Title 17. Education
Chapter 5. State Colleges and Universities
Part III. Miscellaneous Provisions
17:1808 Registration and licensure of postsecondary, academic degree-granting institutions
A. The purpose of this Section is to insure the viability and worth of instruction offered in this state by any postsecondary, academic degree-granting institution by requiring that such instruction meet minimal academic and physical plant standards, and to protect both the student, who invests his time and money in such instruction, and the public, which often must rely on postsecondary instruction and degrees as proof of the competence of an individual.
B. (1) All public and private postsecondary, academic degree-granting institutions offering instruction in this state, including correspondence schools domiciled in Louisiana, which are not subject to Chapter 24-A of this Title shall register with the Board of Regents. Registration shall be completed prior to the offering of instruction by the institution.
(2) Registration shall be in writing and shall include but not be limited to the following:
(a) Name and in-state address of the institution.
(b) Location of its main campus or office.
(c) Courses offered in Louisiana.
(d) Degrees offered in Louisiana.
(e) Name of its chief administrative officer.
(f) Names and addresses of the members of its board of directors or appropriate governing board.
(g) Description of its physical facilities in Louisiana.
(h) Information relative to the institution’s accreditation or official candidate status from a regional or professional accrediting agency which is recognized by the United States Department of Education.
(3) All information included in such registration shall be updated annually by the institution.
(4) Registration with the Board of Regents shall in no way constitute state approval or accreditation of any institution and shall not be used in any form of advertisement by any institution.
C. (1) Prior to April 1, 1992, the Board of Regents shall:
(a) Adopt rules and regulations necessary for the licensure of all postsecondary, academic degree-granting institutions offering instruction in this state.
(b) Establish criteria and requirements for licensure.
(c) License any institution which satisfies the criteria and requirements.
(d)(i) Establish licensure fees and adopt procedures for collecting and expending such fees.
(ii) Effective September 1, 2012, the Board of Regents may increase, by up to seven hundred fifty dollars, the licensure fees previously established pursuant to this Subparagraph.
(2) The criteria and requirements shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) Qualifications of faculty.
(b) Academic program standards.
(c) Physical plant including the library and research equipment.
(d) Institutional financial operations.
(e) Maintenance of records.
(f) Student services.
(g) Organization and administration.
(h) Procedures for student admissions, graduation, and tuition and fee refunds, where applicable.
(i) Consistency of the institution’s stated purpose with its proposed offerings.
(j) Prohibition against false or misleading advertising.
D. On and after April 1, 1992, any postsecondary, academic degree-granting institution operating or proposing to initiate operations in Louisiana shall not operate unless licensed by the Board of Regents.
E. (1) Licensure may be required biennially and may be granted for a period not to exceed ten years. The Board of Regents may conduct on-site visits and require such information as may be necessary to monitor institutional compliance with this Section.
(2)(a) If at any time the Board of Regents determines that an institution’s application for an initial license shall be denied or that its current license shall be revoked, the board shall insure written notice is given to such institution noting the criteria and requirements it has failed to satisfy and informing the institution that its license shall be denied or revoked unless all noted deficiencies are corrected within thirty days.
(b) Within thirty days of the date of such notice, any applicant or licensee who is aggrieved by the proposed denial or revocation of a license may request a hearing. If such a hearing is requested, the Board of Regents shall call a public hearing within sixty days, unless the board finds that all deficiencies have been corrected.
(c) At the hearing, the applicant or licensee may appear in person or be represented by counsel and may present evidence in support of the issuance or maintenance of the license. Any interested person may appear at the hearing and present oral or written evidence with respect to the license in question. Strict rules of evidence shall not apply except to the extent provided for in R.S. 49:956.
(d) The hearing officer shall, within seven days of the hearing’s conclusion, recommend to the Board of Regents that the license be granted, denied, renewed, or revoked.
(3) The Board of Regents may call a public hearing at the time it considers any such recommendation provided such public hearing has been requested by registered mail, by the applicant or licensee.
F. If the Board of Regents determines that an institution has failed to satisfy any requirement for licensure, the board shall, by written order, deny or revoke such license, and, in the case of an institution already operating in Louisiana, direct that it immediately cease enrolling additional students and that it cease its Louisiana operations at the end of the current quarter, semester, or comparable academic period, as applicable, but no later than one hundred fifty days from the date of the board’s written order. If the order is issued between quarters, semesters, or comparable academic periods, or within thirty days prior to the expiration of such period, the board may specify that the institution cease its Louisiana operations within thirty days and immediately cease enrolling additional students.
G. No institution, except those exempted pursuant to Subsection J of this Section, shall be approved for veterans benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs, unless licensed by the Board of Regents; nor shall the teacher education curriculum of any institution not licensed by the Board of Regents be approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
H. The attorney general may seek injunctive relief against any institution not in compliance with any provision of this Section, and all costs incurred by the state in connection with such action shall be borne by such institution if found to be not in compliance with this Section.
I. (1) Any action of the Board of Regents taken in accordance with the provisions of Subsection F of this Section which results in the denial or revocation of a license may be appealed within thirty days of such action to the district court of the parish in which the Board of Regents is located.
(2) Evidence presented in such appeal shall be limited to the whole record of the application for initial licensure or the renewal of a license, including:
(a) All pleadings, motions, intermediate rulings.
(b) Evidence received or considered or a resume thereof, if not transcribed.
(c) A statement of matters officially noticed except matters so obvious that statement of them would serve no useful purpose.
(d) Offers of proof, objections, and rulings thereon.
(e) Proposed findings and exceptions.
(f) Any decision, opinion, or report by the office presiding at the hearing.
J. (1) Each public and independent institution of higher education funded in whole or in part through general appropriations of the state of Louisiana in Fiscal Year 1992 or which is specifically eligible for funding under the provisions of R.S. 17:2053(D) or which was a member of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities on January 1, 2001, shall be exempt from the provisions of this Section except as provided in Subsection K of this Section.
(2) Any institution whose primary purpose is to provide religious training or theological education, including sacred music, and whose degree is limited to evidence of completion of that education shall be exempt from the provisions of Subsections C through I of this Section; however, any such institution which also offers academic degrees that are not awarded for the completion of religious training or theological education, including sacred music, shall, to the extent of such nonreligious, nontheological degrees, be subject to the provisions of Subsections C through I of this Section. Nothing in this Paragraph shall be construed to prevent an institution which falls within the provisions of this Paragraph from providing instruction or courses which could be considered secular.
(3) Any institution granted a tax exemption under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code, other than those institutions provided for in Paragraph J(2) of this Section, to which the provisions of this Section were not applicable prior to August 15, 1999, shall comply with the provisions of Subsection B of this Section by not later than January 15, 2000. Subsequent to such compliance, the Board of Regents shall establish a time frame within which the licensure process shall be completed.
K. (1) The Board of Regents may, if it deems such agreements to be consistent with the purposes of this Chapter, negotiate and enter into state authorization reciprocity agreements that allow accredited postsecondary academic degree-granting institutions located in one state to offer online instruction in other states pursuant to the terms of the reciprocity agreement. The Board of Regents shall administer such agreements.
(2) If the Board of Regents enters into such an agreement, any accredited postsecondary academic degree-granting institution located in Louisiana may apply to the Board of Regents for authorization to offer online instruction in other states pursuant to the terms of the reciprocity agreement. The Board of Regents may approve or disapprove any such application. If the Board of Regents approves an application, the period of approval shall not be longer than one year. The Board of Regents shall assess an application fee not to exceed one thousand five hundred dollars for the initial and for each annual application to defray the costs of reviewing and evaluating such applications.
(3) Any accredited postsecondary academic degree-granting institution approved by another state and offering online instruction to Louisiana residents shall be exempt from the provisions of this Section, subject to the terms of such agreements.
L. The provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act shall be applicable to any rule or regulation adopted by the Board of Regents pursuant to this Section.
Added by Acts 1976, No. 225, § 1. Amended by Acts 1991, No. 129, § 1; Acts 1995, No. 1006, § 1, eff. June 29, 1995; Acts 1998, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 151, § 1, eff. July 1, 1999; Acts 1999, No. 971, § 1; Acts 2006, No. 316, § 1, eff. June 13, 2006; Acts 2012, No. 278, § 1, eff. May 25, 2012; Acts 2012, No. 811, § 5, eff. July 1, 2012; Acts 2014, No. 13, § 1, eff. May 7, 2014.