council proposes to make to universities and colleges for operating and capital purposes and for special purposes, and
(ii) the amount required for the operation of the council.
18(2) The council shall submit the annual funding plan it prepares under clause (1)(b) to the minister for approval in the form and at the time specified by the minister.
18(3) Except with the written approval of the minister, the council shall not make any expenditure commitments that are not within the financial limits set by the annual funding plan.
19 The University Grants Fund is continued as the Post-Secondary Grants Fund, from which the council may make grants authorized under this Act and pay the costs related to providing those grants.
20 The money in the Fund shall be deposited in a financial institution, except as otherwise provided in subsections 21(3) and (4).
21(1) Amounts required for the conduct and operations of the Fund shall be paid to the council out of money appropriated by the Legislature for the purpose of the council.
21(2) Amounts paid under subsection (1) shall take into consideration the obligation of universities and colleges to pay grants under Part 10, Division 7 (grants in lieu of taxes) of The Municipal Act.
21(3) If at any time the balance at the credit of the Fund exceeds the amount required for the council's immediate purposes, the council shall pay over the excess to the Minister of Finance to be invested for the council, and the interest earnings are to be credited to the council's account in the Consolidated Fund.
21(4) Notwithstanding The Financial Administration Act, with the approval of the minister and subject to any terms that the minister may impose, the council may establish and maintain any reserves that it considers necessary or advisable, and money set aside for reserves must be paid to the Minister of Finance to be invested for the council.
22(1) To provide the council with working capital, the Minister of Finance, when requested to do so by the minister and with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, may advance to the council for use as working capital, without legislative authority or appropriation other than this section, such amounts as the minister requests.
22(2) An amount advanced under subsection (1) shall be repaid in the manner and on such terms and conditions, including the payment of interest, as the Minister of Finance may fix.
REQUIREMENTS FOR UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES
23(1) Each university and college shall submit to the council, at the time and in the form specified by the council, any comprehensive financial plans, budgets, financial statements, reports or other information that the council requests.
23(2) In any financial information submitted to the council, the assets, liabilities, reserves and other accounts relating to collegiate programs and denominational theological programs shall be identified separately from assets, liabilities, reserves and other accounts of other university or college operations.
24(1) After the end of each fiscal year, a board shall prepare and submit to the council and the minister an annual report of the operations of the university or college during that fiscal year, and the report must include audited financial statements and any other information that the minster may request.
24(2) The annual report of a university shall be submitted within six months after the end of each fiscal year and the annual report of a college shall be submitted within four months after the end of each fiscal year.
24(3) The minister shall lay the report of the university or college before the Legislative Assembly if it is in session, and if it is not, the minister shall without delay make the report public and, within 15 days after the beginning of the next session, lay a copy of the report before the Legislative Assembly.
24(4) A board shall, within 10 days after receiving a written request from the minister, provide the minister with any financial information that is specified in the request.
25 Notwithstanding any other Act, a university or college shall not incur any liability or make any expenditure in a fiscal year beyond
(a) the unexpended amount of the grants made to it by the council; and
(b) its estimated revenue from other sources to the end of that fiscal year;
unless an estimate of the liability or expenditure has first been submitted to and approved by the council.
26(1) The minister may appoint a person or a committee to review and report on the mandate of the council or any other matter concerning the council or this Act.
26(2) A person or committee appointed under subsection (1) may examine and inspect any records, documents or things in the possession or under the control of the council and make any inquiries the person or committee considers necessary.
26(3) The person having custody of the records, documents or things referred to in subsection (2) shall make them available to the person or committee appointed by the minister at the time they are requested.
27 No action or proceeding may be brought against the council, a member of the council, or an officer, employee or agent of the council for any act done in good faith in the performance or intended performance of a duty or in the exercise or intended exercise of a power under this Act, or for any neglect or default in the performance or exercise in good faith of such duty or power.
28 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting any matter or thing that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the intent and purpose of this Act.
29(1) The University of Manitoba Act is amended by this section.
29(2) Section 21 is amended by striking out "on or before October 1 next after the close of the fiscal year for which the audit is made".
29(3) Section 22 is repealed and the following is substituted:
22(1) Within six months after the end of each fiscal year, the board shall prepare and submit to the Minister of Education and Training an annual report of the operations of the university during that fiscal year, and the report must include audited financial statements and any other information that the minister may request.
22(2) The minister shall lay the report of the university before the Legislative Assembly if it is in session, and if it is not, the minister shall without delay make the report public and, within 15 days after the beginning of the next session, lay a copy of the report before the Legislative Assembly.
30 The Universities Grants Commission Act, R. S. M. 1987, c. U50, is repealed.
31 This Act may be cited as The Council on Post-Secondary Education Act and referred to as chapter C235 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.
32 This Act comes into force on a day fixed by proclamation.