Board of trustees approves changes to composition of presidential search committee, bylaws

Illustration by Vanessa Purpura | The Daily Gamecock

The board of trustees unanimously approved changes to the composition of the presidential search committee, fiduciary duties of the trustees and the affiliation agreements with support foundations on Friday.

In Article IV section two of the bylaws about the presidential search committee, the entire section was removed and a statement was inserted that referred to the new university policy BTRU 3.01.

This policy includes the addition of three board members to the committee and two additional faculty members from the USC system, totaling eight board members, five faculty members and the student body president on the committee.

Instead of representatives from USC Aiken, Beaufort, Upstate and the Regional Palmetto Colleges, the incumbent chairs of each faculty senate will serve on the committee with the incumbent chair from USC Columbia to represent the faculty.

The incumbent president for the USC Alumni Association and a representative from USC's foundations will not serve on the committee.

The responsibilities of the chair of the committee are also outlined in the policy. Some of the responsibilities include guaranteeing that all qualified candidates be treated equally and working with the vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion and the director of the Equal Opportunity Programs "to ensure that effective recruitment mechanisms are utilized and that the Committee is provided information relevant to the recruitment of underrepresented groups."

Committee members and the chair will be given an orientation at its first meeting.

The university's policy regarding undue political influence is cited. Non-board members who are "approached by an external stakeholder" should inform the chair of the committee, who will report it to the chair of the board. Committee board members who have been approached should report it directly to the chair of the board.

Policy BTRU 3.02 was also approved. This new policy states the fiduciary duties of the trustees. It defines the principles of fiduciary duties as the duty of loyalty, care, to maintain confidentiality, obedience, to act in good faith and to serve the public interest.

The fiduciary obligations are outlined in a 22-point list which includes avoiding external political influence, holding the university administrators and board members accountable and conducting work with integrity.

Affiliation agreements between the business partnership foundation, education foundation and development and the university were approved.

In order for the university to meet the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges' standard 5.3, the university is required to have written affiliation agreements with its support foundations. The legal authority, operating control, legal liability and fundraising control between the university and foundation must be defined.

Three more foundation agreements will be brought to the executive governance committee in August.

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