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3.2.2.1 Board - Institutional Mission PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 September 2009 13:49

3.2.2.1     Board - Institutional Mission

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

Responsible Unit: Board of Trustees

Compliance Judgment

Compliance

Narrative

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A&T) has a clearly defined and comprehensive mission that has received approval from the university's Board of Trustees and is consistent with the long-range plans of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina. While ultimate responsibility for the academic activities of each constituent institution in the UNC System resides with the BOG, the board of trustees for each constituent institution oversees the development of that institution's educational, research, and public service roles, including the university mission, in compliance with the long-range plans of the BOG.

Legal Authority: A&T is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina (UNC) and is governed by Chapter 116 of the General Statutes of North Carolina [1] and The Code of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina (UNC Code) [2]. Section 116-11 of the General Statutes of North Carolina designates the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina (UNC Board of Governors) as the governing body of the UNC System [3]. The general statutory powers of the UNC Board of Governors are outlined in Section 203A, Subsections 1-3 of the UNC Code:

"The Board of Governors shall plan and develop a coordinated system of higher education in North Carolina. To this end it shall govern the constituent institutions, subject to such powers and responsibilities as may be conferred by statute on or delegated by the Board of Governors to the boards of trustees of the constituent institutions."

Further, "The Board of Governors shall be responsible for the general determination, control, supervision, management, and governance of all affairs of the constituent institutions. For this purpose, the board may adopt such policies and regulations as it may deem wise.

The Board of Governors shall determine the functions, educational activities, and academic programs of the constituent institutions. ... The board, after giving adequate notice to the affected institutional board of trustees and affording it an opportunity to be heard, shall have authority to withdraw approval of any existing program if it appears that the program is unproductive, exceedingly costly, or unnecessarily duplicative." [4]

No direct mention of the legal authority of the UNC Board of Governors over constituent institutions' missions is included in the General Statutes or The UNC Code. Broad general powers for promoting institutional excellence have been granted by the UNC Code to institutional boards of trustees, which have generally included oversight of the constituent institution's mission. The UNC Board of Governors has ultimate responsibility for the academic activities of each constituent institution and can request modifications in an institution's mission if it deems it inconsistent with the purposes of the UNC System. In practice, the BOG has left the specific determination of a constituent institution's mission in the hands of the faculty, administrators, and board of trustees of that institution, while ensuring that the institution's mission is in compliance with the long-range plans of the BOG. Local responsibility for the mission of the institution ultimately resides with the institution's board of trustees.

Section 403A of the UNC Code lays out the general powers and duties of the board of trustees of each constituent institution in the UNC System. Specifically:

"Each board of trustees shall promote the sound development of its institution within the functions prescribed for it, helping it to serve the people of the state in a way that will complement the activities of the other institutions and aiding it to perform at a high level of excellence in every area of endeavor. Each board of trustees shall serve as advisor to the Board of Governors on matters pertaining to its institution and shall also serve as advisor to the chancellor concerning the management and development of the institution [5]."

The powers and duties of the A&T Board of Trustees with respect to the academic programs of the institution are further detailed in Section VI.F of the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees of North Carolina A&T State University [6]:

"The Board of Trustees shall be responsible for ensuring the institution's compliance with the educational, research, and public service roles assigned to it by the Board of Governors, either by express directive or by promulgated long-range plans of the Board of Governors."

The Board of Trustees is responsible for overseeing the institutional mission at A&T. The most recent mission statement was approved by the Board of Trustees on September 12, 2001, after a comprehensive and inclusive campus-wide strategic planning process (FUTURES) that was initiated in fall 2000 [7]. In October 2008 a new campus-wide strategic planning process was begun in response to UNC Tomorrow, a system-wide strategic planning initiative laying out the long-range priorities for the UNC system. Each UNC campus was asked to respond to these priorities and review its strategic plan and mission statement for consistency with these priorities. The resulting strategic plan for A&T includes a revised mission statement and eight institutional goals that bridge the FUTURES vision and the strategic priorities laid out in the UNC Tomorrow initiative [8]. Both the 2000-2001 and 2008-2009 strategic planning processes are discussed in more detail in the response to SACS Principle 2.4, Institutional Mission.

Mission Statement: A&T's mission statement directly addresses the UNC mission to "discover, create, transmit, and apply knowledge to address the needs of individuals and society" through teaching, research, and public service.

As noted in the response to SACS Principle 2.4, Institutional Mission, the current mission statement is:

"North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is a public, doctoral/research intensive, land-grant University committed to fulfilling its fundamental purposes through exemplary undergraduate and graduate instruction, scholarly and creative research, and effective public service. The University offers degree programs at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels. As one of North Carolina's three engineering colleges, the University offers Ph.D. programs in engineering, as well as two interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs in Leadership Studies and Energy and Environmental Studies. Basic and applied research is conducted by faculty and students in eight research clusters: Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, Computational Science and Engineering, Public Health, Biotechnology and Biosciences, Leadership and Community Development, Information Technology, Transportation and Logistics, and Agriculture, Energy and Environment."

The current mission statement has its origins in the FUTURES strategic planning process that was undertaken in 2000-2001. The overall goal of the FUTURES initiative was to transform A&T into a premier interdisciplinary university focused on enhancing student learning through global and interdisciplinary collaboration; developing visionary research knowledge through collaborative partnerships; engaging with the community, state, and nation through its educational and research activities; and increasing research, fund raising, and entrepreneurial activities to provide a greater and more diversified resource base. This vision and mission has guided the institution's programs and activities since 2001.

In 2007, UNC President Erskine Bowles initiated the University of North Carolina Tomorrow Initiative, which is guiding the long-range plan of the UNC System. As noted in the UNC Tomorrow Commission Final Report (December 2007) [9]:

"The purpose of the University of North Carolina Tomorrow Initiative was to determine how the University of North Carolina can respond more directly and proactively to the 21st century challenges facing North Carolina both now and in the future through the efficient and effective fulfillment of its three-pronged mission of teaching, research and scholarship, and public service. The outcomes of this Initiative will guide and shape current and future priorities, resource allocations, existing and future programs, and strategic plans and missions of the University of North Carolina, its 17 constituent institutions and its affiliated entities to ensure that UNC not only becomes more proactive and responsive to the needs of our state, but remains so in the years to come as the people of North Carolina continue to confront the myriad challenges of the rapidly changing, knowledge-based global economy and environment of the 21st century."

As part of the UNC Tomorrow Initiative, each UNC campus was asked to review its mission statement for consistency with UNC Tomorrow priorities. Responding to this charge in January, 2009, an A&T mission review action team determined that:

"...the three-pronged mission of teaching, research and scholarship, and public service of the University of North Carolina aligned very well with NC A&T's tripartite land grant mission of teaching, research and extension. NC A&T's current mission and vision statements emphasize interdisciplinary programs and scholarly activities in a learner-centered community promoting collaborative learning (teaching), discovery (research and scholarship) and engagement (public service and extension). As such, NC A&T's current mission and vision statements are in harmony with, and supportive of, the stated mission of the University of North Carolina. Moreover, our mission is appropriate to our specific, mandated (federal legislation has impacted strongly the mission of NC A&T) and unique role as a land-grant university." [10]

A proposed revision to the current mission statement appears below:

"North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is a public, 'high research activity,' 1890 land-grant university committed to exemplary teaching, learning, scholarly and creative research, and effective public service. The University offers degrees at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels and a commitment to excellence in a comprehensive range of academic disciplines. Building on our comparative educational advantages and our unique civil rights heritage, the University provides interdisciplinary and integrated curricula and co-curricula opportunities that develop and support the intellectual and cognitive competencies of our students. Our graduates are dynamic citizens of the diverse global community and are prepared for the 21st century." [10] (See SACS Principle 2.4, Institutional Mission)

A&T is undergoing a new campus-wide comprehensive strategic planning process that bridges the FUTURES and UNC Tomorrow initiatives. The proposed strategic plan includes eight long-range institutional goals for the university that will operationalize the proposed mission statement above. These goals build on the FUTURES initiative that has guided the university from 2001 through 2009 and respond to the priorities laid out in the UNC Tomorrow initiative. [8] The anticipated completion date for the strategic plan and proposed mission statement is fall 2009, pending approval from the Board of Trustees.

Changes in the institution's mission statement during 2001-2008 were communicated to the UNC Board of Governors through regular reporting to the UNC System on A&T's compliance with UNC-system long-range plans. [11] [12] [13] As noted above, changes proposed in the institution's mission statement in 2009 were included in the institution's response to the UNC Tomorrow initiative [10].

Supporting Documents

[1] NC General Statutes, Chapter 116,

[2] UNC-GA, Code, Legal Authority

[3] NC General Statutes, Section 116-11

[4] UNC-GA, Code, Section 203

[5] UNC-GA, Code Section 403A

[6] BOT, Bylaws, Section VI.F

[7] BOT, Minutes, September 12, 2001

[8] Aggie Report, April 2009

[9] UNC Tomorrow Commission Final Report, December 2007

[10] UNC Tomorrow Phase II Response, January 2009

[11] Long-Range Plan, 2002-2007

[12] Long-Range Plan, 2004-2009

[13] Long-Range Plan, 2006-2011

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Last Updated ( Friday, 12 February 2010 10:23 )
 

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