Section 229.008, Florida Statutes 2001
229.008 Boards of trustees of the state universities.--
(1)(a) Effective July 1, 2001, and no later than November 1, 2001, the Governor shall appoint a 13-member board of trustees for each university in the State University System, each member to be confirmed by the Senate in the regular legislative session immediately following his or her appointment. In addition, a student body president shall serve as a voting member of his or her university board of trustees. There shall be no state residency requirement for university board members, but the Governor shall consider diversity and regional representation. Members of the boards of trustees shall receive no compensation but may be reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
(b) The Governor may remove a trustee upon the recommendation of the Florida Board of Education, or for cause.
(2) Each board of trustees shall be a public body corporate by the name of "The (name of university) Board of Trustees," with all the powers of a body corporate, including a corporate seal, the power to contract and be contracted with, to sue and be sued, to plead and be impleaded in all courts of law or equity, and to give and receive donations. In all suits against a board of trustees, service of process shall be made on the chair of the board or, in the absence of the chair, on the corporate secretary or designee.
(3) Boards of trustees' members shall be appointed for staggered 4-year terms, and may be reappointed for additional terms not to exceed 8 years of service.
(4) Each board of trustees shall select its chair and vice chair from the appointed members at its first regular meeting after July 1. The chair shall serve for 2 years and may be reselected for one additional consecutive term. The duties of the chair shall include presiding at all meetings of the board, calling special meetings of the board, attesting to actions of the board, and notifying the Governor in writing whenever a board member fails to attend three consecutive regular board meetings in any fiscal year, which failure may be grounds for removal. The duty of the vice chair is to act as chair during the absence or disability of the chair.
(5) The university president shall serve as executive officer and corporate secretary of the board of trustees and shall be responsible to the board for all operations of the university and for setting the agenda for meetings of the board in consultation with the chair.
(6) Upon appointment, each board of trustees shall commence professional orientation, training, and board development activities, and shall begin setting direction for its university in keeping with accountability and performance expectations of the seamless K-20 education system. Each board of trustees shall submit to the Florida Board of Education action plans and timelines for devolution of duties and responsibilities to the board of trustees.
(7) The boards of trustees shall be responsible for cost-effective policy decisions appropriate to the university's mission, the implementation and maintenance of high-quality education programs within law and rules of the Florida Board of Education, the measurement of performance, the reporting of information, and the provision of input regarding state policy, budgeting, and education standards.
(8) Whenever any civil action has been brought against any member of a university board of trustees or employee for any act or omission arising out of and in the course of the performance of his or her duties and responsibilities, the university board of trustees may defray all costs of defending such action, including reasonable attorney's fees and expenses, together with costs of appeal, and may save harmless and protect such person from any financial loss resulting from the lawful performance of his or her duties and responsibilities. Claims based on such actions or omissions may, in the discretion of the university board of trustees, be settled prior to or after the filing of suit thereon. The board of trustees may arrange for and pay the premium for appropriate insurance to cover all such losses and expenses.
(9) University boards of trustees shall be "corporations primarily acting as instrumentalities or agencies of the state," pursuant to s. 768.28(2), for purposes of sovereign immunity.
History.--s. 13, ch. 2001-170.