Resolution Regarding the Respective Role of the Board of Regents

�and University System Managers


Whereas; the Montana Constitution charges the Board of Regents with the "full power, responsibility, and authority to supervise, coordinate, manage and control the Montana University System� and


Whereas; the Montana Constitution also directs the Board "to appoint a Commissioner of Higher Education and prescribe his term and duties" and

Whereas; the Board of Regents is responsible for governing the University System; establishing its mission and goals; developing, approving and adopting policies in furtherance thereof (often--and appropriately--at the initiative of managers); and evaluating the effectiveness of policies in
achieving desired goals; and


Whereas; the Commissioner of Higher Education is responsible for implementing policies, evaluating them periodically, and reporting results to the Board of Regents for possible modification or refinement, and


Whereas; academic governance in the United States is built on the principle that governing boards exercise their functions with and through the chief executive and his or her management team.This is the principle the Montana University System has followed, and


Whereas; the Board of Regents recognizes that in order to maintain our ability to appraise facts and evaluate them without bias and to make dispassionate judgments, we need to maintain some distance from management�s process of implementing policy recommendations, and


Whereas; Regents are not selected for any expertise in university management, yet they are expected to provide an interface between the Montana University System and the citizens that support the institution, to assume responsibility for its affairs, to set policy to ensure that the University System acts in the best interests of Montana citizens, and to make sure management and staff function in ways that further organizational mission and goals, and


Whereas; the Regents must assume ultimate accountability, and therefore they must see to it that such board policies and directives are implemented by delegating tasks and authority to management, and


Whereas; the Board of Regents has, consistent with sound management principles and pursuant to the state Constitution, defined the working relationship with its principal employee, the Commissioner, through adoption of the Commissioner's Job Description, the goals and objectives that constitute the basis for the Commissioner�s evaluation, and restructuring documents, and


Whereas; these documents evince a Board desire for the Commissioner to have the authority and the leadership to ensure an efficient and unified management of the System which will aid the effective delivery of quality postsecondary education services through our University System to Montana citizens;�


Be it therefore resolved by the Board of Regents;


That the preceding statements and principles reflect the current operating philosophy of the Board of Regents as to the respective roles and relationships of the Board of Regents and University System managers.� The Commissioner of Higher Education and his management team are directed to continue to operate in a fashion consistent with the management principles stated herein.


Adopted by the Board of Regents meeting at Dillon, Montana on May 22, 2002