What is the role of the interim administrator and the closing administrator?

What is the role of the interim administrator and the closing administrator?
It must safeguard the right to education of the students and ensure the continuity of their studies, as well as the proper use of all the resources of the higher education institution.

In which institutions can there be an interim administrator or a closing administrator?
It applies to universities, professional institutes and technical training centers.

Under what circumstances is the procedure for appointing an interim administrator or closure administrator initiated?
The Ministry of Education initiates a preliminary investigation with respect to an institution when there is a serious history that it failed to fulfill its financial, administrative or labor commitments; It did not comply with its academic commitments assumed with its students or due to serious infringement of its statutes or articles of incorporation, as appropriate, or of the rules that regulate it, especially those derived from its legal nature in the case of universities.

What can the Ministry of Education do during the investigation period?
The Ministry of Education may enter the institution, and, without preventing its operation, gather the information it needs, in addition, it may request from any body of the State administration the background information that is in its possession about that house of study, except those that are secret or reserved.

What happens when the investigation is closed?
The Ministry of Education must prepare a report that gives an account of its results. This report and the formulation of charges will be notified to the investigated institution, which will have a period of fifteen days to make its discharges and request that a trial period be opened.

If the discharges are accepted or the infractions are not verified, a term resolution will be issued, ending the investigation, although the Ministry of Education may make recommendations for the better functioning of the institution.

If the term for the discharges ends or if they are rejected, the Ministry of Education will issue a resolution to end the investigation.

What other options does the Ministry of Education have?
Fundamentally, and taking into account the characteristics of the institution and the nature and severity of the problems found, it can:

  • Order the development of a recovery plan.
  • Appoint a provisional administrator if the failures established by law are found.
  • Initiate the procedure for the revocation of official recognition in case serious problems are found. In that case, a closing manager is appointed.

What does it mean to ask for a recovery plan?
It implies that the institution will have sixty days to prepare and present to the Ministry of Education a recovery plan to correct the problems. Said plan may consider, among other measures, the suspension of admission of new students for one or more periods and the closure of venues, careers or programs. The term of implementation of the plan may not exceed two years. Once the plan is approved, it will be the responsibility of the Ministry of Education to supervise its full compliance.

At the end of the plan implementation period, the Ministry of Education will decree the lifting of the measure or the appointment of a provisional administrator if appropriate.

How is the temporary administrator appointed?
There must be a well-founded resolution of the Ministry of Education, prior agreement of the National Council of Education, which must be adopted by the majority of its members present in a session called for that sole purpose.

When is an interim administrator appointed?
A temporary administrator is appointed when the following circumstances occur:

  • Serious risk of not guaranteeing the administrative or financial viability of the institution, affecting the continuity of studies of the students.
  • Serious and repeated breaches of the academic commitments assumed by the institution with its students due to not having adequate educational or teaching resources.
  • Impossibility of maintaining the academic functions of the institution, as a result of sanctions, precautionary measures, embargoes, executions or withdrawals of species that affect it, its headquarters or its movable or immovable property.
  • When a resolution has been issued to reorganize the institution of higher education or its organizing entity.
  • When the recovery plan is not presented in a timely manner or, having been, it is rejected or, being approved, it is subsequently breached.

When is it not appropriate to appoint a provisional administrator?
An administrator will not be appointed when the causes for his appointment occur due to a fortuitous event or force majeure, or to circumstances that are not attributable to the fault or negligence of the authorities responsible for the government or administration of the institution, for example due to damages caused by natural disaster.

What requirements should the provisional administrator have?
You must have an academic or professional degree from an institution officially recognized by the State. In addition, you must accredit experience of at least 5 years in the management of higher education institutions or 10 years in the administration of large or medium-sized companies, provided that it accredits relevant academic experience in higher education institutions. The spouse and relatives up to the fourth degree of consanguinity or second degree of affinity of the organizers of the establishment cannot be provisional administrators. The law provides another series of disabilities for people related to the establishment.

Can you claim the appointment of the provisional administrator?
Yes, the higher education institution affected by the measure may claim its legality within a period of ten business days, counted from the notification of the respective resolution, before the Court of Appeals corresponding to its domicile. The judgment of the court will be final.

How long does the temporary administrator last?
One year, a term that can be extended only once for the same period, when necessary, as provided by the Ministry of Education, prior agreement of the National Council of Education adopted by a majority of its members in office.

What are the powers of the provisional administrator?

  • Take any action aimed at guaranteeing the public interest associated with the continuity of the students’ studies.
  • Request from the Internal Revenue Service, or any other state entity, all the information it deems appropriate for the proper performance of its functions.
  • Assume those functions of the academic authorities of the institution that administers. Especially, on behalf of the institution of higher education that it administers, it must grant the corresponding titles and degrees and carry out the necessary certifications in the absence of the respective minister of faith.
  • Adopt the measure of suspension of enrollment of new students during the period of its administration.
  • To inform the competent authorities of any fact that may constitute an infringement of the law, in particular to report to the Public Ministry any fact that may constitute a crime.
  • Exercise the corresponding actions for the recovery of resources that, in violation of the law, have not been reinvested in higher education institutions, as well as those intended to pursue the responsibility of those who incurred in said acts.
  • Sign agreements with any of the universities or higher education institutions that have valid accreditation for a period of at least three years in order to delegate some functions of the study center.

The provisional administrator may not alter the educational model or the plans and programs of the institution of higher education subject to the measure. Their fees will be paid out of the income received by the institution of higher education.

What is the revocation of official recognition?
When the management of the provisional administrator is finished and it has not been possible to correct the problems or deficiencies that gave rise to the intervention for reasons beyond the administrator’s control or a resolution of liquidation of the institution or its organizing entity has been issued, the process will begin revocation of official recognition. This measure will also be taken when the liquidation of the entity has been resolved in accordance with the law on reorganization and liquidation of companies and when some of the causes indicated by the law are met, which are: Failure to meet statutory objectives, carry out contrary activities to morality, public order, good customs and national security; incur in serious infractions to its statutes and if it stops granting the professional or technical titles, as the case may be.

When is a closure manager appointed?
When the measure to revoke the official recognition of a higher education institution is decreed, the Ministry of Education must appoint a closure administrator. For this appointment, a prior agreement of the National Education Council, adopted by the majority of its members in office, in a session specially convened for this purpose, will be required. The closing administrator must meet the same requirements established for the interim administrator.

What does the closing manager do?
The closure administrator must present a management plan within thirty days of her appointment. This plan must always contain the measures to ensure the continuity of the educational service of the students of the higher education institution and the terms and procedures to specify the closure of the higher education institution in question.

What happens to the students in case of closure?
The closure administrator must take measures for the relocation of students in other institutions of higher education, always ensuring that the study plans and programs and the academic progress achieved by them are respected.

If academic leveling programs are required, they will be financed out of all the resources or contributions received by the institution subject to the closure measure. In exceptional cases and depending on the protection of the rights of students, they may be financed with fiscal resources.

The relocated students, with respect to the campus that welcomes them, will keep the benefits or student aid granted by the State, such as scholarships and credits, fully in force as if they had not changed their higher education institution.

The closing administrator may sign agreements with any of the higher education institutions that have institutional accreditation for the continuity of studies of the students and their degree.

 

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