Voluntary Excellence Guidelines
These excellence guidelines have been voluntarily ascribed to by the Board of Trustees and are subject to change as desired by the Board. These guidelines apply to the Board of Trustees only, and do not create a right to any other party. They are a guide to Board performance and are not legally binding except as other wise prescribed by Michigan or federal law. These guidelines do not create new legal obligations for the Board of Trustees or its individual members. These guidelines establish a norm, a standard, for Board performance and the Board may consider exceptions as they feel appropriate.
Guidelines for Board Excellence at WCC
- To provide a general guide for policy making.
- To orient new Board members.
- To enhance Board excellence as an integral part of institutional excellence efforts.
Relations with Political, Community and Business Leaders
One of the important roles Board members play is to build support for the College among political, business, and community leaders. The cultivation of these relationships should not be turned toward personal gain or the sponsorship of the interests of a particular individual or group in Board discussion.
In their contacts with legislators and public officials, Board members must articulate the priorities of the College in a manner consistent with Board policies and administrative procedures for implementing those policies. Board members should not pursue College matters with legislators or public officials except as part of a planned approach by the Board in cooperation with the president.
Relationship with the Press
Generally, the Board chair and the president will be the spokespersons to the press.
Board members have a right to expect that the president will:
- Treat all Board members equally.
- Assure that there will be no surprises.
- Keep the Board informed on new developments and emerging problems.
- Support Board decisions.
- Recognize the achievements and contributions of Board members.
- Represent individual Board members in a positive and supportive way to the public.
- Give candid assessments of Board functioning.
- Maintain neutrality in Board elections.
The president has a right to expect that the Board will:
- Be sympathetic and understanding of the difficulty and complexity of carrying out presidential leadership responsibilities amid sometimes conflicting expectations of students, faculty, staff and general public.
- Once a Board action is taken, regardless of the number of yes and no votes, support the president in implementing the action.
- Seek his/her advice and counsel regarding matters of policy before making a final decision.
- Give him/her full confidence and support realizing that the chief executive needs this assistance if he/she is to perform with maximum effectiveness.
- Expect its chair to work closely with the president to promote and facilitate the best possible communication and cooperation between the Board and the President.
- Inform the president immediately of any questions or concerns about the college or district so that appropriate follow-up actions may be taken.
- Help assure the orderly operation of the college by insisting that employees make use of established staff-administrative communication channels.
- Require that the interests and welfare of the entire district be considered before those of any special interest group.
- Assist him/her by supporting fully all Board decisions once they have been made.
Relationship to College Staff
The Board shall act on the appointment of staff members but shall not be involved in the selection process. Exceptions are that the Board has full responsibility for the selection and appointment of the president and may participate in interviews at the vice presidential level. For positions other than president, the Board oversees the policy by which people are employed and ensures that the policy is followed without becoming an advocate for any applicant. Board members shall not be considered for staff positions until they are off the Board.
Staff complaints shall be referred to the president for resolution. To ensure fairness within the organization, Board members should not normally be involved in the resolution of staff complaints, but may request information on the resolution of the complaint. Board members must avoid investigating complaints on their own or becoming advocates for individual staff members or staff groups.
Board of Trustees Evaluations
The Board of Trustees may conduct periodic self-evaluations. The purpose of a Board evaluation program is to promote personal assessment and reflection by individual Board members and discussion among Board members. The initiation of the process is the responsibility of the Board chair with assistance from the president as requested.
Adopted: January 26, 1988
Revised: January 27, 2004