American Samoa Community College

IV.C.4.  The governing board is an independent, policy-making body that reflects the public interest in the institution’s educational quality.  It advocates for and defends the institution and protects it from undue influence or political pressure. 

The composition of the Board reflects public interest with a cross-section of professionals and community representatives from throughout the islands. A majority of members hold doctoral degrees with one of them a medical doctor.  Three of the Board members are career educators. Three Board members serve in the clergy.  One is a retired US military veteran. Three members are women.

Six Board members are nominated by the Governor and must be confirmed by the House and Senate of the Fono (legislature).  The ASCC student body elects a Student Representative who is a voting member.  The Director of the American Samoa Department of Education serves as ex officio members of the Board. Governance Policies 2003 and 2003.3 describe the eligibility and requirements for Board membership, as well as the exclusions. 1

A number of Board policies affirm the need for the Board to act as a whole.

Several provisions in Policy 2004.1 Authority of Board Committee affirm the intent of the Board to act as a whole.  They are:

  1. B. Board committees shall: Not act of speak for the Board except when formally given such authority for specific and time-limited purposes.
  2. C. Not provide the President with approval, unless it is through the Board as a whole
  3. D. Avoid representation of the College, in part rather than with the whole
  4. F. Act as a committee of the whole … 2

Policy 2004.3 F states that:
“Chairperson shall have no authority on his/her own to make decisions about policies created by the Board….” 3

As a statement of the Board’s independence from undue influence, the following Policy 2002 Board of Higher Education Code of Conduct serves as a reminder:
“Board members shall conduct itself with proper authority and appropriate decorum as an individual or group when serving in the capacity of a Board member.” 4

Board professional development regularly includes presentations and discussions on conflict of interest.  The responsibility for identifying and disclosing real or apparent conflict of interest rests with the individual Board members. 

ASCC is a public institution, so there are no private owners.

The Board represents the public interest Policy 2009.4 Public Participation.

1 - Governance Policy Manual, Policy 2003.3 Board Officers
2 - Governance Policy Manual, Policy 2004.1 Authority of Board Committees
3 - Governance Policy Manual, Policy 2004.3 Chairperson’s Role and Authority
4 - Governance Policy Manual, Policy 2002 Board of Higher Education Code of Conduct