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)  

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:  

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is governed by the Board of Trustees (Board) of the University of South Carolina (USC) System. The Board lays out the USC System's broad program of education activity, approves the budget each fiscal year, and provides ultimate accountability to the public and the General Assembly. The USC System and the USC Upstate Organization Charts illustrate the structure. (NOTE: As of August 1, 2011, Dr. Thomas Moore assumed the role of Chancellor at USC Upstate.)

The powers of the Board are prescribed by the provisions of the South Carolina Code of Laws Section 59-117-40 which states that “The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina is hereby constituted a body corporate and politic, in deed and in law under the name of the University of South Carolina.” Within the authority prescribed to the Board is the power: “to make bylaws and all rules and regulations deemed expedient for the management of its affairs and its own operations not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of this State or of the United States;…adopt such measures and make such regulations as may in the discretion of the board of trustees be necessary for the proper operation of the University; [and]…to appoint committees of the board of trustees or officers or members of the faculty of the University, with such power and authority and for such purposes in connection with the operation of the University as the board of trustees may deem wise.”

As outlined in the Board of Trustees Bylaws Article III Section 1, “the Board shall define the mission, role and scope of the University System and each of its major component institutions, shall establish the general policies of the University System, shall lay out the University System’s broad program of educational activity, shall approve the budget for the next fiscal year, and shall provide ultimate accountability to the public and the General Assembly. Within these fundamental responsibilities, the Board will perform, where appropriate, many essential functions, including but not limited to… establish policies and goals of the University and direct the President to implement and achieve those policies and goals; … approve compensation policy for faculty and staff; [and] …establish auditing policies and standards and appoint independent auditors.”

The USC Board, as an active, policy-making and oversight board, takes actions relative to USC Upstate that are recorded in the Board meeting minutes (available online only).  As a senior campus in the USC System, USC Upstate has extensive autonomy and local decision-making capacity within the context of organizational policies and system-wide approval mechanisms. With the approval of the USC President and Board, USC Upstate controls its own budget, is responsible for all curriculum and program development, hiring and personnel issues, the recommendation of tenure and promotion, and awarding of degrees. The USC system supports various functions for all campuses such as data, legal, and financial systems including payroll. The existing system structure provides institutional autonomy for decision-making relative to USC Upstate’s mission and purpose.

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