Van De Kamp, 042484 CAAGO, AGO 83-1009

Docket Nº:AGO 83-1009
Case Date:April 24, 1984
Court:California
 
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JOHN K. VAN DE KAMP Attorney General
RODNEY O. LILYQUIST Deputy Attorney General
AGO 83-1009
No. 83-1009
California Attorney General Opinion
Office of the Attorney General State of California
April 24, 1984
         THE CALIFORNIA POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION COMMISSION has requested an opinion on the following questions:          1. In performing his duties under Education Code section 94310, subdivision (c), may the Superintendent of Public Instruction require of an institution the identification of each instructor of each course, a transcript, diploma, or other primary evidence of each instructor's stated qualifications, and that each instructor have preparation equivalent to the level and content of the course to be taught?          2. What type of assets of an institution may form the basis for compliance with Education Code section 94310, subdivision (c)?          3.Must the assets of an institution qualifying under Education Code section 94310, subdivision (c), provide sufficient resources to achieve the stated educational objectives of the institution that are multi-year in length?          CONCLUSIONS          1. In performing his duties under Education Code section 94310, subdivision (c), the Superintendent of Public Instruction may require of an institution the identification of each instructor and a transcript, diploma, or other primary evidence of each instructor's stated qualifications but may not require a list of each instructor's courses or that each instructor have preparation equivalent to the level and content of the courses to be taught.          2. The type of assets of an institution that may form the basis for compliance with Education Code section 94310, subdivision (c), are those that may be reasonably used to fulfill the institution's educational purposes determined on a case by case basis.          3. The assets of an institution qualifying under Education Code section 94310, subdivision (c), must provide sufficient resources to achieve the stated educational objectives of the institution that are multi-year in length.          ANALYSIS          In general terms, colleges and universities in California may issue degrees and diplomas if they are "accredited" (Ed. Code, § 94310, subd. (a)),[1] their degree programs are "approved" (§ 93410, subd. (b)), they are "authorized" (§ 94310, subd. (c)), or they are exempt from the statutory requirements (§ 94303) of the Private Postsecondary Education Act of 1977 (§§ 94300-94350; hereafter "Act"). (See 62 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 585 (1979); 34 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 98 (1959).)          The questions presented for resolution concern the "authorization" provisions of the Act, specifically the language of subdivision (c) of section 94310. Section 94310 states:
"No institution may issue, confer, or award an academic or honorary degree unless the institution meets the requirements of at least one of the three subdivisions of this section. "(a) . . . . "(b) . . . . "(c) The institution has filed the following affidavits with the superintendent: "(1) An annual affidavit of 'full disclosure' describing the institutional objectives and proposed methods of achieving them, the curriculum, instruction, faculty with qualifications, physical facilities, administrative personnel, educational recordkeeping procedures, tuition and fee schedule, tuition refund schedule, scholastic regulations, degrees to be conferred, graduation requirements, and financial stability as evidenced by a certified financial statement for the preceding year. "(2) An affidavit by the president or other head stating that the institution owns, and shall continue to own, net assets in the amount of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) which is used solely for the purpose of education as stated in paragraph (1) of this subdivision, located within the State of California, and stating that these assets provide sufficient resources to achieve the educational objectives of the institution. Such assets shall include such real property as buildings and facilities, library materials, and instructional materials, but shall not include other personal property not used directly and exclusively by the institution for the purpose of education. The affidavit shall be accompanied by a statement from a public accountant showing the value of the interest of the institution therein to be at least fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) above the unpaid balance on any note secured by a mortgage, deed of trust, or the unpaid balance on a contract of sale. " . . . . "Within 90 days of the receipt of the affidavits described in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subdivision, and prior to granting the initial authorization to operate, the superintendent shall verify the truthfulness and accuracy of the affidavits by impaneling a three-member team comprised of one representative which he or she shall select, one representative of the California Postsecondary Education Commission, and one representative selected by but not affiliated with the institution to be inspected. Within 30 days of the receipt of the report from the three-member team, the superintendent shall grant or deny authorization to operate. Authorization to operate may be denied only if the affidavits are inaccurate. Authorization to operate may be granted for one year initially and for periods of three years upon each
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