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Internal Governance Procedure - 61.02.01

College Policy Number/Title:


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 key performance indicators (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 and 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.” The president is the college’s chief executive officer and manages the day-to-day operations of the college. 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 includes academic affairs, student services, administration and finance, information technology, and the president’s area. Each 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 employee 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.

Governance Chart

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 key performance indicators (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 are also eligible to serve in various roles. 

Description of Groups Involved in Governance 

Group Name


Administrator Group

The administrator group is a constituency group representing the interests of administrators. 

Augmented Team

The augmented team is an advisory group to the president’s team for the purpose of communicating about issues of importance to the college.

College Completion

The college completion team identifies those actions and processes that already exist at HCC that target or advance student success and recommends new ideas or approaches that could enhance current practices.

College Council

College council is an official channel of communication and deliberation within the college.  College council reviews and recommends changes in policies and procedures and chooses employees of the year. 

Core Work Units

Core work groups form each functional area of the college to effectively perform work and use resources.

Curriculum Council

The curriculum council oversees the curriculum in advancement of the college’s mission and intended outcomes for student learning and development in courses and programs leading to the awarding of formal degrees or formal certificates.  Council responsibilities include: oversight of the credit curriculum and general education core; coordination of general education learning outcome review activities and communication plans related to curriculum integrity; and recommendation of revisions to policies and procedures that affect curriculum and curriculum integrity and professional development activities related to curriculum development, assessment, and evaluation.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

The diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) committee reviews and plans annual college-wide DEI activities, participates in employment search committees, provides input on important college policies, develops appropriate employee DEI training, performs diversity-related fact-finding activities as needed, periodically reviews and revises the HCC DEI plan, and responds to current DEI issues affecting the college community. 

Enrollment Management Team

The enrollment management team is a college-wide effort to manage enrollment processes and provide opportunity for future growth by developing strategies and implementing programs that will provide optimal opportunities to enhance recruitment, retention, and graduation rates.

Green Team

The green team provides leadership in the advancement of sustainability through campus facilities and programs that are environmentally and socially responsible.

Faculty Forum

The faculty forum is a constituency group representing the interests of the faculty. 

Health and Safety Committee

The health and safety committee makes recommendations to the college community on issues of security, emergency management, risk management, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, and life safety.

Professional Development Team

The professional development team develops lists of general and job specific knowledge and competencies that employees should possess and outlines training needs that are relevant, convenient, and effective. 

Planning Council

The planning council develops a multi-year strategic plan by distilling ideas from its members and by scanning the environment

President’s Team

The president’s team consists of the president, vice-presidents, executive director of planning, research, and organizational development, executive director of public relations and marketing, and the executive associate to the president.  The team manages the operations of the college and receives the recommendations of the functional units, planning council, college council, etc. 

Professional/Technical Group

The professional/technical group is a constituency group representing the interests of the professional/technical staff. 

Salary and Benefits Committee

The salary and benefits committee represents the college’s employees in matters of salary and employee benefits. 


The Student Government Association (SGA) is a constituency group representing the interests of the students. 

Support Group

The support group is a constituency group representing the interests of the support group employees. 

Technology Team

The technology cross-functional team assists with keeping the college’s technology infrastructure and applications current and robust to meet the educational and business needs of the college community by assisting with technology planning, advancements, applications, policies, standardization, and end-user competencies.

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.  

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. 

Academic Plan

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.

Administration and Finance Plan

The administration and finance area develops its action plan to align with the current strategic plan. Updated annually, the plan outlines the major direction of all units in the area and includes core work and strategic work for a five-year period

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.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan

The diversity, equity, and inclusion committee develops its action plan for the upcoming year to meet the established diversity, equity, and inclusion 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, equity, and inclusion 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 team and included in the strategic plan.

Institutional Effectiveness Plan

The institutional assessment plan (IEP) is the plan, reviewed annually, to monitor the effectiveness of operations throughout the institution. It includes the assessment of student learning plan (SLOAP) which assesses the effectiveness of the instructional processes and the various services that are offered to students inside and outside of the class.

Multi-year Staffing Plan

The multi-year staffing plan delineates the new positions to be considered during the budget process for the upcoming year. All cost center areas of the college submit requests for new positions and the president and vice presidents determine which positions will be sent forward to be considered in future years. The multi-year staffing plan is reviewed and updated annually as part of the integrated strategic plan and budget development process.

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.

Strategic Plan

Each year, the planning council reviews or develops the mission, vision, values, and strategic goals for the college.  The strategic plan holistically moves the college in new or expanded directions.

Technology Plan

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)

Effective Date:    10/08/21

President's Office Use:  EDPROD/PRES

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