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110 ILCS 49/15
(110 ILCS 49/15)
Survey; coordinator; best practices report; best efforts.
(a) All public colleges and universities shall, within 60 days after the effective date of this Act, conduct a survey of the services and programs that are provided for veterans, active duty military personnel, and their families, at each of their respective campuses. This survey shall enumerate and fully describe the service or program that is available, the number of veterans or active duty personnel using the service or program, an estimated range for potential use within a 5-year and 10-year period, information on the location of the service or program, and how its administrators may be contacted. The survey shall indicate the manner or manners in which a student veteran may avail himself or herself of the program's services. This survey must be made available to all veterans matriculating at the college or university in the form of an orientation-related guidebook.
Each public college and university shall make the survey available on the homepage of all campus Internet links as soon as practical after the completion of the survey. As soon as possible after the completion of the survey, each public college and university shall provide a copy of its survey to the following:
(1) the Board of Higher Education;
(2) the Department of Veterans' Affairs;
(3) the President and Minority Leader of the Senate
and the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives; and
(4) the Governor.
(b) Each public college and university shall, at its discretion, (i) appoint, within 6 months after August 7, 2009 (the effective date of this Act), an existing employee or (ii) hire a new employee to serve as a Coordinator of Veterans and Military Personnel Student Services on each campus of the college or university that has an onsite, daily, full-time student headcount above 1,000 students.
The Coordinator of Veterans and Military Personnel Student Services shall be an ombudsperson serving the specific needs of student veterans and military personnel and their families and shall serve as an advocate before the administration of the college or university for the needs of student veterans. The college or university shall enable the Coordinator of Veterans and Military Personnel Student Services to communicate directly with the senior executive administration of the college or university periodically. The college or university shall retain unfettered discretion to determine the organizational management structure of its institution.
In addition to any responsibilities the college or university may assign, the Coordinator of Veterans and Military Personnel Student Services shall make its best efforts to create a centralized source for student veterans and military personnel to learn how to receive all benefit programs and services for which they are eligible.
Each college and university campus that is required to have a Coordinator of Veterans and Military Personnel Student Services shall regularly and conspicuously advertise the office location and phone number of and Internet access to the Coordinator of Veterans and Military Personnel Student Services, along with a brief summary of the manner in which he or she can assist student veterans. The advertisement shall include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:
(1) advertisements on each campus' Internet home
(2) any promotional mailings for student
(3) the website and any social media accounts of the
public college or university.
The Coordinator of Veterans and Military Personnel Student Services shall facilitate other campus offices with the promotion of programs and services that are available.
(c) Upon receipt of all of the surveys under subsection (a) of this Section, the Board of Higher Education and the Department of Veterans' Affairs shall conduct a joint review of the surveys. The Department of Veterans' Affairs shall post, on any Internet home page it may operate, a link to each survey as posted on the Internet website for the college or university. The Board of Higher Education shall post, on any Internet home page it may operate, a link to each survey as posted on the Internet website for the college or university or an annual report or document containing survey information for each college or university. Upon receipt of all of the surveys, the Office of the Governor, through its military affairs advisors, shall similarly conduct a review of the surveys. Following its review of the surveys, the Office of the Governor shall submit an evaluation report to each college and university offering suggestions and insight on the conduct of student veteran-related policies and programs.
(d) The Board of Higher Education and the Department of Veterans' Affairs may issue a best practices report to highlight those programs and services that are most beneficial to veterans and active duty military personnel. The report shall contain a fiscal needs assessment in conjunction with any program recommendations.
(e) Each college and university campus that is required to have a Coordinator of Veterans and Military Personnel Student Services under subsection (b) of this Section shall make its best efforts to create academic and social programs and services for veterans and active duty military personnel that will provide reasonable opportunities for academic performance and success.
Each public college and university shall make its best efforts to determine how its online educational curricula can be expanded or altered to serve the needs of student veterans and currently deployed military, including a determination of whether and to what extent the public colleges and universities can share existing technologies to improve the online curricula of peer institutions, provided such efforts are both practically and economically feasible.
(Source: P.A. 102-278, eff. 8-6-21; 102-295, eff. 8-6-21; 102-558, eff. 8-20-21; 102-813, eff. 5-13-22.)