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Subpart 4-General Provisions
SEC. 731. [20 U.S.C. 1137] ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS FOR SUBPARTS 1, 2, AND 3.
(a) COORDINATED ADMINISTRATION.-In carrying out the purpose described in section 700(1), the Secretary shall provide for coordinated administration and regulation of graduate programs assisted under subparts 1, 2, and 3 with other Federal programs providing assistance for graduate education in order to minimize duplication and improve efficiency to ensure that the programs are carried out in a manner most compatible with academic practices and with the standard timetables for applications for, and notifications of acceptance to, graduate programs.
(b) HIRING AUTHORITY.-For purposes of carrying out subparts 1, 2, and 3, the Secretary shall appoint, without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, that govern appointments in the competitive service, such administrative and technical employees, with the appropriate educational background, as shall be needed to assist in the administration of such parts. The employees shall be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates.
(c) USE FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES PROHIBITED.-No institutional payment or allowance under section 703(b) or 715(a) shall be paid to a school or department of divinity as a result of the award of a fellowship under subpart 1 or 2, respectively, to an individual who is studying for a religious vocation.
(d) EVALUATION.-The Secretary shall evaluate the success of assistance provided to individuals under subpart 1, 2, or 3 with respect to graduating from their degree programs, and placement in faculty and professional positions.
(e) CONTINUATION AWARDS.-The Secretary, using funds appropriated to carry out subparts 1 and 2, and before awarding any assistance under such parts to a recipient that did not receive assistance under part C or D of title IX (as such parts were in effect prior to the date of enactment of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998) shall continue to provide funding to recipients of assistance under such part C or D (as so in effect), as the case may be, pursuant to any multiyear award of such assistance.
PART B-FUND FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION
SEC. 741. [20 U.S.C. 1138] FUND FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF POSTSECONDARY
(a) AUTHORITY.-The Secretary is authorized to make grants to, or enter into contracts with, institutions of higher education, combinations of such institutions, and other public and private nonprofit institutions and agencies, to enable such institutions, combinations, and agencies to improve postsecondary education opportunities by
(1) encouraging the reform, innovation, and improvement of postsecondary education, and providing equal educational opportunity for all;
(2) the creation of institutions, programs, and joint efforts involving paths to career and professional training, and combinations of academic and experiential learning;
(3) the establishment of institutions and programs based on the technology of communications;
(4) the carrying out, in postsecondary educational institutions, of changes in internal structure and operations designed to clarify institutional priorities and purposes;
(5) the design and introduction of cost-effective methods of instruction and operation;
(6) the introduction of institutional reforms designed to expand individual opportunities for entering and reentering institutions and pursuing programs of study tailored to individual needs;
(7) the introduction of reforms in graduate education, in the structure of academic professions, and in the recruitment and retention of faculties; and
(8) the creation of new institutions and programs for examining and awarding credentials to individuals, and the introduction of reforms in current institutional practices related thereto.
(b) PLANNING GRANTS.-The Secretary is authorized to make planning grants to institutions of higher education for the development and testing of innovative techniques in postsecondary education. Such grants shall not exceed $20,000.
SEC. 742. [20 U.S.C. 1138a] BOARD OF THE FUND FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION.
(a) ESTABLISHMENT.-There is established a National Board of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (in this part referred to as the "Board"). The Board shall consist of 15 members appointed by the Secretary for overlapping 3-year terms. A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum. Any member of the Board who has served for 6 consecutive years shall thereafter be ineligible for appointment to the Board during a 2-year period following the expiration of such sixth year.
(1) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary shall designate one of the members of the Board as Chairperson of the Board. A majority of the members of the Board shall be public interest representatives, including students, and a minority shall be educational representatives. All members selected shall be individuals able to contribute an important perspective on priorities for improvement in postsecondary education and strategies of educational and institutional change.
(2) APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTOR.-The Secretary shall appoint the Director of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (hereafter in this part referred to as the "Director").
(c) DUTIES.-The Board shall
(1) advise the Secretary and the Director on priorities for the improvement of postsecondary education and make such
recommendations as the Board may deem appropriate for the improvement of postsecondary education and for the evaluation, dissemination, and adaptation of demonstrated improvements in postsecondary educational practice;
(2) advise the Secretary and the Director on the operation of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, including advice on planning documents, guidelines, and procedures for grant competitions prepared by the Fund; and
(3) meet at the call of the Chairperson, except that the Board shall meet whenever one-third or more of the members request in writing that a meeting be held.
(d) INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE.-The Director shall make available to the Board such information and assistance as may be necessary to enable the Board to carry out its functions.
SEC. 743. [20 U.S.C. 1138b] ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS.
(a) TECHNICAL EMPLOYEES.-The Secretary may appoint, for terms not to exceed 3 years, without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, not more than 7 technical employees to administer this part who may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates.
(b) PROCEDURES.-The Director shall establish procedures for reviewing and evaluating grants and contracts made or entered into under this part. Procedures for reviewing grant applications or contracts for financial assistance under this section may not be subject to any review outside of officials responsible for the administration of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.
SEC. 744. [20 U.S.C. 1138c] SPECIAL PROJECTS.
(a) GRANT AUTHORITY.-The Director is authorized to make grants to institutions of higher education, or consortia thereof, and such other public agencies and nonprofit organizations as the Director deems necessary for innovative projects concerning one or more areas of particular national need identified by the Director.
(b) APPLICATION.-No grant shall be made under this part unless an application is made at such time, in such manner, and contains or is accompanied by such information as the Secretary may require.
(c) AREAS OF NATIONAL NEED.-Areas of national need shall initially include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(1) Institutional restructuring to improve learning and promote productivity, efficiency, quality improvement, and cost and price control.
(2) Articulation between 2- and 4-year institutions of higher education, including developing innovative methods for ensuring the successful transfer of students from 2- to 4-year institutions of higher education.
(3) Evaluation and dissemination of model programs.
(4) International cooperation and student exchange among postsecondary educational institutions.
SEC. 745. [20 U.S.C. 1138d] AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this part $30,000,000 for fiscal year 1999 and such sums as may be necessary for each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.
PART C-URBAN COMMUNITY SERVICE
SEC. 751. [20 U.S.C. 1139] FINDINGS.
The Congress finds that
(1) the Nation's urban centers are facing increasingly pressing problems and needs in the areas of economic development, community infrastructure and service, social policy, public health, housing, crime, education, environmental concerns, planning and work force preparation;
(2) there are, in the Nation's urban institutions, people with underutilized skills, knowledge, and experience who are capable of providing a vast range of services toward the amelioration of the problems described in paragraph (1);
(3) the skills, knowledge and experience in these urban institutions, if applied in a systematic and sustained manner, can make a significant contribution to the solution of such problems; and
(4) the application of such skills, knowledge and experience is hindered by the limited funds available to redirect attention to solutions to such urban problems.
SEC. 752. [20 U.S.C. 1139a] PURPOSE; PROGRAM AUTHORIZED.
(a) PURPOSE.—It is the purpose of this part to provide incentives to urban academic institutions to enable such institutions to work with private and civic organizations to devise and implement solutions to pressing and severe problems in their communities.
(b) PROGRAM AUTHORIZED.-The Secretary is authorized to carry out a program of providing assistance to eligible institutions to enable such institutions to carry out the activities described in section 754 in accordance with the provisions of this part.
SEC. 753. [20 U.S.C. 1139b] APPLICATION FOR URBAN COMMUNITY SERVICE GRANTS.
(1) IN GENERAL.-An eligible institution seeking assistance under this part shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such form, and containing or accompanied by such information and assurances as the Secretary may require by regulation.
(2) CONTENTS.-Each application submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall
(A) describe the activities and services for which assistance is sought; and
(B) include a plan that is agreed to by the members of a consortium that includes, in addition to the eligible institution, one or more of the following entities:
(i) A community college.
(ii) An urban school system.
(iii) A local government.
(iv) A business or other employer.
(v) A nonprofit institution.
(3) WAIVER.-The Secretary may waive the consortium requirements described in paragraph (2) for any applicant who can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the applicant has devised an integrated and coordinated plan which meets the purpose of this part.
(b) PRIORITY IN SELECTION OF APPLICATIONS.-The Secretary shall give priority to applications that propose to conduct joint projects supported by other local, State, and Federal programs. In addition, the Secretary shall give priority to eligible institutions submitting applications that demonstrate the eligible institution's commitment to urban community service.
(c) SELECTION PROCEDURES.-The Secretary shall, by regulation, develop a formal procedure for the submission of applications under this part and shall publish in the Federal Register an announcement of that procedure and the availability of funds under this part.
SEC. 754. [20 U.S.C. 1139c] ALLOWABLE ACTIVITIES.
Funds made available under this part shall be used to support planning, applied research, training, resource exchanges or technology transfers, the delivery of services, or other activities the purpose of which is to design and implement programs to assist urban communities to meet and address their pressing and severe problems, such as the following:
(1) Work force preparation.
(2) Urban poverty and the alleviation of such poverty.
(3) Health care, including delivery and access.
(4) Underperforming school systems and students.
(5) Problems faced by the elderly and individuals with dis
abilities in urban settings.
(6) Problems faced by families and children.
(7) Campus and community crime prevention, including enhanced security and safety awareness measures as well as coordinated programs addressing the root causes of crime. (8) Urban housing.
(9) Urban infrastructure.
(10) Economic development.
(11) Urban environmental concerns.
(12) Other problem areas which participants in the consortium described in section 753(a)(2)(B) concur are of high priority in the urban area.
(13)(A) Problems faced by individuals with disabilities regarding accessibility to institutions of higher education and other public and private community facilities.
(B) Amelioration of existing attitudinal barriers that prevent full inclusion by individuals with disabilities in their community.
(14) Improving access to technology in local communities. SEC. 755. [20 U.S.C. 1139d] PEER REVIEW.
The Secretary shall designate a peer review panel to review applications submitted under this part and make recommendations for funding to the Secretary. In selecting the peer review panel, the Secretary may consult with other appropriate Cabinet-level officials