Comprehensive Standard 3.2.2

 

The legal authority and operating control of the institution are clearly defined for the following areas within the institution's governance structure:

 

3.2.2.1 - the institution's mission;

3.2.2.2 - the fiscal stability of the institution;

3.2.2.3 - institutional policy, including policies concerning related and affiliated corporate entities and all auxiliary services;

3.2.2.4 - related foundations (athletic, research, etc.) and other corporate entities whose primary purpose is to support the institution and/or its programs. (Governing Board Control)

 

COMPLIANCE

 

Narrative:

 

Vernon College derives its legal authority from Texas Education Code, Section 130.003.  Operational control is vested in a seven-member publicly elected Board of Trustees. The governing board is provided for by Article Seven of the Constitution of the State of Texas and is organized pursuant to the Texas Education Code, House Bill 235, Acts of the 61st Legislature, Regular Session, 1969, and subsequent amendments. Such authorization is codified in the Texas Statutes Education Code, Chapter 130, Section 130.040 which states a union junior college, a county junior, 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 chief duty of the Board of Trustees is to provide for the progress and welfare of the College and to establish, upon recommendation by the President of the College, the policies which govern the College's organization and operation. An individual Board member speaks for the Board only when the Board delegates such authority. As a governing body, the Board performs its duties as follows: Have the exclusive power to govern and oversee the management of the College District. Education Code 11.151(b); Provide policy direction for the College District and adopt such rules, regulations, and bylaws as the Board deems advisable Education Code 51.352(b), 130.082(d); and Establish goals consistent with the College District’s role and mission. Education Code 51.352(d) [Section BAA Legal (Board Legal Status, Duties, and Responsibilities) of the Vernon College Board Policy Manual]

 

3.2.2.1 Institutional Mission: The mission of the Vernon College reads as follows: The mission of Vernon College is teaching, learning, and leading. Vernon College is a comprehensive community college that integrates education with opportunity through our instructional programs and student services. Therefore, the college will provide: Technical programs up to two years in length leading to associate degrees or certificates; Vocational programs leading directly to employment in semi-skilled and skilled occupations; Freshman and sophomore courses in arts and sciences, including the new core and field of study curricula leading to associate and baccalaureate degrees; Continuing adult education programs for occupational upgrading or personal enrichment; Compensatory education programs designed to fulfill the commitment of an admissions policy allowing the enrollment of disadvantaged students; A continuing program of counseling and guidance designed to assist students in achieving their individual educational goals; Workforce development programs designed to meet local and statewide needs; Support services for educational programs and college-related activities; Adult literacy and other basic skills programs for adults; and Such other programs as may be prescribed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board or local governing boards in the best interest of postsecondary education in Texas.

 

In carrying out their responsibilities, the Board of Trustees reviews and approves the College Mission Statement. Following this review, the Mission Statement is published in the Vernon College Catalog, the Student Handbook and on the College website. The Mission Statement was most recently approved by the College Board on January 19, 2005.

 

3.2.2.2 Fiscal Stability: Vernon College’s fiscal stability is demonstrated through annual independent auditor's reports, monthly financial statements, and an annually approved budget. The Trustees receive and approve monthly reports regarding the fiscal stability of the institution. These reports include a five year Tax Collection Summary, Consolidated Balance Sheet, Investment Report, Unaudited Revenue and Expenditure Reports for the Unrestricted Current Fund and the Auxiliary Enterprise Fund. These reports enable the Trustees to determine if the institution is "on target" with regard to earning income vis-à-vis expenses. The processes to assure the fiscal stability of the institution are discussed extensively in Comprehensive Standards 3.10.1 (Financial Stability), 3.10.2 (Submission of Financial Statements) and 3.10.4 (Control of Finances).

 

3.2.2.3 Institutional Policy: The Vernon College Board of Trustees’ legal authority regarding institutional policy is clearly defined. The Vernon College Board Policy Manual outlines the Powers, Duties, and Responsibilities of the Board. The responsibility of the Board is outlined in the Vernon College Board Policy Manual, Section BAA Legal (Powers, Duties, Responsibilities) and is excerpted as follows: Provide policy direction for the College District and adopt such rules, regulations, and bylaws as the Board deems advisable. The Texas Education Code, Section 51.352 affirms the role of the Board of Trustees as the policy maker of the institution by stating the governing board of an institution of higher education shall provide the policy direction for each institution of higher education under its management and control. 

 

Recent examples of the Board approving policies include: Board approves the proposed budget for 2007-2008; 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).

 

3.2.2.4 Related Foundations: The Vernon College Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation organized and incorporated in 1986 pursuant to the laws of the State of Texas as a separate corporate entity to be operated exclusively for the charitable and educational purposes in providing philanthropic support for the activities, programs, and facilities which are consistent with the mission of the College. The Chair of the College Board of Trustees serves as an ex-officio member with voting privileges. On August 3, 2005 the College and the Foundation signed and adopted a Memorandum of Understanding defining the relationship between the two entities.

 

Documentation

 

1.      Texas Education Code, Section 130.003

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

3.      Vernon College Mission, Vernon College General Catalog

4.      Vernon College Mission, Vernon College Student Handbook

5.      Vernon College Mission, Vernon College Website

6.         Texas Education Code, Section 51.352

7.      Aug 29, 2007 Board Meeting minutes

8.      May 23, 2007 Board Meeting minutes

9.      February 28, 2007 Board Meeting minutes

10.   Memorandum of Understanding