Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct: Core Component 2.C

2.C - Core Component 2.C

The governing board of the institution is sufficiently autonomous to make decisions in the best interest of the institution and to assure its integrity.

  1. The governing board’s deliberations reflect priorities to preserve and enhance the institution.
  2. The governing board reviews and considers the reasonable and relevant interests of the institution’s internal and external constituencies during its decision-making deliberations.
  3. The governing board preserves its independence from undue influence on the part of donors, elected officials, ownership interests or other external parties when such influence would not be in the best interest of the institution.
  4. The governing board delegates day-to-day management of the institution to the administration and expects the faculty to oversee academic matters.


2.C.1 and 2.C.2  The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) is the governing board for the state’s three public universities, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona. The Board is established by both a specific reference in the Arizona Constitution (Article 11, section 5) and by definition as a body corporate in Title 15, Chapter 13, Article 2, section 15-1625 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.), “Arizona Board of Regents” (denoted A.R.S. 15-1625). Explicitly stated within A.R.S. 15-1625 is that “[t]he Board has jurisdiction and control over the universities,” where “universities” are identified in A.R.S. 15-1601.A as Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona. The statute A.R.S. 15-1621, “Members; appointment, terms, oath, immunity,” provides that the Board consists of ten members (called “Regents”) appointed by the Governor of Arizona with consent of the Senate of the State of Arizona, including two student members. Additionally, the Governor and the Superintendent of Public Instruction serve as ex-officio members of the Board, with voice but no vote, each serving while they hold office. Terms for appointed Regents (excluding student members) are eight years. The chair of the Arizona Faculties Council, the coordinating body of the faculty governments of the three universities, is also present at meetings with voice but no vote.

ABOR’s priorities are encapsulated in their mission and vision statement. The ABOR long term strategic plan, VISION 2020, has recently been updated with 2025 targets. The ABOR mission statement, published on the ABOR website, speaks to the Board’s attention to the needs of the internal and external constituents of the Arizona University System: “The Arizona Board of Regents is committed to ensuring access for qualified residents of Arizona to undergraduate and graduate institutions; promoting the discovery, application, and dissemination of new knowledge; extending the benefits of university activities to Arizona’s citizens outside the university; and maximizing the benefits derived from the state’s investment in education.”

2.C.3  A.R.S. 15-1621 provides that Regents are immune from personal liability with respect to actions taken in performance in good faith within the scope of authority of the Board. A.R.S. 15-1626 defines a broad array of responsibilities delegated by the State of Arizona to the Board. Regents are subject to state laws regarding the ethical and responsible discharge of their duties as officers of the State of Arizona. Provided its actions taken are consistent with state and federal laws, the Board is thus completely autonomous in carrying out its control over the institutions of the Arizona University System, and independent from undue influence by donors and elected officials.

Deliberations of the Arizona Board of Regents reflect priorities that serve to preserve, promote, and enhance all institutions within the Arizona University System, including Arizona State University. By virtue of its state-established set of responsibilities, ABOR must review and consider the reasonable and relevant interests of the internal and external constituencies for the Arizona University System during its decision-making deliberations.

2.C.4  ABOR delegates the day-to-day management of the institution to the University President for each of the institutions in the Arizona University System. The Board exercises authority to appoint, employ, dismiss, and determine compensation for the presidents under A.R.S. 15-1626. The President is given the power to appoint persons to all positions within the institution and approves all faculty and staff changes, subject to ABOR policies and practices.

Provision for faculty responsibility in shared governance and academic and educational matters is specifically provided for in state law by A.R.S. 15-1601.B. Based on this statute and subject to the Board policy on academic degree program planning and implementation, faculty members oversee academic matters including the development of curricula and course content, the awarding of grades, and academic program review.