Core Requirement 2.2

 

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. Neither the presiding officer of the board nor the majority of other voting members of the board have contractual, employment, or personal or familial financial interest in the institution.

 

A military institution authorized and operated by the federal government to award degrees has a public board in which neither the presiding officer nor a majority of the other members are civilian employees of the military or active/retired military. The board has broad and significant influence upon the institution's programs and operations, plays an active role in policy-making, and ensures that the financial resources of the institution are used to provide a sound educational program. The board is not controlled by a minority of board members or by organizations or interests separate from the board except as specified by the authorizing legislation. Neither the presiding officer of the board nor the majority of other voting board members have contractual, employment, or personal or familial financial interest in the institution. (Governing Board)

 

COMPLIANCE

 

 

Narrative:

 

The governing board of Vernon College consists of seven board members and is the legal body with specific authority over the College as authorized in the Texas Education Code, Chapter 130, Section 130.040 which states a union junior college, a county junior college, or a joint-county junior college shall be governed, administered, and controlled by and under the direction of a board of trustees of seven members unless the number of members is increased as authorized by Section 130.082 (d).

 

The Vernon College Board Policy Manual addresses the authority and power of the Board of Trustees under Section BAA Legal (Board Legal Status Powers, Duties, Responsibilities): The Board shall have specific powers and duties imposed by statutes of the state. The Board has the legal power and duty to: Be governed in the establishment, management, and control of the College District by the general laws governing the establishment, management, and control of independent school districts insofar as the general law is applicable. Education Code 130.084; Have the exclusive power to govern and oversee the management of the College District. Education Code 11.151(b).

 

The Vernon College Board Policy Manual also addresses the policy making function of the Board under Section BE Local (Policy and Bylaw Development): 1. Within the context of current law, the College District shall be guided by Board-adopted written policies that are given appropriate distribution and are accessible to staff members, parents, students, and community residents; 2. Policies and policy amendments may be initiated by the College President, Board members, college personnel, students, or community citizens, but generally shall be recommended for the Board’s consideration by the College President; and 3. The Board shall have the sole right to adopt policies. Policies may be adopted or amended by a majority of the Board at any regular or special meeting, provided that Board members have had advance written notice of the proposed change and that it has been placed on the agenda for such meeting.

 

A list of the seven-member Board of Trustees including offices, city, and occupation is displayed below.

 

Bob Ferguson, Chairman   Vernon, TX  Business General Manager
Gene Heatly, Vice-Chair   Vernon, TX Attorney
Norman Brints, Secretary  Vernon, TX E.A.
Brad Bolton, Member Vernon, TX Engineer
Curtis Graf, Member    Vernon, TX Farmer/Rancher
Sylvia G. Mahoney, Member Vernon, TX Author/Photographer/Community Service
James Streit, Member  Vernon, TX Farmer/Rancher

        

The Board is an active policy making body for the institution as demonstrated by Board meeting agendas and minutes. These Board minutes reflect the following examples of Board action relative to policy:

 

Board approves the proposed budget for 2007-08; Board approves recommendations from Instructional Services regarding fee waivers for Hazelwood-eligible students; Board approves “0” tuition for seminar participants for a surgical technology conference; and Board approves the 2007-2008 Student Handbook (Aug 29, 2007 Board Meeting minutes). Board approves articulation agreement with the Vernon ISD for dual credit/concurrent enrollment courses for 2007-2008 (May 23, 2007 Board Meeting minutes). Board approves the recommendations from the Program/Discipline Evaluation Task Force regarding deactivation of Spanish Language Interpreter program; and Board approves independent auditors to conduct the annual audit for year ending August 31, 2007 (February 28, 2007 Board Meeting minutes)

 

The Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the financial resources of the institution are adequate to provide a sound educational program as demonstrated by approving an annual budget, hearing a financial report at each board meeting, requiring an annual audit, and reviewing on an annual basis the investment policy. The College is also guided by financial/audit requirements published by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules and Regulations, Chapter 13, Subchapter D, Section 13.62 which states: (a) The Coordinating Board staff shall annually review and update the financial reporting manual with advice from community college business officers and the college's independent auditors. (b) The financial reporting manual shall be in compliance with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's pronouncements. (c) The community colleges shall submit their audited financial reports to the Coordinating Board by January 1st of each year.

 

The Board is not controlled by a minority of Board members or by organizations of interest separate from it. Vernon College Board Policy Manual, Section BBE Local (Board Members Authority) states: Board members as individuals shall not exercise authority over the District, its property, or its employees. Except for appropriate duties and functions of the Board President, an individual member may act on behalf of the Board only with the express authorization of the Board. Without such authorization, no individual member may commit the Board on any issue.

 

Neither the presiding officer of the board nor the majority of other voting members of the board have contractual, employment, or personal or familial financial interest in the institution. One board member is a retired employee of the College and that member’s spouse currently works for the College. However, neither the presiding officer of the Board nor a majority of other voting members have contractual, employment, or personal or familial interest in the institution.

 

Section BBFA Legal (Conflict of Interest) in the Vernon College Board Policy Manual describes policies related to Conflict of Interest including affidavit and Abstention; Separate Vote; Prohibited Acts; Business Entity; Substantial Interest; Bribery; Abuse of Office; Bank Relations; Incompatibility of Office; Gifts; Nepotism; and Disclosure of Interest in Property.

 

Vernon College is not a military institution, so the second half of this core requirement does not apply.

 

Documentation

 

1.    Texas Education Code, Chapter 130, Section 130.040

2.    The Vernon College Board Policy Manual Section BAA Legal (Board Legal Status Powers, Duties, Responsibilities)

3.    Vernon College Board Policy Manual Section BE Local (Policy and Bylaw Development)

4.    Aug 29, 2007 Board Meeting minutes

5.    May 23, 2007 Board Meeting minutes

6.    February 28, 2007 Board Meeting minutes

7.    Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules and Regulations, Chapter 13, Subchapter D, Section 13.62

8.    Vernon College Board Policy Manual Section BBE Local (Board Members Authority)

9.    Vernon College Board Policy Manual Section BBFA Legal (Conflict of Interest)