University of North Georgia (UNG) is compliant with this comprehensive standard. UNG is a unit of the University System of Georgia (USG), led by a chancellor and governed by the 18-member Board of Regents (BOR). The BOR was created in 1931 as a part of a reorganization of Georgia’s state government. With this act, public higher education in Georgia was unified for the first time under a single governing and management authority. The BOR elects a chancellor who serves as its chief executive officer and the chief administrative officer of the USG. The BOR oversees the 31 institutions that comprise the University System of Georgia.
Each of the 31 institutions within the University System of Georgia is categorized as one of the following: research university, regional university, state university, state college, or two-year college. The University of North Georgia is classified by USG as a state university. Teaching is focused at the baccalaureate and masters levels. Associate degrees and doctoral degrees may be offered by state universities, but they are typically limited and offered in select areas. Research activity includes some basic research, but is typically more focused on institutional and/or applied research.
Legal Authority of the Governing Board
The BOR receives its legal authority through the Constitution of the State of Georgia and by acts of the General Assembly to Article VIII, Section IV, Paragraph 1 (b), Constitution of the State of Georgia. As stated in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated 20-3-31, the BOR shall have power:
- To make such reasonable rules and regulations as are necessary for the performance of its duties;
- To elect or appoint professors, educators, stewards, or any other officers necessary for all of the schools in the university system, as may be authorized by the General Assembly; to discontinue or remove them as the good of the system or any of its schools or institutions or stations may require; and to fix their compensations;
- To establish all such schools of learning or art as may be useful to the state and to organize them in the way most likely to attain the ends desired; and
- To exercise any power usually granted to such corporation, necessary to its usefulness, which is not in conflict with the Constitution and laws of this state.
In addition, the BOR Bylaws clearly articulate the authority of the BOR over its member institutions in Section I. 2, Bylaws, Board of Regents, University System of Georgia. The Charter of the BOR consists of the original charter of the Trustees of the University of Georgia embodied in the Act of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia approved January 27, 1785, and modified by a subsequent Act of the General Assembly of Georgia in 1931, as follows:
- Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that there is hereby set up and constituted a department of the State Government of Georgia, to be known as the “Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.” The name of the corporation heretofore established and existing under the name and style, “Trustees of the University of Georgia” be and the same is hereby changed to “Regents of the University System of Georgia.”
- 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.
Organizational Structure of the University System
As stated in the Constitution of the State of Georgia, the BOR “shall consist of one member from each congressional district in the state and five additional members from the state at large, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate,” (Article VIII, Section IV, Paragraph 1 (c), Constitution of the State of Georgia) . Thirteen congressional districts provide a governing body of 18 members.
The Chancellor of the University System of Georgia is the chief administrative officer of the University System as well as the chief executive officer of the Board of Regents (Section IV, Bylaws, Board of Regents, University System of Georgia, Section VI, Bylaws, Board of Regents, University System of Georgia). The President of UNG reports to the Chancellor. An organizational chart illustrating the relationship of the governing board with the USG staff and system universities is publicly available online (Organizational Chart, Board of Regents, University System of Georgia).
Mission of the Governing Board
The mission of the USG is to contribute to the educational, cultural, economic, and social advancement of Georgia by providing excellent undergraduate general education and first-rate programs leading to associate, baccalaureate, masters, professional, and doctorate degrees; by pursuing leading-edge basic and applied research, scholarly inquiry, and creative endeavors; and by bringing these intellectual resources, and those of the public libraries, to bear on the economic development of the State and the continuing education of its citizens.
Each institution in the USG will be characterized by:
- A supportive campus climate, leadership and development opportunities, and necessary services and facilities to meet the needs of students, faculty, and staff;
- Cultural, ethnic, racial, and gender diversity in the faculty, staff, and student body, supported by practices and programs that embody the ideals of an open, democratic, and global society;
- Technology to advance educational purposes, including instructional technology, student support services, and distance education; and
- A commitment to sharing physical, human, information, and other resources in collaboration with other System institutions, the public libraries, state agencies, local schools, and technical colleges to expand and enhance programs and services available to the citizens of Georgia.
Operating Procedures of the University System of Georgia
While the Chancellor of the USG is responsible for the operation of the University System Office and plays a critical role in setting the vision and direction of the overall university system, campus presidents are vested with the decision-making authority to lead their respective campuses. Therefore, while the Chancellor works with the Georgia State Legislature to procure funding for the USG and works with his staff to identify appropriate funding levels for each of its member institutions, once this funding reaches UNG, the president has the sole authority to direct its division at the university. Within this system of governance the BOR sets broad policies for its member institutions, while the presidents of the individual institutions within the USG are given considerable autonomy to run operating affairs of their institutions.
Additionally, the BOR requires each institution within the USG to have a mission, and the mission must be approved by the BOR. This policy makes it clear that the president of each institution is responsible for the institution's mission, and the president is charged with the responsibility of seeking modification to the institution's mission when such changes are needed and supported by substantive evidence and a rationale for the change.
Finally, each institution is authorized by the BOR to offer degree programs that are appropriate to the mission of the institution. The UNG President is responsible for overseeing the academic development of the institution before a degree program can be put into operation. This relationship authorizes the president to develop programs that enable the institution to meet its mission while enabling the BOR to control the quality and frequency of programs so as to ensure an effective delivery of educational opportunity to the citizens of the State of Georgia.
Key documents that articulate the operations and guidelines of the USG and its member institutions are publicly available on the USG website:
- BOR Academic Affairs Handbook
- BOR Business Procedures Manual
- BOR Policy Manual
- BOR Meeting Minutes and Actions