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NOVEMBER 2013, issue 3, volume 1:            The Promises of Governance          Council Updates           Calendar 

Governance Connections Newsletter for 2013-14

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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:  Mutuality of Success

 

"Alone we can do so little.  Together we can do so much."

–Helen Keller


"Through the evolutionary process, those who are able to engage in social cooperation of various sorts do better…"

–Robert Nozick

 

One of the truths that I have grown to appreciate throughout my years at Montgomery College is that, no matter what my job or role may be, my work depends on the efforts of many other people. We are all connected and our individual and collective success is tied together.

The reality of interdependence and cause-and-effect is illustrated for me each day as I travel the I-270/I-495 corridor. On many days the traffic due to volume is exacerbated by decisions made by individual drivers that often have unintended consequences. I used to spend energy wishing other people were better drivers. A few weeks ago, I was sitting at a long light at a busy intersection waiting to turn onto the highway. I realized I was daydreaming when the car behind me honked at me to indicate that the light was green. A few moments later, I saw in my rearview mirror that the last car in the turn lane did not make it through the light before the light turned red again. That was my fault. If I had been paying attention, the last car would have had time to turn. I realized then that other people probably wish I was a better driver too.

That instance changed my thinking about driving. Although it is still frustrating to sit in traffic, I realize that I have a choice about how I contribute to the situation. I have a responsibility to do what I can to be considerate of other drivers and to appreciate anyone who helps me get where I need to be going.

I suggest that successful cooperation and collaboration not only makes the outcomes of tasks better, but it also makes us better individuals. That, in turn, allows us to be much more satisfied about our work or our studies at Montgomery College.

There is a book called Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper that illustrates one of the promises of governance, the mutuality of success. The story is about a cat, squirrel and duck who live together and make the best pumpkin soup. Each animal has a specific job. The squirrel heats the water and stirs the soup, the cat prepares the pumpkin, and the duck adds the right amount of salt. One day the duck decides that instead of seasoning the soup, he wants to stir it. The cat, duck and squirrel, get into a big argument when the duck takes the squirrel’s spoon without asking. The duck gets so upset that he leaves. When the times come to make the soup for supper that night, the soup is a disaster. The cat and squirrel cry over the soup and because they miss their friend. The cat and squirrel go looking for their friend and bring him back. They decide that they can teach each other a little about what each does so well, and sometimes they can even take turns. When each is doing a complementary job, the soup is delicious. When they fight about who is doing what or stop treating each other with respect, the soup and their friendships suffer.

The governance council members, by accepting their positions to serve, have promised to uphold the mutuality of success by seeking win-win solutions to challenges, looking for opportunities to make things better based on their roles, and engaging with others in ways that are marked by civility and cooperation. You can see evidence of how well they do this when you attend a council meeting, interact with council members, or read about a council’s work through the minutes on the governance website or the highlights shared in this newsletter.

The College community maximizes this promise of governance when we look for ways to help one another achieve individual and group goals according to our roles and expertise. We also fulfill this promise when we uphold the dignity and value of each person we encounter. To play our part as best we can, we must be clear about our roles, support others in their work, and appreciate those who enable us to do our jobs effectively.

On that note, I want to take a moment this Thanksgiving season to express my appreciation to all of you. I wish I had enough thank you cards to send to all my teachers, students, friends, and colleagues who enable me to give my best efforts to each role that I have. I wish I could thank the many students whose presence at Montgomery College gives all of us a reason to come to work each day. If I did have enough cards, I would send one to each and every one of you.

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Council Updates

Academic Services Council

The Academic Services Council has been busy recently planning a meet and greet information meeting, scheduled on Thursday, November 14, just prior to their council meeting at the Mannakee Central Services Building, Room 115.

 

Administrator Council

The Administrator Council meets on the first Thursday of each month at 2:30 p.m. in the Mannakee Central Services Building, Room 115. At each meeting held thus far, the main focus has been the discussion of information related to the academic restructuring process. Dr. Don Pearl, senior vice president for academic affairs, was invited recently to provide details about the formation of work groups and the subsequent progress made to date. At the October meeting, he expressed his appreciation to all involved, including the work group members and Human Resources, Development, and Engagement.  The council hopes that a representative from his unit will return to their upcoming meetings to provide the latest on the academic restructuring.

 

Employee Services Council

Last year the Services, Outreach, and Support taskforce at the College (S.O.S.) asked the Employee Services Council (ESC) to take over the S.O.S. recognition awards. The council voted to do so last year however the current ESC membership feels this could represent a conflict and is outside the scope of governance. Both past and present council members do feel that it is important for these recognition awards to continue. The current recommendation is to have ESC facilitate the recruitment of members to serve on the S.O.S. recognition awards committee. The Employee Recognition committee of the ESC is working on proposed revisions to CP38001 Employee Recognition policy and procedure. The committee is also looking at how to expand CP38001 to include faculty/student recognition. Also, the committee was asked to make recommendations on changes to the MC Efficiency award contest section of CP38001. The council has also addressed two key constituent concerns: policy and procedure suggestions related to College’s involuntary transfer process, which was a council referral, and staff/administrators in interim positions who are deemed not qualified for positions when positions are posted. The council is currently determining the next steps about those issues.

 

Faculty Council

Among the most important issues addressed by the Faculty Council this past month were the implementation of the 72-hour deadline for submission of final grades and the deadline for submission of recommendations by the academic restructuring workgroups. Faculty expressed concerns with changing the deadline for submission of final grades during the middle of the semester so, upon request of the Faculty Council to Dr. DeRionne Pollard, Montgomery College president, the implementation of this deadline was postponed until the spring semester. The date for recommendations from the academic restructuring workgroups was also pushed back slightly to January to allow the groups to address the important issues before them.

During a meeting of the co-chairs of Faculty Council with Dr. Pollard, additional topics of conversation included the best way to support faculty moving into the role of department chair and back to faculty. The possibility of a tenure system or something like it and an incremental implementation of the new academic restructuring were discussed.

In addition to the things mentioned above, the Faculty Council has been appointing several faculty to serve on a number of Collegewide committees. Updates were given by the College’s Online Catalog Advisory Committee about the College’s efforts to adopt an online catalog. As online catalog vendors are being considered, the Faculty Council has been given the opportunity to offer suggestions and bring up anticipated issues.

The Faculty Council also passed a motion supporting the idea that the College provide some free printing for students currently enrolled at the College.

 

Operational Services Council

During October, constituents brought issues before the Operational Services Council about improving e-mail distribution lists, after-hours security in the Mannakee Central Services Building, and augmenting study spaces available to students. The council discussed ideas for the comments submission portal with Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, senior vice president for student services. Cindy Cromwell, IT project and planning manager, reported on the status of the print management review progress, which started in April 2009 to reduce the College's printing costs and carbon footprint. The council also discussed the concept of organizational "right-sizing" with Dr. Janet Wormack, the interim senior vice president for administrative and fiscal services (AFS), in anticipation of several organizational reviews underway in AFS units.

 

Staff Council

At the November 7 meeting, the Staff Council heard a presentation on the College Area Review (CAR) process from Clevette Ridguard, coordinator of CAR, and Chelsea Waugaman, council representative to the CAR Committee. The council learned that CAR is a results-oriented, self-review process, and that multiple areas of review include all College stakeholders. The council will be further engaged in the process and will provide feedback on the reviews of 15 academic disciplines as the spring semester unfolds.

The Staff Council continues to hear about staff concerns regarding the reorganization of the Student Services units. We are in the process of exploring what avenues will become available for staff members to voice their concerns. In addition, the Staff Council continues to be engaged in the workgroups of the Academic Restructuring process and it continues to hear regular updates about the workgroup progress.

During the council’s December meetings Nadine Porter, vice president for human resources, development, and engagement; and Sarah Espinosa, college ombuds, are scheduled to speak. If any staff constituent wishes to send questions for Ms. Porter or Ms. Espinosa they are welcome to e-mail them to Andy Lucido, chair of the Staff Council, by November 20.

 

Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus Council

Two new governance bulletin boards were installed on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring (TP/SS) Campus in October. Their locations, next to MC Munchies and in the lobby of the Health Sciences Center, will be a visible reminder that the TP/SS Campus Council is working to create a better campus and educational experience. The council is working on issues such as identifying a quiet and safe study space for those times when the library is not open, reminding those using gym lockers to take care for their items, and keeping the campus parking lots and classrooms as safe as possible. The current council is composed of members who are students, full-time and part-time faculty, administrators, staff, and OIT representatives, and that diversity makes the feedback that the council provides to campus/College leaders significant, whether it was on ways that emergency training programs can be effective or keeping children safe on campus. One of the council’s chief goals is reaching out across the campus, and the members welcome any concerns or comments. The council encourages everyone, especially members of the TP/SS family to engage with the council and keep an eye on one of those bulletin boards to find out what they are doing and how they can all make the campus and College all the better.

 

Workforce Development & Continuing Education Council

On October 10 rain fell but did not fall on the Workforce Development & Continuing Education (WD&CE)’s governance picnic! Many people and groups contributed to a successful outcome for this well-attended event. The City of Gaithersburg staff found an indoor space at the Bohrer Park Activity Center for the event where Chartwells catered tasty picnic style food. Jason Rivera, chair of the College Council, gave the keynote address where he provided excellent reasons for participating in governance. Kenneth Nelson, director of business and community outreach and council secretary, hosted an energetic game of Governance Jeopardy and Georgia Bart, a student member of the council, announced the results of the WD&CE Governance Slogan Contest. The winner was Nancy Newton with the slogan "No Governance, No Representation: Know Governance, Know Representation!"

The council’s communication subcommittee has started compiling and analyzing the results of their online survey administered from September 6–October 4. The council provided feedback on new proposed procedures regarding minors on campus. The council also started work on responding to a referral from the Academic Services Council on study spaces, and the council has continued work on responding to constituent concerns in addition to outreach to WD&CE faculty and student constituencies

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MC Governance

In addition to these newsletter reports, all 12 councils and the College Council post minutes detailing the discussion items that occurred in each public meeting. Click on any of the menu links to your left to see the minutes from each council! 

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Omission from hard copy:  The Employee Services Council will meet on Thursday, Dec. 19th (MKE 318, 2-4 p.m.)

 

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