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3.2.4 The governing board is free from undue influence from political, religious, or other external bodies and protects the institution from such influence. (External influence)
✔ Compliance Partial
Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) is in compliance with this comprehensive standard. FTCC Board of Trustees (BOT) is free from undue influence from political, religious, or other external bodies and protects the institution from such influence.
The NC State Government Ethics Act places substantial limitations on members of the BOT (G.S. § 138A et. seq.) The State Government Ethics Act is in part designed to “ensure that elected and appointed State agency officials exercise their authority honestly and fairly, free from impropriety, threats, favoritism, and undue influence.”
Article 4 of the NC State Government Ethics Act prohibits the use of a person’s public position for private gain (G.S § 138A-31), imposes substantial limitations of the receiving of gifts (G.S § 138A-32), and prohibits the use of information for private gain (G.S § 138A-34). In addition, the statute also requires each to “make a due and diligent effort, before taking any action, to determine whether the public servant has a conflict of interest," (G.S § 138A-35).
The Ethics Act also requires the presiding officer of boards to remind each board member at the beginning of each board meeting of the responsibility to avoid conflicts of interest (G.S. § 138A-15(e)). The limitations and prohibitions contained in the NC State Government Ethics Act make it difficult for members of the BOT to be subjected to undue influence from external entities.
The College BOT are required to resist any undue influence from external bodies pursuant to the Bylaws of the BOT. Article II, Section I(c) states “consistent with the accreditation criteria of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and School, the Board shall not permit itself to be subjected to undue influences from external entities.”
The Code of Ethics of the BOT requires the avoidance of undue influences. The Code of Ethics states “as a trustee and keeper of the public trust, I will: vote my honest conviction on all issues based on fact and concern for all persons affected rather than on a personal bias or political or other outside pressure.”
The BOT membership is a diverse group appointed from multiple sources. The BOT participates in ethics training, which has a significant component dealing with conflicts of interest. All twelve voting trustees are current on ethics training (email from Ethics Commission). There have been no instances of external agencies influencing board actions.
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