R508, Guidelines for Approving Lists of Comparable Institutions

R508-1. Purpose: To guide the presidents in making requests for changes in lists of comparable institutions and to guide the Commissioner in making recommendations to the Board. For comparison purposes, the Board desires to group together institutions that are as similar as possible in the factors described below.

R508-2. References

2.1. Policy and Procedures R510, Tuition and Fees

2.2. Policy and Procedures R205, Presidential Appointment, Term of Office, and Compensation and Benefits

R508-3. Guidelines

3.1. General Considerations: In proposing institutions to be included in a total list of comparable institutions, the following general considerations should guide decisions:

3.1.1. The institution should be the same ‘type’ of college or university; that is, the mission, role assignment, and clientele to be served should be similar.

3.1.2. The institution should have a comparable size enrollment insofar as this may be appropriate. It is not intended that the size of student body be identical, but institutions with much greater student enrollments should not be included unless other factors under consideration are very strong and compelling.

3.1.3. Generally, only institutions that are state supported should be included on the list of comparable institutions. However, comparisons with private institutions may be included if there is strong justification.

3.2. Specific Considerations: In proposing institutions to be included in a total list of comparable institutions, the following specific comparisons should be made in guiding decisions:

3.2.1. Institutions with specific functions beyond the scope of the Utah institution with which it is to be compared should be excluded. (For example, land-grant universities with strong programs in agriculture and natural resources should not be included on comparison lists with the University of Utah. Institutions with doctoral programs should not be on comparison lists with Weber State University. Institutions with law schools and medical schools should not be included on comparison lists with Utah State University. Two-year institutions serving special functions and special clientele schools should not be included on comparison lists with Snow College. Urban community colleges, for example, usually have a large student body of minority and disadvantaged students, and the student body and program offerings would be quite different from Snow College. Salt Lake Community College should be compared with two-year colleges with extensive applied technology program offerings, and two-year colleges of a similar size but with a stronger emphasis on academic offerings should not be considered since they would not be recruiting the same type faculty as would our urban community colleges.)

3.2.2. The ratio of graduate students (and especially doctoral-level graduate students) should compare favorably with the ratio of such students in the Utah System of Higher Education institution under consideration. (This criterion will be particularly important in considering comparable institutions for the two research universities.)

3.2.3. Sponsored research is an important responsibility of the universities. In considering other institution for inclusion on lists of comparable institutions with the University of Utah and Utah State University, the scope and volume of sponsored research should be appraised.

3.3. Changes in Lists of Comparable Institutions: An institution desiring a change of comparable institutions should submit to the Commissioner’s Office the necessary supporting data which will be reviewed and verified prior to making a recommendation to the Board. Once an institution has been placed on a comparable list, it will generally not be removed for at least three years.