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SUBJECT: Institutional Criteria and Functions


The purpose of this policy is to establish the guidelines set by the Utah State Board of Higher Education for the 16 institutions of higher education within the state. The State Board of Higher Education is charged with configuring a system of technical colleges, academic colleges, and universities to meet the educational needs of the citizens of the State of Utah, and to maintain system integrity by defining institutional categories. Board of Higher Education Policy R312 outlines the distinct and unique missions and roles of the institutions in the Utah System of Higher Education.




  1. Carnegie Classification: Master's Colleges and Universities: Larger Programs (M1)
    1. Definition: M1 institutions typically offer a wide range of associate and baccalaureate programs, and are committed to graduate education primarily through the master's degree. M1 institutions generally award 50 or more master's degrees and fewer than 20 doctoral degrees per year.
  2. Utah System of Higher Education Classification: Regional University
    1. Institutional Role and Mission: The regional institution's mission is to provide career and technical education, undergraduate associate and baccalaureate programs, and select master’s degree programs to fill regional or state workforce demands. Emphasis is placed on teaching, scholarly, and creative achievements that are complementary to teaching and community service. Transfer programs allow students to seamlessly seek degrees at other institutions within the system. The institution contributes to the quality of life and economic development at the local and state levels. Student success is supported through developmental programs and services associated with a comprehensive community college.
  3. Accreditation: Specialized accreditation is a goal for all programs for which this accreditation is available and appropriate for the institution's mission and role.
  4. Faculty
    1. Criteria for Selection, Retention, and Advancement: Faculty are selected, retained, and promoted primarily on the basis of evidence of effective teaching. Additional criteria include scholarly, professional and creative achievements, and service that complements the teaching role.
    2. Educational Preparation: Regular full-time tenure-track faculty will have earned or be working toward the appropriate terminal degree(s) for their field and specialty. Faculty in career and technical education or professional fields also will have practical, related work experience.
    3. Teaching Loads: Teaching loads for regional universities will average at least 24 credit hour equivalents each academic year.
  5. Student Admission: Regional universities are open-admission institutions unless otherwise excepted by the Board of Higher Education. Regional universities may test or assess students for directed course placement, the ability to benefit from specific courses for financial aid purposes, and the student’s projected ability to succeed.
  6. Support Services: The institution provides library services, support services, equipment, and other resources to support undergraduate programs, graduate programs, and the needs of students and faculty.




The responsible office for this Policy is the Office of the President.


Date Approved: July 27, 1990 (as Policy 2.2)

Amended: September 21, 2007; March 19, 2021 (renumbered to 2.0)