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November 5, 2008 Planning Committee Minutes

The meeting was called to order by committee chair, Lori Scroggs, at 5:00pm in the board room.  Committee members Dave Wilcoxson, and Paula Endress were present, as was student trustee Cassie Fuller, and College President, Dr. Jerry Corcoran.  Three faculty members also attended the meeting, including Sue Caley-Opsal, Steve Alvin, and Pam Mammano.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Dr. Scroggs noted that this meeting addressed three purposes:  (1) The need to assure that IVCC is ethically accountable as a local unit of government, given that HB4189 became law; (2) The need to engage in the cycle of strategic planning as required by the Higher Learning Commission – Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP); and (3) The need to address board staff relations and college culture, given the initial SWOT analysis (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) conducted with a cross-section of IVCC faculty, staff, and administration.

 

Board/Staff Relations & College Culture.  Dr. Scroggs shared the top strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with the committee, noting that a written report was being completed to document these as part of the overall Environmental Scanning process that is underway.  This SWOT analysis was conducted on October 29, 2008, and Dr. Scroggs attended as the Board of Trustees representative.  Mr. Wilcoxson indicated that he wanted to make sure that the board participated in the environmental scanning and strategic planning process, because they were not included in the previous cycle.  Dr. Scroggs explained that on December 17th the staff/administrative leaders of the process would present to a meeting of the Board Planning Committee (that precedes the regularly scheduled board meeting). At this meeting, board members would receive reports regarding the progress of the environmental scanning process, and be asked to participate at that time.  In addition, Dr. Scroggs is participating as the Board of Trustees representative. The initial results from the SWOT Analysis were as follows:

 

Strengths
Recognized as a provider of quality education / affordability
Focus on students
Positive student outcomes
Fiscally responsible
Significant, effective use of technology in instruction/communication
Expanding non-traditional learning opportunities

 

Weaknesses
Governance issues – lack of distinction between what is the board’s role (governance) and the administration/faculty/staff role (operations)
College culture – criticism and lack of trust leads to unwillingness to innovate (board sets the tone)
Inability to gather graduate follow-up information
Fiscal uncertainty limits innovation and professional development
Open door policy without adequate services for all

 

Opportunities
More degree programs with trades, and including on-line & fast-track degrees
Expand infrastructure (Tech Bldg/CIC)
Location in relation to other higher ed institutions – partnership opportunities for advanced degrees on campus
Align curriculum with area high schools (& continuing ed for teachers)
Changes in demographics means new programs: hospitality, tourism, green jobs, logistics, and more

 

Threats
Shift of Board of Trustees from internal partner to external force
Lack of community understanding re what we do and how we do it
Lack of professional jobs in the community
State funding continuing to decline – expectation to do more with less; maintain high quality
Dependence on external stakeholders to resolve capital needs
Lack of affordable universal broad band access

 

Dr. Scroggs reported that the results of the SWOT analysis would soon go to IVCC’s Strategic Leadership and Planning Council for review, and this information in its entirety would be presented at the December 17th Board Planning Committee Meeting (prior to the regularly scheduled board meeting).   There was discussion among committee members regarding what some of these items meant, however, this was from an initial analysis and more information and detail will be forthcoming as items are further analyzed.

 

Ethical Policies and Guidelines.  Dr. Scroggs presented several handouts that included:  (1) IVCC Board Policies related to ethics and board role in planning and goal setting (Board Policy #1001, 1007, 1011-1014, 1017, 1018, and 4011); (2) IVCC Mission, Vision, & Valued Practices; (3) Model Ethics Policy from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office (with accompanying suggestions from ICCTA); (4) ACCT Guide to Board Self-Assessment.  Dr. Scroggs suggested that since community colleges were no longer required to take the state ethics exam (per HB4189’s passage), IVCC needed to assure ethical accountability. Committee members noted that the problem was not a shortage of policy addressing these issues, but rather no systematic process to review and improve policy, nor a way to ensure accountability to the policy.  IVCC Board Policy 4011 is actually modeled on an “ethics resolution” provided via ICCTA from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, prior to HB 4189’s passage, therefore, it will need to be reviewed. 

 

Mr. Wilcoxson recommended the Board review policy manuals on other community colleges’ websites, such as Elgin Community College’s board policy manual.  Reviewing other college’s efforts will be helpful as we begin the process of reviewing and revising IVCC’s policies and procedures.

 

Ethical Accountability.  Committee members discussed different options for ensuring ethical accountability, including: (1) board member and officer job descriptions; (2) ethics (and other) policy review systems; and (3) board self-assessment or evaluation.  Mr. Wilcoxson noted that narrowing job descriptions can cause more difficulty and impede board function.  The committee agreed that board assessment was a more attractive option, along with a systematic process (in concert with AQIP and the Colleges’ strategic planning efforts) to review board policies.

Dr. Scroggs agreed to draft a sample board assessment instrument based upon both the ACCT model, and the board’s current evaluation instrument to evaluate the President.  She hoped to have a sample for the December Board Planning Committee Meeting for review.

The committee agreed that the next meeting for the IVCC Board of Trustees Planning Committee would take place at 5:45pm on Wednesday, December 17th, in the IVCC Board Room.

Meeting adjourned at 6:25pm.