University of North Georgia (UNG) is in compliance with this comprehensive standard. The policies and practices of the Board of Regents (BOR) ensure an appropriate distinction between the governing board’s policy-making authority and the responsibility of institutional administrations and faculty to administer and implement BOR policy. The institutional consolidation that formed UNG had no impact on or resulted in no changes to this existing distinction. In fact, the consolidation process is a prime example of how this distinction operates in practice.
The University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents Bylaws (Article I.2) stipulate that:
The government, control, and management of the University System of Georgia and each of its institutions are vested by the people of Georgia exclusively with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The Board of Regents possesses such other authority as is granted by the Constitution of the State of Georgia and by acts of the General Assembly.
This authority is designated in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, Section 20-3-31, and the Constitution of the State of Georgia, Article VIII, Section 4, Paragraph I.
In Section 3.1 of the BOR Policy Manual, the relationship between the BOR, the Chancellor, and the president and administrators of each institution is clarified further:
The Board of Regents shall rely on the Chancellor, the presidents of all USG institutions, and their deans and faculties to develop, adapt, and administer the academic methods and procedures deemed by them to be most effective in promoting efficiency of operations and most appropriate to the advancement of learning.
Without limiting the generality of the preceding paragraph, it is recognized that the following are proper functions of the academic authorities rather than of the Board:
1. To prescribe the teaching load to be carried by each member of the faculty;
2. To determine the maximum and minimum number of students permitted in a class; and,
3. To define the nature and form of records, if any, to be kept of the members of the faculties and of activities of administrative personnel.
The Board of Regents shall expect of each president, his/her faculty and staff, the deans, and the faculties of each USG institution efficient service measured by approved academic standards, and shall look to them to promote effective higher education, having in view resources available to them, and, in the discharge of its duties as a Board, must hold them responsible for a failure to achieve these results. The Board is of the opinion that it would not be reasonable to make USG academic authorities accountable for results obtained and at the same time deny them the power to choose ways and means they believe to be best adapted to achieve the ends desired.
The Board shall look to the Chancellor to survey USG institutions and to report thereon to the Board, as may be necessary to keep it fully informed of the standards of scholarship maintained at each USG institution and the efficiency and effectiveness of the administration of the institutions (BoR Minutes, 1947-48, pp. 170-172; 1989-1990, p. 179).
Section 2.5 of the BOR Policy Manual describes the authority and responsibilities of the presidents of institutions:
2.5.1 Executive Head of Institution
The president of each USG institution shall be the executive head of the institution and of all its departments, and shall exercise such supervision and direction as will promote the efficient operation of the institution. The president shall be responsible to the Chancellor for the operation and management of the institution, and for the execution of all directives of the Board and the Chancellor. The president’s discretionary powers shall be broad enough to enable him/her to discharge these responsibilities (BoR Minutes, 1972-74, pp. 69-71; 1977-78, pp. 167-168; April, 2007, pp. 76-77).
2.5.3 Personnel Policies
The president shall be responsible for the initial appointment of faculty members and administrative employees of each institution, the salary and all promotions of each, and be authorized to make all reappointments of faculty members and administrative employees, except as otherwise specified in this Policy Manual. The president has the right and authority to grant leaves of absence for up to one (1) year for members of the faculty for study at other institutions or for such reasons as the president may deem proper.
He/she shall make an annual report to the Board, through the Chancellor or his/her designee, of the condition of the institution under his/her leadership (BoR Minutes, February, 2007). The president of each institution, or his/her designee, is authorized to accept on behalf of the Board the resignation of any employee of his/her institution (BoR Minutes, 1977-78, p. 123; 1982-83, p. 225).
The president of each institution, or the president’s designee, shall have the authority to execute, accept, or deliver, on behalf of the Board, the following types of research agreements, settlement agreements, service agreements, and reciprocal emergency law enforcement agreements affecting his/her institution:
1. Research or service agreements whereby the institution concerned, for monetary compensation or other good and valuable consideration, agrees to perform certain institution-oriented research or other personal services within a time period of one (1) year or less.
2. Agreements between USG institutions and hospitals or other organized medical facilities, both public and private, located within the State of Georgia, whereby the hospital or medical facility concerned agrees to provide clinical services to nursing and other students enrolled in nursing and allied health programs at the institution concerned. Said agreements shall be effective for one year with the option of annual renewal as specified therein and shall be subject to cancellation by either party.
3. Reciprocal emergency law enforcement agreements between USG institutions and county and municipal authorities, as authorized by the Georgia Mutual Aid Act, as amended (BoR Minutes, 1993-94, pp. 63-64).
4. Settlements of grievances and complaints, including those filed by state and federal agencies, that do not include a monetary commitment of more than $100,000. Notice of settlements shall be filed with the University System Office of Legal Affairs (BoR Minutes, May 2006; April, 2007).
5. Any agreements necessary for the day-to-day operation of the institution (BoR Minutes, April, 2007).
Section 126.96.36.199 of the BOR Policy Manual addresses the responsibilities of administrators and their faculty status:
Faculty status of full-time administrative officers will necessarily vary with the size and complexity of the institution. A faculty member who has academic rank and rights of tenure in the Corps of Instruction and who accepts an appointment to an administrative office (other than president) shall retain his/her academic rank and rights of tenure as an ex officio member of the Corps of Instruction, but shall have no rights of tenure in the administrative office to which he/she has been appointed.
The additional salary, if any, for the administrative position shall be stated in the employment contract and shall not be paid to the faculty member when he/she ceases to hold the administrative position. An administrative officer having faculty status shall have all the responsibilities and privileges of faculty membership. Administrative officers shall be appointed by the president with the approval of the Board of Regents and shall hold office at the pleasure of the president.
Section 3.2.4 of the BOR Policy Manual defines the role of the faculty as follows:
The faculty, or the council, senate, assembly, or such other comparable body at an institution (BoR Minutes, May 2010), shall, subject to the approval of the president of the institution:
1. Make statutes, rules, and regulations for its governance and for that of the students;
2. Provide such committees as may be required;
3. Prescribe regulations regarding admission, suspension, expulsion, classes, courses of study, and requirements for graduation; and,
4. Make such regulations as may be necessary or proper for the maintenance of high educational standards.
A copy of an institution’s statutes, rules and regulations made by the faculty shall be filed with the Chancellor. The faculty shall also have primary responsibility for those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process, subject to the approval of the president of the institution. (BoR Minutes, 1986- 87, p. 333; May 2010).
The administrative and faculty roles and responsibilities at UNG are delineated more specifically in the UNG Statutes, UNG Faculty Senate Bylaws, and section 3.1 of the UNG Faculty Handbook. Additionally, position descriptions of key administrators are summarized in the response to Comprehensive Standard 3.2.8.
The BOR’s institutional consolidation initiative currently underway is a prime example of how the BOR’s policy-making authority is distinguished in practice from the responsibility of system and institutional personnel to administer and implement Board policy. In January 2012, the BOR exercised its policy-making prerogative to consolidate Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University along with three other consolidation pairings of USG member institutions. In that same BOR action, according to the January 2012 BOR Meeting Minutes, the BOR charged the USG Chancellor to “take those measures which the Chancellor deems necessary and prudent to give effect to the Board’s determination that these institutions be consolidated so as to enhance and improve educational offerings and student success,” retaining their BOR authority to approve final determinations including the effective date.
The Chancellor, in turn, charged his staff to facilitate consolidation efforts at the system level and identified lead presidents for each consolidation pairing to coordinate their administrations and faculties and to form working teams to resolve the practical matters of smooth institutional consolidations. As the practical matters of consolidation were resolved at the institutional and system levels during 2012, the BOR acted when needed as in the approval of recommended institutional names and missions for the consolidated institutions. Following SACSCOC approval of the consolidation prospectuses in December 2012, the BOR exercised its policy-making authority to formalize the institutional consolidations effective on January 8, 2013 and officially appoint the presidents of the newly consolidated institutions.
Practical matters such as formulating organizational structures and positions for the new institution, appointing administrators to fill those roles, consolidating educational programs and support services, creating consolidated institutional policy manuals and publications, merging information technology systems and databases, achieving efficiencies through consolidation, and reallocating resources were achieved at the institutional level following the BOR’s action in January 2012.