1.3 Board of Trustees

1.3.3 Procedures of the Board of Trustees

1.3.3.1 Ithaca College Conflict of Interest Policy for Members of the Board of Trustees, Officers and the Five Highest Compensated Employees of the College

Approved by the Board of Trustees on October 24, 2008.

The following statement of policy applies to all voting members of the Board of Trustees (“Trustees”) all officers of the College (“Officers”), and the Five Highest Compensated Employees of the College as reported on IRS Form 990.

Fiduciary Responsibilities

Trustees, Officers and the Five Highest Compensated Employees owe special duties of care and loyalty to the College as they are responsible for the total well-being of the institution.  They must place the welfare of the College above their own personal interest and place as secondary any possible alumni, faculty, student, family or outside business interests.  Using the trustee or officer position for personal gain or advantage or to obtain favored status for or from a special interest group or business, affiliates, or family over the best interests of the institution and the public good is to be avoided.  Trustees, Officers and the Five Highest Compensated Employees should avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest that might embarrass the board or the institution and to reveal these possible conflicts in a timely fashion.

Disclosure of Known or Possible Conflicts of Interest

Trustees, Officers and the Five Highest Compensated Employees shall advise the chairperson of the Audit Committee of any known conflict or possible conflict of interest, direct or indirect, personally or through any other related or affiliated person, persons or other entity relating to financial or other transactions with or interests involving the College, regardless of dollar amount.

The “Conflict of Interest Annual Disclosure Statement,” as approved by the Board of Trustees, shall be provided to Trustees, Officers and the Five Highest Compensated Employees on an annual basis.  These forms shall be filed with the secretary of the board who shall provide copies to the chairperson of the Audit Committee and, in the case of Officers, to the president.  It is the responsibility of Trustees, Officers and the Five Highest Compensated Employees to keep these forms current at all times.

Review of Known or Possible Conflicts of Interest

Members of the Audit Committee will review all conflicts or possible conflicts of interest reported by Trustees.  The president will review all conflicts or possible conflicts of interest reported by Officers or the Five Highest Compensated Employees.  If the Audit Committee or president, as appropriate, determines a conflict or a possible conflict exists, the situation will be reviewed following the process described below. When conflicts are not approved as an exception, Trustees, Officers, and the Five Highest Compensated Employees must either remove themselves from the conflict or resign their position.  Information disclosed shall be held in confidence by members of the Audit Committee and the Board of Trustees.

Approval of Exceptions

On rare occasions, trustee, officer, or the Five Highest Compensated Employee related business may supply the best services or goods and/or may provide the best price in the area.  Such transactions may be ratified by a vote of the Board of Trustees providing:

  1. The relationship between the Trustee, Officer or Five Highest Compensated Employee and the supplier has been disclosed through the reporting system.
  1. The transaction has been reviewed by the Audit Committee or president, as appropriate, and a recommendation has been made to the Board of Trustees.
  1. The benefits to the College from trustee, officer, or five highest compensated employee related business and/or the prices paid for those benefits are measurably better than those that could be obtained from unrelated entities.

Interested Trustees may be counted in determining the presence of a quorum at the meeting of the Board of Trustees at which such transaction is considered; however, the Interested Trustee shall abstain from voting on this matter and shall not be present at the time of the vote.

1.3.3.2 Statement of Trustee Responsibilities and Code of Conduct

We, the members of the Board of Trustees of Ithaca College, recognize the importance of articulating standards in the way we exercise our trusteeship. By adopting this statement we exercise our trusteeship. By adopting this statement we acknowledge that trusteeship requires a code of behavior not usually expected of other citizens. By willingly and enthusiastically accepting the privilege of serving the public interest and this institution, we also accept the obligations and responsibilities that accompany our trusteeship.

This statement is intended to clarify our individual responsibilities, which we acknowledge to be distinct from, but complementary to, those of the board as a corporate entity. It shall serve to help individuals being considered for nomination to the board to decide whether they wish to accept election, to remind new and incumbent members of their obligations, and to encourage periodic review of ourselves and our board's performance.

Therefore, as trustees of Ithaca College, we each pledge to:

  1. participate in the appointment, support, and assessment of the president;
     
  2. counsel the chief executive as appropriate and offer support in the chief executive's relationships with groups or individuals on or off campus;
     
  3. remain knowledgeable about the institution's mission, purposes, goals, policies, educational offerings, strengths, and needs;
     
  4. serve the institution as a whole rather than any special interests(s);
     
  5. remain knowledgeable about trends in higher education and other institutions in our community, state, region, and nation;
     
  6. when called upon by the board, help interpret and explain to the administration and academic community the needs, interests, and concerns of the community at large in the course of helping to set institutional purposes, priorities, and policies;
     
  7. Help interpret and explain to state policy makers and others how the unique nature of an academic enterprise makes it distinct from other public agencies, including its essential commitment to academic freedom and its delicate internal system of shared governance. In a similar vein, we pledge to protect the institution's integrity and independence from unreasonable outside interference;
     
  8. assist the Institutional Advancement Committee and administration by implementing fund-raising strategies to the best of our ability through personal influence with other corporations, individuals, and foundations;
     
  9. make Ithaca a priority in charitable giving, and give an annual gift according to personal means, mindful of the need to support capital and annual giving programs as appropriate;
     
  10. prepare for and participate in all official board meetings and functions, including committee meetings and appropriate campus events;
     
  11. suggest agenda items periodically for board and committee meetings to ensure that significant policy-related matters are addressed;
     
  12. actively deliberate, discuss and debate board matters consistent with one's conscience and convictions, while supporting the majority decision on issues decided by the board;
     
  13. understand the institution's financial statements to help the board fulfill its fiduciary responsibility;
     
  14. serve in leadership positions or undertake special assignments willingly and enthusiastically when asked;
     
  15. maintain confidentiality of the board's deliberations and speak on behalf of the board or institution only when authorized to do so by the chairperson or the chairperson's designee;
     
  16. ensure that our communication with individual students, faculty, staff, or administrators is judicious and appropriate to our roles as trustees;
     
  17. assess clearly and critically any situation that may present a conflict of interest for the Board or the institution; inform the board of possible conflicts in a timely fashion for disposition by the Board as it may decide;
     
  18. establish and support board channels for the resolution of differences;
     
  19. suggest trustee nominees to the board who are individuals of achievement and distinction and who can make significant contributions to the work of the board and the progress of the institution;
     
  20. encourage periodic review of the board's performance and support peer assessment of the Board's performance as an example to all members of the academic community and to acknowledge that Board and presidential leadership are interdependent; and
     
  21. Bring a sense of humor to the board's deliberations.

We, the trustees of Ithaca College, thus commit ourselves individually and collectively to the highest possible standards of conduct. We acknowledge that each of us shares a profound obligation to exercise our best possible judgment as we face the often perplexing matters affecting the health and vitality of this institution we hold in trust for future generations. At the same time, we appreciate that trusteeship, like the presidency, is a distinctly human enterprise and a somewhat imperfect device.

We respect the judgments of others concerning our performance, because we recognize the need to see ourselves as others see us. As willing volunteers in perhaps the most noble of all forms of volunteerism in our participatory democracy, we individually pledge to help the board and Ithaca College be all they are capable of being.

1.3.3.3 Board Policy on Tuition and Fees

All students attending the College and not expressly exempted from the payment thereof, shall pay such tuition and other fees at such times and in such a manner as may be fixed by the Board of Trustees. The board expressly reserves the power at any time without prior notice to make such increases and changes in the amount, time and manner of payment as it may deem necessary and proper.

No degree shall be conferred or certificate issued until all fees and other financial obligations to the College have been paid or satisfactorily arranged.

1.3.3.4 Procedure for Election of Chair and Vice Chair of the Board

The chair of the Trusteeship Committee will be responsible for initiating the process of annual election. If at the time of officer elections, the chair of the Trusteeship Committee is an officer of the board, then the chairman of the board shall nominate another member of the Trusteeship Committee to fulfill the board officer election responsibility. It is the responsibility of the chair of the Trusteeship Committee or the designated alternate to review with an incumbent his/her desire for re-election.

The election of board officers will take place in executive session. The individuals under consideration as board officers will not be present for the session. During the executive session, the board will vote to ratify the election of the incumbents or alternatively determine whether an open election including new nominees should be conducted. The chairman and the vice chairman shall be elected for a term of three years.

1.3.3.5 Honorary Trustee Nominations and Recognition

Approved by the Board of Trustees on October 11, 2012.

Nomination Criteria

The following criteria serve as guiding principles to be used by the Trusteeship Committee for nominations of individuals for the designation of honorary trustee:

  • Track record of truly distinguished Board service, with an exemplary level of engagement as a trustee. Widely recognized by fellow trustees as a leading contributor to the Board and to the College (in thoughts, time and contributions).
  • Truly engaged with the College, beyond simply attendance at the regular Board meetings.
  • Demonstrated leadership, not only at a committee level but (whenever asked) through a superior and distinctive level of engagement and leadership in special efforts and activities (campaigns; building efforts; service on special or ad hoc committees; etc.).
  • A true and effective ambassador for the College, beyond the reaches of campus life, proactively engaged in efforts to enhance outside awareness of the College, its brand and its key initiatives.
  • Someone who, if given the honorary trustee recognition, can be reasonably expected to continue to be engaged through periodic attendance at College events, Board meetings.
  • In exceptional circumstances, the designation of honorary trustee may be awarded posthumously.

Recognition and Engagement of Honorary Trustees

  • The College and the Board will be focused and intentional in their communications with honorary trustees, through written communication (personalized from time to time) and periodic meetings or phone calls (by President and Board Chair from time to time but at least annually).
  • When honorary trustees attend Board meetings, the Chair or President should always introduce them and thank them for attending. While not voting members, the Chair would be wise to engage honorary trustees during discussion of issues where they may have particularly relevant insights.
  • As needs arise, honorary trustees should be selected to serve on ad hoc committees (campaign committees, search committees, or other efforts where their experience and insights can be leveraged).
  • Honorary trustees will be invited to key college events, and where appropriate they will be introduced and recognized as in attendance, and attending active trustees and College leaders will engage with them during such activities.
  • A current trustee will be appointed by the Board Chair to serve as a point of contact/mentor for the honorary trustee. Specific expectations of the current trustee for interactions with the assigned honorary trustee include periodic conversations with the honorary trustee to keep them apprised of key issues or developments at the College (Board-related generally).
  • The Trusteeship Committee should establish an annual discipline of assessing the Board's and the College's effectiveness in dealing with honorary trustees, including an annual reaching out to each honorary trustee for input on the function, level of communication, role, etc. (personal - not an electronic survey).

Last Updated: April 1, 2014