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3.2.4 External Influence PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 September 2009 07:42
3.2.4 External Influence

The governing board is free from undue influence from political, religious, or other external bodies, and protects the institution from such influence.

Responsible Unit: Board of Trustees

Compliance Judgment



The University of North Carolina System (UNC System) Board of Governors acts independent of external influence and protects North Carolina A&T State University (A&T) from undue influence by political, religious, and other external bodies. The Board of Governors (BOG) is the authorized governing board for the A&T, as designated by Section 203 of The Code of the Board of Governors for the University of North Carolina System(The Code) [1]. Each board member is elected by the North Carolina General Assembly, Senate and House of Representatives. Thirty-two board members serve for four-year overlapping terms. No person may be elected to more than three full four-year terms in succession [2][3]. Special members, such as former chairs of the board, former governors, and the president of the UNC Association of Student Governments, or that student's designee, are non-voting members with varying terms.

“All members of the Board of Governors shall be selected for their interest in, and their ability to contribute to the fulfillment of, the purposes of the Board of Governors, and all members shall be deemed members-at-large, charged with the responsibility of serving the best interests of the whole State. In electing members, the objective shall be to obtain the services of the citizens of the State who are qualified by training and experience to administer the affairs of the University of North Carolina. Members shall be selected based upon their ability to further the educational mission of the University through their knowledge and understanding of the educational needs and desires of all the State's citizens, and their economic, geographic, political, racial, gender, and ethnic diversity” [4].

The Board of Governors has adopted and enforces a board policy governing conflicts of interest of its members [5]. Board members must abide by Section 204 of The Code of the Board of Governors for the University of North Carolina System (The Code) which states that “decisions made on behalf of the University by its governors be in the best interest of the University and not be influenced by any potential financial gain to the decision-makers” [6]. Each member is required to submit to the UNC System vice president of finance, each statement of economic interests that the person files with the State Ethics Commission pursuant to GS S 138A-22 [7]. These disclosure statements are public records. The board may take several actions if it finds that one of its members has violated the board policy. The policies include actions such as reprimanding or censuring the member; removing the person from any board office the person holds or from any committee chairmanship or assignment; and reporting the violation to the entity that appointed the member [5].

The UNC System has a directory with contact information for each board member [8]. To ensure further transparency and external influence of the Board of Governors’ actions, the board operates in accordance with Section 202E of The Code regarding open meetings conducted by governmental bodies. The UNC System posts both the agenda items for each meeting [9] and the minutes from each meeting [10] on its website.

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” [1]. Section 204 of The Code sets forth the responsibilities of the board and directly and clearly addresses the issue of external influence with regards to component institutions. The UNC System has established its own rules and regulations to ensure transparent, ethical behavior of its officers and employees, including the BOG. Section 103 of The Code states that “admission to, employment by, and promotion in the University of North Carolina and all of its constituent institutions shall be on the basis of merit, and there shall be no discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status” [11].

The president of the UNC System has the complete authority to manage the affairs and execute the policies of the University of North Carolina and its constituent institutions, subject to the direction and control of the Board of Governors and the provisions of the Code [12]. Also, the UNC Policy Manual sections 300.5.1 and 300.5.2 establish the rules and policies that have been adopted to govern employee involvement in running for political office and office-holding [13] [14]. The UNC Policy Manual section 300.5.5 also covers other political activities [15]. The minutes of Board meetings demonstrate that the institutions in the UNC System are free from external influence [9].

[1] UNC-GA, Code, Section 203, Powers and Duties

[2] UNC-GA, Code, Section 200, Membership

[3] NC General Statutes, Chapter 116, Higher Education, Section

116-6, Election and terms of members of BOG

[4] NC General Statutes, Chapter 116, Higher Education, Section


[5] UNC-GA, Code, Section 200.1

[6] UNC-GA, Code, Section 204, Ethics and Conflict of Interest

[7] NC General Statutes, Chapter 138A, State Government Ethics Act– Section 138A-22 Statement of economic interest

[8] BOG, Contact information

[9] BOG, Minutes

[10] BOG, Pre-Meeting Material

[11] UNC-GA, Code, Section 103, Equality of Opportunity in the University

[12] UNC-GA, Code, Section 501, President of the University

[13] UNC-GA, Code, Section 300.5.1, Political Activities of Employees

[14] UNC-GA, Code, Section 300.5.2, Implementation Policy on Political Candidacy and Officeholding

[15] UNC-GA, Code, Section 300.5.5, Endorsement of Candidates for Political Office by Senior Administrators

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 December 2009 10:17 )

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