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SEPTEMBER 2013, issue 1, volume 1:         "Ready, Set, Go!"          "The Promises of Governance"          Calendar 

Governance Connections Newsletter for 2013-14

Photo of Jason Rivera, College Council Chair
Jason Rivera,
College Council Chair

Ready, Set, Go!


I was talking with a colleague the other day and we likened our start of the fall semester to the beginning of a race, with the Fall Opening Meeting serving as the starting line and the president’s address placing us on the ready.

The race has begun—and so too has our work in governance. Well, really, our governance work has continued! Over the summer, we had three committees working to get us ready for the start of the fall semester. First, we had two ad-hoc committees formed as a result of the recommendations we received from the Strategic Horizon’s Network (SHN). You might recall SHN is:

"An organizational and leader program…[c]oordinated by the Center for Community College Development. Colleges participating in the Strategic Horizon program are seeking to move beyond conventional approaches to management and leadership by committing to new ways of doing business in five areas: Analysis and creation of opportunity; assessment and reporting of value; enhancement of strategic management capability; change design in management; [and,] leader development through the institution."

Last year, SHN met with several Governance Councils and provided Dr. DeRionne Pollard, Montgomery College president, with a brief report and a set of recommendations. In June, Dr. Pollard shared the recommendations with members of the 2013-14 College Council and charged the council with:

1. Developing a change map to help the College community understand the rationale, objectives, anticipated outcomes, and the timeline for changes that have been accomplished, are in progress, and are planned.

2. Developing a decision making chart that clarifies areas for which each council is responsible for making decisions, areas on which they will be consulted, and areas on which they will be kept informed.

Consequently, two ad-hoc committees were formed and began their work, which was presented at the first fall semester College Council meeting last week. Council chairs have been tapped to share the work of the committees with their respective councils and to gather and share feedback by late October/early November. I would like to thank Maria Adams and Andy Lucido for chairing the two ad-hoc committees, as well as the College Council members that worked on these projects over the summer.

Additionally, the College Council’s standing Communications Committee collaborated with the College Council’s executive cabinet to work feverishly over the summer. The Communications Committee, co-chaired by Chelsea Waugaman and Steve Wolf, developed a tool to help educate the College community on the participatory governance system. The presentation was presented to the College Council last week and will be shared widely when it is completed.

The Communications Committee also developed a communications strategy for the College Council, which includes the creation of Governance Connections, the very newsletter you are reading! A monthly calendar of governance Meetings and, when possible, a list of the "hot" topics being covered at those meetings, will also be published via Inside MC Online. I am excited about the work being done by this committee to ensure the College community understands the governance system and what is going on in the system. Of course, all Council agenda and minutes will continue to be posted to the Governance website.

I realize that last year the elections for the College Council took place very late in the semester. Consequently, the results were not widely shared. Please note the membership of the College Council below.

I’m looking forward to an exciting year and wish you all the best for a wonderful fall semester!

Executive Cabinet

Jason Rivera, Chair, College Council
David Ensign, Vice Chair, College Council; Chair, Operational Services Council
Julie Foster, Secretary, College Council; Chair, Employee Services Council


Maria Adams Davidson, Chair, Academic Services Council
Annell Bond, Chair, Workforce Development & Continuing Education
Sharon Fechter, Co-Chair, Faculty Council
Meghan Garvey, Chair, Student Council
Chris Haga, Chair, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus Council
Lori Kelman, Chair, Germantown Campus Council
Andy Lucido, Chair, Staff Council
Terri Maradei, Chair, Rockville Campus Council
Ed Riggs, Co-Chair, Faculty Council
Lori Rounds, Chair, Administrator Council
Laura White, Chair, Student Services and Success Council

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Photo of Dr. Tacy Holliday, Governance Coordinator
Tacy Holliday, PhD,
MC Class of '03 and '10
Governance Coordinator

The Promises  of Governance


I have been thinking a lot lately about promises in my personal life and my professional life.

Over the summer, I reviewed the results of the survey of the first year of the College’s participatory governance system and I listened to insightful feedback from students, faculty, staff members, and administrators about what worked and what improvements are needed this year. If I could distill what I heard into the most common points I would say that we, the College community, liked having an opportunity to learn from multiple perspectives and to have our views represented to leadership. However, we were still unsure about what the governance system was supposed to do, or if we were clear, we wondered if the governance system would really be what it was meant to be. Said another way, the questions I heard were:

1. What are the promises of governance?

2. Will governance live up to its promises?

Considering governance through the framework of promises has been helpful for me in understanding both the role of governance and its significance. I reviewed the Board of Trustee policy (P&P) and was able to identify these promises:

• Mission focus

• Mutuality of success

• Opportunity for all members of the College community to be heard

• Duty of councils to keep constituents informed

• Representative perspectives shared with leadership

• Communication, collaboration, and civility

• Transparent and evolving process

The system of governance is designed to enable these promises to be fulfilled. The councils and council members, in collaboration with constituents fulfill those promises. That collaboration is made possible by everyone being optimally involved and providing informed feedback.

What level of involvement is optimal for you? If you are satisfied with everything happening at the College and with your representation, then I would suggest reading the minutes and agendas from some of the councils from time to time so that (a) when changes are made you are less likely to be caught by surprise, and (b) to ensure that the good intent to represent you is being realized.

If there are things that you or your fellow students or colleagues would like to change or if there is input that you would like to provide, then I would encourage your additional involvement through attending a council meeting or contacting a council through e-mail or the governance webpage. You may also consider running for a seat on a council during the next round of nominations and elections.

Providing feedback is easy. You can contact a council to share input; participate in the annual survey of governance in May; or you can submit a comment, question, or concern through the governance webpage at any time.  Your feedback will make the system better.

Now that we have the system going, we need to be really intentional about doing what we can to "maximize the promise of governance," as Dr. Pollard invited called us to do in the Fall Opening Meeting. Each month, through the newsletter, I will highlight one of the promises of governance and how we might help it come more fully into the life of the College to benefit the lives of all those whom we serve. Best wishes to all of you for an excellent start to the fall semester.

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