American Samoa Community College

IV.C.5.  The governing board establishes policies consistent with the college/district/system mission to ensure quality, integrity, and improvement of student learning programs and services and the resources necessary to support them.  The governing board has ultimate responsibility for educational quality, legal matters, and financial integrity and stability.  

The Board assumes responsibility for legal matters.  It has deliberated and received legal advice on Land Issues, the Endowment, and heard Grievances.

The Board has sought legal assistance from both the American Samoa Attorney General’s Office and from private attorneys. 

One of the most important formal statements for conveying the Board’s expectations for quality, integrity and improvement of student learning programs and services is the Board’s approval of the ASCC Institutional Strategic Plans 2009-2014 and 2015-2020.1 It is this core to which all other strategic goals and objectives are linked.  These strategic goals under Academic Excellence are:

  1. ASCC will enhance and deliver innovative, effective education and support programs to facilitate Student Academic Success.
  2. ASCC will Assess, Evaluate and document recommendations to improve Institutional Effectiveness.
  3. ASCC will emphasize High Quality Teaching and Services
  4. ASCC will continue to develop, implement, and solidify programs that serve the need of the Community.
  5. ASCC will increase the Quality and Availability of Educational Technology.
  6. ASCC will continue to strengthen its services in Academic Advising, Counseling, Tutoring, Finances, Resources, and Campus Life.
  7. ASCC will enhance opportunities for student academic, career and personal success.

Policy 2005 Establishment of Board and College Policies states in part that:
“All policies shall be written, defined and based on ASCC’s mission, vision, values, goals and objectives with a thorough understanding and appreciation of the needs of the College.” 2

Policy 2000 Governance Commitment

  1. The Board of Higher Education will govern American Samoa Community College according to the Constitution and laws of the Territory of American Samoa. The Board will always act in the best interest of the College and the Community as a whole.

B. The Board shall be committed to excellence and to the following values that will enhance the operational atmosphere of the College:
• Teamwork
• Open Communication
• Recognition
• Recognizing past for its influence of the present and the future
• Focus on the Future 3

In August 2015, the governing board was presented the institutional set standards and the newly established institutional student achievement standard. 4
As a result the Board adopted Policy 1004 Comprehensive Program Review, Assessment and Instructional Programs, Student Services and Administrative Services.

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.” 5
Policy 2002.1 Board of Higher Education Violation of the Law, Codes of Ethics and Conduct
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.  Conflicts of interest have been rare in the Board’s history, but the current practice of self-monitoring should be strengthened and formalized in policy.


The Board asserts its independence in Policy 2004 AUTHORITY AND FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARD, COMMITTEES, AND MEMBERS:

“The Board, within the limits imposed by Public Law 22-30 has complete and full control of the American Samoa Community College (ASCC). The Board has final authority to formulate, interpret and approve the policies that govern the College.” 6

The Board approves the College’s mission and is responsible for the quality of the overall educational program, which it shall review and approve.  Its many legal responsibilities lie in its authority to make contracts, purchase, lease or accept property, procure supplies and equipment, fix tuition rates, adopt rules, and even to sue or be sued. (PL 22-30, § 16.2002 Powers and duties of the College)7

The Board, with recommendation from the President, assumes authority and responsibility for the financial integrity of the College by approving the College’s budget, its fiscal management, acquiring an independent audit, and the land grant endowment fund.  (PL 22-30, § 16.2009 Fiscal Management and § 16.2010 Independent audit reports – consultants – Annual Reports).  The Board assures the fiscal integrity of the College as it acts in accordance with the law. 8

The Board of Higher Education exercises independent authority and bears responsibility for its educational quality, legal matters, and financial integrity.

Because the College is established within the executive branch of government and receives direct funding from the local government, the local government does have an expectation that the College be accountable for spending these funds in a manner that provides high quality education.  Nevertheless, the Board exercises ultimate responsibility for financial integrity.

1 - Institutional Strategic Plan 2015-2020
2 - Governance Policy Manual, Policy 2005  Establishment of College Policies
3 - Governance Policy Manual,  Policy 2000 Governance Commitment