American Samoa Community College

7.  Governing Board:
The institution has a functioning governing board responsible for the academic quality, institutional integrity, and financial stability of the institution and for ensuring that the institution’s mission is achieved. This board is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the financial resources of the institution are used to provide a sound educational program. Its membership is sufficient in size and composition to fulfill all board responsibilities.

The governing board is an independent policy-making body capable of reflecting constituent and public interest in board activities and decisions. A majority of the board members have no employment, family, ownership, or other personal financial interest in the institution. The board adheres to a conflict of interest policy that assures that those interests are disclosed and that they do not interfere with the impartiality of governing body member or outweigh the greater duty to secure and ensure the academic and fiscal integrity of the institution. (Standard IV.C.1, IV.C.4, and IV.C.11)

The Board of Higher Education (BHE) is the final authority in all matters affecting the College and exercises jurisdiction over the institution’s financial, educational, and other policies and its relations with local and federal regulations. The BHE’s fundamental responsibility is to ensure the long-term health of the College and has the resources it needs to fulfill its mission.

Public Law 22-30 of the American Samoa Code Annotated constitutes the American the Board of Higher Education:

16.2003 Establishment of Board of Higher Education.

(a) The Board of Higher Education is established.  The board shall consist of the director of education and 7 members, 6 of whom are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Legislature.  The board members shall serve without compensation or other emoluments.

(b) In order to provide continuity in the work of the board, the term of office of 6 of the Board members shall be for 4 years and shall be so arranged as not to expire at the same time.  Members shall serve until their successors have been qualified.  Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as original appointments.

The 7th member of the board is a 2nd year student of the College elected at a school-wide election during the first week of school.  This member serves a one-year term and may be reelected.  Vacancies are filled by an election held within 1 week of the knowledge of a vacancy.

            History: 1992, PL 22-30.1

At present, the Board consists of seven members that include:

1. Reverend Dr. Leanavaotaua Sekuini Seva’aetasi, Chairperson
Reverend Seva’aetasi is one of two returning Board members from the previous term and is the newly elected Chairman of the Board. Sekuini has been a member of the Board of Higher Education for 17+ years. Reverend Seva’aetasi has been the Minister of the Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa (CCCAS) in the eastern village of Tula for over 12 years. He holds a Doctorate of Ministry degree and is also a member of the Kanana Fou Theological Seminary Board.
2. Dr. Annie Fuavai, member
Dr. Annie Fuavai has just been appointed by the Board of the LBJ Medical Center to be the Deputy to the CEO of the Medical Center.  Dr. Fuavai is an Emergency Room Physician where she practiced medicine with distinction for over two decades.  Her wide-ranging educational background includes Fa’asao High School, Seattle University, Fiji School of Medicine, University of Auckland and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.  A former teacher at Samoana High School, she is active in her community and is a proven advocate of youth programs.  Dr. Fuavai will serve for a term of two years.

3. HC Tau’ili’ili Lauifi, member
High Chief Tau’ili’ili Lauifi is the second returning Board member who has been on the Board over 5 years.  He holds the directorship positions both as the Director of the American Samoa Goodwill and the Veterans Association of American Samoa. HC Tau’ili’ili is also a member of the American Samoa Humanities Council and a Deacon of the Congregational Christian Church in the village of Ili’ili. 

4. Reverend Dr. Siulagi Solomona Jr., member
Reverend Dr. Siulagi Solomona Jr. is a former ASCC student as well as a former ASCC instructor, and currently serves as the Special Assistant to the House Speaker with a focus on legal matters.  

5. Monsignor Viane Etuale, Co-Chairperson
Monsignor Viane Etuale is a former teacher, principal, and Director of Catholic Education. He currently serves as Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Samoa – PagoPago.  

6. Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin Finau, ex-officio member
Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin has been an educator in American Samoa for over 20 years. She was an instructor of the American Samoa Community College as well as the former President of ASCC. Dr. Hunkin has held many positions as an academic administrator for various educational organizations, including ASCC, PREL, and her current position as the Director of the American Samoa Department of Education. Dr. Hunkin holds a Doctorate degree in Education. 

7.  Jessebeth Ropeti, Student Representative
As the governing body of the College, the Board is committed to leadership and governance assuring that policies that govern the College are essential to the achievement of its Mission. The BHE has set accountability measures that are used to evaluate their performance and results from their evaluation are used to set their annual goals.2

Trustees are held accountable to the following:

  • Mission and Planning whereas members:
    • Are aware of the culture, history and values of the College;
    • Review the effectiveness of the Mission and its purposes on a regular basis;
    • Assure that programs and services are responsive to community needs;
    • Approve and monitors the College’s Institutional Strategic Plan; and
    • Set Board annual goals and monitors their progress towards achieving those goals.

  • Policy Role whereas members:
    • Clearly understand its policy role in decision-making;
    • Assure that the College complies with relevant public laws, federal regulations, and accreditation standards; and
    • Update Board policies and Governance Manuals regularly.

  • Board-President Relations whereas members:
    • Maintain positive working relationships with the College President;
    • Delegate the administration of the College to the President;
    • Set and communicates clear expectations for the President’s performance; and
    • Evaluate the President performance annually to assure appropriate conditions are met.

  • Community Relations and Advocacy whereas members:
    • Act on behalf of the public and citizens when making decisions;
    • Are active in community affairs;
    • Advocate on behalf of the College to local and federal government; and
    • Support the purposes of the College and fundraising efforts.

  • Educational Programs and Quality whereas members:
    • Are knowledgeable about the educational and workforce training needs in the community;
    • Establish expectations and standards that enable them to monitor the quality and effectiveness of the College’s educational programs;
    • Receive and reviews College reports on institutional effectiveness;
    • Are appropriately involved in the accreditation process; and
    • Understand and protects academic freedom.

  • Fiduciary Role whereas members:
    • Assure that the budget reflects priorities in the College’s Institutional Strategic Plan;
    • Assure effective fiscal management and internal controls;
    • Review the annual audit and monitors responses to recommendations;
    • Provide appropriate direction for seeking external funding; and
    • Support and ensures adequate financial reserve.

  • Human Resources and Staff Relations whereas members:
    • Support ASCC human resource policies to ensure fair and equitable treatment of staff;
    • Follow protocol regarding Board business in communication with College employees;
    • Refrain from attempting to manage employee work; and
    • Support faculty, staff, and student participation in College decision-making.

  • Board Leadership whereas members:
    • Understand its leadership roles and responsibilities;
    • Express its authority only as a unit;
    • Understand that he/she has no legal authority outside Board roles;
    • Review regularly its by-laws or standards of practice and has a policy on addressing violations of the code;
    • Uphold and comply with the Board’s by-laws;
    • Uphold the decisions made by the Board; and
    • Reflect a climate of trust and respect in Board discussions.

  • Board Meetings whereas members:
    • Conduct Board meetings in an orderly efficient manner;
    • Provide sufficient information according to agenda items to ensure good Board decision-making;
    • Maintains confidentiality of privileged information;
    • Adopt and monitors the implementation of the College’s Institutional Strategic Plan; and
    • Set annual goals based on its self-evaluation and monitors progress toward them.

  • Board Education whereas members:
    • Participate in a comprehensive orientation to the Board and College (New Members);
    • Participate in trustee development activities;
    • Use self-evaluation processes to enhance its performance; and
    • Measure its accomplishments against Board goals.