University of North Georgia (UNG) is in compliance with this comprehensive standard. The policy and procedures for board dismissal are in place for the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents (BOR). The institutional consolidation that formed UNG had no impact on and made no changes to these regulations affecting board dismissal. Evidence of implementation of this policy is contained in a letter dated April 3, 2013, in which the USG BOR Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs reiterated the governing board policy on dismissal as well as confirming that no board member has been removed from office since at least 1980.
The reasons for board dismissal and the due process procedures for dismissal are described in the Official Code of Georgia, the Bylaws of the USG BOR, and the Constitution of the State of Georgia. According to Section 20-3-26 of the Official Code of the State of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) and Section I.4 of the Bylaws of the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents (BOR), members may be dismissed for failure to attend meetings, and a fair process for effecting dismissal is in place:
It shall be the duty of the members of the Board of Regents to attend the meetings of the Board so as to take part in its deliberations. The office of any member of the Board shall be vacated if such member neglects to furnish an excuse in writing to the Board for absence from two consecutive meetings of the Board. If any member fails to attend three successive meetings of the Board without good and valid cause or excuse or without leave of absence from the Chair or, if the Chair for any cause cannot act, from the Vice Chair of the Board, that member’s office shall be declared vacant by the Board, and the Secretary to the Board shall notify the Governor of a vacancy on the Board, and the Governor shall fill the same.
The Executive and Compensation Committee of the Board shall meet and confer with any member of the Board who fails to attend meetings of the Board, regular or special, and to participate in a substantial way in the activities of the Board. If the Board member continues thereafter to absent himself or herself from Board meetings and from participating substantially in Board activities, the Chair shall so advise the Governor in writing and request that appropriate action be taken.
The Constitution of the State of Georgia stipulates that “removal from office of the members of the board of regents shall be as provided by law” (Article VIII, Section IV, Paragraph 1,f). Thus, regents are also subject to dismissal for the reasons stated in O.C.G.A. Section 45-5-1 and with fair due process procedures outlined in the law:
(a) All offices in the state shall be vacated:
(1) By the death of the incumbent;
(2) By resignation, when accepted;
(3) By decision of a competent tribunal declaring the office vacant;
(4) By voluntary act or misfortune of the incumbent whereby he is placed in any of the specified conditions of ineligibility to office;
(5) By the incumbent ceasing to be a resident of the state or of the county, circuit, or district for which he was elected;
(6) By failing to apply for and obtain commissions or certificates or by failing to qualify or give bond, or both, within the time prescribed by the laws and Constitution of Georgia; or
(7) By abandoning the office or ceasing to perform its duties, or both.
(b) Upon the occurrence of a vacancy in any office in the state, the officer or body authorized to fill the vacancy or call for an election to fill the vacancy shall do so without the necessity of a judicial determination of the occurrence of the vacancy. Before doing so, however, the officer or body shall give at least ten days' notice to the person whose office has become vacant, except that such notice shall not be required in the case of a vacancy caused by death, final conviction of a felony, or written resignation. The decision of the officer or body to fill the vacancy or call an election to fill the vacancy shall be subject to an appeal to the superior court; and nothing in this subsection shall affect any right of any person to seek a judicial determination of the eligibility of any person holding office in the state. The provisions of this subsection shall apply both to vacancies occurring under this Code section and to vacancies occurring under other laws of this state.