Chapter 3355: UNIVERSITY BRANCH DISTRICTS

3355.01 University branch district definitions.

As used in sections 3355.01 to 3355.14 , inclusive, of the Revised Code:

(A) "University branch district" means a political subdivision of the state and a body corporate with all the powers of a corporation, and organized for the purpose of establishing, owning, and operating a branch university district within the territory of such district.

(B) "University branch" means an academic program administered by a state or municipal university in a community other than the community wherein is located the main campus of such university, and affording to the students in such program academic credit corresponding to that afforded to the students on the main campus upon satisfactory completion of comparable courses of instruction.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.01

Effective Date: 10-20-1961

3355.02 University branch district.

(A) The legislative authority of any municipal corporation having a population of not less than fifty thousand as determined by the most recent federal decennial census may, by resolution approved by two-thirds of its members, create a university branch district, if a branch of a public university has been in operation in that municipality for at least the full two years immediately preceding that time.

(B) The board of county commissioners of any county having a population of not less than fifty thousand as determined by the most recent federal decennial census may, by resolution approved by two-thirds of its members, create a university branch district if a branch of a public university has been in operation in that county for at least the full two years immediately preceding that time.

(C) The boards of county commissioners of any two or more contiguous counties which together have a combined population of not less than fifty thousand, as determined by the most recent federal decennial census may, by resolution approved by two-thirds of the members of each such board, together and jointly create a university branch district, if a branch of a public university has been in operation in any one of the counties for at least the full two years immediately preceding that time.

(D) A resolution creating a university branch district shall set forth the name of such district, and a description of the territory to be included in the proposed district. The creation of an authority of this nature by a municipality, county, or group of counties shall cause this authority to create university branch districts, to be unavailable to the other units of local government in the affected county or counties.

(E) In any municipal corporation or county or group of two or more contiguous counties, having a total population of not less than fifty thousand as determined by the most recent federal decennial census, where no university branch district has been created either by action of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation or by action of the board or boards of county commissioners, the electors in such municipal corporation or county or counties may petition for the creation of a university branch district. Such petition shall be presented to the board of elections of the county or of the most populous county in the proposed university branch district and shall be signed by qualified voters of the territory within the proposed university branch district, not less in number than five per cent of the vote cast in the most recent gubernatorial election. A petition calling for the creation of a university branch district shall set forth the proposed name of such district, the necessity for the district, and a description of the territory to be included in the proposed district.

In a petition submitted by qualified voters, pursuant to this section, which proposes the creation of a university branch district comprised of two or more counties, the number of valid signatures from each county shall be not less in number than five per cent of the vote cast in the most recent gubernatorial election.

Upon receiving a petition calling for creation of a university branch district, pursuant to this section, the board of elections of the county of the most populous county in such district shall certify the validity of the signatures and the fact of such petition to the election boards of the other counties, if any, to be included in such district, and shall certify to such other boards that, pursuant to this section, the proposal to create such district shall be placed on the ballot at the next primary or general election occurring more than ninety days after the filing of such petition. If a majority of the electors voting on the proposition in each county of the proposed district vote in favor thereof, such district shall be established.

No county shall be included in the territory of more than one university branch district.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.02

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.29, HB 48, §1, eff. 7/2/2010.

Effective Date: 08-22-1995

3355.03 District is political subdivision - creation and certification of district.

A university branch district organized pursuant to section 3355.02 of the Revised Code is a political subdivision of the state and a body corporate with all powers of a corporation, and may sue and be sued, incur debts, liabilities, and obligations, exercise the right of eminent domain, and of taxation and assessment, as provided in sections 3355.01 to 3355.14 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, issue bonds, and do all acts necessary and proper for carrying out the purposes for which the district was created, and for executing the powers with which it is vested. Within thirty days after action by the legislative authority of the municipality, or the board or boards of county commissioners, declaring by resolution the creation of the university branch district, such action shall be certified to the secretary of state, who shall thereupon declare such district to be established, and a copy of the resolution incorporating a university branch district pursuant to sections 3355.01 to 3355.14 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, shall be recorded and filed in the office of the secretary of state. When a university branch district has been approved by vote of the electors in such district, pursuant to division (E) of section 3355.02 of the Revised Code, the boards of elections of such counties shall, within thirty days, certify the results of such action by the electors of their respective counties to the secretary of state, who shall thereupon declare such district to be established. Copies of election certificates, ordinances, or resolutions, incorporating a university branch district pursuant to section 3355.02 of the Revised Code, shall be recorded and filed in the office of the secretary of state in the same manner as articles of incorporation which are required to be filed and recorded under the general law concerning corporations.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.03

Effective Date: 01-23-1963

3355.04 Appointment of district administrator or board of trustees - term.

Within ninety days after a university branch district has been declared to be established, pursuant to sections 3355.01 to 3355.14 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, the legislative authority of the municipality or the board or boards of county commissioners shall appoint either a district administrator who shall serve thereafter at the pleasure of the managing authority of the university branch district, or a university branch district board of trustees of seven members. The university branch district board of trustees referred to in this section as "board of trustees" appointed by the legislative authority of the municipality or board or boards of county commissioners, at the time of appointment, shall be residents of the municipality, county, or counties from which the university branch district is created and shall serve for terms not to exceed four years. Members of the board of trustees shall be eligible for reappointment provided that they remain residents of the municipality, county, or counties from which the university branch district is created. Vacancies on the board of trustees may be filled by appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term provided that the member so appointed possesses all the qualifications required for a full term appointment. The appointing authority may appoint members of the university branch district board of trustees for terms of a uniform number of years fixed to expire at one time, or the appointing authority may stagger the terms of the trustees so that one or more terms of the members of the board of trustees expires each year. If staggered term appointments are made to the board of trustees, the initial appointments may be made for terms of less than four years and need not be initially for the same length of time. After initial appointments for staggered terms are made all subsequent appointments shall be for terms of uniform length. For a university branch district created by the boards of county commissioners of two or more counties, the board of trustees shall consist of at least one member appointed by each board of county commissioners in the district and no board of county commissioners shall appoint more than four members of the board of trustees. The exact number of members of the board of trustees appointed by each board of county commissioners shall be agreed to unanimously by all boards of county commissioners within the university branch district, except that the total number of trustees shall be seven. The district administrator or the university branch district board of trustees may employ such technical assistants including architects, engineers, appraisers, and other skilled personnel as may be required to plan, acquire, construct, and maintain a university branch campus. The district administrator or the university branch district board of trustees may also employ such supervisory and clerical personnel as may be required in the fulfillment of these responsibilities.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.04

Effective Date: 09-24-1963

3355.05 Managing authority of district.

The legislative authority of the municipal corporation, or the board or boards of county commissioners, or the university branch district board of trustees when appointed by the legislative authority of the municipal corporation or board or boards of county commissioners shall be the managing authority of the university branch district. Such authority shall annually select by majority vote during the first week in January one of its members to be chairman and another to be vice-chairman. The chairman and vice-chairman shall serve for a term of one year or until their successors are selected and qualified. Should either the office of chairman or vice-chairman become vacant due to death, resignation, or incapacity, the remaining members of such managing authority shall select a successor. In the absence of the chairman, the vice-chairman shall act as presiding officer. Within thirty days after the creation of the university branch district, the chairman and vice-chairman of the university branch district managing authority shall be selected and they shall serve until the first week in January of the year next succeeding or until their successors are selected and qualified.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.05

Effective Date: 09-24-1963

3355.051 Secretary to be fiscal officer - appointment, bond.

The university branch district board of the trustees shall appoint, from its membership or otherwise, a secretary who shall be the fiscal officer of the university branch district. The secretary shall serve at the pleasure of the board and shall, before entering upon his duties, execute a bond in an amount to be determined by the board. Such bond shall be payable to the university branch district and shall be conditioned upon the faithful performance of the official duties required of him as secretary and fiscal officer. Upon his ceasing to hold such office, he, or his legal representatives, shall deliver to the board of trustees or to his successor all moneys, books, papers, and other property of the district in his possession as secretary and fiscal officer. In case of the death or incapacity of the secretary, his legal representative shall, in like manner, deliver all moneys, books, papers, and other property of the district to the board of trustees or the person named as his successor. The secretary shall, at the direction of the board, receive and disburse all funds of the district and shall certify to the board the estimated useful life of all property included in division (D) of section 3355.09 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.051

Effective Date: 12-14-1967

3355.06 Powers and duties of managing authority.

The managing authority of the university branch district shall adopt its own rules governing proceedings, designate the permanent place of business of the district, and keep a record of all its proceedings. Such record shall be open for public inspection during regular business hours at the permanent place of business of the district. The managing authority may:

(A) Enter into a contract for a period of not less than four nor more than ten years with a state or municipal university for the operation of a university branch by such university on the campus provided in accordance with sections 3355.01 to 3355.14 of the Revised Code. Except as provided in sections 3333.17 and 3333.32 of the Revised Code, the contract shall establish schedules of fees and tuition for: students who are residents of the district; residents of Ohio but not of the district; and students who are nonresidents of Ohio. Students who are nonresidents of Ohio shall be required to pay higher rates of fees and tuition than the rates required of students who are residents of Ohio but not of the district, and students who are residents of the district shall pay a smaller tuition and fee rate than the rate for either category of nonresident students.

(B) Hold, encumber, control, acquire by donation, purchase, or condemnation, construct, own, lease, use, and sell real and personal property as is necessary for the creation and maintenance of the university branch campus, on whatever terms and for whatever consideration may be appropriate for the purposes of the facility;

(C) Accept gifts, grants, bequests, and devises absolutely or in trust for support of the university branch campus during the existence of said branch;

(D) Receive an appropriation from any municipality or county that is a part of the university branch district for the purpose of providing funds for support of the university branch campus;

(E) Receive and expend gifts or grants from the state for the payment of operating costs, for the acquisition, construction, or improvement of buildings or other structures, or for the acquisition or use of land;

(F) Prescribe rules for the effective operation of a university branch district college and exercise such other powers as are necessary for the efficient management of such university and are not in conflict with any contract entered into under division (A) of this section. Any instrument by which real property is acquired pursuant to this section shall identify the agency of the state that has the use and benefit of the real property as specified in section 5301.012 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.06

Effective Date: 09-22-2000

3355.061 Managing authority to receive and expend funds - budget.

For the purpose of paying the administrative expenses of the managing authority of a university branch district, the managing authority may receive and expend gifts, grants, bequests or devises, or public funds appropriated for such purpose. The legislative authority of any municipal corporation in which a district is located or the board of county commissioners of any county or counties in which a district which is not wholly within the boundary of a municipal corporation is located may appropriate and cause to be paid to such district funds for the expenses of the managing authority of a university branch district upon a determination by the legislative authority or the board of county commissioners that such appropriation will be of benefit to such municipal corporation or county, which determination is final. On or before the first day of June in each year, the managing authority shall meet and prepare a budget of the administrative expense needs of and the income available to the authority for the succeeding fiscal year. This budget shall not conflict with any contract entered into under division (A) of section 3355.06 of the Revised Code and shall not include any items of expense incurred pursuant to such section. The budget shall be delivered to the legislative authority of the municipality in which the district is located or to the board of county commissioners of the county or of the most populous county in which the district is located on or before the fifteenth day of June of each year, and the taxing authority shall determine what portion of the administrative budget shall be included in the tax budget of the authority pursuant to section 5705.28 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.061

Effective Date: 12-14-1967

3355.07 Investment, deposit of funds.

The board of trustees of a university branch district may, by resolution, provide that moneys of such district be invested in obligations of such district, in bonds or other obligations of the United States or those for which the payment of principal and interest of which the faith of the United States is pledged, bonds issued by the home owners' loan corporation, pursuant to "Home Owners Loan Act of 1933," 48 Stat. 128, 12 U.S.C. 1461 , and any amendments thereto, bonds of the state, and bonds of any municipal corporation, village, county, township, or other political subdivision of the state as to which there is no default of principal, interest, or coupons. Such investments shall not be made at a price in excess of the current market value of such bonds or other interest-bearing obligations. The board of trustees may, by resolution, sell such bonds or other interest-bearing obligations for cash and for a sum not less than their current market price. The managing authority of the university branch district may select a depository for the funds of a district, in the manner provided in sections 135.01 to 135.21 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, upon the adoption of a resolution declaring such intent, which resolution shall be certified to the board of county commissioners and to the treasurer in the counties in which such district is located. In such event the board of trustees shall thereupon become the governing board for such district with respect to the deposit of funds of such district.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.07

Effective Date: 06-11-1968

3355.08 Bonds.

A university branch district may submit to the electors of the district the question of issuing bonds of such district for the purpose of paying all or a part of the cost of purchasing a site or enlargement thereof, and for the erection and equipment of buildings, or for the purpose of enlarging, improving, or rebuilding thereof, and also the necessity of the levy of a tax outside the limitation imposed by Section 2 of Article XII, Ohio Constitution, to pay the interest on and to retire such bonds. The proceedings for such election and for the issuance and sale of such bonds shall be as provided by Chapter 133. of the Revised Code, provided that such bond issue may be submitted to the electors and such bonds may be issued for any one or more improvements which the district is authorized to acquire or construct, notwithstanding the fact that such improvements may not be for one purpose under Chapter 133. of the Revised Code. If a majority of those voting upon the proposal vote in favor thereof, the board may proceed with the issuance of such bonds and the levy of a tax outside the ten-mill limitation, sufficient in amount to pay the interest on and retire such bonds at maturity. Notes may be issued in anticipation of such bonds as provided in section 133.22 of the Revised Code. The secretary of the district shall be its fiscal officer, and the board of trustees shall be the taxing authority of the district, as those terms are used in Chapter 133. of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.08

Effective Date: 10-30-1989

3355.09 Submission of tax levy question - purpose of levy - anticipation notes.

Upon receipt of a request from the university branch district managing authority, the boards of elections of the county or counties comprising such district shall place upon the ballot in the district at the next primary or general election occurring not less than ninety days after submission of such request by such managing authority, the question of levying a tax outside the ten-mill limitation, for a specified period of years, to provide funds for any of the following purposes:

(A) Purchasing a site or enlargement thereof;

(B) The erection and equipment of buildings;

(C) Enlarging, improving, or rebuilding buildings;

(D) The acquisition, construction, or improvement of any property which the university branch district managing authority is authorized to acquire, construct, or improve and which has been certified by the fiscal officer to have an estimated useful life of five or more years.

If a majority of the electors in such district voting on such question approve, the county auditor of the county or counties comprising such district shall annually place such levy on the tax duplicate in such district, in the amount set forth in the proposition approved by the electors.

The managing authority of the university branch district shall establish a special fund pursuant to section 3355.07 of the Revised Code for all revenue derived from any tax levied pursuant to provisions of this section.

The boards of election of the county or counties comprising the district shall cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in each such county an advertisement of the proposed tax levy question once a week for two consecutive weeks, or as provided in section 7.16 of the Revised Code, prior to the election at which the question is to appear on the ballot . If a board of elections operates and maintains a web site, that board also shall post the advertisement on its web site for thirty days prior to the election.

After the approval of such levy by vote, the managing authority of the university branch district may anticipate a fraction of the proceeds of such levy and from time to time, during the life of such levy, issue anticipation notes in an amount not to exceed seventy-five per cent of the estimated proceeds of such levy to be collected in each year over a period of five years after the date of the issuance of such notes, less an amount equal to the proceeds of such levy previously obligated for such year by the issuance of anticipation notes, provided, that the total amount maturing in any one year shall not exceed seventy-five per cent of the anticipated proceeds of such levy for that year.

Each issue of notes shall be sold as provided in Chapter 133. of the Revised Code and shall mature serially in substantially equal amounts, during each remaining year of the levy, not to exceed five, after their issuance.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.09

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.29, HB 48, §1, eff. 7/2/2010.

Effective Date: 10-30-1989; 05-02-2006

3355.091 District may acquire auxiliary or education facilities - issuance of obligations.

(A) A university branch district may acquire, by purchase, lease, lease-purchase, lease with option to purchase, or otherwise, construct, equip, furnish, reconstruct, alter, enlarge, remodel, renovate, rehabilitate, improve, maintain, repair, and operate, and lease to or from others, auxiliary facilities or education facilities, except housing and dining facilities, and may pay for the facilities out of available receipts of such district. To pay all or part of the costs of auxiliary facilities or education facilities, except housing and dining facilities, and any combination of them, and to refund obligations previously issued for such purpose, each university branch district may issue obligations in the manner provided by and subject to the applicable provisions of section 3345.12 of the Revised Code.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the definitions set forth in section 3345.12 of the Revised Code apply to this section.

(C) Fee variations provided for in division (A) of section 3355.06 of the Revised Code need not be applied to fees pledged to secure obligations.

(D) The obligations authorized by this section are not bonded indebtedness of the university branch district, shall not constitute general obligations or the pledge of the full faith and credit of such district, and the holders or owners thereof shall have no right to require the board to levy or collect any taxes for the payment of bond service charges, but they shall have the right to payment thereof solely from the available receipts and funds pledged for such payment as authorized by section 3345.12 of the Revised Code and this section. The bond proceedings may provide the method whereby the general administrative overhead expense of the district shall be allocated among the several operations and facilities of the district for purposes of determining any operating and maintenance expenses payable from the pledged available receipts prior to the provision for payment of bond service charges, and for other purposes of the bond proceedings.

(E) A resolution of the board of trustees or other managing authority of a university branch district providing for borrowing money and issuing obligations shall be submitted to the Ohio board of regents prior to the borrowing of any money or issuance of any obligations, and the board's endorsement of approval on such resolution is necessary to the validity of any obligations issued by the district pursuant to this section and section 3345.12 of the Revised Code.

(F) The powers granted in this section are in addition to any other powers at any time granted by the Constitution and laws of the state, and not in derogation thereof or restrictions thereon.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.091

Effective Date: 09-17-1996

3355.092 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 3355.092

Effective Date: 09-17-1996

3355.10 Ownership of university branch campus - acquisition of property by appropriation - bonds.

The ownership of the university branch campus, created and established pursuant to sections 3355.01 to 3355.14 of the Revised Code, including all right, title, and interest in and to all property, both real and personal, pertaining thereto, shall be vested in the managing authority of the university branch district. The board may acquire by appropriation any land, rights, rights of way, franchises, easements, or other property necessary or proper for the construction or the efficient operation of any facility of the university branch district, pursuant to section 5537.06 of the Revised Code, with respect to the Ohio turnpike and infrastructure commission, and insofar as such procedure is applicable.

University branch district bonds, issued pursuant to section 3355.08 of the Revised Code, are lawful investments of banks, savings banks, trust companies, trustees, boards of trustees of sinking funds of municipal corporations, school districts, counties, the administrator of workers' compensation, the state teachers retirement system, the public employees retirement system, and the school employees retirement system, and also are acceptable as security for the deposit of public moneys.

Any instrument by which real property is acquired pursuant to this section shall identify the agency of the state that has the use and benefit of the real property as specified in section 5301.012 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.10

Amended by OHIO Acts of the 130th General Assembly File No. 7, HB 51, §101.01, eff. 7/1/2013.

Effective Date: 10-26-1999

3355.11 Exemption from taxes or assessments.

A university branch district shall not be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any real or personal property acquired, owned, or used by it pursuant to sections 3355.01 to 3355.14 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, or upon the income therefrom, and the bonds issued pursuant to such sections and the transfer of the income therefrom, including any profit made or the sale thereof, shall at all times be free from taxation within the state.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.11

Effective Date: 10-20-1961

3355.12 Contracts requiring bidding - biennial adjustment.

(A) When the managing authority of the university branch district has determined to let by contract the work of improvements, contracts in amounts exceeding a dollar amount set by the managing authority, which dollar amount shall not exceed fifty thousand dollars, shall be advertised after notices calling for bids have been published once a week for three consecutive weeks, in at least one newspaper of general circulation within the university branch district wherein the work is to be done. Such managing authority may let such contract to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, in accordance with section 9.312 of the Revised Code, who meets the requirements of section 153.54 of the Revised Code. Such contract shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by or shall refer to plans and specifications for the work to be done. Such contract shall be approved by the managing authority of the university branch district and signed by the chairperson or vice-chairperson of the managing authority and by the contractor.

(B) On the first day of January of every even-numbered year, the chancellor of the board of regents shall adjust the fifty thousand dollar contract limit set forth in division (A) of this section, as adjusted in any previous year pursuant to this division. The chancellor shall adjust the limit according to the average increase or decrease for each of the two years immediately preceding the adjustment as set forth in the United States department of commerce, bureau of economic analysis implicit price deflator for gross domestic product, nonresidential structures, or an alternative if the federal government ceases to publish this metric, provided that no increase or decrease for any year shall exceed three per cent of the contract limit in existence at the time of the adjustment. Notwithstanding division (A) of this section, the limit adjusted under this division shall be used thereafter in lieu of the limit in division (A) of this section.

(C) Before entering into an improvement pursuant to division (A) of this section, the managing authority of the university branch district shall require separate and distinct proposals to be made for furnishing materials or doing work on the improvement, or both, in the board's discretion, for each separate and distinct branch or class of work entering into the improvement. The managing authority also may require a single, combined proposal for the entire project for materials or doing work, or both, in the board's discretion, that includes each separate and distinct branch or class of work entering into the improvement. The managing authority need not solicit separate proposals for a branch or class of work for an improvement if the estimate cost for that branch or class of work is less than five thousand dollars.

(D) When more than one branch or class of work is required, no contract for the entire job, or for a greater portion thereof than is embraced in one such branch or class of work shall be awarded, unless the separate bids do not cover all the work and materials required or the bids for the whole or for two or more kinds of work or materials are lower than the separate bids in the aggregate. The managing authority need not award separate contracts for a branch or class of work entering into an improvement if the estimated cost for that branch or class of work is less than five thousand dollars.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.12

Effective Date: 03-14-2003; 2008 HB562 09-22-2008

3355.121 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 3355.121

Effective Date: 12-30-2004

3355.13 State and municipal universities not to be limited in administration of university branches.

No provisions in sections 3355.01 to 3355.14 , inclusive, of the Revised Code shall limit, restrict, regulate, or alter the powers of the respective state and municipal universities to administer university branches outside of lands and facilities provided by university branch districts or to limit, restrict, or regulate the authority of any unit of local government to establish community colleges or technical colleges as may be provided for by law, nor shall the provisions of such sections limit or restrict the number of university branch campuses in any one university branch district.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.13

Effective Date: 02-17-1972

3355.14 Dissolution of district - disposition of assets.

In the event the need for a university branch campus ceases to exist, or if a contract between a public university and the university branch district managing authority is not entered into or is not renewed, the university branch district managing authority may by a two-thirds vote of its members declare the district to be dissolved and within ninety days of such vote shall formally notify the secretary of state of this action. The district managing authority shall dispose of the land and all physical facilities of the district not later than three years after the secretary of state is notified of the dissolution of the district. Disposition of the land and the physical facilities shall be made by sale in such manner as to realize the greatest return to the district. Money obtained from any sale shall be apportioned and deposited forthwith in the treasury of the municipality or in the treasury or treasuries of the county or counties that created the district in the proportion to which the taxpayers of the municipality or the taxpayers of the county or counties have contributed to the support of the university branch district during the period of its existence by the district board of trustees as the last act before going out of existence.

Cite as R.C. § 3355.14

Effective Date: 01-23-1963