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3.2 Governance and Administration

Comprehensive Standard:

3.2.6 There is a clear and appropriate distinction, in writing and practice, between the policy-making functions of the governing board and the responsibility of the administration and faculty to administer and implement policy. (Board/administration distinction)

Statement of Compliance:   In Compliance.

Narrative:

The distinctiveness of responsibilities between the Board of Regents and the University of West Georgia administration and faculty is delineated in multiple policy and operating documents of the University System of Georgia and the University of West Georgia.  The Bylaws of the Board of Regents initially establish the authority of that board regarding policy-making and the authority of the University of West Georgia and its President for operationalizing these policies.  For example, Article I, Section 2 of the Board of Regents Bylaws states:

"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" [1].

This role is distinguished from that of institutional presidents in Article VI:

"The president of each institution in the University System shall be the executive head of the institution and of all its departments and shall exercise such supervision and direction as will promote the effective and efficient operation of the institution. He or she shall be responsible to the Chancellor or his/her designee for the operation and management of the institution and for the execution of all directives of the Board and the Chancellor" [1].

The Board of Regents Policy Manual further describes the distinction in the roles of the governing board and the presidents of the member institutions of the University System of Georgia.  Section 3.1 provides that the Board of Regents will set policy and give the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia and all presidents of the member institutions of the University System of Georgia the authority for the implementation of policy:

"The Board of Regents shall rely on the Chancellor, the presidents of the several institutions in the System, 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:

A. To prescribe the teaching load to be carried by each member of the faculty;

B. To determine the maximum and minimum number of students permitted in a class; and

C. 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 or her faculty and staff, the deans and the faculties of each institution in the System 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 academic authorities in the System 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" [2].  

This distinction of responsibilities is reflected in the Introduction to Section 2.0 of the BOR Academic and Student Affairs Handbook (link below): 

"Academic programs of the USG are administered under broad Board policies that grant considerable authority and responsibility to the presidents and faculty of USG institutions" [3]

A fundamental example of the relationship between the policy making role of the Board of Regents and the implementation of policy at the institutional level by the presidents of the member institutions of the University System of Georgia and all relevant faculties is the establishment and development of the required 60-hour Core Curriculum.  Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 3.3.1 mandates that,

 "The USG core curriculum was developed with the goals of assuring institutional accountability for learning, incorporating learning requirements in global perspectives and critical thinking, allowing institutions some flexibility in tailoring courses to their institutional mission, while ensuring that core curriculum courses completed at one USG institution are fully transferable to another USG institution" [4].

The Board of Regents Academic and Student Affairs Handbook describes the Institution's responsibility for designing an appropriate general education curriculum within the parameters and structure established by the Board (link below).  Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 2.4.1 further iterates to the distinction in responsibilities and authority while requiring the coordinated implementation of policy throughout the University System of Georgia member institutions:

"The University System of Georgia (USG) is a composite of diverse institutions that, in spite of their diversity, require System-wide coherence to facilitate success for transfer students. To achieve these ends, the USG outlines general education learning goals that serve as guides for each institution to develop its own general education learning outcomes"  [3].

The published operating policies of the University of West Georgia clearly set forth the roles and responsibilities of administrators and faculty.  The Policies and Procedures of the University of West Georgia detail the administrative structure of the University of West Georgia and the responsibilities of both administrative officers and the faculty. For example, Article I, Section 1, Parts A-E (Administrative Organization) stipulates to the divisions and hierarchy of authority at the University of West Georgia, and to the distinct roles the components of the administration fulfill in implementing policy. As set forth in Article I, Section 1, there are the following five administrative divisions:  A. Office of the President, B. Officers of Administration, C. Instructional Components of the University, D. Other Academic Units, and E. Councils. Further, Article I, Section 1, Part F: (Modification) vests the President with the power to implement necessary change to organizational, structure of the University of West Georgia in order to facilitate the effective operation of the institution, and the Faculty Senate with the role of oversight of this process:

"The President, in consultation with the Faculty Senate and other representatives of the University community, shall determine the divisional organizational structure necessary for the orderly, effective, and efficient administration of the University's affairs. The heads of the divisions shall recommend for the President’s approval, the organizational structures that pertain to their divisions" [5].

The University of West Georgia Statutes are reciprocal with the stipulations of the Policies and Procedures of the University of West Georgia found in Article I, Section 1, Parts A-E. For example, Article I, Section 2, Part A-D specify a correlative organizational structure while subordinating the University of West Georgia to the governing board of the University System of Georgia. Accordingly, the divisions are thus:  A. University System of Georgia B. Office of the President, C. Faculties of the University, D. Staff Advisory Council [6].

The responsibilities required and roles of the administration and the faculty are further clarified in multiple published documents all available online on the webpage of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs [7]. These documents include the following: Faculty Handbook, Use of Facilities Policy, Ethics in Government Policy, and Hiring Procedures for Faculty. 

The evidence of the active administration and implementation of policy at the governing board level is provided in the current and archived minutes of the Board of Regents from 1996 to the present [8]. An excerpt from the Board of Regents Meeting Agenda for Tuesday, January 10, 2012 shows a typical Board of Regents agenda the items of which clearly delineate the distinct work that the governing board undertakes to direct and execute the policies for the university system at-large and the individual member institutions [9].

Moreover, additional evidence of active administration and implementation of policy at the University of West Georgia is provided in the Faculty Handbook and the current and archived minutes of the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Handbook clearly shows the application of governing board policy in the extensive and weighty duties detailed for faculty as the most significant purveyors and governors to students of the University of West Georgia Mission and, hence, of the University System of Georgia Mission. For example, Section 100 sets forth the stringent qualifications which must be met to be appointed, tenured and/or promoted as a faculty member of the University of West Georgia [10].

Additionally, an excerpt from the minutes of the Faculty Senate from the General Faculty Meeting of August 17, 2001 shows the working Faculty of the University of West Georgia as the cooperate to meet the demands of the administration of University System of Georgia where they addressed the student performance agenda of the Chancellor of the Board of Regents and University of West Georgia policy in addressing the graduation rate agenda of the President [11].

The narrative for Core Requirement 2.2 addresses in detail the structure of the governing board, the distinct responsibilities for which it is charged, its policy-making activities, and the prohibitions in place against any conflict of interest from external or internal sources.

Supporting Documentation: