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3.2 Governance and Administration

Comprehensive Standard:

3.2.5 The governing board has a policy whereby members can be dismissed only for appropriate reasons and by a fair process. (Board dismissal)

Statement of Compliance:   In Compliance.

Narrative:

The Board of Regents is the governing body for the University of West Georgia. The Bylaws of the Board of Regents stipulate to the eligibility requirements for Board of Regents members. Bylaws of the Board of Regents I:(3) sets forth Membership thus:

"The Board of Regents 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. The Governor shall not be a member of said Board. The term of each member shall be seven years. Members shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified. In the event of a vacancy on the Board by death, resignation, removal, or any reason other than the expiration of a member’s term, the Governor shall fill such vacancy and the person so appointed shall serve until confirmed by the Senate and, upon confirmation, shall serve for the unexpired term of office" [1].  

As set forth in the Constitution of the State of Georgia in Article VII:  Section IV: Paragraph 1, appointments to the Board of Regents are made by the governor of the state of Georgia who acts within the criteria set and the limitations imposed by the constitution of the state of Georgia [2] (and which are incorporated into the Bylaws of the Board of Regents [1] as described above). For example, all appointments made by the governor are subject to Senate confirmation and members of the Board of Regents serve seven years. The power to make appoints to the Board of Regents is granted by the Constitution of the State of Georgia [2] and is recursive the Reorganization Act of 1931 passed by the Georgia General Assembly in 1931 [3].

Removal of a governing board member follows the rules and procedures set forth in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated as directed by the constitution of the state of Georgia. Article VIII, Section IV, Paragraph I (f) of the Constitution of the State of Georgia directs that the "...removal from office of the members of the board of regents shall be as provided by law" [2].

The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 45-5-1 and § 20-3-26 set forth how an office is vacated and the procedure to be followed for such, and for the intentional removal of a University System of Georgia governing board member. Precisely:

§ 45-5-1. When offices deemed vacated; filling vacancy; notice; appeal

"(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" [4].

§ 20-3-26. Duty of members to attend meetings; vacation of office for unexcused absences

"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 he 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 chairman, or, if the chairman for any cause cannot act, from the vice-chairman of the board, his office shall be declared vacant by the board. The secretary shall in either event notify the Governor of a vacancy on the board, and the Governor shall fill the vacancy as provided by this part" [4].

The Bylaws of the Board of Regents necessarily incorporate these directives.  For example, Bylaws of the Board of Regents I:(4) parallels the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 20-3-26:

 "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" [1].

As of this time, no governing board member of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents has ever been removed from the office.

Supporting Documentation: