STANDARD IV.A. DECISION-MAKING ROLES AND PROCESSES
The leadership of Gavilan College creates ample opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to take initiative in improving practices, programs, and services in which they are involved. Systematic participative processes are used to assure effective planning and implementation.
As a part of the integrated planning process, each academic and support program annually outlines its objectives for the year and the activities needed to accomplish these objectives in a program plan (IV.A-1). Budget requests are completed within the program plan. This planning process allows each department to identify and plan areas for innovation and improvement with input from students, staff, administrators and faculty.
The program plan for the student life coordinator provides an additional example of how the planning process facilitates innovation. This plan includes several new approaches and activities, such as conducting research and development of training resources, in order to increase student participation in campus life (IV.A-3).
The implementation of Guided Pathways also serves as an example of cross-functional innovation. The initial effort grew out of a Learning Council FIG and the College’s Title V grant. Over a two-year period, a series of trainings and workshops were conducted (IV.A-4). A task force with broad representation, formed in collaboration with the Academic Senate, was established in Fall 2017. It conducted a college-wide assessment and five-year plan, and recommended changes through the shared governance structure in order to advance Guided Pathways. The task force made an effort to pull normally unheard voices into the planning process. Through this college-wide effort, a series of transformative organizational changes are in process (IV.A-5).
The President Council meets twice per month: representatives from the Academic Senate, classified professionals, Directors and Confidentials Council, administrators, and ASGC discuss and vote on college initiatives as recommendation items to the President and Board of Trustees (IV.A-6). The President also holds monthly "Presidential Forums" to which all students, faculty, staff, and administrators are invited to discuss any concerns, ideas, and issues related to the College (IV.A-7).
When ideas for improvement have policy or institutional impacts, the College’s shared governance system ensures discussion, and effective planning and implementation. Board Policy (IV.A-8) and Administrative Procedure 2510 (IV.A-9) detail how each constituency group (faculty, staff, students, and administrators) participates in the college decision-making process. The Gavilan College Organization and Governance Handbook illustrates how input from each constituency group shapes college decision-making with a diagram that shows the flow of new ideas as they move through the College’s shared governance process. The Handbook also details the structure/ roles of committees and their representation (IV.A-10).
The processes and organizational structures at the College provide opportunities for innovation and change. When proposals have potential for a broader impact, the shared governance process ensures more complete review and input across the College’s constituency groups. Events and opportunities for participation foster a climate where input and creativity is valued. Overall, the integrated planning process and annual program plans provide opportunities and a structure to support a college culture of innovation.
The institution establishes and implements policy and procedures authorizing administrator, faculty, and staff participation in decision-making processes. The policy makes provisions for student participation and consideration of student views in those matters in which students have a direct and reasonable interest. Policy specifies the manner in which individuals bring forward ideas and work together on appropriate policy, planning, and special-purpose committees.
Gavilan’s policies and procedures ensure broad participation of staff, faculty, and students in the governance and decision-making processes of the college. Board Policy 2510, Participation in Local Decision Making (IV.A-8) specifies that the following college constituency groups are required to be active participants in college decision-making:
● Academic Senate
Student participation in the decision-making process is also addressed by Board Policy 2105, which provides for student representative on the Board (IV.A-11), and in Board Policy/Administrative Procedure 2510 (IV.A-12), which identifies Associated Students of Gavilan College (ASGC) as the formal representatives of student input in shared governance policies. BP 2510 states that student input will be given reasonable consideration as a part of the college’s shared governance and decision-making processes (IV.A-8).
Administrative Procedure 2510 (IV.A-12) describes in detail the manner which in individuals bring forward ideas and work together on appropriate policy, planning, and special-purpose committees through the college’s shared governance structure. The role and purpose of the President’s Council and the participation of each of constituency group: classified professionals, administrators, faculty and students is clearly defined. This policy is being updated to reflect the change in name of the management group from the Administrative Council to the Leadership Council.
The Gavilan College Organization and Governance Handbook defines college policies, procedures, and practices regarding participatory governance (IV.A-10). The first section underscores the importance of shared governance on college planning and operations. The Handbook includes the college organizational structure, types of shared governance groups, and how constituent groups participate is this system.
The recent update of the Gavilan College Organization and Governance Handbook illustrates how shared governance operates. The 2018 update of this manual was initiated by Academic Senate representatives who had identified areas of the previous handbook that needed updating and further clarification (IV.A-13). A sub-committee was established with representatives from various constituency groups to further research shared governance and to refine the previous edition. The sub-committee developed a draft which was reviewed by academic senate and moved through the College’s shared governance process. The updated handbook was approved by the board in Spring 2018.
Integrated planning, in particular the program planning process (IV.A-14, IV.A-15), is another avenue for staff to bring forward ideas to support college improvement. The annual program plans inform the budget cycle and are used to inform and refine the college’s strategic plan.
Analysis and Evaluation of Standard IV.A.2
The College’s policies and procedures allow for classified professionals, faculty, and students to actively participate in college decision making. All constituency groups can bring forward ideas or proposals through the shared governance system at multiple points in the decision making process. The establishment of a Classified Professional Senate to further increase participation from classified professionals is now under discussion by that group.
Administrators and faculty, through policy and procedures, have a substantive and clearly defined role in institutional governance and exercise a substantial voice in institutional policies, planning, and budget that relate to their areas of responsibility and expertise.
The administrators and faculty of Gavilan College have clearly defined roles and influence upon institutional policies, planning and budget. These roles are detailed in AP 2510 (IV.A-12). Additionally, the Gavilan College Organization and Governance Handbook outlines the overall institutional governance process and structure (IV.A-10). The annual planning and budget process also incorporates faculty and administrative input (IV.A-16).
The main governance body for faculty is the Academic Senate, which makes recommendations to college administration and the Board of Trustees on academic and professional matters. These areas are spelled out in the 10 + 1 list (IV.A-8, IV.A-12).
The main deliberative body for Gavilan College management is the Leadership Council, which reviews educational matters and policies and procedures as they relate to the mission and goals of the institution. The Leadership Council includes administrators, directors, and managers. Directors also participate, along with the confidential employees and classified supervisors, in the Directors and Confidentials Council, and bring to that group information and updates from the Leadership Council. Both Administrators and representatives from the Directors and Confidentials Council participate in Shared Governance (IV.A-17).
The Leadership Council was created in 2016. A review and update of Administrative Procedure 2510 is now in progress to include a description of this body and its relationship to the Administrative Council and Directors and Confidentials Council.
Classified Professional Staff representatives participate in shared governance and college decision making, representing the classified professional viewpoint on all matters excluding collective bargaining and contract negotiations.
Board and Administrative Policies updates are provided by the Community College League of California, sometimes developed locally, and then modified with staff, faculty, and administrative input. The revised proposals are moved through the shared governance process. Once approved through college shared governance, the policies move forward to the Board Policy Subcommittee. Throughout this process, faculty and administrators have multiple opportunities, individually and through their representatives, to provide input (IV.A-12, IV.A-14).
An example of input into policy development can be observed in the refinement of the administrative procedure on grants. Academic Senate representatives provided input on the need for more centralized and systematic grant seeking policy. A subcommittee was established to further develop criteria and forms related to the grant seeking process. The policy, once approved through shared governance and approved by the Board, was incorporated into Administrative Procedure 3280 (IV.A-18, IV.A-19).
Faculty, staff, and administrators develop annual program plans for their departments. Each plan is reviewed and rated each year by the administrator in charge of the program and then the vice president in charge the area (IV.A-1). Each department also conducts cyclical program reviews that inform the institutional strategic plan. Updates to the college’s master plans are conducted through representative task forces which seek input from the college community. For example, the Spring 2017 update to the Educational Master Plan was informed by focus group discussions with faculty and other groups on campus (IV.A-20). Each plan, once completed, is reviewed through the shared governance process.
The District’s budget committee (IV.A-21) includes representation from all groups. The Budget Committee advises the President's Council on financial issues affecting the District. The committee disseminates information regarding budget issues to college constituency groups, enabling faculty and administrators to be informed and provide input via their representatives. Budget requests are built into each annual program plan and rated by administrators and the Budget Committee.
For example, the Biology 17/18 program plan (IV.A-1) included a request was submitted to hire additional laboratory technicians. This request was rated by the supervising Dean and Vice President and submitted to the Budget Committee. The Budget Committee gave its highest ranking to the request, and lab technician hours were added as soon as funding became available. This example illustrates the college’s policies and procedures for planning and budget input by faculty and administrators.
Gavilan College meets Standard IV.A.3. Well-defined policies coupled with functioning standing committees provide pathways for input, and wide representation on these committees ensures that all constituencies have a voice in policies, planning, and budget.
Faculty and academic administrators, through policy and procedures, and through well-defined structures, have responsibility for recommendations about curriculum and student learning programs and services
Gavilan College Board Policy ensures that faculty and academic administrators provide input into developing instructional policies and procedures (IV.A-8). AP 2510 describes the process and constituencies involved in providing input and recommendations on curriculum and student learning programs (IV.A-12).
The Board relies primarily upon the advice and judgment of Academic Senate for the “10+1” academic and professional matters over which faculty have primacy:
- Curriculum, including establishing prerequisites and placing courses within disciplines.
- Degree and certificate requirements.
- Grading policies.
- Educational program development.
- Standards or policies regarding student preparation and success.
- District and college governance structures, as related to faculty roles.
- Policies for faculty professional development activities.
- Processes for program review.
- Process for institutional planning and budget development.
- Faculty roles and involvement in accreditation process, including self-study and annual reports.
- Other academic and professional matters as mutually agreed upon between the governing Board and the Academic Senate.
Additional shared governance bodies that provide input into student learning programs and services include operational committees such as Student Service Council, Learning Council, Leadership Council, Department Chairs, Associated Students of Gavilan College, and Academic Support Services. These groups have a strong focus on the implementation of Board Policies and Administrative Procedures, and any 10+1 processes approved by the Academic Senate, department chair duties, scheduling classes, planning Convocation and Professional Learning Days, continuous improvement processes, and accreditation standards (IV.A-10).
Gavilan College’s Curriculum Committee is a subcommittee of Academic Senate. The committee is charged with overseeing curriculum to sustain quality instruction and standards. The Curriculum Committee oversees all phases of the curriculum development, modifications and updates. Additionally, the committee has authority over transfer and general education patterns that align with CSU and UC mandates along with non-transfer general education patterns. The review of the curricula by the committee may result in a recommendation for curricular additions, deletions or modifications by the Senate. The voting membership of the committee consists of:
1. Academic Senate Representative (Chair);
2. Department Chairs (a department chair may designate a representative from his/her department);
3. Vice President of Academic Affairs;
4. Dean of Career Education;
5. Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences;
6. Student Representative;
7. Articulation Officer;
8. Director of Admissions and Records (ex officio) (IV.A-22)
Through Board and Administrative Policies and the Organization and Governance Handbook, the College sets clear and well-defined policies and processes that clarify the methods and areas of responsibility for input regarding curriculum and student learning programs and services. The Curriculum Committee, a sub-committee of the Academic Senate, is the governance body most integral to the College’s educational programs and instructional services.
Through its system of board and institutional governance, the institution ensures the appropriate consideration of relevant perspectives; decision-making aligned with expertise and responsibility; and timely action on institutional plans, policies, curricular change, and other key considerations.
Board Policy BP 2510 (IV.A-8) ensures that the decision making process includes the appropriate consideration of the perspectives and expertise of students, classified professionals, and faculty. The Academic Senate provides consultation in respect to academic and professional matters, as defined by Title V 532000-53206. Classified professionals are provided with opportunities to participate in the development of District procedures and policies by participation on standing and interim committees. Pursuant to Title 5, Section 51023.7, students are represented by the Associated Students of Gavilan College and are given an opportunity to participate effectively in the formulation and development of procedures in policies.
There are four concurrent processes that function within the College.
- The participatory governance process which develops, recommends and reviews procedures and priorities of the college
- The academic participatory governance process which provides faculty recommendations to the Superintendent/President respective of academic and professional matters.
- The program planning, budget and progress review and assessment process which defines how the college gains inputs into the development of its direction.
- The administrative and operational process which deals with the day to day function of college within established policies and procedures.
Institutional plans are developed and approved through a participatory governance process. For example, the writing of the college’s Educational Master Plan included all stakeholders in the planning process (IV.A-20). The Educational Master Plan Steering Committee consisted of faculty, classified professionals, and students. In addition, many groups and individuals reviewed the plan and feedback was solicited from Members of the Board of Trustees, district administrators, division deans and directors, department chairpersons, Faculty, Student services staff, Facilities and maintenance staff and students.
The College has a regular cycle for updating its institutional plans. The Educational Master plan and Facilities Master Plan were both updated in the 17/18 academic year. Board policies are reviewed as needed through recommendations from shared governance and the Board sub-committee on policies. Program Planning is conducted on a yearly cycle. Curriculum is updated on a regular cycle and reviewed by the curriculum committee. Furthermore, the Institutional Effectiveness Committee/Program Integrated Planning and Review Committee review programs on a regular cycle. Gavilan College’s grants, which include a STEM grant, Title V grant, and several education block grants, have plans that impact the institution that includes plans delineating the timely completion of objectives for each grant (IV.A-24). Leadership ensures that work is completed by project deadline, academic year function, or external demand.
The college has a defined cycle for planning, assessment and implementation with a proposed timeline that will be taken through shared governance for approval in Spring 2019:
FIGURE 45: Proposed timeline - Integrated Planning Cycles
Budget cycle - annual (IV.A-23)
Planning cycle – 3 year cycle
Master Plans - every 6 years
Strategic Plan - 3 year plan updated annually
Program Plans - annual
Program Review - 3-4 year cycle
Curriculum cycle - 5 year cycle
SLO assessment – 3-5 year cycle
Analysis and Evaluation of Standard IV.A.5
Gavilan College meets Standard IV.A.5. Through a well-defined participatory governance process, cyclical program planning, budget and progress review, and established policies and procedures for administrative and operational processes, the College ensures that it includes relevant perspectives, that decision-making is appropriately executed, and that tasks are completed in a timely manner.
The process for decision making and resulting decisions is documented in Administrative Policy 2510 (IV.A-12) and Board Policy 2510 (IV.A-8). The policies define the district wide decision making and participatory decision making process. In addition, AP 2510 requires communication across the institution. The Board and Administrative procedures and policies are available on the college’s website. Minutes of the Board of Trustees’ meetings documenting decisions are available on the governing board’s website using BoardDocs, with plans to have all of the shared governance committees included within BoardDocs over the next year.
In addition, the College’s AP 3050 Institutional Code of Ethics, also known as the Principles of Community, articulates clearly the need to communicate across the campus community (IV.A-25). One of four key values is inclusivity to ensure that all voices are heard and there is a free exchange of ideas (IV.A-26).
The process for decision making is clearly outlined in Gavilan College’s Gavilan College Organization and Governance Handbook, which is available on the college website (IV.A-27). The Handbook delineates the decision-making process and the authority of each constituency group. The Handbook also documents appropriate standards that each shared governance group must maintain in regard to operational procedures, such as appointments to committees, quorums, meeting processes, responsibilities of constituent representatives, duties of the chairs/co-chairs, duties of the members, and staff resources. Furthermore, the Gavilan College Organization and Governance Handbook outlines the laws, policies, driving principles and organizational structures that are critical for a clear decision-making process.
In order to establish campus wide communication decision making and the resulting decisions, shared governance groups are required by the Gavilan College Organization and Governance Handbook to adhere to the following operational procedures (IV.A-10):
● Participatory governance committees will establish and publish an agenda for each meeting in a timely manner by using the Brown Act as a goal.
● Agendas for all standing committee and council meetings will be posted on their respective webpages upon approval.
● Representatives of constituent groups involved in the participatory governance process are responsible for keeping their respective groups informed of the proceedings and recommendations of governance committees.
Committees and task forces post minutes on the Gavilan College intranet (IV.A-28). Committee, subcommittee, ad hoc and task force chairs regularly remind members to solicit input from their constituents and to disseminate content and decisions to the groups they represent. Regular reporting can be observed in such committees as the Academic Senate, Departments, Student Services, President’s Council and Board of Trustees’ meetings, and reports back from such groups as Senate, Department Chairs, Curriculum Committee, and GCFA are regular items on department agendas (IV.A-29, IV.A-30).
One goal of the Communication Focused Inquiry Group of the Learning Council has been improved internal communication, resulting in activities such as improved access to meeting minutes and remote participation in shared governance (IV.A-6). These efforts culminated in the acquisition and implementation of BoardDocs (IV.A-31).
Analysis and Evaluation Standard IV.A.6
The methods of communication are outlined in policies, procedures, and college guidance documents, and practices such as minute posting, standing reports, and other college-wide communication strategies ensure that the campus community has access to all decision-making information.
Leadership roles and the institution’s governance and decision-making policies, procedures, and processes are regularly evaluated to assure their integrity and effectiveness. The institution widely communicates the results of these evaluations and uses them as the basis for improvement.
BP 2410 (IV.A-32) outlines how the Board may adopt and review policies. The Board can adopt policies that are authorized by law or determine what is necessary for effective operations of the district. The policies of the Board can be adopted, revised, added to or amended at any regular board meeting by a majority vote. Administrative procedures will be issued by the President of the College as methods of implementing the Board Policy. The administrative processes are consistent with the board policies. Administrative Policy 2410 (IV.A-33) outlines how Board and Administrative procedures are reviewed. The process for procedural review includes updates from the Community College League of California (CCLC). The CCLC provides information, templates and updates that are legally required, advised or good practice. Additional input regarding procedural changes from those individuals that the policy may affect is part of the update process.
Gavilan College has begun to develop a Governance Review Subcommittee of the President’s Council. The Subcommittee will ensure the integrity and effectiveness of Gavilan Colleges Shared Governance by:
● Conducting periodic Shared Governance committee and council evaluations.
● Recommending shared governance changes and revisions based on recommendations of committees and/or constituencies.
● Monitoring Shared Governance committee are charges
● Ensuring processes are transparent and open
● Adhering to operational guidelines as presented in the Gavilan College Organization and Governance Handbook
● Supporting committees to be accountable for meeting their charges
● Ensuring committees are reflective of Gavilan College’s Educational Master Plan, Strategic Plan, and Mission (Gavilan College Organization and Governance Handbook)
The RPIE Office conducted a survey in Spring 2018 to evaluate the Institution’s governance and decision-making policies, procedures, and processes to assure their integrity and effectiveness (IV.A-34). 122 employees and 335 students responded to the survey, and results indicated general satisfaction with the shared governance process, with broad majorities indicating that participation opportunities exist and are meaningfully utilized and that meaningful dialog about student learning and institutional process improvement occur on an ongoing basis. Planning and program review processes and products were held to be widely communicated and clearly connected to the college mission.
Analysis and Evaluation Standard IV A.7
The new processes defined in the updated Gavilan College Organization and Governance Handbook are in the implementation stage. The new Governance Review Subcommittee had its first meeting in Fall 2018 and it may take a few cycles of practice for this body to become fully enmeshed in the college culture.
The processes and organizational structures at the College provide opportunities for innovation and change. When proposals have potential for a broader impact, the shared governance process ensures more complete review and input across the College’s constituency groups. Events and opportunities for participation foster a climate where input and creativity is valued. The integrated planning process and annual program plans provide opportunities and a structure to support a college culture of innovation.
The College’s policies and procedures allow for classified professionals, faculty, and students to actively participate in college decision making. All constituency groups can bring forward ideas or proposals through the shared governance system at multiple points in the decision making process. Well-defined policies coupled with functioning standing committees provide pathways for input, and wide representation on these committees ensures that all constituencies have a voice in policies, planning, and budget.
Through Board Policies and Administrative Procedures and the Organization and Governance Handbook, the College sets clear and well-defined policies and processes that clarify the methods and areas of responsibility for input regarding curriculum and student learning programs and services. The Curriculum Committee, a sub-committee of the Academic Senate, is the governance body most integral to the College’s educational programs and instructional services.
Through a well-defined participatory governance process, cyclical program planning, budget and progress review, and established policies and procedures for administrative and operational processes, the College ensures that it includes relevant perspectives, that decision-making is appropriately executed, and that tasks are completed in a timely manner.
The methods of communication are outlined in policies, procedures, and college guidance documents, and practices such as minute posting, standing reports, and other college-wide communication strategies ensure that the campus community has access to all decision-making information.
- Implement Guided Pathways
- Governance Manual and Processes: Implement new Shared Governance Manual changes and establish and implement the new Governance Review Subcommittee so it is fully enmeshed in the college culture
- Update Administrative Procedure 2510 to reflect change from the Administrative Council to the Leadership Council
- Classified Senate: Study the establishment of a Classified Professional Senate to further increase participation from classified professionals is now under discussion by that group.
- BoardDocs: Include all of the shared governance committees within BoardDocs over the next year
- Integrated Planning: Redesign and fully develop the Integrated Planning Committee
- Establish Planning Cycles: Take the proposed timeline for planning, assessment and implementation through shared governance for approval.