ITEM 118-104-R0103



TO:����������������� �Board of Regents


FROM:� ����������� LeRoy H. Schramm

����������������������� Chief Legal Counsel


RE:� ���������������� Revisions to Policy 320.1


DATE:�             January 16-17, 2003

Montana Statutes (20-25-107 MCA) mandate that any college or university that wishes to operate in this state must be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Board of Regents.� Another section (15-30-163 MCA) allows tax deductible contributions to the endowment funds of foundations established by Montana colleges or universities accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Regents.� In Policy 320.1 the Regents designated which accrediting agencies it recognized for purposes of these statutes.


The enforcement of 20-25-107 MCA rests with the Consumer Fraud Division of the Department of Administration and they have actively sought to keep unaccredited schools from offering academic degrees in Montana.� The Division recently suggested that its enforcement efforts would be aided if the Regents clarified Policy 320.1 in three ways.� They asked that the Board (1) make clear that schools that are �candidates for accreditation� may properly operate within the state; (2) define what kinds of degree offerings require accreditation under the statute; and (3) explicitly state that accreditation is the sole route to approval and that the Regents will not undertake independent evaluations of schools which seek to operate within the state.� The amendments of Item 118-104-R0103 do these three things.