SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation Site
Overview Compliance Certification Quality Enhancement Plan Resources SACS Evaluators Hillsbrough Community College
3.2.2 Legal Authority & Operating Control

The legal authority and operating control of the institution are clearly defined for the following areas within the institution’s governance structure:

  • institution’s mission,
  • fiscal stability of the institution;              
  • institutional policy, including policies concerning related and     affiliated corporate entities and all auxiliary services; and
  • related foundations (athletic, research, etc.) and other corporate entities whose primary purpose is to support the institution and/or its programs.
Judgment of Compliance
Narrative/Justification for Judgment of Compliance  Institution’s Mission

The legal authority and operating control for Hillsborough Community College's mission are clearly defined within the College's governance structure, beginning with directives from the State of Florida legislature in State statutes, to the local level by the Board through HCC administrative rules and policies.  The overall mission of Florida community colleges is to be responsive to local needs and challenges, which is achieved by striving to maintain sufficient local authority and flexibility while preserving legal accountability to the state [Florida Statutes, Section 1004.65(4)].  The HCC District Board of Trustees, by administrative rule, requires that the President establish HCC’s mission statement, with its associated goals and objectives, followed by periodic reviews and revisions as needed [HCC Administrative Rule 6HX-10-4.05].  This process begins with a committee of college and community participants charged with developing the mission statement, followed by district-wide dissemination for faculty, staff, and student input, with the President’s Cabinet review prior to the President recommending the mission statement to the Board for its input and approval.  The HCC mission statement, which was approved by the Board on August 20, 2003 (HCC Board Meeting Minutes), reads as follows:

"Hillsborough Community College, a public, comprehensive institution of higher education, empowers students to excel through its superior teaching and service in an innovative learning environment."

This statement supports the primary mission and responsibility of a community college as established by the Florida legislature, which is to respond to community needs for both post-secondary academic education and career education, including offering lower-level undergraduate instruction and awarding associate degrees that meet the needs of students [Florida Statutes, Section 1004.65(6)].

Both the Board of Trustees and the President of the College use the HCC mission statement to establish College goals, which are then used as the foundation for district-wide decision-making by not only the Board and the President, but also the College faculty, staff and administration.  Further, HCC’s internal governance structure, as outlined in the College's organizational chart, develops the department and individual goals in support of the overall mission statement for HCC, as well as the goals established by the Board and the President (HCC Organizational Chart).  This process demonstrates how the HCC's governance structure at the local level through the State legislative directives contributes to and supports HCC’s mission.  Fiscal Stability of the Institution

The Board of Trustees and the President of HCC have established an institutional governance structure at HCC, with the requisite legal authority and operating controls to provide for HCC’s fiscal stability; this is in recognition of the fact that the College's fiscal stability is determined by not only how well each department operates in support of HCC's overall operation, but within the parameters set by the Florida legislature, the Division of Community Colleges, the Board of Trustees rules and policies, and College administrative procedures (HCC Administrative Rule 6HX-10-1.03).  The State legislature has authorized the Board to adopt rules, policies and procedures consistent with State rules that implement the Board’s responsibility for the College's budget, finance, purchasing, property, contracts, grants, buildings, and programs, all interrelated with maintaining the financial stability of HCC (Florida Statutes, Section 1001.64(4)(b); Florida Statutes, Section 1004.65).  Further, the State legislature, the Department of Education (DOE), and the Division of Community Colleges have specific regulations for fiscal operations, which are implemented and enforced in both the College rules and policies approved by the Board and procedures established by the President, all focused on establishing and maintaining a governance structure at HCC that has the requisite legal authority and operating control to provide overall fiscal stability for the College (Florida Administrative Rule 6A-14.0715; Florida Administrative Rule 6A-14.0716; Florida Administrative Rule 6A-14.072; Florida Administrative Rule 6A-14.0734; Florida Administrative Rule 6A-14.075; Florida Statutes, Sections 1010.01 through 1010.11; Florida Statutes, Section 1010.30; Florida Statutes, Section 1010.33; Florida Statutes, Sections 1011.01 through 1011.012; Florida Statutes, Sections 1011.81 through 1011.86).  Further, there are Federal and State financial and operating audits that not only determine HCC’s fiscal stability, but also examine HCC’s legal authority and the operating controls utilized to achieve this fiscal stability (Florida Statutes, Section 1010.30; Florida Statutes, Section 1010.33; Florida Statutes, Section 1010.34; 2004-2005 Financial Audit; 2004-2005 Operational Audit).

In response to State requirements, the HCC Board of Trustees has established administrative rules and policies that utilize the College's established governance structure and management system, in order to promote the orderly and efficient operation of the management of HCC’s finances and fiscal stability, including the investment of surplus funds, delinquent student accounts, petty cash funds, budget, physical plant and property disposition (Florida Statutes, Section 1001.64(44); HCC Administrative Rules 6HX-10-6.04, 6HX-10-6.05, 6HX-10-6.00, 6HX-10-6.03).  Further, the Board has delegated to the President not only the authority but the overall responsibility for developing and maintaining district-wide administrative procedures and departmental procedures that enhance efficient, effective, and proper management throughout the College, while allowing for flexibility in decision-making at each level of operation within the institution (HCC Administrative Rule 6HX-10-2.02).  HCC is required to establish adequate and sound control of all expenditures, efficient operations, and a budget process that provides the greatest benefit to our service area, recognizing that efficiency is the economical use of resources to support programs, with the emphasis on the operation of an effective program at a reasonable cost (Florida Administrative Rule 6A-14.060(6)).  The President and the College's administrative staff, through administrative procedures and more specific department operating procedures, provide for HCC’s fiscal stability by making it a college-wide practice (HCC Organizational Chart; HCC Administrative Rule 6HX-10-2.02).

With regard to the College Budget, the Board of Trustees is required to develop an operating budget each year as prescribed by the State Board of Education (Florida Administrative Rule 6A-14.0716).  The State legislature and the Board of Trustees have charged the College President with developing the HCC budget (Florida Administrative Rule 6A-14.0261; Florida Statutes, Section 1001.65(2); HCC Administrative Rule 6HX-10-2.00).  The annual budget development process begins at the departmental level, progressing through the President’s Cabinet to the Board with a series of Board workshops each year.  After the legislature approves the state funding, the Board approves the final budget, which is submitted to the Division of Community Colleges (HCC Budget Workshop Minutes for 3 years; Florida Administrative Rule 6A-14.0716). This process is illustrative for how HCC’s local governance structure is responsible for providing for the fiscal stability of the College with the requisite legal authority and the operating controls to be successful.  Institutional policy, including policies concerning related and affiliated corporate entities and all auxiliary services

The Board of Trustees has the legal authority and operating control to establish institutional policy for HCC regarding all areas of the College’s operation that are not only consistent with state laws and the rules of the State Board of Education, but also consistent with the College’s mission and responsibility as established by the State legislature (Florida Statutes, Section 1004.65; HCC Administrative Rules 6HX-10-1.00; 6HX-10-1.03).  In a draft format, all proposed College rules are circulated for review by faculty and staff, followed by advertisement on one Board agenda for both internal and external community comment prior to being recommended for approval.  Once approved by the Board, the College community has access to administrative rules and procedures through electronic public folders, which provides district-wide distribution and access (HCC's electronic public folders can be accessed on site).  The President’s Office maintains all original Board policies, administrative rules,  and administrative procedures.  Board policies are included in the minutes of its meetings each year, while administrative rules are approved by the Board based on the President’s recommendation.  The policy-making responsibilities of the Board, through both policy statements and administrative rules, are implemented by the President, the chief executive officer for the College, who is responsible for HCC's daily management operations and administration (Florida Administrative Rule 6A-14.0261; Florida Administrative Rule 6A-14.060; Florida Statutes, Section 1001.65; HCC Administrative Rule 6HX-10-2.00).  HCC administrative rules are based on the statutory authority provided by the State legislature or by the DOE through their regulations (HCC Administrative Rule 6HX-10-2.00).

HCC has no related and affiliated corporate entities.

With regard to auxiliary services, the DOE provides HCC with the authority to operate or contract for auxiliary enterprises as not only a service to but also as incidental to the instructional programs, with approval by the College Board of Trustees.  In this regard, auxiliary services include, although are not limited to the food services, vending machines, pay telephones, copy machines, and campus bookstores (Florida Administrative Rule 6A-14.077).  The Board has authorized the President to budget a portion of these funds for promotion and public relations for HCC as permitted by State Board of Education rules (HCC Administrative Rule 6HX-10-5.500; Florida Administrative Rule 6A-14.077).  Further, both State regulations and HCC administrative rules determine how auxiliary funds can be best utilized for HCC's purposes (HCC Administrative Rule 6HX-10-5.500; Florida Administrative Rule 6A-14.077).  The President recommends contracts for auxiliary services to the Board for its review and approval (HCC Administrative Rule 6HX-10-5.500). These rules demonstrate that HCC’s governance structure has the legal authority and operating controls related to institutional policy and in particular, auxiliary services.  Related foundations (athletic, research, etc.) and other corporate entities whose primary purpose is to support the institution and/or its programs

The HCC Foundation, Inc., is the only foundation or direct-support organization at HCC. The Foundation has a primary function of supporting not only HCC and our academic programs, but also our students through both scholarship and capital campaign projects (Florida Statutes, Section 1004.70).  The Foundation was established by the HCC Board of Trustees in 1974 through the Articles of Incorporation and currently operates pursuant to bylaws that are periodically reviewed and approved by both the Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board (HCC Foundation Board of Directors Minutes for January 12, 2005; HCC Board of Trustee Minutes for December 9, 2004).  HCC's Board of Trustees allows the Foundation to use college facilities, property, and personnel to the benefit of HCC and has the legislative authority to impose limitations on the Foundation by rules (Florida Statutes, Section 1004.70).  The Board has determined that the Foundation meets the definition of a direct-support organization as defined by law (Florida Statutes, Section 1004.70) and annually reviews and certifies that the Foundation is operating in a manner consistent with both HCC’s goals and the interest of the State (Florida Statutes, Section 1004.70(1)(a)(3); HCC Board Minutes for 2003-2005).  As stated in the Foundation bylaws:

"The Foundation is organized and operated exclusively to receive, hold, invest and administer property and to make expenditures and for the benefit of Hillsborough Community College."

An HCC Trustee and the College President or designee serve as non-voting members on the HCC Foundation Board of Directors (Florida Statutes, Section 1004.70(2); Foundation Board Minutes for 2003-2005).  The Executive Director of the Foundation is a College administrator who reports to the President and provides leadership and supervision to the Foundation Board and members of the Foundation; the Executive Directory also coordinates Foundation fundraising activities (HCC Organizational Chart).  Other members of the Foundation Board include volunteers within the community and corporate leaders committed to pursuing HCC’s educational mission (HCC Foundation Bylaws).  With the participation of the College President and an HCC Trustee, the Foundation is able to address the needs of the College, but remains focused separately on Foundation activities.  Annually, the HCC Board is responsible for assessing this cooperation as part of its review of the Foundation's operation in support of HCC’s goals and the interest of the State (Florida Statutes, Section 1004.70(1)(a)(3)).

An independent financial audit is completed annually for the HCC Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board of Directors for submission to the State Board of Education and Florida Auditor General’s Office (Florida Statutes, Section 1004.70(6); HCC Board of Trustees Minutes 2003-2005; HCC Foundation Audits 2002-2003).  The overall financial position of the Foundation provides greater opportunities to assist students with scholarship opportunities, as well as to supplement departmental needs.  Overall, as the Foundation provides a support role to HCC, its financial position does not adversely affect the financial soundness of the College.

Supporting Documentation

Comprehensive Standards

3.1.1 Institutional Mission
3.2.1 Selection of CEO
3.2.2 Legal Authority & Operating Control
3.2.3 Gov. Board: Conflict of Interest
3.2.4 Gov. Board: Undue Influence
3.2.5 Gov. Board: Dimissal
3.2.6 Gov. Board: Distinction of Duties
3.2.7 Organizational Structure
3.2.8 Qualified Administration
3.2.9 Appointment & Employment
3.2.10 Evaluation of Administrators
3.2.11 CEO: Intercollegiate Athletics
3.2.12 CEO: Fund Raising
3.2.13 Foundation
3.2.14 Ownership of Materials
3.3.1 Institutional Effectiveness
3.4.1 Program Approval & Lrng. Outcomes
3.4.2 Continuing Education Programs
3.4.3 Admissions Policies
3.4.4 Policies for Academic Credit
3.4.5 Dissemination of Academic Policies
3.4.6 Practices for Awarding Acad. Credit
3.4.7 Consortial & Contractual Programs
3.4.8 Acad. Credit for Non-Credit Work
3.4.9 Support Services
3.4.10 Definition/ Gen. Ed. Requirements
3.4.11 Security of Student Acad. Records
3.4.12 Faculty Responsibility/ Curriculum
3.4.13 Program Coordination
3.4.14 Use of Academic Technology
3.5.1 Attainment / Gen. Ed. Competencies
3.5.2 Credit Earned at Institution
3.6.1 Advanced Academic Contents
3.6.2 Independent Learning
3.6.3 Credit Earned at Institution
3.7.1 Faculty: Qualifications
3.7.2 Faculty: Evaluation
3.7.3 Faculty: Professional Development
3.7.4 Faculty: Academic Freedom
3.7.5 Faculty: Policies on Responsibility
3.8.1 Library: Facilities and Services
3.8.2 Library: Access
3.8.3 Library: Staff
3.9.1 Student Rights & Responsibilities
3.9.2 Security of Student Affairs Records
3.9.3 Qualified Student Affairs Personnel
3.10.1 Financial Stability
3.10.2 Financial Statements
3.10.3 Financial Aid Audits
3.10.4 Control of Financial Resources
3.10.5 Control of Sponsored Research
3.10.6 Healthy, Safe, Secure Environment
3.10.7 Physical Facilities