Governance System Manual
The board of education decided to redesign the college governance system for the following reasons:
A. The board's own desire to "govern by policy"
In June 2003, the board of education had a retreat on the topic of governance. They dealt with two issues - global governance (board) and college governance (internal). With respect to their own governance they decided to "govern by policy." This meant that they did not plan to be a "managing" board. Rather they would set policy, establish executive directions and delegate the general supervision and control of the college to the president, subject to board review and evaluation of the president's performance.
B. Compliance with accreditation standards
The board directed the president to develop a new college governance system. They directed that the system should be developed in collaboration with stakeholders in the college. Also, they stated that it was their intention to hold the president accountable for the system and the decisions made through the system.
As a result, and in accordance with the existing shared governance policy, the president asked the councils, unions, student leadership, and Management Steering Committee to appoint individuals to serve on a task force to develop a framework that clearly defined the college wide governance system including structure, scope, roles, and processes. Thus the 2003 Governance Task Force was chartered, with representation from classified staff, faculty, managers, and students.
The following items were deemed to be outside the scope of work for the Governance Task Force:
- Collective bargaining agreements
- College compliance with statutory requirements (e.g. ORS Chapter 341, public contacting, employment and labor relations) and board policies that are already in effect
- Administrative policies not related to governance e.g. operations, personnel
- Internal department decision making
The Task Force conducted a series of meetings September 2003 through February 2004 and representatives of stakeholder groups discussed issues with their constituencies. Based on those discussions, the Task Force submitted a draft report to the college community for discussion and feedback. The feedback was reviewed by the Task Force and a follow up memo was sent by the president to the college community. The board passed Policy B.020 College Governance in September 2004.
What follows are the principles, features and processes that will guide the governance system.
II. Principles that Drive the Governance System
- The governance system should embody and support the college's vision, mission, core values, strategic directions and learning principles.
- The board of education, students, classified staff, faculty, managers/administrators all have a role in college governance.
- Stakeholders in the college governance system are identified as classified staff, faculty, managers, and students.
- The governance system should provide stakeholders full participation in decision making at the earliest possible moment and rely on their collective wisdom.
- Stakeholders have a right to representation on college governance committees. Stakeholders determine their representatives within their established processes.
- As directed by the board, the president is responsible for developing the college governance system. The president is responsible to the board for decisions made in the governance system.
- The governance system should be efficient and effective, balancing the need for timely, informed decisions with the need to provide adequate time for meaningful participation in decision-making processes.
- The governance system should encourage and promote a wide range of opportunities for many people to provide leadership regardless of their formal positions at the college.
- The governance system should provide for clear, frequent, consistent, and timely communication within governance groups and between groups and the wider college community.
- The college governance system should provide for clear decision processes.
- The governance system should be open and provide for consistent and accessible records of council and committee work.
- The governance system should clearly define and align the authorities, responsibilities and relationships among the board, managers, faculty, classified staff, and students.
- The governance system should provide support necessary for staff and students to participate and contribute usefully.
- Participants in the governance system should have access to pertinent information to fulfill their role in governance.
III. Description of the Governance System
A. The Principal Features of the Governance System Are:
- Recognizing the formal status of the classified staff, faculty, managers, and students as stakeholders in college governance, as well as the role of administration and the board of education.
- Establishing six college wide planning and policy making governance councils within specified governance areas. Councils may establish standing committees and task forces.
- Restructuring the role of College Council to serve as the major planning body of the college with responsibility for strategic planning, institutional effectiveness and coordinating the governance system.
- Clarifying the role of the Executive Team as implementing decision-makers and its relationship to the governance councils, the president and the board.
- Clarifying the role of the Faculty Council in governance.
- Acknowledging and integrating the realms of responsibility of faculty, managers/administration, classified staff and students.
- Including representational, position-based and/or expertise-based appointments on councils.
- Outlining the scope of work and decision-making processes through the development of charters.
B. Foundations of the Governance System
Stakeholders are identified as classified staff, faculty, students, and managers. Classified staff will be appointed to councils by LCCEF. LCCEA will appoint representatives of the faculty as whole. The Faculty Council will appoint representatives to appropriate councils, committees, and task forces. Students will be appointed by ASLCC and managers by Management Steering Committee.
While stakeholder groups have the exclusive right to appoint their representatives, they are encouraged to consider appointees who would provide a broad point of view from within their group and expertise in the scope of the council's work.
Appointments to councils will be made by stakeholder groups by May 15 each year. Student appointees may be appointed later depending on the availability of students.
The administrator responsible for the area(s) of the college affected by the work of each council, generally the vice president, executive dean, chief officer, or his or her designee will be council members.
Governance councils will also include members whose participation is necessitated by their position - that is, because their job duties are so focused on the particular area that the council could not do its work unless the person is involved. And, councils will have the opportunity to appoint additional members whose role is based on their expertise in the area. These members will be referred to as members-at-large. Members-at-large have voting rights but may not veto council consensus.
IV. Governance Councils
As the Task Force reviewed the current governance system it became clear that a system organized around the work of the college instead of just around employee groups would be better for the college. This made sense for several reasons:
- It helps keep the focus on the work and its outcomes
- It brings the constituents of the college together to deliberate on issues, share perspectives and reach conclusions
- It improves coherence by connecting associated issues in one council with standing committees
- It maximizes the early opportunity for all stakeholder groups to be informed of and influence decisions
The design calls for:
- A College Council that will serve as the major planning and policy body of the college and is responsible for strategic planning, policy development, institutional effectiveness and coordinating the governance system and the councils that are part of the system
- Six governance councils organized around specified work areas:
Student Affairs Council
The proposed governance system provides for greater involvement in the governance of the college for both the LCCEA and the Faculty Council. LCCEA will continue to represent the faculty as a whole, with seats on the College Council, governance councils, and appropriate standing committees and taskforces. The Faculty Council will appoint its representatives to appropriate councils, committees, and taskforces. The division of faculty slots on governance councils will be decided by LCCEA and Faculty Council.
C. Responsibilities of Councils
There are written charters for each of the councils. These charters define the purpose, scope of work, and membership of each council. Charters also contain a decision matrix that defines the roles of groups and individuals for the various tasks and decision process that will be used for each council.
Within the scope of their charters, governance councils are responsible for planning, policy and evaluating effectiveness. The councils will function at a strategic level. While stakeholders will be supported to participate in governance work, it is recognized that they cannot devote substantial parts of their work week to governance activities. Therefore, the nature of the governance work must be at a planning and policy level, not an operational or implementation level. Operations and implementation will continue to be the responsibility of managers and administrators.
Each council will develop appropriate methods for listening, dialogue, and communication with the college community prior to, during, and following its deliberative process. Each council will be responsible for coordinating with the other governance councils and the College Council.
Councils are also responsible for coordinating sub-committees that have charters within the councils' scope of work. Councils, in consultation with College Council, may charter sub-committees that are assigned a specific area of responsibility. There is also a provision for councils and/or management to charter a task force. A task force would be chartered when there is not an appropriate or available standing committee and the charter is such that the task force would disband at the end of its assignment. College Council is responsible for assigning work to councils and addressing overlaps among councils.
D. Responsibilities of Council Members
Council members are responsible for:
- Consulting with and reporting to their appointing bodies
- Communicating with, representing and bringing issues from their stakeholder group
- Working collaboratively with other council members, and other councils as appropriate, keeping in mind the best interests of the college as a whole
- Fully participating in council work
- Ensuring the council charter is followed
V. Roles and Responsibilities within the Governance System
The system clarifies the roles of faculty, classified staff, students, managers, administrators, the Executive Team and the board of education by implementing a structure that maximizes participation and the best thinking of all and placing authority at the appropriate level. It must be recognized that ultimately the board holds the president and the administration accountable and responsible for decisions made. Within this framework, the goal is to produce a process in which timely decisions and the reasons for them are guided by involvement and action from, and are transparent to, the rest of the community.
A. Board, President, and Executive Team
Role of the Board
The governance system recognizes the role and authority of the board as responsible to the public and for the general supervision and control of the college. The board is legally vested with final decision making authority in all matters of college policies, programs, facilities, budget and personnel. The board is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the college. The board's responsibility is to prescribe policies regarding the effective operation of the college. These policies will guide the president of the college, who is responsible for establishing effective operations to carry out such policies. The board delegates to the president the responsibility and authority to operate the college in compliance with policies and executive directions.
Role of the President
The governance system recognizes the role and authority of the president of the college as being directly accountable and responsible to the board of education for the educational leadership and effective management of the college's human, physical and fiscal resources. The president's role includes but is not limited to:
- Articulation of the vision, mission, core values, and learning principles for the college within which its educational objectives are developed and implemented.
- Formulation of strategic long- and short-range plans for the college
- Provision of leadership, direction and guidance to the administration of the college including holding administration accountable for completed work
- Responsibility for recommending a balanced budget and strategies that lead to fiscal stability to the board of education
- Representation of and primary spokesperson for the college to various external organizations
- Development and maintenance of a climate in the college conducive to productive learning and effective teaching
Role of the Executive Team
The Executive Team comprises the vice president(s); executive deans; chief officers for Human Resources, Diversity and Information Technology and Finance, director of Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning; Executive Assistant to the President and the president. The members of the team have individual accountability and responsibility for and to their assigned areas and are collectively accountable and responsible for viewing the college as a whole and making or recommending decisions that align the best interests of their units with the best interests of the college.
It is recognized that the role of the Executive Team as a body is to manage and direct college operations and to implement college plans, budgets and programs at the administrative level. Members of the Executive Team as individuals are accountable for particular branches of the college and as such are active participants in the governance system. It is further recognized that the realms of governance and administration and the roles of administrators as individuals and as members of the Executive Team may overlap. The governance system informs the actions of the Executive Team and the individuals who comprise the Executive Team.
The board and the president rely on the Executive Team as a body to provide expert advice that views the college as an entire system rather than individual disconnected parts.
In the administrative realm, the Executive Team is accountable and responsible for:
- Collaborating with governance councils to assure that information is timely shared with councils to inform decisions/recommendations
- Forwarding issues to governance councils according to their charters
- Sharing perspective and implications with councils prior to making decisions/recommendations
- Consulting with councils on policy and planning implementation issues
- Initiating major college wide issues in conjunction with the governance system
- Executing major initiatives of the college
- Implementing plans and policies
- Advising the president on matters relevant to their areas of responsibility
- Assisting the president in formulating final recommendations to the board of education
- Implementing operational systems and management
- Providing triage on day-to-day management
- Coordinating implementation of plans, projects and operations
B. Students, Classified Staff, Faculty, and Managers
The job description of individuals does not change under this governance system. Faculty's primary responsibility continues to be teaching and creating the learning environment, classified staff's primary responsibility is to support learning, and managers' primary responsibility is to support learning by organizing and implementing strategies to effectively use the resources of the college and advance the college.
Each of these groups, plus students, are recognized stakeholders and will be afforded opportunities to participate in the governance system. Processes will need to be developed to allow for and encourage such participation.
Role of Students
Students provide valuable insight and perspective to community needs and contribute to the college's collective wisdom. Students are in a unique position to speak to diversity by virtue of their varied constituency. As recipients of college services, they provide insight about the college's institutional effectiveness and quality. Incorporating students into the college's decision-making processes promotes greater involvement of students in the life of the college and prepares them for community stewardship. Recognizing these factors, the college governance system provides for active participation of student representatives.
Role of Classified Staff
The primary responsibility of classified staff is to support students, faculty, managers, and administrators in carrying out the vision, learning principles, mission, and core values of the college. Classified staff members participate in the governance system as stakeholders and because of their expertise in operational, instructional, and technical areas. Classified staff have extensive knowledge of student needs, college processes and procedures, as well as professional standards and practices. Classified staff members provide the college community with a unique perspective, insight, and sound judgment that will help guide the decisions made in the governance process.
Role of Faculty
College faculty have primary authority over several areas of the college, including strategies and methods of instruction and assessment; curriculum design; course and program requirements; faculty research; roles, expectations, and interactions among teachers and students; and academic elements of student life. The methods and processes for faculty and instructional department decision making at the level of the individual course and program are not the subject of college wide governance except insofar as regulated by college policy and external constraints such as state law and accreditation.
Role of Managers
Managers have accountability, authority and responsibility to work with faculty, classified staff and students to achieve the vision, mission, learning principles, strategic plan and goals of the college. Managers are active partners in college decisions and are charged with executing and implementing timely strategies that move the college forward.
VI. Council Operations
By Oregon statute, authority to govern Lane Community College is vested in the board of education. The board, in turn, delegates authority for the general supervision and control of the college to the college president. The president, to achieve the college ends, delegates authority to college administration and the college governance system, while retaining final authority over both.
The college governance system:
- Governs the strategic directions i.e. planning and assessment functions of the college
- Integrates the authority and expertise of management, faculty, classified staff, student and administration representatives, and, when appropriate, community members.
Each Council has a charter that outlines its purpose, scope, and membership, and a decision matrix that identifies its decision-making process and how the council's decisions/recommendations intersects with the college administrative structure.
A. Decision-making model
Councils will strive to reach consensus. In the event that consensus cannot be achieved within timelines identified for council decisions, councils will present majority and minority positions to the College Council or responsible administrator as identified in the council's decision matrix. Recipients of majority and minority positions will consider them, and either return the deliberations to the council with advice on resolving the issues, or, as called for in the governance system charters and decision matrices, resolve the issue and provide the rationale to the council.
Responsible administrators who intend to use the override provision should remand overridden decisions to councils for further work with full explanation of the rationale for the override when timelines allow. When remand is not feasible the responsible administrator will make the decision and provide the rationale to the council.
Responsible administrators not serving as members of a council, but with override authority for council work identified in the decision matrix, will communicate with the council about upcoming work early in the decision making process. Such communication should be direct, when feasible, and via other administration representatives serving on the council, when direction communication is not possible.
Council Members by Position may be considered by each governance council. Such positions will be "ex-officio" (literally by office) and will be ongoing council members. Ex-officio positions will have voting rights but may not veto council consensus.
The board, college president and responsible administrator, as appropriate, will establish a timeline for council decisions/recommendations as early as possible in the deliberation process, preferably at the outset. Timelines may not be arbitrary but should be based on the following factors:
- external deadlines (e.g. budget deadlines, accreditation visits, elections, scheduled events)
- internal deadlines (e.g. academic calendar)
- exigencies of a particular situation (e.g. staff turnover, conditions of an endowment)
Deadlines may be established such that failure to reach a consensus decision or majority and minority reports results in moving the decision to the College Council or the administrator with authority and accountability for that area of the college.
C. Decision-Making Protocol
Consensus is a goal of the governance councils and should be the primary decision style. Consensus may be expressed through unanimous agreement; it may be a modified consensus where members can live with a decision even though they may not be in full support. Majority and minority reports may be provided to the responsible administrator if consensus is not achieved.
In the event that agreement is not reached, the council may take one or more of the following steps:
- Study and further discuss the issues, bring in expertise, amend/redesign the proposal to achieve consensus.
- Table the decision with a report to the responsible administrator explaining the reason for postponement (postpone discussion).
- Reject the proposal and explain rationale.
- Seek advice from the College Council or external constituencies
- Publish the council's documents including minority and majority opinions (with analyses) for proposals that did not have full consensus. (Published documents are summative and are required to forward the council's decisions to the next governance level).
- Distribute the published document to administration, constituents and the College Council, as appropriate.
- If College Council is responsible, it will act on a non-consensus proposal by either choosing an opinion/alternative or returning the non-consensus proposal to the governance council (in which case it might not be implemented in the current planning/budgeting cycle).
- If an administrator is responsible, he or she may return the proposal to the council or make the decision. The decision and rationale should be communicated to the council.
- If all else fails, the administrator with authority and responsibility may make a final decision/recommendation and communicate it to the college community.
D. Council Structure
Members from the stakeholder groups (faculty, classified, students, and managers) serve at the pleasure of the stakeholder group which appointed them. While it is recognized as being generally desirable that members serve for a sufficient period of time as to acquire expertise in the issues facing the councils, both the independence of the stakeholder groups and the time constraints faced by members may impact on this issue. A two-year term of membership is a goal, but cannot reasonably be mandated.
It is the intention of the college to provide adequate support for full participation.
The governance council will have three defined member roles: a chair, a vice-chair*, and a liaison to the College Council. One of the officers or a designated council member shall serve as a liaison to College Council. The chair and vice-chair are full members of the council. Chairs shall be faculty, classified staff or students.
The chair is elected by the full council membership for a one-year term. Role of chair:
- Facilitates meetings
- Drafts agenda with vice chair and other council members
- Reviews notes and documents
- Calls meetings
- Assures the council works within its charter
- Facilitates appointment of members
- Assures effective communication to college community
The vice chair of the council is an administrator with authority and responsibility for that area (typically a member of ET) and is identified by the administration. Role of vice chair:
- Draft agenda with chair and other council members
- Facilitate the effectiveness of the council by assembling and preparing informational materials.
Chair and Vice Chair Roles
- Collaborate to ensure scope of work and work plan are accomplished
- Calls meetings and establishes location
- Chair facilitates meetings with aid from vice chair when needed
- Develop agenda, review and revise notes
- Work with College Council as necessary (details to be added later)
Minutes, notes, and other documents will be produced, distributed to council members and posted on the governance website.
Recognizing that experience in council process and business is a necessary element of leadership, the chair of each council shall have at least one year's prior service on that council. It is also recognized that this experience requirement, in conjunction with the participation issues noted above, may make it difficult for members of some stakeholder groups to chair councils, as they may consistently have difficulties acquiring the necessary experience. The success of the governance system will, therefore, require that these obstacles to full participation be eliminated.
VII. Councils and Other Entities
Other types of councils may continue to operate as forums of constituent groups, e.g. the Classified Council, but are not formally part of the governance system.
VIII. Support for participation
The college and the LCCEA and LCCEF will develop agreements regarding the governance system and the provision of reassignment time. Support will also be provided for students and managers to participate in the governance system. (Add links to MOA's)
IX. Council Calendar
Councils will conduct their work from September to June each year. Individual councils may decide to meet during July and August based on the needs of their work plans.
X. Assessing Effectiveness
College Council will develop an assessment process to be used by each council and for the governance system as a whole. Results of the assessment will be used to improve the governance system.
XI. Minutes Process
- Note taker established at first meeting of the academic year
- Minutes will list key subjects discussed, agreements reached, and actions taken
- Chair receives minutes prior to next meeting, revises if necessary, and forwards to vice chair for agreement
- 3 days before next meeting, chair e-mails notes to council members
- Next meeting agenda includes invitation to revise and/or approve the notes
- Chair posts approved notes to the web
XII. College Council Relations with Governance Councils
Post agenda and minutes to the governance webpage
- Forward formal recommendations to the College Council (chair)
- Report as requested to the College Council
- Request inclusion on College Council agenda as appropriate
- Seek counsel from governance coordinator or governance subcommittee as necessary on governance process questions
- Assign and clarify scope of council work
- Review council agenda and minutes
- Request council chairs and/or vice chairs attendance at College Council meeting
- Request council reports to College Council
- Ensure adherence to governance charters
Council Chairs and Vice Chairs:
- Meet at least once a term to coordinate the work of the councils
Reports from College Council Chair, Executive Team, Faculty Council, Management Senate, ASLCC, LCCEA, and LCCEF will be a standing College Council agenda item. (November 19, 2004)
XIII. Requests for Information
XIV. Consultation guidelines
Councils are charged with developing and evaluating college policies and plans; the administration is charged with their implementation. Administrators responsible for implementing council plans and policies will consult with councils before and during such implementation. Councils may request from the administrator consultative discussions and informal status reports that may influence implementation. Such discussion and reports may occur before and/or during implementation. Councils and administrators responsible for implementing council plans and policies should work collaboratively to ensure that meaningful consultation occurs on subjects that have significant impact on stakeholders and the college, while ensuring that plans and policies are implemented in a timely and efficient manner.
Implementation discussions will be introduced as consultative. After full discussion, non-binding advisory polls (thumbs-up/thumbs-sideways/thumbs-down) may be taken to inform the administrator of the council's positions. In the ideal situation, consensus on implementation will be reached at the council table. If this does not occur in a timely way, the administrator is responsible for finalizing the decision, which is not subject to the decision making protocols that exist in the governance system. However, the administrator should share the decision and the rationale with the uncil, before beginning to carry it out when feasible.
XV. Definitions of policy and procedure (Approved by College Council May 5, 2006)
Policy and Procedure Definitions
Policies are formal statements of principles or rules that members of Lane Community College are expected to follow.
Procedures tell members how to carry out or implement a policy. They are the normal methods for following policies
Comparison of Policies and Procedures
- Policies indicate the general course of action that should be taken in response to a particular event or situation. Procedures indicate the specific steps that should be taken in response to a particular event
- Policy is the "what" and the procedure is the "how to."
Council Relations to Policies and Procedures
- "Policy decisions that are the responsibility of governance councils are indicated by the scope section of the councils' charters and their decision matrices." (Governance Charter)
- College procedures may be reviewed by councils on a consultative basis, which may result in their modification.
Examples of Policies and Procedures
Policy: Classrooms: Food and Drink
Authority: Facilities Management and Planning
Contact: David Willis, (541) 463-5566
Food and drink are not allowed in any instructional spaces. Exceptions are:
- Classes that involve the use of food or drink for instructional purposes;
- College functions that include the serving or consumption of food or drink as part of the activity; and
- Documented disabilities
Policy: Consultants, Use of
Authority: College Operations
Contact: Brian Kelly, (541) 463-5310
As much as possible, managers and departments shall use the expertise of college employees before hiring a consultant or anyone on a personal services contract to do specialized work.
In general, departments may consider retaining a consultant only under the following conditions:
- There is no college employee who has the necessary expertise; and
- It is not practical to train current employees to do the work because
- the need is one-time or
- the need is urgent and there is not enough time to train employees or
- the cost of training or the time needed to train employees is prohibitive.
If there are employees who have the necessary skill, a consultant may be retained if those skilled employees are already working at capacity and cannot be reassigned to do the work needed.
Policy: Employment of Family Members
Authority: Human Resources
Contact: Dennis Carr, (541) 463-5313
No management employee (supervisor) may hire or supervise a member of their family.
For this purpose, the following definitions shall apply.
"Family" means the spouse or same sex domestic partner of the employee; any children of the employee; any children of the spouse or same sex domestic partner; brothers, sisters or parents of the employee; and brothers, sisters, parents of the spouse or same sex domestic partner.
"Supervisor" means any individual having authority in the interest of the college to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or responsibility to direct them, or adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend such action, if in connection therewith, the exercise of such authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature but requires the use of independent judgement (Oregon Revised Statutes 244).
Questions about these guidelines should be referred to a Human Resources representative.
Policy: Student Government
Authority: Student Life and Leadership Development
Contact: Barbara Delansky, (541) 463-5337
The college recognizes that the student government (Associated Students of Lane Community College) is an active and vital part of the campus community.
The student government shall be considered as the embodiment of student representation separate from the college administration. It shall be subject to conformance with board policies and administrative policies and procedures, and shall be a reflection of state and local government for the purpose of the educational experiences it provides.
See also Student Organizations Guidelines.
Policy: Student Records
Authority: Enrollment Services
Contact: Helen Garrett, (541) 463-5686
The college shall maintain student records procedures consistent with the requirements of state and federal law.
Student records procedures shall balance the college's legal responsibility with the use of student records to promote the growth and welfare of students within the mission of the college.
Student records shall be maintained for a period of time consistent with the standards established by the State of Oregon Archives Division.
Procedure: Exchange of Staff With Other Institutions
Department: Human Resources
Contact: Dennis Carr, (541) 463-5313
Staff exchanges for all instructional and non-instructional staff require the written preauthorization of the appropriate department administrator and the vice president. Final approval is contingent upon a review of the written exchange agreement by the director of Human Resources. The personnel director will be responsible for reviewing the exchange agreement for compliance with the appropriate contract and other legal guidelines.
Procedure: Flag Display
Department: Facilities Management and Planning
Contact: David Willis, (541) 463-5566
Facilities Management and Planning is responsible for displaying the national and state flags in accordance with state and federal flag laws. Observance of special occasions that require the flag to be flown at half mast will be at the direction of the president of the United States, the governor of the state of Oregon and the president of Lane Community College.
All requests for flags to be displayed or to be used for college functions are directed to Facilities Management and Planning.