STANDARD IV.C. GOVERNING BOARD
The Gavilan Joint Community College District Board of Trustees is an independent policy-making body that receives its authority from the State of California Education Code (IV.C-1) and has the responsibility for establishing and maintaining academic standards, approving curriculum, and controlling the budgets of the district (IV.C-2). It maintains authority over and responsibility for policies.
The Board of Trustees has adopted and maintains a comprehensive policy manual that outlines its role in establishing academic quality, integrity, effectiveness of student learning programs and services, and financial stability to ensure that the mission of Gavilan College effectively serves the students within its communities. For example, BP 2715 (IV.C-3) states "Members of the Governing Board...understand that the Board's function is to provide leadership to the District through its review and evaluation of programs, planning, the development of policy, and maintaining the fiscal integrity of the District." The statement, "The Board functions as the policy-makers for the college through a very thorough study and discussion of recommendation." was included in the Board's November 2017 self-evaluation survey (IV.C-4).
Gavilan College maintains the currency of the board policies through a contract with the Community College League of California (CCLC). The CCLC, in partnership with Liebert, Cassidy, Whitmore, a California law corporation, provide two legal updates a year which are a result of changing laws, regulations, and legal cases. When it is recommended that the Board adopt or modify a policy or procedure, the item is brought to the responsible division or department. For example, CCLC recommended changes to BP 5040, Student Records and Directory Information (IV.C-5). The Student Services Division reviewed the changes within its area and sent a draft to Academic Senate. After Academic Senate completed its review, the draft was forwarded to President's Council for approval with a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees’ Policy Committee reviews proposed changes prior to approval by the full Board (IV.C-6). The internal review process takes several months as review and approval is sought from participatory groups prior to submittal to the Board of Trustees’ Policy Committee (IV.C-7, IV.C-8, IV.C-9).
The Board takes seriously its authority and responsibility to receive and provide consultation with administration and the Academic Senate on academic matters as it relates to educational program development and student learning. The Board reviews and approves all curriculum and program changes. For example, the District prepared and submitted the “ACCJC Substantive Change Proposal, Aviation Maintenance Technology Program” on October 11, 2016 and the “Substantive Change Proposal, Change of Location, Coyote Valley Center, on November 8, 2016 (IV.C-10, IV.C-11). The Board was engaged in the various stages of preparation of documents, in particular the scope of the program changes (IV.C-12; IV.C-13).
Gavilan College’s Strategic Planning cycle starts and ends with the Board of Trustees’ commitment to academic quality and effective student learning programs and services. The Board of Trustees develops its annual goals that become part of the Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan states the Board of Trustees and College’s priorities for funding in each year which are integral in determining which program plan requests should be funded and when. Gavilan College has been using a five-year Strategic Plan that is updated annually by adding a year in the future and dropping the year that just passed, and is in the process of changing this to a three-year plan. The method allows Gavilan College to maintain a constant planning horizon using the current year for setting priorities for that time span.
The Board follows the California Code of Regulations by adopting a tentative budget on or before July 1 and an adopted budget no later than September 15 of each year. Gavilan’s Board of Trustees work diligently with administration to adhere to policies and procedures such as BP 6200 and AP 6200, Budget Preparation, to ensure fiscal stability for the College (IV.C-14, IV.C-15). The Board of Trustees has established additional policies to maintain fiscal stability for the District, such as BP 6250, Budget Management (IV.C-16), which identifies controls for budget transfers and reserves and BP 6300 (IV.C-17), which identifies internal controls and reporting.
As a special Committee of the Board, a Budget meeting is held annually in the fall to inform the Board of Trustees on the State’s adopted budget, local funding and any related changes to Gavilan’s tentative budget, and apportionment and enrollment management. Updates on the fiscal stability of the institution are included in the College administrator reports at monthly board meetings (IV.C-18, IV.C-19).
Analysis and Evaluation Standard IV.C.1
Board authority follows the California Education Code and is further defined in Board Policies. Board processes further safeguard the effectiveness of the Board in assuring the academic quality of student learning program and services. The Board reviews all curriculum, guides and reviews planning documents, and ensures that budget processes are timely with proper controls in place.
Gavilan’s Board of Trustees pledges in its Code of Ethics statement to “work together in a spirit of harmony and cooperation” and declares that once a decision is made by the Board, the Board will speak “with one voice.” Finally, the code states that Board members should not “criticize or work against board decisions.” (IV.C-3).
The Board demonstrated unity and support of decisions during discussion of District boundary shifts from at large elections to trustee area elections. While as individuals the Board members had unique opinions, once a joint decision was reached, the proposed redistricting was approved unanimously by the Board (IV.C-20).
Gavilan’s seven Board members feel they work in a collegial manner At the December 10, 2017, Board meeting, outgoing Board President Laura Perry said “Gavilan’s board has respect for each other, the administration, faculty, staff and students.” She added that everyone may not always agree but will rise above disagreements to work together as a team (IV.C-21).
A procedure for sanctioning members who violate the code of ethics is included in BP 2715, Code of Ethics/Standards of Practice (IV.C-3). The procedures outline how to identify, report, and review potential violations.
In the case of a Superintendent/President (CEO) vacancy, Board Policy 2431 requires “a fair and open” process to fill the position. The most recent District Superintendent/President search, which concluded in 2016, reflects the Board’s adherence to its defined process (IV.C-22). The process included the setting of a timeline, the hiring of a search firm, the establishment of a search committee, a screening and interviewing process, campus forums, and final selection of a candidate. The composition of the search committee, announced by Board on February 9, 2016, illustrates the Board’s commitment to establishing a fair and open process, providing opportunities for public input, and involving key stakeholders (IV.C-23). The seventeen member committee included representatives of the Board, administration, faculty, classified staff, students, and local communities (IV.C-24).
The process for the evaluation of the chief executive is defined in the Superintendent/President’s contract (IV.C-25) with the governing board and is outlined in detail in BP 2435 (IV.C-26), Evaluation of the President of the College. The governing body follows this policy by conducting a formal evaluation process each year involving the trustees and the Superintendent/President. BP 2435 also provides details for a biannual review in which members of the Board of Trustees conduct interviews with college employees in key leadership positions, such as Academic Senate President and the president of California School Employees Association, as part of the evaluation process.
The Board has established an Evaluation of the College President Committee which meets annually to review the evaluation process and establish a timeline that will allow completion of the process in May (IV.C-27). Per BP 2435, mentioned in the paragraph above (IV.C-26), the full Board of Trustees meet with the College President to discuss the final review in closed session at a special meeting of the Board of Trustees (IV.C-28, IV.C-29).
The governing board is an independent, policy-making body that reflects the public interest in the institution’s educational quality. It advocates for and defends the institution and protects it from undue influence or political pressure.
The Board of Trustees for Gavilan Joint Community College District is structured so as to maintain independence. The Board is comprised of seven members elected by trustee areas. Based on the newly established districts, the Trustees are elected to office for a four-year term with terms staggered (IV.C-30). The student trustee is elected annually by majority vote of the student body (IV.C-31, IV.C-32).
Board Policy 2200 (IV.C-2) acknowledges the Board’s commitment to “represent the public interest” in its leadership role. The following policies and associated procedures have been adopted to help guide the Board in its representation of the communities it serves:
● BP 2340: Agendas. “An agenda shall be posted adjacent to the place of meeting at least 72 hours prior to the meeting time for regular meetings. The agenda shall include a brief description of each item of business to be transacted or discussed at the meeting.” (IV.C-33)
● BP 2345: Public Participation. “The Board shall provide opportunities for members of the general public to participate in the business of the Board.” (IV.C-34)
● BP 2710, BP 2715, and BP2716: These adopted policies and procedures ensure that board members may not be financially interested in any contract made by the Board of Trustees, and must maintain high standards of ethical conduct, which includes exercising authority only as a whole (IV.C-35, IV.C-3, IV.C-36). In addition, “Members of the Board shall not use District funds, services, supplies or equipment to urge the passage or defeat of any ballot measure or candidate, including, but not limited to, any candidate for election to the Governing Board.”
Gavilan trustees work in various ways to advocate for the district both locally and beyond. Gavilan College Joint Community College District is a member of the Community College League of California (CCLC) whose mission includes the strengthening of California’s community colleges through advocacy. Gavilan’s governing board also maintains a membership with the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), an organization that promotes “high quality and affordable higher education” and is a resource for information and training for trustees.
Locally, a trustee in partnership with the Superintendent/President chairs the District’s Latino Advisory Committee (LAC). This is an advisory committee to the Superintendent/President “on matters pertaining to the achievement of Latina/o students’ educational or career goals.” (IV.C-34). The LAC provides the Superintendent/President and trustees an important opportunity to inform the Latino community about the district’s services and outreach (IV.C-38).
The Board has a long history of actively engaging in outreach with the local communities. (IV.C-39). For example, Board members participate in local rotary organizations and serve on local advisory boards. Members attend local events in order to represent the College, such as the President’s Coffee and Conversations.
Board Policy 2200 (IV.C-2) lists the duties and responsibilities of the Board and specifically notes the need for each Board member to “advocate and protect” the District. For example, some years ago an additional campus site was selected and purchased by the District. Some members of the community continued to advocate for an alternative location. Board members participated in meetings exploring these alternative locations, but after consideration of the costs and limitations of these proposals, made a decision that was not influenced by public pressure (IV.C-40, IV.C-41).
The structure of the Board allows for even representation from all geographic areas in the District, and Board Policies guide the Board in effective board practices. Board members participate in local organizations and events but remain united to guard against undue external influence.
The governing board establishes policies consistent with the college/district/system mission to ensure the quality, integrity, and improvement of student learning programs and services and the resources necessary to support them. The governing board has ultimate responsibility for educational quality, legal matters, and financial integrity and stability.
The Gavilan College Board of Trustees' policies and procedures, annual board goals, and strategic plan all describe the Board’s expectations for quality instruction that are consistent with the mission of the College. Board Policy 2200 (IV.C-2) defines the board’s role in ensuring the quality, integrity, and improvement of student learning programs and the resources necessary to support them. Policies and procedures set the academic calendar (IV.C-42, IV.C-43), course and program development (IV.C-44, IV.C-45), and philosophy and criteria for Associate Degree and General Education. Policies also cover the support programs such as Financial Aid (IV.C-46), Library and Learning support services (IV.C-47), the Transfer Center (IV.C-48), Accessible Education Center (IV.C-49), and Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (IV.C-50).
The Board exercises this authority by reviewing and approving curriculum and other academic items (IV.C-27). As an example of the Board’s due diligence, in April 2017, a curriculum change was submitted changing English 1A from 3 units to 4 units (IV.C-51).The trustees asked many questions, had a lengthy discussion with opposing opinions, and voted to remove English1A from the curriculum approval. In an effort to better understand the curriculum change, the trustees requested a department presentation on the research results, impact on students, benefits, and any downfalls in the curriculum change. This ultimately concluded with Board approval of English 1A and demonstrated the Board’s dedication to procedures to ensure academic quality (IV.C-51).
In 2011, the Board established a student success policy that was, at that time, unique to community colleges (IV.C-52). Closely linked to the college Mission and Strategic Plan, the policy codified the Board’s commitment to student success and to the District’s approach to improvement of student instruction, support, and completion.
The governing board has ultimate authority for all legal matters (IV.C-53). The president and staff are responsible for informing and updating the Board on ongoing and potential legal matters. The Board frequently confers with legal counsel in closed session on such matters (IV.C-54).
Board policies related to fiscal management, preparation of the budget, and reports on the District’s financial condition further define the Board’s responsibility to safeguard the financial integrity and stability of the District. Board Policy 6200 sets criteria for how budgets are developed and reviewed. The Budget Calendar specifies dates for milestones in the production and approval of the annual final budget (IV.C-15, IV.C-55). The Board reviews and approves warrants, contracts, purchases, and other financial matters. The Board Budget Subcommittee also has the responsibility of recommending an accounting firm in which to contract for annual audit (IV.C-56). The Board Budget Committee and the Board review the audits overall including any findings and recommendations (IV.C-57).
The Gavilan College Board of Trustees, like all governing boards of California Community Colleges, is required to comply with California Code of Regulations, Title 5, approved by the California Community College Board of Governors, the California Education Code, and all other state government codes. The Gavilan Board of Trustees does not report to any other agency. Since the Gavilan Board of Trustees is independent from other governmental agencies, the actions of the Board are final and are not subject to review, with the exception of those specific activities requiring approval by the California Board of Governors (IV.C-58).
In order to ensure these policies and procedures reflect the needs of the District, policies are reviewed and updated by administrative staff and the Board on a regular and ad hoc basis Semi-annually the District receives recommended updates from the Community College League of California (CCLC), which often are incorporated into the board and administrative policy and procedures. In addition, policies are reviewed and updated on a continuous cycle to ensure policies are consistent with the district’s mission (IV.C-59). The Board Policy Committee meets to review particular policy revisions (IV.C-60).
Board Policies set the standards for student learning and support programs, and the Board exercises broad oversight through its approval process. Board Policies delineate authority for legal and financial matters; the Board executes its authority through its regular operating procedures.
Policies specifying the Board of Trustees’ size, its duties and its responsibilities are readily available to the campus community and the public on the college’s website (IV.C-61). The public can navigate the site by using the table of contents, which lists each board and administrative policy. The Board’s policies are periodically updated in response to local and state issues. When a policy update is officially approved by the Board, published policies are modified to reflect these changes.
The structure of the Board was established at the time Gavilan Joint Community College District was formed in 1969. The Board’s size is seven representatives elected by Trustee Area. Board Policies 2015 and 2105 (IV.C-62, IV.C-31) also call for a student trustee to be elected by the Associated Students of Gavilan College (ASGC) for a one year term. The student trustee casts an advisory vote on agenda items but does not participate in closed sessions.
Board Policy 2220 (IV.C-63) identifies the duties and responsibilities of each member of the Board of Trustees. An annual orientation is conducted each year, particularly for new members, in which trustees receive information as to their duties and responsibilities as board members (IV.C-58). All trustees are invited and welcome to attend this orientation for new members (IV.C-64).
Operating procedures of the College are established through California Code of Regulations Title 5 issued by the Board of Governors, California Education Code, Government Code and any federal regulations applied to the College.
Board proceedings are dictated by established policies. At each Board meeting, the agenda has an item to allow members of the public to address any topic not on the agenda, which is specified in Board Policies 2340 Agendas (IV.C-33), BP 2345 Public Participation at Board Meetings (IV.C-34), and BP 2350 Speakers (IV.C-65). Other policies outline board protocol and operations such as BP 2210, Officers (IV.C-66), BP 2100 Term Limits (IV.C-67), BP 2220 Committees of the Board (IV.C-63), BP 2305, Organizational Meeting (IV.C-68), BP 2315 Closed Session (IV.C-53), BP 2330 Quorum and Voting (IV.C-69), BP 2355 Decorum (IV.C-70), and BP 2410, Board Policies and Administrative Procedures (IV.C-71).
To improve public access, in March 2018, the District began implementation of an online board agenda preparation and distribution program utilizing BoardDocs. When fully implemented, board agenda materials and board policies and procedures will be easier for the public to navigate due to the platform’s search feature (IV.C-72). Additionally, the board policies and procedures have historically been posted as continuous pdf files by section. The BoardDocs platform will have each policy posted separately, in an accessible html format
Analysis and Evaluation Standard IV.C.6
Board Policies specifying the board’s size, duties, responsibilities, and operating procedures are readily available on the Gavilan college website. The Gavilan College Board of Trustees does not have Bylaws.
The governing board acts in a manner consistent with its policies and bylaws. The board regularly assesses its policies and bylaws for their effectiveness in fulfilling the college/district/system mission and revises them as necessary.
The Board Policy document, in particular, Chapter 2, outlines the procedures that dictate how a board is formed, how it functions and the standards for each member. These policies are the foundation for new board member preparation and training. If a board member acts in contrary with these policies, there is a process outlined in BP 2725 (IV.C-73), Code of Ethics/Standards of Practice, to address sanctions or disciplinary actions. Since this policy was updated in 2012 to include disciplinary actions in the process, no board member has violated the policy.
The public can both observe and provide input to ensure the Board is acting in a manner consistent with its policies. The public can review board conduct both in person and by accessing meeting minutes through the college website (IV.C-74). Every regular Board agenda includes an item allowing for public hearing or comment (IV.C-75), and many meeting minutes provide a record of attendance and comment by members of the community. This documentation shows consistency with Board Policy 2345 Public Participation at Board Meetings (IV.C-34).
The Board of Trustees utilize both their Standing and Ad Hoc Committees (IV.C-76) to assess policies as to their effectiveness in fulfilling the mission of the College. After a self-reporting incident to the CCCAA in September 2017, the Board’s Athletic Subcommittee reviewed the Athletic Department policies and practices in addition to student support services (IV.C-77). The Board’s Policy Committee meets to review both revised and existing board policies and administrative procedures (IV.C-76).
The District has held a contract with the Community College League of California (CCLC) since 2000 for its policy and procedure service. The CCLC’s service provides policy and procedure templates that are vetted by legal counsel and updated twice per year to reflect changes in laws and regulations. Additional policy changes are made based on recommendations from the operating divisions, students, and faculty (IV.C-78, IV.C-79, IV.C-80). Final approvals are made through President’s Council, which includes representation from all Gavilan College constituencies.
The recommendation and approval process followed by the District is outlined in Administrative Procedure 2410 (IV.C-9). The Superintendent/President oversees this process. The progress of the BP and AP revisions are represented in a spreadsheet maintained in the President’s Office (IV.C-81). This enables the College to keep track of CCLC updates and recommendations made by participatory committees.
In addition to the semi-annual updates from CCLC, the college has begun a continuous review process of Board Policies that was initiated in 2014/15 (IV.C-82). After shared governance input, a policy is then reviewed by the Board’s Policy subcommittee. At least one month after the first reading of the proposed change by the full Board, the board policy returns for a second reading with any recommended changes included. Once approved, the new policy is formally included in the list of Board Policies and posted on the College’s website (IV.C-83).
The structure of the Board is defined in Board Policies, and Board Policies and Procedures are updated regularly with input from the Community College League of California. The Gavilan College Board of Trustees does not have Bylaws.
To ensure the institution is accomplishing its goals for student success, the governing board regularly reviews key indicators of student learning and achievement and institutional plans for improving academic quality.
The Board annually reviews and discusses CCCCO scorecard metrics. The Dean of Research, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness (RPIE) presents the annual scorecard and highlights salient issues (IV.C-84). The report includes student course success, remediation completion, year-to-year persistence, and overall completion and transfer. The report also presents these metrics by subgroup including by gender, age, and transfer ready status (IV.C-19). The college’s Institutional Effectiveness Goals are also presented to the board for examination and review (IV.C-85).
The RPIE Office has developed a user-friendly tool which provides a series of commonly used dashboards for enrollment, persistence, and milestone completion (IV.C-86). Other research presented to the Board includes has conducted several studies that have examined key factors, and the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), which were presented to the Board for discussion and review (IV.C-87).
The Board receives regular updates and plans from areas of the campus that are focused on improving student achievement and improving academic quality. For example, the Equity Committee reports on what has been accomplished and what plans are set for future academic years (IV.C-88, IV.C-89). Recently, the college has updated both its Educational Master and Facilities Master plans and the board has spent time reviewing these comprehensive documents (IV.C-51, IV.C-90). The strategic plan, which includes goals to improve academic quality, is also presented to the board annually (IV.C-91).
The Board is presented with key data from the CCCCO Scorecard and from institutional studies. Reports from various areas of campus that feature student achievement and improving academic quality are a regular feature of board meetings.
Board Policy 2740 confirms the board’s commitment to trustee orientation and training. Administrative Procedure 2740, details the Board Professional Development Program elements and optional training topics (IV.C-92, IV.C-93). There is ongoing trustee education and training provided at Board retreats and workshops. In 2017-18 several trainings were held including two (2) Strategic Planning Workshops (IV.C-94, IV.C-95, IV.C-96, IV.C-97), a Board Retreat (IV.C-98, IV.C-99), a Budget Workshop (IV.C-100, IV.C-101), a Board Bond Orientation Training (IV.C-102) and Board Training on BoardDocs (IV.C-96).
The Board allocates travel funds for its members on an annual basis. Board members attend a variety of local, regional, state, and national meetings, conferences, and workshops that relate to community colleges. Information gained from the activities is shared by trustees at regular meetings during Board member comments (IV.C-39). Gavilan College Board trustees are members of professional organizations such as Rotary, CCLC and the American Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). In 2016 the District provided the resources for a trustee to attend the Annual ACCT Convention.
In 2017 the Superintendent/President began informal leadership mentoring for the student trustee in addition to the many ASGC leadership events and workshops he attends. The District’s student trustee was given the opportunity to attend local and regional leadership activities with Superintendent/President Dr. Rose. Activities in 2017 included: The Silicon Valley Leadership Group Annual Luncheon, the LULAC 30th Anniversary, and the Forum and Lunch with UC System President Janet Napolitano.
Gavilan College has a structured orientation program for newly elected or appointed board members, which is outlined in Board Policy 2010 (IV.C-58). Invitations to attend are also extended to current trustees to serve as a refresher. The Office of the President and each of the vice presidents prepare an orientation for their area that is presented over a 4 hour time period. In 2017, the 4 hour orientation took place over two days on February 9 and 10. In January 2017, the district began posting the orientation on the board of trustees’ webpage for continuous reference (IV.C-64, IV.C-103). The orientation familiarizes the board members with their responsibilities the functions of the College and services provided. The College Superintendent/President discusses accreditation standards, a review of the College’s accreditation and board member participation in the development of the College’s ISER (IV.C-104). Additionally, the Superintendent/President meets with the newly elected members’ one-on-one.
In addition to the orientation provided by the College administration, the district provides resources for board members to attend training sessions presented by the California Community College League (IV.C-105, IV.C-106). New trustees are encouraged and supported to attend the CCLC board orientation. Student trustees attend the Community College League of California’s Student Trustee Workshop held in August and other conferences throughout their terms of office.
The members of the Board of Trustees have staggered terms with each position coming up for election every four years. In one election cycle, three board seats are due for election. In the following cycle two years later, the remaining four board seats are due for election (IV.C-30). Board Policy 2110 outlines the process and procedures in the event there is a vacancy on the Board (IV.C-107).
Board Policies and Administrative Procedures state the need and formats for board development, and regular Board training is provided in the form of workshops, orientations, retreats, and conferences. Board Policies cover succession and staggered terms of office.
Board policies and/or bylaws clearly establish a process for board evaluation. The evaluation assesses the board’s effectiveness in promoting and sustaining academic quality and institutional effectiveness. The governing board regularly evaluates its practices and performance, including full participation in board training, and makes public the results. The results are used to improve board performance, academic quality, and institutional effectiveness.
The governing board’s formal process for self-evaluation has been in place for several years and is defined in Board Policy 2745 (IV.C-108). A committee of the Board is appointed at the annual organizational meeting in December to facilitate the evaluation process.
As a result of a prior year’s self-evaluation comments and discussion at their July 2017 Retreat, the survey questions were evaluated and adjusted on October 2, 2017 by the Board’s Self-Evaluation Ad Hoc Committee to more comprehensively assess the performance of the Board of Trustees (IV.C-109).
The Board has a consistent record of conducting its annual self-evaluation with full participation. Board members complete a questionnaire that covers the full range of duties and responsibilities board members encounter. The instrument includes questions about how effective the Board has been in reviewing the mission of the college and educational integrity, institutional planning and policy, Superintendent/President relations and evaluation, and fiscal integrity and financial sustainability. Board involvement in professional development and the effectiveness of the board orientation process is addressed in the survey as well (IV.C-110).
Every year in the fall, each board member completes a self-evaluation questionnaire online with results available to the Office of the President. A listing of responses, comments, and scores are sent to the members of the Board of Trustees and also placed on a special open meeting agenda. At that meeting, established for the purpose of completing the self-evaluation, the board members review the comments in an open public session, and determine any changes in operations or goals that the board as a whole deems appropriate (IV.C-109). The board members look for weaknesses or comments that indicate a problem exists within an area that warrants board attention in order to improve its function. The areas that warrant board attention may become potential goals for the following calendar year.
The results of the board evaluation process help shape annual board goals. Following the board evaluation, members work together to set annual goals and priorities. The evaluation provides the opportunity for members to list areas of concern and proposed goals. This input helps to guide the discussion on what are appropriate and meaningful board goals for the next year. These goals are reviewed and adopted at a regular board meeting.
The evaluations have led to improvement in board preparation, function, and impacted institutional effectiveness. For example, the 2015 self-evaluation identified the need for more professional development for board members. As a result, the Board approved updates to its policies with Administrative Procedure 2740 (IV.C-35, IV.C-93), which include more detail about training available to the board. Another example is when the board identified through its 2017 evaluation that there was a need for increased community awareness and strategic partnership. Subsequently, a board goal was established and resources were approved by the board to address this shortcoming by supporting the development of the Gavilan College Educational Foundation (IV.C-27). Evaluations are an active part of how the board plans and implements its goals.
The evaluation process is defined in Board Policies, and the form itself addresses Board effectiveness in addressing educational integrity, institutional planning and policy. The evaluation is performed annually and leads to college improvements.
The governing board upholds a code of ethics and conflict of interest policy, and individual board members adhere to the code. The board has a clearly defined policy for dealing with behavior that violates its code and implements it when necessary. A majority of the board members have no employment, family, ownership, or other personal financial interest in the institution. Board member interests are disclosed and do not interfere with the impartiality of governing body members or outweigh the greater duty to secure and ensure the academic and fiscal integrity of the institution.
The Gavilan College governing board’s code of ethics and standard of practice is outlined in Board Policy 2715 (IV.C-3). The policy is clear that members maintain high standards of ethical behavior and provides a list of expectations to guide members’ conduct. The conflict of interest policies are addressed in Board Policy 2710, Conflict of Interest and Administrative Procedures 2710, Conflict of Interest and 2712, Conflict of Interest Code (IV.C-35, IV.C-111, IV.C-112). These policies ensure that Governing Board members disclose financial interest and eliminate the possibility of a board member benefiting from a decision made by the Board of Trustees.
Both the Conflict of Interest Policy and the Code of Ethics/Standards of Practice Policy are intended to focus decision-making on practices that reflect the best interest of the college and community. The Board has established other policies that establish standards of practice including: Board Policy 2716 on political activity, Board Policy 2717 on personal use of public resources, and Board Policy 2720 on communication among board members (IV.C-36, IV.C-113, IV.C-114). For example, Board Policy 2716 prohibits the use of district funds or resources to influence political campaigns. The policy states that the board, by resolution, may express their position on a specific ballot or measure when there is a legitimate district interest. In preparation for the campaign for the Measure X general obligation bond, the Board received additional training to support them in their adherence to Board Policy 2716 by attending an orientation which included a “Guide to Political Conduct Rules for General Obligation Bond Elections” to ensure proper board conduct (IV.C-102).
The Administrative Procedure for Conflict of Interest, Administrative Procedure 2710 (IV.C-111), specifically describes activities that could violate conflict of interest codes. The policy outlines codes associated with gifts, employment, and financial interests. Administrative Procedure 2712 defines who is required to disclose and levels of disclosure. Governing board members annually comply with Administrative Procedure 2712 (IV.C-112) and the Political Reform Act by completing a Form 700, Statement of Economic Interests. This form discloses each member’s financial interests and those of their spouses. This process ensures that board members decision making are in the best interest of the academic and fiscal integrity of the institution.
The Gavilan governing board regularly reviews Board Policy 2710 (IV.C-35) and Board Policy 2715 (IV.C-3). Both policies went through the shared governance process and were updated and approved by the Board Policy Subcommittee and later unanimously approved by the full Board of Trustees at their June 12, 2016 meeting (IV.C-115, IV.C-116).
Violations of the established code of ethics and standards of practice policy are addressed through a specific process outlined in Board Policy 2715 under the heading “Board Disciplinary Actions for Violations”. A procedural flow chart is included as part of the policy “Processes for Ensuring Ethical Conduct – Stewardship vs. Whistle Blowing” (IV.C-3). To date, there have been no incidences of individual governing board members violating the Code of Ethics. For conflict of interest violations, there is a criminal and civil process established through Reform Act Government Code Section 81000- 91015. Together these processes provide a policy for dealing with behavior that violates code and standard of behavior.
The Governing Board of Gavilan College closely follows and adheres to established Board policies and procedures to maintain both the appearance and the practice of strictly following the established Code of Ethics and avoiding conflicts of interest. The Board undergoes training to emphasize the importance of following these practices.
The governing board delegates full responsibility and authority to the CEO to implement and administer board policies without board interference and holds the CEO accountable for the operation of the district/system or college, respectively.
Gavilan College is a single college district that employs a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) holding the title of Superintendent/President who reports directly to the Board. The Board of Trustees “delegate executive responsibility to the CEO for administering the policies adopted by the Board and executing all decisions of the Board requiring administration action” in Board Policy 2430 (Delegation of Authority to the President of the College). The policy outlines the powers delegated to the CEO including interpreting, recommending, administering and executing board policies (IV.C-117). In Board Policy 2430, the Board agrees to focus at the policy level and delegates full responsibility to the Superintendent/President to conduct all day-to-day operational activities. All actions taken by the Superintendent/President are subject to ratification by the Board of Trustees at the regularly scheduled board meetings.
The board’s delegated authority to the Superintendent/President is recognized by all constituencies of the College. An example of the CEO’s responsibility and authority to implement policy and operate the district is Board Policy 3200, Accreditation, which describes the president’s responsibilities in the accreditation process. Board Policy 3250, Institutional Planning, codifies the president’s responsibilities for the district’s planning process (IV.C-118, IV.C-119).
The board receives frequent updates from the College administration during monthly meetings and subcommittee meetings. Board subcommittees provide ongoing communication between the board and the administration; allowing the Board sufficient oversight of operational matters while remaining focused on policy level decisions (IV.C-120). Gavilan College utilizes a chart to monitor regular and routine reports that are presented to the board (IV.C-121).
The delegated authority is defined in the Superintendent/President’s employment contract as well and reinforces the president’s responsibility for “overall operation and management of the college” (IIV.C-25). The Board holds the Superintendent/President accountable through the annual performance evaluation as defined in Board Policy 2435, Evaluation of the President of the College (IV.C-26). The President is evaluated on performance goals and objectives set the prior year. As outlined in Board Policy 2435, the Board of Trustees biannually conduct interviews with college employees in key leadership positions such as Academic Senate president, faculty union president, and the president of California School Employees Association as part of the evaluation process.
The Gavilan College governing board delegates the authority to run the college to the Superintendent/President. This oversight enables them to hold the Superintendent/President accountable while not interfering in the day-to-day operations of the college. A chart of reports helps ensure that the College completes all required report approvals and also informs the board on program and department activities Reports to the board are an important source of information and dialogue in holding the CEO accountable for the operation of the district. Routine evaluations provide the board with another source of information in determining CEO performance and accountability.
The governing board is informed about the Eligibility Requirements, the Accreditation Standards, Commission Policies, accreditation processes, and the college’s accredited status, and supports through policy the college’s efforts to improve and excel. The board participates in evaluation of governing board roles and functions in the accreditation process.
Board Policy 3200 and related Administrative Procedure 3200 ensure that the governing board is provided orientation and information about accreditation related matters including Eligibility Requirement, standards, policies, and processes at regular meetings (IV.C-118, IV.C-123). Board member orientation includes a discussion of accreditation standards, a review of the College’s most recent accreditation self-study, and the expectation of board member participation in the development of the College’s Institutional Self Evaluation Report. The Board of Trustees is informed of the institutional reports that are submitted to the commission and also follow-up reports or midterm reports. A Board Retreat held on July 22, 2017 included a lengthy presentation and discussion of materials, requirements, and responsibilities. Board members received copies of the “ACCJC, Twelve Common Questions and Answers about Regional Accreditation”, the CCLC “Trustee Handbook, Chapter 21, Accreditation and the Board’s Role,” and the “ACCJC Accreditation Standards,” (2014) (IV.C-98, IV.C-99).
Board members are briefed with accreditation updates provided to the board at regular meetings either by the Superintendent/President, the Accreditation Officer, or the faculty accreditation coordinator. Members of the board receive periodic updates on the progress of the ISER as it is being prepared (IV.C-123). During the Board of Trustees’ goal setting session in January 2017 and again in January 2018, the Board established goals recognizing their involvement in the accreditation process (IV.C-27, IV.C-124). Gavilan College has established an accreditation steering committee that includes a member of the Board of Trustees plus an alternate (IV.C-125).
The Board of Trustees reviewed and approved the College’s 2014 Follow-up Report on January 14, 2014 and March 11, 2014 (IV.C-126, IV.C-127). The 2015 Focus on Improvement Report was approved by the Board of Trustees on March 10, 2015 (IV.C-128) and the 2016 Accreditation Midterm Report was reviewed and approved on January 12, 2016, February 9, 2016, and March 8, 2016 (IV.C-129, IV.C-130, IV.C-131). During 2016, Gavilan’s Board of Trustees reviewed information reports on the “ACCJC Substantive Change Proposal, Aviation Maintenance Technology Program” on October 11, 2016 and the “Substantive Change Proposal, Change of Location, Coyote Valley Center, on September 13, 2016 and November 8, 2016 (IV.C-12, IV.C-13, IV.C-132).
The Gavilan College Board of Trustees has been made aware and trained regarding the accreditation process and the Eligibility Requirements. The Superintendent/President and other members of the administration have kept them informed throughout the process and a current trustee was a member of the Accreditation Steering Committee. The Board of Trustees has taken an active role in learning about the accreditation process and the role of the governing board in matters related to the College’s accreditation.
Five of the seven board members have served multiple terms and have been involved in at least one accreditation self-evaluation report and the accreditation process cycle. The remaining two trustees have been career educators and are well aware of accreditation standards and how they are applied
Board authority follows the California Education Code and is further defined in Board Policies. Board processes safeguard the effectiveness of the Board in assuring the academic quality of student learning program and services. The Board reviews all curriculum, guides and reviews planning documents, and ensures that budget processes are timely with proper controls in place.
The structure of the Board allows for even representation from all geographic areas in the District. Board members participate in local organizations and events but remain united to guard against undue external influence.
Board Policies set the standards for student learning and support programs, and the Board exercises broad oversight through its approval process. Board Policies delineate authority for legal and financial matters; the Board executes its authority through its regular operating procedures.
Board Policies specifying the board’s size, duties, responsibilities, and operating procedures are readily available on the Gavilan college website. The Gavilan College Board of Trustees does not have bylaws. The structure of the Board is defined in Board Policies, and Board Policies and Procedures are updated regularly with input from the Community College League of California.
Board Policies and Administrative Procedures state the need and formats for board development, and regular Board training is provided in the form of workshops, orientations, retreats, and conferences. Board Policies cover succession and staggered terms of office. The annual evaluation process for the Board of Trustees is defined in Board Policies, and addresses Board effectiveness in addressing educational integrity, institutional planning and policy. The governing board adheres to Board policies and procedures to maintain both the appearance and the practice of strictly following the established Code of Ethics and avoiding conflicts of interest.
The Gavilan College governing board actively delegates the authority to run the college to the Superintendent/President while overseeing the operations of the college. This oversight enables them to hold the Superintendent/President accountable while not interfering in the day-to-day operations of the college. Routine evaluations provide the board with information in determining CEO performance and accountability.
The Gavilan College Board of Trustees are informed and have received training regarding the accreditation process and the Eligibility Requirements. The Board of Trustees has taken an active role in learning about the accreditation process and the role of the governing board in matters related to the College’s accreditation.
- Strategic Planning: Gavilan College has been using a five-year Strategic Plan that is updated, and is in the process of changing this to a three-year plan.
- Orientation: Complete training and orientation for new trustees.