The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education is the staff to the 13-member Board of Higher Education, responsible for executing the Board's policies and day-to-day operations.
The Board of Higher Education is the statutorily created agency in Massachusetts responsible for defining the mission of and coordinating the Commonwealth’s system of public higher education and its institutions. The Board of Higher Education works to create and maintain a system of public higher education which provides Massachusetts citizens with the opportunity to participate in academic and educational programs for their personal betterment and growth; to contribute to the area’s existing base of research and knowledge; and to contribute to the Commonwealth’s future economic growth and development.
The Board’s core responsibilities are in the following functional areas: Academic Policy and Program Approval, Financial Aid, Fiscal and Capital Planning, Research and Performance Measurement, Workforce Development, and overseeing the Commonwealth’s Optional Retirement Program. The Board of Higher Education is also increasingly engaged in PreK-16, College and Career Readiness initiatives, as well as general advocacy on behalf of the system.
The Board of Higher Education coordinates its activities within a framework of an integrated public education system extending from early childhood through the university level to promote coordination. The Board of Higher Education also encourages collaboration between educational institutions and business and industry to promote employment opportunities, educational improvements, and economic growth.