Region III Administrative Policies
I. ABOUT THE REGION
Region III of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) serves the members who work in the southeast region of the United States (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia), the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. It advances the field of research administration through education, professional development, sharing of knowledge, and by fostering a sense of community in our Region. We are known for our geographic diversity, from majestic mountains to beautiful sandy beaches. Our Region is represented by our mascot, Pat the Flamingo.
II. ABOUT ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES
These Region III Administrative Policies, also known as R3AP, provide guidance for the conduct of the Region’s operations, communicates policies and roles/responsibilities, and sets expectations. The R3AP outlines the minimum requirements that all Regional Leadership must meet. Regional Leadership includes all members of the Executive, Standing and Ad Hoc Committees.
III. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
Regional Leadership consists of three (3) primary types of committees. These include:
1. Executive Committee – comprised primarily of Regionally-elected officials and Chair appointed member who are responsible for the comprehensive oversight, management, and continuous operation of the Region
2. Standing Committees – comprised of appointed individuals who address and manage recurring Regional activities and tasks
3. Ad Hoc Committees (as needed) – comprised of appointed individuals who focus on special topics as deemed necessary by the Executive Committee
All Regional Leadership Committees have specific roles and responsibilities and are all staffed by Region III members in good standing with NCURA. See Appendix A for Organizational Chart.
IV. GOVERNING BOARD
The governing board of the Region is known as the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee is responsible for overseeing all Regional activities in accordance with National and Regional Bylaws, Administrative Policies, and committee standard operating procedures. The Executive Committee is comprised of Regionally-elected officials that include the Chair (who is ultimately responsible for the overall management and governance of the Region), Chair-Elect, Immediate Past Chair, Treasurer, Treasurer-Elect, and Secretary. The Chair may appoint one (1) additional member to the Executive Committee (as needed) to assist the Executive Committee in meeting its strategic goals. This Appointed Executive Committee Member is a non-voting member, but otherwise has all the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as the Regionally-elected Executive Committee members.
All Executive Committee members are considered Regional Leadership (see III. Organizational Structure and Appendix B: Executive Committee).
In addition, the Regionally-Elected National Board Member is an invited guest at Executive Committee meetings and provides information to/from the National Board.
Executive Committee members are required to sign a Position Description and submit a Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest/Commitment Agreement annually.
V. STANDING COMMITTEES
Standing Committees are comprised of appointed individuals who address and manage recurring Regional activities and tasks. Standing Committee Coordinators are appointed at the discretion of the Executive Committee member to whom the committee reports with Executive Committee confirmation of at least 2/3 vote in favor. Standing Committee Coordinators are considered Regional Leadership (see III. Organizational Structure and Appendix C: Standing Committees). All Standing Committee Coordinators serve for one (1) year (with a possible extension to one (1) additional year), and must be NCURA members in good standing. Under no circumstances shall a Standing Committee Coordinator serve more than two (2) consecutive terms.
Committee members are selected by the Standing Committee Coordinators and are appointed with confirmation of the Executive Committee member to whom he/she reports.
Standing Committee Coordinators are required to sign a Position Description and submit a Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest/Commitment Agreement annually.
A. Formation of New Standing Committees
With a 2/3 ratifying vote of the Executive Committee in favor of creating a new Standing Committee, the Executive Committee may appoint members in good standing to a new Standing Committee to perform tasks in support of Regional business. Formation of a new Standing Committee must be in accordance with these Administrative Policies. When a new Standing Committee is created, the Executive Committee will: 1) appoint a new Coordinator and invite committee members within 5 days of the decision to create a new Standing Committee, 2) instruct the committee to create the committee’s Handbook of Standard Operating Procedures, and 3) revise the R3AP to reflect the change.
B. Dissolution of Existing Standing Committees
With a 2/3 ratifying vote of the Executive Committee in favor of dissolving the existing Standing Committee, the Executive Committee may dissolve an existing Standing Committees that no longer serves Regional business needs. When an existing Standing Committee is dissolved, the Executive Committee will: 1) notify the Standing Committee Coordinator and its members in writing within 5 days of the decision with a request that the committee wrap up or transfer to another committee any outstanding activity or work, and 2) revise the R3AP to reflect the change
With 2/3 ratifying vote of the Executive Committee, any member appointed to a Standing Committee who is unable to fulfill his/her responsibilities may be relieved of his/her duty at any time with written notice from the Executive Committee.
VI. AD HOC COMMITTEES
Ad Hoc Committees are comprised of appointed individuals who focus on special topics as deemed necessary by the Executive Committee. The Chair, in conjunction with the Executive Committee, may create new Ad Hoc Committees including working groups and taskforces as appropriate, and appoint members in good standing, on an as-needed basis to assist and/or perform tasks to facilitate Regional business and activities. Ad Hoc Committee Coordinators are considered Regional Leadership (see III. Organizational Structure). No terms of office for Ad Hoc Committees are specified, but it is understood that such committees are disbanded at the conclusion of the task or the Chair’s term of office (whichever comes first) unless continued or reconstituted by the incoming Chair.
With 2/3 ratifying vote of the Executive Committee, any member appointed to an Ad Hoc Committee who is unable to fulfill his/her responsibilities may be relieved of his/her duty at any time with written notice from the Executive Committee.
VII. DUTIES OF REGIONAL LEADERSHIP
While the Executive Committee is responsible for the comprehensive oversight and management of the Region, all members in Regional Leadership positions are expected to exercise good judgment while carrying out their leadership responsibilities and are accountable to the membership in this regard.
All members in Regional Leadership positions are expected to adhere to these three (3) fundamental duties:
1. Duty of Care, which is taking the care and exercising the judgment that any reasonable and prudent person would in the process of making informed decisions, including acting in good faith consistent with what is in the best interest of the Region. This includes being attentive, diligent and thoughtful in considering and acting on policy, taking a particular course of action, and making decisions for the Region.
2. Duty of Loyalty, which requires Regional Leadership to consider Region III membership and act in good faith to advance the interests of the organization. Members in Regional Leadership positions will not authorize or engage in transactions except those in which the best possible outcome for the Region is achieved. This includes not engaging in decisions when the individual has a conflict of interest or commitment.
3. Duty of Obedience, which requires obedience to the Region’s mission, Bylaws, and Administrative Policies, as well as conducting oneself with standards of appropriate behavior.
Members in Regional Leadership positions also have a Fiduciary Responsibility to the Region, which includes ensuring that the Region’s resources are utilized ethically, legally, responsibly, reasonably, appropriately, and in compliance with the Treasurer’s Handbook of Standard Operating Procedures.
A. Conflict of Interest and/or Commitment
All members in Regional Leadership positions: 1) have a fundamental obligation to act in the best interest of the Region and not let outside activities or outside interests interfere with that obligation, 2) are expected to apply their time and effort appropriately, and 3) are expected to use the Region’s resources strictly in advancement of the Region’s mission.
Any and all perceived and actual conflicts of interest or commitment must be disclosed on the Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest/Commitment Agreement no less frequently than annually, or at the point at which the potential or actual conflict is discovered, whichever comes first.
B. Confidentiality and Privacy
Respecting the confidentiality and privacy of our members, sponsors and volunteers is a basic value of our Region. During the course of service to the Region, members in Regional Leadership positions may have access to personal and/or financial information. This information is considered confidential and should not be disclosed or discussed with anyone without permission or authorization from the Executive Committee. Prudent care shall also be exercised to ensure that unauthorized individuals do not have access to confidential information, either written or verbal.
It is the Region’s policy that volunteers will not disclose confidential information belonging to, or obtained through their service to, the Region to any person, including their relatives, friends, and professional associates, unless express authorization for the disclosure is given by the Executive Committee. This policy is not intended to prevent disclosure where disclosure is required by the National Organization’s policies or bylaws or where required by law to be disclosed.
All members in Regional Leadership positions are required to sign a Position Description and to submit a Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest/Commitment Agreement annually.
VIII. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Any removal from office action that is contemplated must be in accordance with the Region’s by-laws and in consultation with the National Organization. All proceedings and actions related to removal from office are deemed confidential.
Any member in a Regional Leadership position may resign at any time with written notice to the Executive Committee. Upon receipt of the written notice, the Executive Committee will seek a replacement for the resigning member consistent with X. Vacancies in Office or Leadership Positions below. It shall be the duty of the resigning member to facilitate the transfer of his/her responsibilities, as required.
X. VACANCIES IN OFFICE OR LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
1. Elected Positions: In the event that the office of Chair-Elect, Treasurer-Elect, Secretary, or Regionally-elected Board Member is vacated and more than 90 days of the unexpired term remain, nominations will be solicited by the Nominating and Elections Committee from the membership and the process for expedited elections shall be followed. If less than 90 days remain in the unexpired term, the Chair, at her/his discretion, shall appoint a replacement or decline to fill the position until the next regularly scheduled election.
Should the vacancy of office require a special election it will follow an expedited process as indicated in the Elections Standing Committee’s Handbook of Standard Operating Procedures.
2. Appointed Positions: In the event of resignation or removal of an appointed position, the Executive Committee will appoint a replacement in a manner consistent with committee appointments.
XI. COMMITTEE OPERATING PROCEDURES
Each Standing Committee is required to maintain a Handbook of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that guide the work of the committee. The committee must review SOP Handbooks no less frequently than annually to ensure that the committee’s procedures are accurately described. Any changes to the SOP Handbook are the responsibility of the Standing Committee Coordinator(s) in partnership with that committee’s members. Any changes to the SOP Handbook must be vetted by the Executive Committee for approval. Once approved by a 2/3 ratifying vote of the Executive Committee, the SOP Handbook can be enacted. All committee deadlines must be entered on the Region’s Master Schedule.
XII. REGIONAL MEMBERS SERVING NATIONAL ORGANIZATION
In addition to holding elections for a Regionally-elected member to the National NCURA Board of Directors, the Executive Committee recommends candidates from our Region to serve on the National Nominating & Leadership Development Committee.
The Executive Committee also recognizes the importance of nominating Region members for awards, elections, and leadership opportunities at the National level. Therefore, the Executive Committee, as a whole, takes responsibility for communicating opportunities and encouraging participation in National governance.
XIII. CONCURRENT SERVICE
No individual may hold two Regional offices concurrently. In addition, with the exception of the Regionally-Elected Board Member, no Regional officer may serve concurrently on the NCURA Board of Directors during his/her term as a Regional officer. No individual may immediately succeed himself/herself in the same office, except appointees.
Serving at the National and Regional level concurrently may be considered in consultation with and with support from the Executive Committee, where such concurrent service is not in conflict with National or Regional policy. This is accomplished by completing a Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest/Commitment Agreement.
XIV. ANNUAL COMMITMENTS OF THE REGION
A. Regional Meeting
The Region holds a professional development meeting (i.e., Regional Annual Meeting) annually, the details of which can be found in the Program Committee’s Handbook of Standard Operating Procedures.
B. Annual Meeting
The Region is required to have a presence at the National Annual Meetings, details of which are announced to the Chair in advance of the meeting. Some duties include: staffing the Region’s registration desk at check-in, offering networking opportunities for members, etc.
C. Region III Business Meetings (held at the Regional and Annual Meetings)
Region III business meetings are presided over by the Chair and shall include, when appropriate, a financial report, announcement of elections results, announcement of committee appointments, and committee reports, as well as other business of interest to the membership.
D. Executive Committee Monthly Calls
Executive Committee Conference calls shall be scheduled on a monthly basis by the Chair for the purpose of facilitating Regional operations. The agenda shall be set by the Region Executive Committee.
E. Regional Leadership Calls with the National Organization
The Executive Committee is expected to participate in the quarterly Regional Leadership calls scheduled by the National Organization.
F. Executive Committee Planning Retreats
An Executive Committee Planning Retreat shall be held at least once per year. The Executive Committee Planning Retreat agenda shall be set by the Executive Committee and shall be used to develop the strategic vision for the region.
G. Regional Leadership Annual Conference
The Regional Leadership Annual Conference is a one-day meeting and is held in conjunction with the Regional Annual Meeting. The conference shall include all members in Regional Leadership positions. The Executive Committee is responsible for preparing and distributing the agenda prior to the Regional Annual Meeting.
H. Other Meetings
(a) FRA/PRA Meetings
(b) Other Regional Meeting Attendance
XV. RECORDKEEPING AND RETENTION
All members in Regional Leadership positions (who are accountable for the operation of Regional business) have the responsibility for the maintenance, storage and proper destruction of the organization’s documents and records, and are required to adhere to the following:
a. All paper or electronic document retention requirements must be outlined in the committee’s Handbook of Standard Operating Procedures, and all documents will be maintained and retained according to the schedule therein (Retention Schedule);
b. All documents will be saved and maintained on the Region’s shared site and will not be saved on individual computers, databases, networks, or other back-up storage, such as flash drives or external hard drives;
c. No paper or electronic documents will be destroyed or deleted if pertinent to any ongoing or anticipated government investigation or proceeding or private litigation;
d. No paper or electronic documents will be destroyed or deleted as required to comply with applicable audit requirements.
Because retention obligations may vary from committee to committee, each committee should carefully consider its requirements and consult with the Executive Committee before adopting a Retention Schedule. All standing committees are required to submit any changes to its Retention Schedule to the Chair, who is responsible for ensuring that the Master Record Retention Schedule (Appendix D) is updated and that the change is not in conflict with National or Regional policy.
XVI. MASTER SCHEDULE
The Region III Master Schedule, or R3MS, is maintained by the Executive Committee to ensure adherence to deadlines and production timelines, and to determine staffing/resource needs. The R3MS outlines the schedule of each end item to be completed and provides a short-range and long-range planning horizon. The R3MS is established annually by the Executive Committee and serves as the master of all committee schedules. All standing committees are required to submit deadlines for the R3MS to the Chair, who is responsible for ensuring that the R3MS is updated.
XVII. SOCIAL MEDIA
Region III utilizes social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to provide an opportunity for our membership to develop and enhance relationships that will assist them in advancing their understanding of research administration. This includes, but is not limited to, NCURA meeting announcements, job postings, research administration topics such as funding agency updates, etc. The Region’s social media outlets are not intended for disseminating vendor goods/services. When engaged in social media, all Region III members are expected to abide by the National NCURA Social Media Policy Statement (http://www.ncura.edu/AboutUs/Policies.aspx). Any Executive Committee member or the Social Media Coordinator (with the concurrence or any member of the Executive Committee) reserves the right to restrict or deny access to any NCURA Region III sponsored social media site to any user who fails to comply with the above guidelines and/or to withdraw inappropriate posts or comments.
XVIII. REGION III GOVERNANCE
A. Amendment of Bylaws
The Executive Committee is required to perform an annual review of the Region’s Bylaws. If changes are necessary, the Chair will convene an ad-hoc committee to include at least (2) members of the Executive Committee to: 1) review the requested/required changes, and 2) develop a draft of the revised Bylaws, if needed. Revisions to the Bylaws will be vetted by the Executive Committee to ensure that they are in accordance with these Administrative Policies and submitted to the National Organization for approval. Once the final draft has passed a 2/3 vote of the Executive Committee and approved by the National Organization, the Bylaws will be presented to the Region III membership for vote.
Steps to obtaining Region III membership vote:
1. Not less than thirty (30) days prior to membership vote, the revised Bylaws (with changes conspicuously marked) are posted prominently on the Region III website.
2. An email is sent to all current Region III members with a link to the proposed Bylaws and the deadline for casting votes.
3. Members are asked to vote on the revised Bylaws by completing an anonymous survey.
In order for the revised Bylaws to pass, a majority vote (51%) of the ballots cast must be in favor.
Final vote results will be posted to the Region III website within ten (10) business days of the end of the voting period.
B. Amendment of Administrative Policies
Modifications to these Administrative Policies may be proposed by any officer of the Executive Committee at any time. At a minimum, the Executive Committee is required to perform an annual review of these Administrative Policies. If changes are necessary, the Chair will convene an ad-hoc committee to include at least (2) members of the Executive Committee to: 1) review the requested/required changes, and 2) develop a draft of the revised Administrative Policies, if needed. Revision to the Administrative Policies do not require membership vote, but must be accepted by two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee and must be reported to the membership within ten (10) business days of the revision by posting on the Region III website.
C. Interpretation of Bylaws and Administrative Policies
The Chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall have the responsibility of interpreting the Bylaws and Administrative Policies.