General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 15A Public Education - Section 6 Department of higher education; Commissioner; other employees; appointments; salaries; powers and duties


There shall be within the executive office of education a department of higher education, in this chapter called the department.

The council shall, whenever a vacancy may occur, by a two-thirds vote of all its voting members, submit to the secretary, for the secretary’s approval, a recommended candidate to serve as the commissioner of higher education, in this chapter called the commissioner. The secretary may appoint the recommended candidate as commissioner. If the secretary declines to appoint the candidate, the council shall submit a new candidate for consideration. The secretary may appoint the commissioner only from candidates submitted to the secretary by the council.

The commissioner shall be the executive and administrative head of the department. The commissioner shall serve at the pleasure of the council and may be removed by a majority vote of all its members. The commissioner shall not be subject to chapter 31 or to section 9A of chapter 30.

The commissioner shall be the secretary to the council and its chief executive officer and the chief school officer for higher education. The commissioner shall be responsible for carrying out the policies established by the council. The council may delegate its authority or any portion thereof to the commissioner whenever in its judgment such delegation may be necessary or desirable. The commissioner shall exercise any such powers or duties delegated with the full authority of the council in any matter concerning the system of public institutions of higher education subject to the direction and approval of the council.

The commissioner shall devote her full time during business hours to the duties of her office and shall, subject to appropriation, receive such salary as the council may determine. The commissioner may, subject to appropriation, appoint such other employees as she deems necessary to carry out her duties and responsibilities, shall be provided with adequate offices, and may expend sums for other necessary expenses of the department.

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Last modified: September 11, 2015