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)

Compliance Judgment

X     In compliance     Partially compliant     Non-compliant


The policy-making functions of the Board of Trustees and the administrative functions of the University’s administration and faculty are specified in the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees, the Constitution of the Faculty, and the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Handbook 2016 illustrates the  governance process at Francis Marion University and shows the separation between the President, administrative officers, and the Board [1].  Minutes from the meetings of the Board, the General Faculty, the Faculty Senate, and various University committees demonstrate that the Board, Administration, and Faculty engage in the development and implementation of policies, as appropriate.

Bylaws of the Board of Trustees

Section 2. Powers and Duties of the Board

Section 2 of the Bylaws lists fourteen functions which are illustrative, but not all-inclusive, of the powers and duties of the Board . Of these 14 functions, which are listed below, six explicitly address the delegation of authority or specific responsibilities. The key elements of the delegation in these six functions are marked in bold print:

  1. To safeguard the purposes of the University and the ideals by which it is guided; to periodically review the mission and purpose of the University in the light of educational, economic, and societal change and to revise the mission and educational philosophy as needed, within the statutory framework and statewide coordination under which the University functions.
  2. To assure the effective operation of educational programs and services so as to effectively carry out the University’s mission; to review and approve proposals for major revision of degree programs and educational support services in accordance with the University’s mission and resources; to confer degrees upon recommendation of the President and the faculty.
  3. To assure the effectiveness of University governance, policy formation, and decision making; to establish an appropriate delegation of authority and responsibilities within the University; and to assure the effectiveness of communications, consultation, and cooperative decision making among the various sectors of the University community.
  4. To appoint the President as the chief executive officer of the University; to delegate his responsibilities, evaluate his performance, provide for his leadership and welfare, and set appropriate conditions of employment, renewal, or termination.
  5. To authorize the President to establish the administrative organization of the University and to appoint the senior administrative officers of the University in accordance with the bylaws and policies of the Board of Trustees.
  6. To review and approve policies and procedures bearing on faculty appointment, promotion, tenure, and nonrenewal and to authorize the President to appoint members of the faculty; to review and approve general personnel policies, including protection for all employees against any form of discrimination or any violation of due process rights in employment.
  7. To assure the effectiveness of comprehensive and mission-based institutional planning; to review, approve, and adopt plans for program development, financial strengthening, and capital and campus development; to assure the effective implementation of plans and to monitor the formation of short-term plans and decisions in the light of long-term goals for University development.
  8. To delegate the functions and responsibilities of the faculty and to provide for the effectiveness of the faculty in discharging those functions and responsibilities.
  9. To review and approve the annual operating budget of the University; to regularly monitor the financial condition of the University and to establish plans, financial policies, and investment practices designed to assure the financial strength and stability of the University.
  10. To assure the effectiveness of comprehensive planning for procurement of current and capital funds; to authorize the acceptance of major gifts and bequests in accordance with Board policies and public law.
  11. To authorize the construction of new buildings and the major repair or renovation of existing buildings.
  12. To assure the accountability of the University to fundamental social values and to the provisions of public law; to facilitate communications between the University and State government or other agencies and constituencies.
  13. To protect the academic environment of the University from improper pressure or interference adversely affecting the functions of scholarship, teaching, and learning; to assure the academic freedom of faculty and students.
  14. To assure appeal procedures in disputes or grievances involving faculty, administrative officers, staff, and/or students [2].

Section 7.  Administration of the University

Section 7 describes the extent to which the Board confers upon the President–and administrators appointed by the President—the authority to implement the policies of the Board by directing the daily activities of the University. Specifically, the President has the authority to establish the “administrative organization of the University…subject to approval by the Board” and appoint “vice presidents and other senior officers.”

Specific duties assigned by the Bylaws to the President and Chief Financial Officer are described in Section 7.A and Section 7.B, respectively:

A.    Vesting Authority

The authority for the administration of the University is vested by the Board of Trustees in the President and such other officers of the University as may from time to time be appointed by the President.

B.    President

1)    Appointment

a. The President is appointed by the Board of Trustees to serve for such term and on such conditions as the Board considers appropriate. The President serves at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees.

b. When the office of the President becomes vacant, or a vacancy is pending, the Chair shall appoint a special committee on the nomination of a president from among the membership of the Board and the faculty to seek and recommend to the Board a person to fill the vacancy.

2)    Powers and Duties of the President

The authority and functions of the president are explicitly delegated by the Board of Trustees and include responsibility for all University educational and managerial affairs. The President is the chief executive officer of the University and the executive agent of the Board of Trustees. He/she exercises a general superintendence over all the affairs of the University in accordance with the policies of the Board of Trustees and provides leadership and advice to the Board in carrying out its responsibilities. The functions of the President include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. To perform all acts and execute all documents necessary to make effective any actions taken by the Board of Trustees and to implement all policies and plans adopted by the Board
  2. To coordinate the preparation of policies and plans presented to the Board for its adoption or approval, to consult with the Board in timely fashion on matters appropriate to its policy-making functions and fiduciary responsibilities, to provide the Board with the information it requires to meet its policy-making responsibilities, and to advise the Board concerning actions to be taken.
  3. To organize the administrative services of the University in consultation with the Board and in accordance with Board policy, and to appoint administrative officers and other professional staff by authority of the Board of Trustees.
  4. To exercise leadership in working with the faculty and academic officers in developing plans and proposals for educational programs and policies; to review and evaluate faculty proposals for major revision of educational programs and policies and to present them to the Board with his recommendation concerning their action; to bear responsibility for the orderly implementation of educational programs and policies.
  5. To appoint members of the faculty by authority of the Board of Trustees and to provide leadership to the faculty in carrying out their responsibilities in teaching, scholarship, and public service.
  6. To have the power of final approval of all initial appointments, renewals of appointment, promotions in rank, compensation, conferral of tenure and termination of faculty and members of the administration and staff on recommendation or advice of the appropriate vice president or other officers of the University.
  7. In the absence of specific provisions to the contrary in the bylaws and policies of the Board of Trustees, to serve as the medium of communication between the Board and the administration, faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the University.
  8. To assure the orderly management of fiscal and personnel affairs, the auxiliary enterprises of the University, and the maintenance and development of its financial and physical resources; to coordinate the preparation of the operating and capital budgets of the University and to submit proposed budgets to the Board of Trustees for its review and approval; to keep the Board fully informed of the financial condition of the University and concerning trends affecting the University’s financial stability and strength.
  9. To provide for the effective conduct of systematic, comprehensive, and information-based institutional planning, to present such plans to the Board of Trustees with his advice concerning action which may be needed, and to monitor the effectiveness of educational and educational support programs of the University in the light of its mission and long range development plans.
  10. To represent the University in its relationships with related associations, other institutions, the news media, governmental agencies, alumni, and the general public; to assure the effectiveness of communications among internal constituencies of the University on matters of shared concern; to assure the effectiveness of communication between the University and its external constituencies; to serve as the chief spokesperson of the University and to represent the University and the Board of Trustees to the public, interpreting the goals and values of the University to the community and also bringing back to the University information concerning community needs and how the University might meet those needs [3].

C.    Chief Financial Officer

1)    Appointment

The chief financial officer of the University shall be appointed by the President for such term and under such conditions as the President considers appropriate.

2)    Functions and Responsibilities

The chief financial officer shall have the responsibility to control expenditures and to initiate enforcement measures for conducting the financial affairs of the University with maximum security, efficiency, and effectiveness. The powers and duties of the chief financial officer include the following:

  1. To be responsible for the collection of all income and revenues of the University, to maintain adequate records of all financial assets, liabilities, and transactions of all authorized appropriations, and to determine that funds expended pursuant thereto are properly accounted for.
  2. To submit to the President and the Board of Trustees periodic and annual financial reports, to prepare such supplementary reports as may be necessary from time to time to keep the President and the Board of Trustees fully informed concerning the current financial condition of the University.
  3. To submit to the President estimates of income and expense and to submit such information as may be necessary or useful to the President and the Board of Trustees in the determination of sound financial policy and plans and the adoption of current and capital budgets [4].

D.    Other Administrative Officers

1) Administrative Organization

The administrative organization of the University, including the functions and responsibilities of senior officers of the University, shall be determined and established by the President, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees.

The president shall have final approval on the appointment of vice presidents and other senior officers of the University. Individuals appointed to such positions shall serve in their capacities at the pleasure and will of the President, who shall also be responsible for the effective performance of their function and responsibilities [5].

Constitution of the Faculty

The Preamble to the Constitution acknowledges the primacy of the Board in governance of the University and its delegation of authority to the President. It further expresses the desire of the faculty to participate in the governance of the University in a manner that recognizes and respects the roles of the Board, the President and administrative officers, and the Faculty.


In order to promote faculty participation in the governance of Francis Marion University, foster communication among the faculty, the administration, and the Board of Trustees, and further relations among academic units, the faculty of Francis Marion University do institute and ordain this constitution.

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of the University and delegates the powers of the President and the faculty in accord with its bylaws and policies. An act passed by the faculty is subject to approval by the President, and by the Board of Trustees when necessary [6].

Article I. The Faculty

The areas in which the faculty are responsible for policy and the areas in which they may make recommendations are described in ARTICLE I. THE FACULTY, Section 1. Duties and Responsibilities (A) and (B), respectively. Section 1C indicates that the faculty may establish committees. Section D. 1-4 describes the processes by which the faculty participate in the governance of the University, and Section D. 5 acknowledges the prerogative of the faculty to approve candidates for graduation.

A. The faculty shall be responsible for University policy related to admission standards; curriculum; degree and certificate requirements; class attendance; conduct of the classroom; academic freedom; faculty tenure, promotion, and grievance procedures; and all matters pertaining to the conduct of faculty affairs.

B. The faculty may make recommendations on all matters pertaining to the use of financial and physical resources of the University, student life, athletic programs, and the general welfare of the University.

C. The faculty shall have the authority to establish such standing committees and ad hoc committees as it shall deem necessary to carry out its responsibilities.

D. The faculty shall have the following prerogatives:

1. to request reports from committees;

2. to receive reports from the Faculty Senate;

3. to ratify, return or reject proposals from the Faculty Senate;

4. by a two-thirds vote of the voting faculty present and voting, to resolve itself into a committee of the whole to consider modifications to a specific proposal from the Faculty Senate;

5. to approve candidates for graduation [7].

Article II. The Faculty Senate

Article II of the Constitution describes the duties and responsibilities, the membership, and procedural mechanisms of the Faculty Senate. Of particular relevance to this standard are Sections 1. Duties and Responsibilities and Section 5. Faculty Senate Committees. Section 5.C. Ad hoc Committees recognizes the authority of the President or Provost to appoint a committee.

ARTICLE II. Section 1. Duties and Responsibilities

A. With the President, Provost, other officers of the University, deans, and department chairs, the Faculty Senate shall be concerned with the planning and guidance of the educational programs of the University and policies concerning the well-being and security of the faculty.

B. The Faculty Senate may receive proposals originating from academic units, committees, academic support services, individual faculty members, the administration of the University, or other sources. Proposals shall be in writing. All proposals (other than those originating from a standing or ad hoc committee) shall ordinarily be referred to the appropriate standing or ad hoc committee by the Executive Committee.

C. The Faculty Senate may respond to a proposal by:

1. Passing a resolution that expresses the opinion of the Faculty Senate. For a resolution to be approved it must be passed by a majority of the members present.

2. Passing an act that will change policy and/or procedures when fully approved by the faculty, the President, and (when necessary) the Board of Trustees. For an act to be approved, it must be passed by a majority of the members present.

3. Defeating it [8].

ARTICLE II. Section 5. Faculty Senate Committees: Selection and General Membership

The consideration of matters within the areas of concern of the Faculty Senate shall be delegated by the Executive Committee to committees. There shall be three types of committees: executive, standing, and ad hoc.

A. Executive Committee

      1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair of the Faculty, the Vice-Chair, and the Secretary of the Faculty Senate.
      2. The Executive Committee shall meet with the President and Provost at least twice each fall and spring semester and with other officers of the administration as needed during the academic year to discuss issues of faculty and institutional concern. The committee shall report on these meetings to the Faculty Senate and the faculty.
      3. The Executive Committee shall take office on July 1.

B. Standing Committees

     1. There shall be sixteen standing committees of the Faculty Senate: (a) Academic Affairs; (b) Academic Freedom and Tenure   Grievance; (c) Accreditation; (d) Admissions, Advising, and Retention; (e) Budget Review and Planning; (f) Distinguished Professor Selection; (g) Faculty Grievance; (h) Faculty Life; (i) Grade Appeals; (j) Graduate Council; (k) Honors Program (l) Information Technology; (m) Institutional Effectiveness; (n) Mediation; (o) Nominating; (p) Professional Development.

     2. All standing committees shall consist of elected faculty members and, when appropriate, administrators, staff, and/or faculty appointed by the President, Provost, or Chairs of the Faculty.

     3. Elections for standing committees shall occur at the last meeting of the spring semester.

     4. Committee terms shall be staggered so that approximately one-third of the committee members are elected every three years.

     5. Senators may be elected by the faculty to serve on standing committees and shall have full privileges of membership.

     6. The chair (or the secretary, in the absence of the chair) of each standing committee should attend any open meeting of any committee of the Board of Trustees that deals with issues with which the standing committee is concerned.

     7. The chair of a standing committee shall have full privilege of the floor during Faculty Senate meetings to introduce a proposal from that standing committee and to participate in the related discussion.

C. Ad hoc Committees

The President or the Provost of the University, the Chair of the Faculty Senate, or the Faculty Senate as a body shall have the power to appoint ad hoc committees of the Faculty Senate, name the chairs of those committees, and provide their charges [9].

Bylaws of the Faculty Senate

Article IV. Function and Scope of the Committees

ARTICLE IV. FUNCTION AND SCOPE OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, STANDING COMMITTEES, AND AD HOC COMMITTEES describes the composition and duties of the various committees [10]. Three examples of the interaction between the Board, the Administration, and the Faculty are given below:

Administration and Faculty Administering and Implementing Policy

  • Modification of Academic Renewal Policy–Proposal from the Provost to Academic Affairs Committee
    • Approved by Academic Affairs Committee [11]
    • Approved by Faculty Senate November 15, 2016 [12]
    • Approved by the General Faculty November 29, 2016 [13]
  • Proposal from Academic Department to Graduate Council
    • Approved by Graduate Council [14]
    • Approved by Faculty Senate November 15, 2016 [15]
    • Approved by the General Faculty November 29, 2016 [16]

Board Making Policy

  • Establishing a Doctorate of Nursing Practice Program
    • Proposal [17]
    • Approved by Graduate Council September 7, 2016 [18]
    • Approved by Faculty Senate September 22, 2016 [19]
    • Approved by General Faculty October 13, 2016 [20]
    • Approved by Board of Trustees November 17, 2016 [21]


  1. Overview of the Governance Process at FMU
  2. FMU Website, Board Bylaws
  3. FMU Website, Board Bylaws
  4. FMU Website, Board Bylaws
  5. FMU Website, Board Bylaws
  6. Faculty Handbook 2016, Preamble, p. 88
  7. Faculty Handbook 2016, Article I: The Faculty, p. 88
  8. Faculty Handbook 2016, Article II: The Faculty Senate, p. 92
  9. Faculty Handbook 2016, Article V: Faculty Senate Committees: Selection and General Membership, p. 95-96
  10. Faculty Handbook 2016, Article IV. Function and Scope of the Committees, p. 100-109
  11. Academic Affairs Committee Minutes
  12. Faculty Senate Minutes November 15, 2016
  13. General Faculty Minutes November 29, 2016
  14. Graduate Council Minutes
  15. Faculty Senate Minutes November 15, 2016
  16. General Faculty Minutes November 29, 2016
  17. Doctorate of Nursing Proposal from School of Health Sciences
  18. Graduate Council Minutes September 7, 2016
  19. Faculty Senate Minutes September 22, 2016
  20. General Faculty Minutes October 13, 2016
  21. Board of Trustees Minutes November 17, 2016