Howard Community College (HCC) defines governance as the process of involving employees in defining and benchmarking the college’s core work, developing the strategic goals and objectives, and formulating academic and administrative policies and procedures to ensure alignment with core ends. Employees also have a responsibility for continuous improvement and responsiveness to the community and stakeholders the college serves.
The board of trustees has the ultimate decision-making authority for the college, but values the input of the college through a defined process of governance. The board of trustees supports collaborative, internal governance by stating in board policy that the president may not “make decisions except by a process where openness and fairness are maintained.” Internal governance at HCC includes several avenues to encourage the investment of employees in the day-to-day and the long-term decision-making of the college.
Each employee is a member of a core work unit within one of the functional units, which include academic affairs, student services, administration and finance, information technology, and the president’s area. The unit has the responsibility of defining its core work, setting performance measures, establishing benchmarks, and devising plans to achieve these benchmarks. The unit leader or administrator has the responsibility to engage the group in this process. The input from the core work unit travels through established reporting channels.
Each employee is also a member of one of four constituency groups that elect representatives. These groups are support group, professional/technical, administrators, and faculty.
In addition to the employee constituency groups, the college has a representative student group, the student government association (SGA).
Each one of the five constituency groups has a liaison that serves on president’s team. Input from these groups can be forwarded via their liaison to president’s team or through their leadership to augmented team.
Employees and students, via their roles on campus or their constituency representatives, are also connected to the major cross-functional teams. Each of the cross-functional teams has a liaison that is a member of the president’s team. The liaisons provide input from the cross-functional teams to the president’s team.
Employees and students, via their roles on campus or their constituency representatives, are connected to the planning council. The council engages in continuous environmental scanning to assist in determining the college’s strategic direction and to help the college determine priorities for the expenditure of human and financial resources.
The college also gathers input from external groups. Examples of these groups include the Commission on the Future, curriculum advisory committees, the technology advisory board, and the Howard Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. board of directors.
Principles of Governance
The board of trustees is the college’s legal governing body. The seven trustees are appointed by the Governor of Maryland for six-year terms. The trustees establish board policy and govern through core ends. The board is committed to the participation of employees in the planning and decision-making of the college.
Employees are directly involved in their core work, which reflects the daily operational needs of the college to serve its students and clients.
Employees and students who are representatives of constituency groups should communicate with the constituents they represent.
The development of curriculum content is the primary role of faculty. The administration has the responsibility to be sure that new programs are developed as needed by the community. The faculty should be responsive to employers, transfer institutions, and students in the development of curricula.
Employees are involved in the development of the college’s strategic and operating plan and budget through their core work groups, and representatives on the planning council.
The president and president’s team are responsible for distilling all the input from the functional units, constituency groups, and the planning council into one plan and budget, which is submitted to the board for approval.
Students are to be represented in as many venues as possible throughout the college, including cross-functional teams, planning council, and college council, with the exception of the salary and benefits committee. SGA officers make student appointments to these groups. Noncredit students should also be asked to serve in various roles.
Description of Groups Involved in Governance
Other Teams and Committees
Other teams and committees function on the campus and are linked to one of the major groups listed in this governance procedure. Like the major governance groups, these teams and committees are encouraged to formalize a mission, membership, and anticipated outcomes as well.
Key College Plans and Decisions
Integrated Core Work and Strategic Plan and Budget
This plan combines the strategic plan, operating plan, and budget. Each January, the board approves the strategic plan and budget, which is submitted to the county government for approval.
The academic plan outlines the major directions in academic program development, distance learning, instructional technology integration, program and outcomes assessment, faculty professional development, and learning resources deployment. The vice president of academic affairs oversees a process to revise the formal academic plan every year. Strategic components of the academic plan are reviewed by the planning council for inclusion in the integrated core work and strategic plan and budget.
Core Work Unit Plans
Each core work unit develops its work plan, setting benchmarks and performance measures.
Enrollment Management Plan
The enrollment management unit develops its action plan for the upcoming year to meet the established enrollment goals. The plan is linked to core work and the strategic plan and is reviewed by the planning council, as appropriate, for alignment with the college’s strategic plan.
The diversity committee develops its action plan for the upcoming year to meet the established diversity goals. The plan is then reviewed by the president for alignment with the college’s values and the core values of the board of trustees. Strategic components of the diversity plan are reviewed for inclusion in the integrated core work and strategic plan and budget.
Facilities Master Plan
The facilities master plan establishes a framework for the physical growth and infrastructure on the campus for the foreseeable future. Based on projected enrollment growth and space needs, it is the foundation for recommendations on improvements to current buildings, proposed site locations for future buildings, and land use plans for the next 20 years. The vice president of administration and finance oversees a process to update the formal facilities master plan every five years. The master facilities plan is the basis for the college’s annual capital budget submission, which is reviewed by the facilities and sustainability unit and included in the strategic plan.
The college’s operating plan is the day-to-day activity described in core work and determined by core work units in functional areas.
Student Services Plan
The student services plan outlines the major directions in student development and enrollment services. The vice president of student services oversees a process to revise the formal student services plan every year.
Each year, the planning council reviews or develops the mission, vision, values, and strategic goals for the college. The strategic plan moves the college as a whole in new or expanded directions.
The technology unit develops its action plan for the upcoming year to meet the established technology goals. The plan is linked to the college’s strategic plan and is reviewed by the planning council, as appropriate, for alignment with the college’s strategic plan.
Organizational Chart (pdf format)
Policy Manual Review/Revision: 12/14/12