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Probation Area 5.B: Board of Regents

As stated in the HLC action letter, Highlands must provide evidence that the institution has ameliorated the findings of non-compliance identified in this action that resulted in the imposition of Probation, Core Component 5.B:

  1. Board professional development, a self-assessment process, and engagement with the governance and HLC accreditation processes; and
  2. annual evidence that the Board understands and follows its fiduciary responsibilities and demonstrates policy-making in the best interest of the University.

More information was provided in the HLC action letter:

The University is out of compliance with Criterion Five, Core Component 5.B, “the institution’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the institution to fulfill its mission,” for the following reason:

  • The University has not demonstrated practices consistent with effective governance and administrative structures as required by this Core Component because:
  • there is no ongoing Board training or understanding of the significance of what HLC stands for and its requirements and expectations;
  • although the institution is a member of the Association of Governing Boards (AGB), there is no evidence that they have used the services that AGB provides for educating board members or implementing best practices;
  • the Board lacks a self-assessment process;
  • the Board did not appear to have reviewed the Assurance Argument prior to its submission to HLC; and
  • the Board has not demonstrated effective leadership of the serious challenges at the institution with regard to finances, quality and student outcomes; and
  • While the University in its August 2016 response explained that it had scheduled sessions with AGB for the Board and initiated a Board self-assessment process, that work is just beginning and has not yet become a regular process through which the Board assures its effectiveness.

Resolution: Highlands needs to accomplish things to resolve Probation Area:

  1. The Board of Regents must receive AGB training (currently scheduled for December 7, 2016).
  2. The Board of Regents must design and implement a self-assessment process.
  3. The Board of Regents must formally review the Assurance Argument before it is submitted on November 1, 2017 and receive quarterly updates on the HLC efforts.
  4. The Board of Regents must provide annual evidence of effective leadership with regards to governance, finance, quality, and student outcomes, as recorded in the Board of Regents minutes and action items.

Background: While the Highlands Board of Regents has traditionally been very involved with issues such as finance, shared governance, and institutional success, the HLC did not receive adequate evidence of this involvement, including evidence that the Board had reviewed the Assurance argument. The Board of Regents has also not received AGB training in recent years.

Overview of Status: President Minner has worked with the Board to schedule a AGB training for December 7, 2016. 

  Milestone Completion Responsibility Evidence
  Quarterly Board of Regents meeting, including HLC Update, and Action Items tied to Strategic Plan October 28, 2016 Board of Regents, Director of HLC Accreditation Board of Regents Minutes
Board of Regents Works with President and AGB to Design Self-Assessment Process Fall 2016 Board of Regents, President AGB Self-Assessment Report (not linked due to confidentiality; linked in Assurance Argument)
  Quarterly Board of Regents Meeting, including HLC Update and Action Items tied to Strategic Plan December 2, 2016 Board of Regents, Director of HLC Accreditation Board of Regents Minutes
  AGB Board of Regents Training December 7, 2016 Board of Regents, President Training presentation (not linked due to confidentiality; linked in Assurance Argument)
  Board of Regents Completes Self-Assessment Winter 2017 Board of Regents AGB Self-Assessment Report (not linked due to confidentiality; linked in Assurance Argument)
  Quarterly Board of Regents Meeting, including HLC Update and Action Items tied to Strategic Plan Spring 2017 Board of Regents, Director of HLC Accreditation Board of Regents Minutes, 2016-2017 Mission Accomplishments
  Quarterly Board of Regents Meeting, including HLC Update and Action Items tied to Strategic Plan Summer 2017 Board of Regents, Director of HLC Accreditation Board of Regents Minutes
  Special Board of Regents Meeting to Review Assurance Argument September 6, 2017 Board of Regents, President, Director of HLC Accreditation Board of Regents Minutes*
Quarterly Board of Regents Meeting, including HLC Update and Action Items tied to Strategic Plan Fall 2017 Board of Regents, Director of HLC Accreditation Board of Regents Minutes

* Meeting held, but minutes cannot be publicly posted until approval by Board of Regents at the October 2017 regular BOR meeting. Minutes are included in the Assurance Argument.