Regional Councils in each of the ten Uniform State Service Regions (established under Texas Education Code, §51.662) advise the Commissioner and resolve disputes regarding plans for lower-division courses and programs proposed by public institutions. Each Higher Education Regional Council (HERC) shall make recommendations to the Commissioner regarding off-campus courses and programs proposed for delivery in accordance with the consensus views of Council members. An exception is courses and programs proposed to be offered by public community colleges in their designated service areas and courses and programs governed by the provisions of Coordinating Board Rule §4.278 (e), (i), and (j).
Universities, health-related institutions, public technical colleges and Lamar state colleges shall submit all off-campus lower-division courses proposed for delivery to sites in the area for relevant Regional Council's review. Public community colleges shall submit all off-campus lower-division courses proposed for delivery to sites outside their service areas for review. In the event of a dispute arising from off-campus or electronic delivery of lower-division courses, institutions may appeal first to the Regional Council, and then to the Commissioner and the Board.
Texas public institutions of higher education are required to file an annual off-campus lower-division course delivery plan with the HERC of which the institution is a member. Private institutions of higher education are also HERC members, but filing off-campus lower-division course delivery plans with the HERC is optional.