The institution has a governing board of at least five members that is the legal body with specific authority over the institution. The board is an active policy-making body for the institution and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the financial resources of the institution are adequate to provide a sound educational program. The board is not controlled by a minority of board members or by organizations or interests separate from it. Both the presiding officer of the board and the majority of other voting members of the board are free of any contractual, employment, or personal or familial financial interest in the institution.

Judgment of Compliance: In compliance

Narrative

Board membership, duties and authorities

The current University of North Carolina System (hereafter, the University) dates from 1971, when the General Assembly completely restructured higher education in North Carolina, bringing all state-supported institutions of higher learning [including East Carolina University] into a single system governed by the University’s Board of Governors (hereafter, BOG).

Board of Governors

In accordance with North Carolina General Statute 116-11(2), the 32-member BOG is responsible for the general determination, control, supervision, management, and governance of all affairs of the UNC’s 17 constituent institutions, including ECU. 

In accordance with North Carolina General Statute 116-6, the North Carolina General Assembly elects the 32 voting members of the BOG for staggered four-year terms.  Special members are non-voting members with varying terms.  Such special members are former chairs of the BOG, former state governors, and the president of the UNC Association of Student Governments (or that student's designee).  No member, officer, or employee of the General Assembly or officer or employee of the state or of any constituent institution or spouse of any such member, officer or employee may be a member of the BOG, according to North Carolina General Statute 116-7(b).

The BOG is required by North Carolina General Statute 116-11(9a) to ensure that adequate financial resources are devoted to higher education; to develop, prepare, and present to the Governor and the General Assembly a single, unified, recommended budget for all the constituent institutions; and to set tuition and fees at the constituent institutions. The BOG approves academic programs and mission statements at all its constituent institutions, including ECU.

A review of several sets of minutes of the BOG (January 13, 2012; September 9, 2011; January 14, 2011; June 11, 2010; April 9, 2010, and November 13, 2009) shows that the BOG oversees the affairs of ECU, including tuition and fees, academic programs, mission statements, and capital projects.

Board of Trustees  

ECU specifically is governed by its own 13-member Board of Trustees (BOT).  As provided in North Carolina General Statute 116-31(d), eight members of the BOT are elected by the BOG, four members are appointed by the NC Governor, and the president of the student government serves as an ex-officio member. Elected and appointed members serve a maximum of two consecutive four-year terms. No member of the General Assembly or officer or employee of the state or of any constituent institution of the UNC, or spouse of any such member, officer, or employee is eligible for election or appointment as a trustee. In accordance with North Carolina General Statute 116-32, the officers of the BOT are the chair, vice chair, and the secretary. The BOT holds at least three meetings a year.

Powers, duties
, and responsibilities of the BOT are defined in Appendix 1 of the UNC Code and include the appointment and compensation of senior academic and administrative personnel, conferral of tenure, awarding of degrees, review and approval of plans and specifications of capital construction projects, and making recommendations for tuition and fees. In addition to powers and duties as defined and delegated by the BOG, the BOT serves as adviser to the BOG on matters pertaining specifically to the institution and advises ECU’s Chancellor concerning the management and development of the institution, as described in North Carolina General Statute 116-33.

Minutes of
BOT from meetings on September 23, 2011; July 21, 2011; April 15, 2011; November 19, 2010; April 17, 2009; and February 27, 2009 demonstrate that the Board has authority over approval of the appointment of senior officers, construction plans, tenure, degrees, and recommendations for tuition and fees. Excerpts from 2012 meeting minutes further demonstrate the Board’s authority.

Board Control and Conflicts of Interest
 

Control of both the BOG and the BOT rests with the collective membership of the specific board in each case and not with a minority of board members with outside interests. Half the BOG members are elected by the North Carolina House of Representatives and half by the North Carolina Senate. Members serve staggered terms. As noted above, members of the BOT are selected by three different entities. BOT members also serve staggered terms. Thus, no single entity or individual controls the membership of either governing board.

Neither the chair of either governing board nor any member of either body may have a contractual or financial interest in ECU. And, as noted above, no officer or employee of the North Carolina General Assembly or of any constituent institution, or the spouse of any such officer or employee, may serve on either the BOG or the BOT.

Both the chairs of the governing boards and a majority of the voting members of the BOG and the BOT are free of any contractual, employment, or personal or familial financial interest in ECU. The BOG has adopted and adheres to a Policy on Dual Membership and Conflicts of Interest and seeks to avoid even the appearance of partiality or undue influence.  Decisions made on behalf of UNC by its governors, trustees, chief executive officers, and chief financial officers are required to be made in the best interest of the institutions and are not influenced by any potential financial gain to the decision-makers.  The policy prohibits the BOG from appointing relatives of BOG members to the BOT and places restrictions on any contractual relationships that can exist between members of both the BOG and the BOT.  As prescribed by the policy, standing committees of the BOG and the BOT oversee application of, and compliance with, the conflict-of-interest policy. North Carolina General Statute 138A (State Government Ethics Act) establishes standards of ethical conduct as well as standards regarding conflicts of interest for members of both the BOG and the BOT. The statute provides that any member of the BOG or the BOT who fails to comply with the statute is subject to removal from the board. In addition, the statute requires every member of the UNC and ECU boards to attend ethics training sessions and to file annual statements of economic interest.

The Governing Board chart, provided by SACS Commission on Colleges, lists the names, terms, origin of appointment, and professional affiliations of members of the BOT and is attached as part of this report. In addition, the ECU Board of Trustees website provides the names of the members of the Board, their terms of office, origins of appointment, and professional affiliations or occupations. Board meeting minutes, meeting dates, and meeting materials are also available on this site. Names of the members of the BOG and the minutes of the BOG are posted on the Board of Governors website. According to Article III, Section 301 of the Bylaws of the ECU Board of Trustees, the board must hold no fewer than three regular meetings each year. The organizational chart for ECU depicts the relationship between the Chancellor, the BOT and the BOG.

Documentation

 

Reference Title

Location

Appendix 1 of the UNC Code

BoT Appendix 1

Article III, Section 301 of the Bylaws of the ECU Board of Trustees

BOT-Bylaws

Board of Governors Minutes for November 13, 2009

Historical Open Minutes November 13, 2009[1]

Board of Governors Minutes for April 9, 2010

Approved Open minutes of April 2010 meeting[1]

Board of Governors Minutes for June 11, 2010

Open minutes of June 2010 meeting[1]

Board of Governors Minutes for January 14, 2011

Open minutes of January 14, 2011[1]

Board of Governors Minutes for September 9, 2011

BOGmins090911

Board of Governors Minutes for January 13, 2012

BOGmins011312

Board of Governors website

Board of Governors Premeeting Materials_Minutes

Board of Trustees Minutes for February 27, 2009

BOT Feb 27 Minutes

Board of Trustees Minutes for April 17, 2009

BOT Apr 17 Minutes

Board of Trustees Minutes for November 19, 2010

BOT Nov 19 Minutes

Board of Trustees Minutes for April 15, 2011

BOT-April15,2011

Board of Trustees Minutes for July 21, 2011

BOT-June21,2011

Board of Trustees Minutes for September 23, 2011

BOT-September23,2011

ECU Board of Trustees website

2.2 ECU's Board of Trustees Members

Excerpts from 2012 Meeting Minutes

2.2 BOT Minutes

Governing Board Chart

2.2 2012 Core Requirement 2 2 Template3

North Carolina General Statute 116-6

NCGS 116-6

North Carolina General Statute 116-7(b)

NCGS 116-7

North Carolina General Statute 116-11(2)

NCGS 116-11

North Carolina General Statute 116-11(9a)

NCGS 116-11

North Carolina General Statute 116-31(d)

NCGS 116-31

North Carolina General Statute 116-32

NCGS 116-32

North Carolina General Statute 116-33

NCGS 116-33

North Carolina General Statute 138A (State Government Ethics Act)

3.2.3 GS 138A

Organizational Chart for ECU

ECU

Policy on Dual Membership and Conflicts of Interest

BoG 200.1