B-5. Policy Development and Monitoring

B-5. Policy Development and Monitoring

Value Statements:

  • The Board of Trustees respects delineation of responsibilities for itself and for the president of the College.
  • The Board of Trustees will conscientiously develop policy to represent the best interests of the public and ensure that internal and external constituencies’ perspectives are considered.
  • Accountability for compliance with Board policy ensures that policy governance works to the benefit of the College and the multiple communities it is to serve.

The Board of Trustees has responsibility for formulating policy for the College. Accordingly:

[1]   Division of responsibility:

The governance activities of the College shall maintain a clear distinction between:

(a)    strategic, values-based policies, which are the responsibility of the Board of Trustees in coordination with the President,

(b)   administrative rules for employees to follow in implementing College policies, which are the responsibility of the President, and

(c)    specific tactical decisions made in operating the various sectors of the College, which are the responsibility of various operating units, structures, or positions designated by the President.

[2]   Policy development and review:

In accordance with the policy-governance model of Board operation, the Board itself will set its agenda for policy development and review, based on its analysis of the strategic needs of the College after internal and external consultation, including consideration of any areas of policy development or revision suggested by the President, employee associations, community, or students. The Board shall conduct a comprehensive review of its policies for relevance, clarity, and appropriateness every two years.  A policy requiring more immediate attention may be placed on any Board agenda by following the agenda development procedures in Policy B-4. Board of Trustees Bylaws.

The Board Secretary has primary responsibility for coordination of the policy-development activities of the Board, but the Board Chair shall act, with the assistance of the President, to ensure that the policy topics identified as important by the Board are scheduled for consideration, that employee associations are notified of policy-development activities in a timely manner, and that appropriate supporting information is provided. Policy-consideration procedures shall provide each trustee opportunities to include alternative provisions in the agenda materials, with preliminary selection by Board vote of which, if any, of the competing provisions will be used as the basis for final consideration and amendment.

[3]   Discussion of policy proposals:

Proposed policy changes shall be placed on the agenda for discussion at one or more Board meetings prior to that at which adoption is voted on. College legal counsel shall report on any significant legal implications of policy proposals. The President shall report on significant educational, operational, fiscal, or administrative implications of policy proposals, including feedback provided via internal shared-governance structures.

[4]   Monitoring Policy Compliance:

The Board Secretary shall oversee Board-level activity in monitoring compliance with Board policies and directives. This activity, which will complement but not replace the oversight responsibility of the College President, shall be done without reference to the personal opinion of the Secretary about the value or correctness of the policies, and shall not extend to any aspect of College operations that is not covered by a current Board policy or resolution.

Other trustees who have questions or concerns about non-compliance should direct them to the Secretary, who shall pursue them at his or her discretion and shall report to the Board on any aspects of college operations found, in his or her judgment, to be non-compliant. If the Secretary does not pursue an issue to the satisfaction of a trustee, the trustee may bring the question to the Board for a vote on whether or not it should be certified as an important monitoring issue. The Secretary shall give priority to and make reports on any issues that are thus identified by Board vote. Non-compliance reports by the Secretary are only advisory; authoritative Board directives to change college practices can come only from a public Board vote.

The President (or Board Chair, for Board activities) shall, for each non-compliance report from the Secretary, provide the Board either a compliance plan, a recommendation for policy modification, or an explanation of why the practice in question is seen as already being in compliance. If the Secretary thereafter states in writing that he or she continues to believe that the practice does not comply with Board policy, the question must be put on the Board agenda as soon as practicable for Board decision. If the Board finds that the practice is not in compliance, it will require the President (or Board Chair, for Board activities) to achieve compliance.

Each fall, the President shall provide the Board an annual schedule of policy-compliance reports.

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The Austin Community College Board of Trustees adopted this policy on June 7, 1993 and amended it on January 5, 1998, May 1, 2000, March 4, 2003, April 4, 2005, and October 5, 2015.