In a memorandum to the College community on January 20, 2011,Montgomery College President, Dr. DeRionne Pollard, announced her intent to revisit the College’s system of governance in order to bring it into compliance with Board policy (11004). To facilitate the creation of a governance system in which students, staff, faculty, and administrators engage in collaborative and respectful dialog, Dr. Pollard called for an internal Blue Ribbon Task Force on Governance, comprised of representation from all constituency groups.
Dr. Pollard charged the Task Force:
- To examine the existing system of governance at the College and develop a set of recommendations for restructuring it into a system that it is inclusive and participatory;
- To develop a set of procedures that is in support of and consistent with Board policy, and can also be used as guidelines for implementing the restructured system;
- To identify a set of criteria that could be used to assess the effectiveness of the system.
Along with this charge, the Task Force examined the Board Policy (11004) on governance for Montgomery College (Principles 2, 3, and 4) to clarify the direction that the Task Force would take to identify the new governance structure.
Principle 2: All constituent groups within the College have a vested interest and a role in ensuring that the College fulfills the mission under the authority and direction of the Board of Trustees and under the leadership of the President.
Principle 3: Participatory governance is a method of organized and collegial interaction in which faculty, staff, students, and administrators participate in thoughtful deliberation and the decisionmaking process, leading to recommendations made to the College President, who represents the administration of the College as an agent of the Board of Trustees.
Principle 4: Mutual agreement is the goal to be achieved through active participation and collegial interaction by all constituent groups.
Based on the charge from Dr. Pollard, the intent of the Board of Trustees for inclusive interaction, and feedback from the College community, the Task Force came to a final consensus to identify a structure that meets the criteria of securing input from all stakeholders and assures the facility of two-way communication among them. The model is composed of four broad council areas: a College Council, four councils representing constituent groups, four councils representing functional areas, and four councils representing campuses.
Over the course of the 2011-2012 academic year, the Task Force worked to create the infrastructure of the governance system including the constitution, bylaws, handbook, website, nomination and election system, and assessment tools.
The first elections were held during the spring 2012 semester with 159 students, faculty, staff and administrator beginning their service in the participatory governance system during the fall 2012 semester.