The vision of the college leadership is recognized as the means for achieving the College’s mission and should guide the decision-making processes of the governance system. The College’s Strategic Plan should be the primary expression of this vision. Embracing the strategic plan as a part of our governance process should set the agenda for the institution and guide the work of its committees, divisions, departments, and individuals.
Mutual trust between all college constituents is essential for meaningful and motivated participation in governance. Trust in a governance structure requires good faith, honesty, fairness, openness to diverse viewpoints, and a respect for people’s work and dedication to the college. Embedded in the concept of trust is the need for healthy relationships where all parties consider the value of each other’s contributions and acknowledge bonds of mutual obligations in advancing the college’s mission.
A sense of empowerment for all constituents of the College is essential to a functional system of governance. Empowerment is attained by respecting and supporting the autonomy and authority appropriate to both individual and collective roles within the college. All constituents should be guaranteed opportunities to make and influence decisions, especially on issues that impact them and where they have particular concerns, experience, expertise, or relevant information. Further, the governance system should guarantee that the opinions and concerns of constituents will be heard and responded to in a timely manner. Decision-makers should have ready access to information that may aid in the decision-making process, empowering them to make informed decisions.
An institutional culture and infrastructure that promotes communication is essential to effective governance. A college-wide commitment to communication provides open channels for input and feedback throughout the decision-making process. By incorporating the collective wisdom and strength of those with experience, expertise, relevant information and those impacted by the decisions, we can ensure that all appropriate internal and external constituents are able to participate in and influence the development and direction of the College. By utilizing technology and setting up routines for information sharing, we can ensure that information is communicated quickly and effectively. In order to allow time for full participation, information must be sought and disseminated at the earliest possible moment.
Clear lines of accountability and responsibility are essential to an effective system of governance. It is important for all involved in governance to know who is responsible for what and to understand precisely where authority resides, whether it be with an individual, a team, a committee, or a division. It is equally important that we are accountable to our constituents and consider the impact of actions and decisions wherever possible. It is recognized that the President has ultimate accountability for all decisions made by the College.