SUBCATEGORY THREE: LEADERSHIP
Establishing appropriate board-institutional relationships to support leadership and governance (2.C.4)
The College is governed by a seven member Board of Trustees elected at-large from the community to four-year terms. The Board governs the College through the appointment of a president and setting the budget and local tax levy. In odd calendar years, three or four trustees face re-election. Contact information for the trustees is made public on the College website (2.C.3). The Board meets monthly, usually on the third Thursday of the month. The meeting schedule, as well as board packets and minutes, are available online. The monthly meetings are recorded, and both audio and video recordings of the meetings are also available online (2.C.3).
Establishing oversight responsibilities and policies of the governing board (2.C.3, 5.B.1, 5.B.2)
The Board governs the College by adopting recommended College policies regarding students, personnel, administrative services, information services, safety and security, and the trustees themselves (2.C.2, 5.B.1, 5.B.2). These policies are the high-level statements of the College's philosophy or practice and are established to provide rules and direction for the conduct of business or activities that directly and substantially affect the operations of the College. The president adopts recommended operating procedures to provide a detailed description of how a Policy is to be implemented. The policies and operating procedures are a mechanism for the Board to delegate College operations to different departments in a manner that provides for the Board's oversight and to promote consistency in execution of College functions.
Prior to being presented to the Board or president for approval, policy and operating procedure recommendations go through a multi-level review process that includes review by the College's Policy and Procedure Committee.
The Office of General Council (OGC) is responsible for oversight of the Policy and Procedure Committee and facilitation of updates to the policy and procedures library. Since its opening in 2011, the OGC has reviewed the full policy and procedures library and has prioritized policies and procedures for further evaluation and updates. Since its initial review, the OGC has been systematically reviewing additions, revisions, or deletions with the appropriate administrator. The OGC periodically recommends updates when necessitated by new laws and/or regulations that affect the College. A full list of policies is maintained on the College's website.
Members of the Board of Trustees also take on leadership roles regionally and nationally including the Kansas Association of Community College Trustes and the national organization . Members of the Board also serve on statewide and regional committees around workforce development and educational needs of the region (2.C.2).
Maintaining board oversight, while delegating management responsibilities to administrators, and academic matters to faculty (2.C.4)
To facilitate the work of the College there are five standing Board committees that meet regularly:
- The Learning Quality Committee makes recommendations to the full Board regarding strategic initiatives for the learning engagement process, learning outcomes, faculty and student development, workforce education, curriculum, academic quality, and achievement of academic outcomes (2.C.1, 2.C.2, 2.C.4, 5.B.1, 5.B.3).
- The Management Committee makes recommendations to the full Board on finance, facilities, information services, and the JCCC Foundation. The committee oversees long-range financial planning strategies, recommends budget guidelines to the Board, and reviews the financing for major College purchases and capital improvements as well as facilities planning, major renovations, and new facilities development (2.C.1, 2.C.4, 5.B.1).
- The Human Resources Committee makes recommendations to the full Board on policies involving general personnel matters, including compensation, benefits, grievance, employee relations, training and development, cultural proficiency, inclusion, and other issues of concern to College employees. The committee receives and discusses updates on operational and organizational structure, but it does not consider personnel issues specific to a particular employee (2.C.1, 2.C.4, 5.B.1).
- The Audit Committee oversees the internal and external audit functions of the College. The committee receives reports from JCCC’s Office of Audit and Advisory Services, reviews reports and other information arising from the College’s confidential reporting line, and oversees the relationship with external independent auditors. The committee accepts the annual audited financial statements of the independent auditor and recommends acceptance of the audited financial statements to the full Board. The College’s financial reports may be found online (2.C.1, 2.C.3, 5.B.1).
- The Collegial Steering Committee is composed of trustees, administrators, and faculty. The committee’s purpose is to facilitate effective communication among faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees to strengthen relationships, share issues of concern or celebration, clarify roles and expectations, become aware of process deficiencies, and build higher levels of trust (2.C.1, 2.C.2, 5.B.3).
The Board may also establish special or ad hoc committees to perform special functions (2.C.1). Two or three times a year, the Board holds an informal retreat or a workshop with members of the College administration to familiarize itself with various aspects of College operations, such as facilities, strategic planning, or the budget (2.C.1, 5.B.1). New trustees receive an orientation from College administration on the aspects of the College they need to be familiar with, such as finances, academics, facilities, and operations (5.B.1).
Ensuring open communication between and among all colleges, divisions, and departments
There are several avenues to facilitate effective communication within the College. As noted, the Board works through both standing and ad hoc committees. Two Board members serve on each committee, one of whom acts as chair, as well as one administrator appointed by the College president. Staff, faculty, and students may also serve on these committees (2.C.4, 5.B.1). This framework allows for transparency of processes and encourages communication.
The College also uses multiple points of communication through avenues such as daily InfoList announcements via email, digital signage, printed materials such as newsletters, group list servs, Town Hall meetings, regular meetings of the Instructional Deans' Council, the College website, and all staff and all faculty meetings at the beginning of each term as well as following an open-door policy with senior leadership.
Collaborating across all units to ensure the maintenance of high academic standards (5.B.3)
The Educational Affairs Committee provides leadership regarding the development, assessment, and evaluation of credit-bearing curriculum and recommendations to the Board of Trustees (2.C.4, 5.B.3). The committee is charged with the following:
- Review and evaluate all program/course proposals, modifications, and deletions as proposed by faculty and division curriculum committees.
- Review and make recommendations on requests from proposers regarding general education and cultural diversity status of courses.
- Determine best practices for curriculum review at JCCC.
- Use representatives from the Office of Curriculum and Instruction as resources for assessing curriculum as it relates to the requirements of the Kansas Board of Regents.
- Make recommendations based on reports from faculty, division curriculum committees, and/or department chairs regarding the ongoing assessment of existing curriculum.
Each of the academic divisions at JCCC has a standing division curriculum committee. The mission of these committees is to maintain the quality and integrity of all curricula housed within the individual divisions. They play a critical role in curriculum development, review, and approval processes by making meaningful recommendations to the Educational Affairs Committee that assure the quality and relevance of new and existing curricula. Division curriculum committee members collaborate with faculty authors to identify proposals that are in the best interest of the division and the College and serve as a “front line” in all curriculum matters. They also act as a resource and ally for the Educational Affairs Committee, which reports monthly to the Learning Quality Committee (2.C.4, 5.B.3).
The Faculty Senate, created by faculty in 2012, exists to “[maintain] standards of excellence in higher education, both at JCCC and in the larger academic community.” To that end, the senate’s self-proclaimed mission is “to extend collective [faculty] influence beyond instruction into matters of educational policy, preservation of academic integrity, protection of academic freedom, and prioritization of resources.” Faculty Senate members are invited by College leadership to sit on campuswide committees, such as the Collegial Steering Committee, and Faculty Senate leadership meets with the College president on a regular basis alongside leadership from other faculty organizations (2.C.4, 5.B.3).
Providing effective leadership to all institutional stakeholders (2.C.1,2.C.2)
Administratively, the College president is supported by a Cabinet composed of the College’s senior leadership: the executive vice president of Instruction and Operations, the executive vice president of Finance and Administrative Services, the vice president of Instruction/Chief Academic Officer, the vice president of Student Success and Engagement, the vice president of Information Services/Chief Information Officer, the vice president of Human Resources, the College’s general counsel, the vice president of Continuing Education and Organizational Development, the executive director of Marketing Communications, and the executive director of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research (5.B).
The College also has three faculty-run groups that interact with administration and the Board of Trustees: the Educational Affairs Committee, the Faculty Senate, and the Faculty Association. These three groups provide a forum for open communication and a path for faculty input into decision-making (2.C.4, 5.B.3). Additionally, faculty are invited by College leadership to sit on campuswide committees (2.C.4, 5.B.3).
Students at JCCC are also involved in setting policy and processes at the College. The Student Senate is composed of five executive officers and 25 senators at-large. A member of the Student Senate serves as a voting member of the Student Sustainability Council and the JCCC Media Board. In a non-voting capacity, members of the Student Senate serve on the Educational Affairs Committee, Council to Address Substance Abuse, the advisory council of the Performing Arts Series, the JCCC Foundation Board, Student Experience Team, Sexual Assault Resource Team, Appeals Board, Student Pathways, Virtual College Committee, and some hiring committees. Through the Student Senate, the College president solicits student feedback on issues affecting the College. To gather this information, the Student Senate holds listening sessions open to all students (5.B.3).
The College shifted to a chair model for academic departmental governance in 2009. The chair model is particularly suited to helping the College realize its stated mission and values, partly because department chairs, as both members of the faculty and administration are uniquely qualified to relate to students, fellow faculty members, administrators, and other members of the College community (2.C.4).
Developing leaders at all levels within the institution
The College has various mechanisms in place to develop leaders at all levels. The Staff & Organizational Development division provides various leadership opportunities to JCCC employees, including (5.B.2):
In 2015–2016 and again in 2016–2017, the College offered a retirement incentive to long-time employees to allow the transfer of knowledge and for new people to be trained to assume new responsibilities. To attract new leaders to JCCC, the College offers competitive benefits and conducts periodic compensation studies so it remains competitive. Demonstrated leadership abilities are required for those assuming senior-level positions, such as the new chief academic officer hired in Summer 2016 (5.B.2).
Ensuring the institution's ability to act in accordance with its mission and vision (2.C.3)
The College has a strong commitment to its mission as an open-access community college serving our local and greater higher education communities as well as the workforce development needs of the metropolitan Kansas City region. This includes a strong focus on student success, which is evident throughout the College's strategic and AQIP planning, KPIs, and budgeting processes. The College also takes seriously its vision as a leader in education. As a board member of the League for Innovation in the Community College, JCCC is recognized as one of the 20 most influential, resourceful, and dynamic community colleges in the nation.