Reinhardt University SACSCOC Compliance Certification

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. (External influence)

Judgment check box Compliance

 

Narrative

The autonomy and independence of the Board of Trustees and, by extension, the President and other officers of the University are integral to the protection of the University and its programs from undue influence from political, religious, or other external bodies. The trustees and officers of the University represent a broad range of persons with diverse political, religious, socioeconomic, gender, and racial characteristics who share a common interest in and commitment to the unique mission of Reinhardt University.  The Board of Trustees has not identified any instance of undue influence involving a trustee or officer of the University.

The Reinhardt University Board of Trustees operates under the Bylaws amended on May 23, 2017. Article XIV of the Bylaws [1] addresses the issue of conflicts of interest and the requirement of the Board members to disclose any such conflicts. A complete roster of current Board members indicating disclosed conflicts is provided in the supporting documentation. [2] At the beginning of each calendar year, each member of the Board of Trustees, as well as other appropriate University personnel, is required to sign a “Conflict of Interest Disclosure” form.

The members of the Board of Trustees are elected by the current Board members as stated in Article II of the Bylaws, which pertains to the composition of the Board and the terms, election, and qualifications of trustees. [3] No external entities or persons are empowered to appoint or elect members of the Board of Trustees, nor does the President nominate or directly participate in the selection of trustees.

Finally, Reinhardt University’s Board of Trustees approve the Faculty Handbook, which describes policies that protect the institution from undue influence. The Faculty Handbook publishes a Statement of Academic Freedom and Responsibility that explicates the principles and practices by which academic freedom is safeguarded from undue influence for the benefit of faculty, students, and the entire University community. The statement on academic freedom is the fundamental principles upon which the University’s autonomy and academic programs are premised. [4]

Supporting Documents

[1] Article XIV, Reinhardt University Bylaws, Conflict of Interest Policy

[2] Reinhardt University Board of Trustees Roster 2016-2017

[3] Article II, Reinhardt University Bylaws

[4] 2016-17 Faculty Handbook, Section II.4