Authority, State Structure, and Boards in Oregon

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission is the single state entity responsible for ensuring pathways to higher educational success for Oregonians statewide, and serves as a convener of the groups and institutions working across the public and private higher education arena, including public and private colleges, universities, career schools, programs, and workforce training providers, students and faculty.

For the major duties, authorities and functions of the HECC, click on the categories below and see HECC Statutes and Administrative Rules.

  • Developing state goals for the postsecondary system, including community colleges, public universities, and student access programs (ORS 350.075)
  • Adopting a strategic plan for achieving the state’s postsecondary goals (ORS 350.075)
  • Making budgetary recommendations for state institutions and programs:
    • Developing a comprehensive higher education budget request linked to the strategic plan (ORS 350.075)
    • Recommending a consolidated higher education budget request to the Governor and Chief Education Officer (ORS 350.075)
    • Developing the biennial budget request for community colleges and public universities, and allocating legislatively approved resources (ORS 341.626, 350.075, 350.090, 350.095, 352.089)
    • Approving resident tuition increases greater than 5% for public universities (ORS 352.102)
  • Approving mission statements and significant changes in academic programs at public universities (ORS 350.085, 352.089)
  • Approving new certificate and degree programs at community colleges (ORS 341.465, ORS 350.075)
  • Authorizing degrees for some private and out-of-state schools, (ORS 348.594 to 348.615)
  • Managing licensure and teacher registration for private career schools (ORS 345.010 to 345.450, 341.440, 342.197, 348.070, 687.011)​
  • In conjunction with the Oregon Workforce Investment Board and the Oregon Employment Department, managing state implementation of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
  • Administering the Oregon Opportunity Grant and other student success programs through the Office of Student Access and Completion (ORS 348)
  • Developing dual credit standards, transfer standards, and credit for prior learning standards (ORS 340.310, 341.430, and 350.110)​
  • Conducting data collection, analysis, research, and reporting across all sectors of higher education (ORS 350.075)
  • Conducting annual institutional evaluations for public universities (ORS 352.061)​

State of Oregon Partners

The HECC works closely with the Governor’s Office, the Oregon Legislature, and the Chief Education Office, the Oregon Workforce Investment Board, and numerous state agencies and partners on policies, programs, and initiatives to build a seamless education and workforce development system and to meet statewide education goals. The Governor and Legislature determine state funding levels and policy, while the HECC has statutory authority to advise on and implement these decisions.

Campus and Institutional Partners

The leadership, governance and operations of higher education institutions is the responsibility of their respective presidents, governing boards of directors and administrators.  The Commission works closely with institution leadership and faculty, who regularly engage in Commission meetings, as well as in the work of HECC subcommittees and work groups.

Oregon’s 17 Community Colleges 

Oregon’s 7 Public Universities 

Private Postsecondary Institutions in Oregon

Professional organizations serving institutions

Student and Faculty Partners

To achieve the student-focused vision of the HECC, the commission works closely with student and faculty groups and individuals regularly in commission meetings. In addition, student and faculty members serve on work groups, committees and task forces associated with HECC research and policy work.

Additional Oregon, Regional and National Partners

The HECC is closely engaged with numerous other partners including federal governments and agencies, national research and policy organizations, nonprofit and community based organizations, foundations, businesses, local governments, school districts, schools, tribal organizations, and more.​​