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Standard IVA: Leadership and Governance

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The institution recognizes and utilizes the contributions of leadership throughout the organization for continuous improvement of the institution. Governance roles are designed to facilitate decisions that support student learning programs and services and improve institutional effectiveness, while acknowledging the designated responsibilities of the governing Board and the chief administrator.

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Standard IVA: Leadership and Governance

The institution recognizes and utilizes the contributions of leadership throughout the organization for continuous improvement of the institution. Governance roles are designed to facilitate decisions that support student learning programs and services and improve institutional effectiveness, while acknowledging the designated responsibilities of the governing Board and the chief administrator.

DECISION-MAKING ROLES AND PROCESSES

The institute recognizes that the ethical and effective leadership throughout the organization enables the institution to identify institutional values, set and achieve goals, learn and improve.

1.   Institutional leaders create an environment for empowerment, innovation, and institutional excellence. They encourage staff, faculty, administrators, and students, no matter what their official titles, to take initiative in improving the practices, programs, and services in which they are involved. When ideas for improvement have policy or significant institution-wide implications, systematic participative processes are used to assure effective discussion, planning, and implementation.

DESCRIPTION:

Gavilan College has clearly defined statements about institutional goals that delineate its commitment to excellence. Three of the most prominent declarations are found in the College's Mission Statement, Principles of Community, and the Associated Student Body's (ASB) statement (4A.1, 4A.2).

Gavilan College's mission statement is: "Gavilan College cultivates learning and personal growth in students of all backgrounds and abilities through innovative practices in both traditional and emerging learning environments; transfer pathways, career and technical education, developmental education, and support services prepare students for success in a dynamic and multicultural world"  (4A.3).

The Principles of Community are a reflection of Board Policy 2715, and serve as a guide for the institution's actions (4A.4). Moreover, adherence to the principles is a professional responsibility of all staff. Gavilan College's Principles of Community state that:

As members of the Gavilan College community, we value the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, acquisition of knowledge, and the nurture of democratic citizenship. We strive to maintain these ideals in an environment of inclusiveness and mutual respect.

The Principles of Community provide the foundation which creates this environment. The expectation is that we maintain the highest ethical standards in order to establish an atmosphere of civility, honesty, cooperation, professionalism and fairness.

Gavilan College aspires to be:

Diverse: We embrace and celebrate diversity in all its forms (the heritage, achievements, uniqueness, and contributions of all our members) and seek to uphold an inclusive, open and enlightened community.

Open: We believe free exchange of ideas requires mutual respect, trust and consideration for our differences.

Purposeful: We are a community that maintains a shared commitment to service to society and advancement of knowledge through innovative teaching and learning.

Just: We are committed to respect for individual dignity and equitable access to resources, recognition and security.

Gavilan College's values, as articulated in the Mission Statement, are derived from these visionary educational values and goals: (4A.1)

  • An imaginative and nurturing community of learners, fostered through rigorous scholarship, creativity, and personal and professional development.
  • A College environment and social climate characterized by inclusiveness and mutual respect for all of our students, staff, and community.
  • Excellence in and promotion of comprehensive programs, services, and activities.
  • Partnerships that support the educational, economic and social development of the College and the communities we serve.

The goals of the Associated Student Body (ASB), published on the Gavilan College website state that:

The Associated Student Body (ASB) of Gavilan College is dedicated to the representation of the Gavilan student body. The ASB is committed to providing services and activities that meet the educational, cultural and social needs of the Gavilan College student body. The collective voice of the students is an important and powerful component in the College's participatory governance process. The ASB is the official student organization on campus and provides the majority of student input and recommendations on critical campus issues (4A.6).

Gavilan College has made a dedicated effort to post its Principles of Community in multiple locations on campus and at the Morgan Hill and Hollister sites. The current Gavilan College catalog contains information including the philosophy statement, mission statement, and statement of educational purposes and goals, and the role of ASB; it also includes descriptions of degree programs, curricular offerings, educational resources, and course offerings. The Educational Master Plan outlines the College's mission, vision, values, and learning outcomes. Additional publications include specific programs' and services' pamphlets and brochures, news releases, and the College website.

The mission statement, values, and goals are in the Gavilan College catalog, Schedule of Classes, Gavilan College website, Five-Year Strategic Plan, and other documents distributed to students and the general public.

Gavilan College has made a concerted effort to ensure that all staff members clearly understand their roles in helping to achieve institutional goals (4A.7, 4A.8). Roles and responsibilities are principally disseminated through the shared governance process and institutional committees. These include the President's Council, Budget Committee, District Technology Committee, Health, Safety, Facilities, and Grounds committee, Institutional Effectiveness Committee, Strategic Planning committee, and Learning Council. Shared governance committees have representation from classified staff, faculty (full-time and part-time), supervisors/confidentials, students, and administration. The President's Council serves as the central shared governance body that gathers input from all College constituencies, and makes recommendations directly to the president.

Gavilan College gathers information about the institution's performance through a comprehensive program of research. The results of this research are published on a publicly accessible website, and distributed and discussed by the appropriate shared governance committees.

The Office of Institutional Research (OIR) maintains an updated webpage that is easily accessible (4A.9). Reports posted on the webpage are presented in easy to read format, and provide interpretation of results. The researcher tracks a variety of data to measure institutional outcomes. These reports are a prime source of information used by constituent groups for discussion and decision-making. Research is often initiated in response to a request from either internal or external stakeholders (examples include assessment validation; veterans' success rate comparison; English First Year Experience (FYE) and Supplemental Instruction (SI) comparisons; Student success reports; Computer center survey; President's Council shared governance survey; enrollment projections; learning community evaluation). Some data, such as program graduation rates, retention, success and persistence data, are tracked over time and reported through the state's Accountability Reporting for Community Colleges (ARCC) website.

The participatory governance structure in place works for both routine and non-routine issues. The Gavilan College governance structure provides a clearly defined and substantive role for all stake holders (administration, faculty, staff, and students) to participate in institutional governance.

Gavilan College promotes staff participation in planning, performance, writing student learning outcomes, program learning outcomes and institutional learning outcomes, program evaluation, and operational decision-making processes through participation on shared governance committees. These practices demonstrate the College's ongoing efforts to maintain active participation of all staff. Through these processes, students, faculty, and professional support staff have developed institutional learning outcomes from which program learning outcomes and program plans are derived. Gavilan College promotes staff activities leading to the achievement of College goals. Board policy 2510, Participation in Local decision-making: Faculty, enumerates the responsibilities of the board of trustees, faculty senate, staff, and students in the decision-making processes of the district (4A.7).

Although shared governance committees differ in their specific responsibilities, enhancing student learning is their underlying common goal. Articulation of this goal starts with the institution's Vision Statement (4A.3) that demonstrates historical knowledge of the community it serves, and the statement of institutional values and goals. In addition, the recently published Shared Governance Handbook (4A.10) outlines many of the ways staff, faculty, and administrators can participate in College planning. Participatory committees are the primary vehicles for institutional governance. The principal components of this structure are the President's Council, Budget, Institutional Effectiveness, District Technology, and Health, Safety, Facilities, and Grounds Committees. The faculty provides input and discussion through the Academic Senate and its subcommittees, including the Curriculum Committee, Faculty Staff development Committee and Learning Council. The management team (administrators, supervisors), faculty, professional support staff, and students are members as well as resources for all committees.

A strategic planning subcommittee of President's Council meets on a quarterly basis to develop strategies and establish goals for the College. This is a formal planning group that was established to raise awareness about planning and to encourage participation in the planning processes (Citation: Strategic Planning Committee website). The process is a collaborative effort by an informed body of participants. Planning strategies and associated goals are updated annually for a five-year period. The Five-Year Strategic Plan drives budget allocations and is published in the College's annual budget (4A.11).

The Academic Senate is the faculty's lead governance organization and serves as the primary body addressing faculty participation in governance and evaluation of instruction. The Academic Senate typically meets twice a month during the school year and once a month over the summer with agendas and minutes published on the College intranet; it is structured with a number of standing and ad hoc committees. Its subcommittees include the Curriculum Committee that reviews course outlines, course and student learning outcomes, and approves new courses; the Department Chairs who meet twice a month with the Executive Vice President of Instruction to discuss scheduling and other issues impacting departments; the Faculty Staff Development Committee that reviews and approves flex contracts, and recommends staff development activities; and the Learning Council that takes a holistic, institutional approach to student success.

The faculty, through the Academic Senate, is able to participate in all appropriate areas of institutional governance (4A.12). The Academic Senate appoints the chairs of the Curriculum and Faculty Staff Development Committees, and appoints faculty to all screening, tenure review, and ad hoc institutional committees. The Academic Senate's president, and immediate past president (or the current vice president), serve on the President's Council (4A.13). The Senate President sits as a non-voting member of the Board of Trustees. Staff and students also have a seat on the President's Council and Learning Council.

In 2009 the Academic Senate instituted the Learning Council as a clearinghouse for teaching and learning innovation. The Learning Council is a collaboration of faculty, staff, a student representative, and administrators committed to creating a community of inquiry and change to enhance student learning. At the monthly meetings, members work to promote a safe and inclusive campus environment with high expectations, and to empower members of the Gavilan College community as advocates of learning. The Learning Council identifies challenges and areas for improvement where they specifically impact student learning, and creates ad hoc committees to study and recommend actions on these issues (4A.14, 4A.15).

The Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) oversees the self-study review of all programs and services on a rotational basis, with each program reviewed every three to five years. The role of the committee is to facilitate and standardize the program review processes required by Accreditation Standards, the Educational Code of California, Title 5 regulations, and Board of Trustees policies. Membership includes representation from faculty, professional support staff, supervisors/confidentials, and administration. The IEC advises the President's Council concerning program review and oversees the review process to maintain consistency in the development, selection, and application of criteria and guidelines (4A.16). Board Policy 4020 and Administrative Procedure 4020 establish the policy and procedures that are followed in program and curriculum development and review (4A.17).

The institution defines and publishes its planning processes and involves appropriate segments of the College community in the development of institutional plans. Board Policy 3250 and Administrative Procedure 3250 define the general parameters for planning processes (4A.18).

Although the structure provides clearly defined roles, a 2011 survey of strategic planning and shared governance revealed an uneven picture. Despite the College administration's efforts, many staff and faculty participating in the study were unclear about the President's Council, the planning processes, and their role in College decision-making. The summary of the spring 2011 President's Council/Strategic Planning Shared Governance Survey indicated that:

The rates of the satisfaction in these processes, however, were higher than previous surveys. Moreover, respondents' awareness and attitudinal rates have increased in comparison to previous administrations of the survey. These increases also include the proportion of respondents who report having participated in shared governance.

Since the last administration of the survey, a variety of activities were conducted that may have had an effect on awareness and attitudes. These include a College-wide discussion on student success, along with two open forums on the strategic plan (4A.46). The new MyGav internet portal was also implemented in order to increase personnel communication. New initiatives, such as the Learning Council, have also become an avenue for greater involvement. Additionally, academic departments were allowed time to work on the new online version of the program plan on Staff Development day in Spring 2011. A presentation on the program plan and the planning process in general was also conducted at this staff development day (4A.19). These efforts may explain the relatively high approval rates of the program planning process.

It is clear, however, that more work needs to be done to improve both awareness and attitudes regarding the President's Council, shared governance, and planning processes. Some suggested improvements detailed by respondents include acting on suggested planning and making sure all opinions are integrated into the planning and decision-making. With these and other improvements, the College can strengthen its systems and provide more effective governance (4A.21).

To address the identified need to provide more information to Gavilan College employees and constituent groups, the executive vice president and the director of institutional research developed the "Gavilan Integrated Planning/Shared Governance Information Presentation (also known as the "Shared Governance Roadshow)."  Several presentations were made during the spring 2012 semester, and during fall 2012. The presentation shared information about the integrated planning process, the Education Master Plan, and the recently completed Shared Governance Handbook. The presenters solicited input from all stakeholder groups and have developed themes to strengthen the process over time (4A.20, 4A.10).

The shared governance survey was repeated in fall 2012, and revealed improvement in participation and awareness:

"There was good participation in the current study and corresponding survey. All personnel groups were well represented except part-time faculty, who participated at a 6.7% rate.

"While respondents reported relatively low levels of knowledge of the President's Council and shared governance, and planning processes, these rates have been steadily increasing since Fall 07.

"Respondents reported awareness and attitudinal rates regarding shared governance and integrated planning improved from previous administrations of the current survey.

"Respondents rated the elements of integrated planning as relatively high. These rates have risen from previous survey administrations.

"There have been new efforts to generate more awareness and participation in both shared governance and planning.

"There is a continued need for more involvement in and explanation of the shared governance and planning processes (4A.8).

The College will continue to promote the "Road Show" and to circulate the new Shared Governance Handbook to staff and faculty, as it is clear that the initiatives undertaken in recent years are producing demonstrable results.

A number of long-range educational, Gavilan College initiatives were discussed at length using the full range of governance committees, including the creation of the Learning Council, planning of the Student Voices events and creation of administrative procedures and Board of Trustees polices on student success. The shared governance process was also used to evaluate proposals for the Accelerated Learning College (ALC); Gilroy Early College High School (GECA); and expansion of the Hollister satellite campus to an Education Center. The ALC was an initiative initiated by the College President. It sought to fundamentally restructure the orientation of College funding from one based on enrollment to one based on course completion. A full range of shared governance bodies studied the merits of the issue and recommended against moving forward. The Academic Senate's resolution on the ALC provides a window into the process:

Whereas, The ALC Committee: 1) communicated with their constituent groups via email and department meetings and disseminated and collected information from their groups about ALC and how it might affect them; 2) made sure ALC was a regular agenda item at senate, curriculum and department chair meetings and that representatives at those meetings kept their groups updated; 3) compiled faculty group summaries of their discussions; 4) solicited discussion summaries from those groups who would be affected by the proposal, but who might not have direct or regular representation at senate, department chair or curriculum meetings; 5) contacted and solicited input from the State Academic Senate, CTA and the three other Colleges considering the proposal; and 6) compiled all of the responses in an analysis document, which is available for all to read on Moodle, email or hard copy.

Whereas, a significant majority of Gavilan College constituent groups recommended against moving forward with the Accelerated Learning College model after careful consideration and discussion.

Resolved, the Gavilan College Academic Senate recommends against moving forward with the Accelerated Learning College proposal (4A.22).

Although the ALC itself was not adopted, the ALC discussion eventually led to the CLASS initiative, Board Policy 4600 on Student Success, and the creation of the Learning Council.

The Dr. T.J. Owens Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA) is another example of the shared governance process in action. GECA is an educational partnership between Gilroy Unified School District and Gavilan College, initially funded through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The school is an innovative, highly supportive, and academically challenging program where students spend four years of high school on the Gavilan College campus. Students experience a rigorous, college-preparatory high school education, as well as take College classes (up to 11 units per semester) for which they receive both College and high school credit. The goal is for students to graduate from GECA with a high school degree, and an Associates degree or 60 transferrable College units.

Prior to incorporating GECA onto the Gavilan College campus, shared governance groups examined the issue from the perspective of their specific committee. Each committee supported GECA. Additionally, committees have actively participated in assessing the implementation of GECA.

Similarly, the expansion of the Hollister instructional site to an Educational Center is an example of effective use of shared governance. The College president outlined the rationale for the center with all constituent groups (Board of Trustees, Classified Staff, Faculty, and Students). Additionally, the Public Information Officer delivered a well-articulated presentation at the 2009 Staff Development Day (4A.23). Development of the Education Center has been discussed with appropriate constituent groups (e.g. President's Council, Department Chairs, Academic Senate, and Health, Safety, Facilities and Grounds Committee) at each step of the process.

EVALUATION:

Gavilan College meets Standard IV (A)(1).

PLAN:

None.

2.   The institution establishes and implements a written policy providing for faculty, staff, administrator, and student participation in decision-making processes. The policy specifies the manner in which individuals bring forward ideas from their constituencies and work together on appropriate policy, planning, and special-purpose bodies.

a. Faculty and administrators have a substantive and clearly defined role in institutional governance and exercise a substantial voice in institutional policies, planning, and budget that relate to their areas of responsibility and expertise. Students and staff also have established mechanisms or organizations for providing input into institutional decisions.

DESCRIPTION:

Institutional policies and procedures clearly describe faculty and administrator roles in the College's governance structure. Board Policy 3250 mandates that the College president ensure that the District implements a broad-based comprehensive, systematic and integrated system of planning that involves appropriate segments of the College community, and is supported by institutional effectiveness research (4A.18). The major committees that provide a forum for dialogue and ensure access to a participatory governance structure are President's Council, Academic Senate, Health, Safety, Facilities, and Grounds Committee, Budget Committee, District Technology Committee, Institutional Effectiveness Committee, and Strategic Planning Committee. Department Chairs also are involved in operational matters and provide input to the executive vice president of instruction, as well as all campus departments. The Vice President of Student Services has put together a Shared Governance Handbook as a tool for members of the Gavilan community to learn their shared governance roles and responsibilities.

The President's Council serves as the College's central shared governance body. It is established under the authority of Board Policy 2510 and Administrative Procedure 2510 (4A.24). It is made up of all constituent groups of the College. The President's Council makes recommendations to the president in a variety of areas for the campus. Minutes of the President's Council meetings are posted on the President's Council section of the website.

The Academic Senate is involved in planning and decision-making in a variety of areas. The Academic Senate meets every two weeks during the fall and spring semesters, and monthly during the summer. It maintains a website that includes bylaws, as well as minutes and agendas of past meetings (4A.25). The role of the faculty in governance is also described in the Faculty Handbook, the bylaws of the curriculum committee, and board policy. Faculty are also encouraged to be involved in any operational matter that is being discussed on campus.

The College budget committee is the primary vehicle for distribution of information about financial allocations and significant events that impact the College's budget. The committee meets on a regular basis over the course of the year and more frequently as the College enters into the development of the tentative and final budgets. The budget committee is comprised of representatives from administration, faculty, professional support staff, and students. The budget committee bylaws and minutes are posted online on the College intranet (4A.26).

In addition to the College's internal budget committee, there is also a board of trustees budget subcommittee. Information is provided to the College's internal budget committee prior to submitting the information to the board subcommittee (4A.27).

The purpose of the strategic planning committee is to advise the president's council on strategies, courses of action and other matters that affect the operational nature of the District and the services it offers to the community. The committee reviews and makes recommendations regarding new proposals, long range strategic directions and significant changes that affect the operations of the District. It also promotes the dissemination of strategies and proposed action plans to representative constituent groups, and serves as the initial committee to develop and review changes in the educational master plan and the strategic plan. The committee includes representatives from all groups on campus: administration, faculty, professional support staff, and students. The bylaws and minutes from the meetings are posted on the College intranet. The bylaws identify the membership of the committee and describe the responsibilities of the committee. The strategic plan is used to develop budget guidelines to ensure that the strategic plan objectives are considered for funding allocations as the budget is being developed (4A.28).

Faculty department chairs meet with the Vice President of Instruction twice monthly during the fall and spring semesters to discuss operational matters and to provide input on proposed initiatives. Department chairs receive much of the same information that is shared with the President's Council but the Department Chairs meeting is not part of the institutional shared governance process. Department Chairs have operational responsibilities related to the assignment of teaching faculty, establishment of the College schedule of classes, and other matters related to instructional activities (4A.29).

The District Technology Committee recommends minimum technology standards for classroom instruction and for the use of technology across the College. The Technology Committee is also responsible for development of the College's Technology Plan. Technology Committee bylaws, Technology Plan, and meeting minutes are posted on the College intranet. The Technology Plan is considered in the development of the Strategic Plan (4A.30).

The Health, Safety, Facilities, and Grounds Committee is charged with making a variety of recommendations about health and safety concerns as well as recommendations about facilities improvements. Committee bylaws, minutes of the meetings and information related to facilities renovation work is available from their website. The Facilities Master Plan, which is in part under the purview of the Health, Safety, Facilities, and Grounds Committee, is used to establish the funding allocations for facility renovation projects and incorporated into the budget process. The College intranet provides a homepage where a wide range of information is made available (4A.31).

The Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) reviews all programs on campus. Board Policy 4020 and Administrative Procedure 4020 identify the responsibilities of the IEC. The IEC website includes information on the mission, members, guidelines, and meeting minutes (4A.17).

The shared governance section of fall 2012 President's Council/Strategic Planning Shared Governance Survey indicates that:

"Most respondents seemed to report that they felt that their group was well represented at the President's Council, strategic planning, and in program plan development. For example, 66% of respondents reported that their group was "well" or "very well" represented in the development of their program's program plan. Nevertheless, there remain 10% of respondents who felt as if their group was not represented "at all" in any of the planning and decision-making groups.

Most survey participants reportedly had at least some participation in shared governance, with only 20% reporting no participation at all. Nevertheless, most respondents (53%) reported that College decision-making is shared by all groups "Not at all" or "slightly". These rates, while arguably low, are a steady improvement on previous administrations of this survey in 07, 09, and 11. Reported college decision-making sharing rose ten percent from Fall 07. Indeed, it appears a greater proportion of respondents are actually getting involved in shared governance.

These results aside, most respondents did not want to be more involved in shared-governance (66 percent). Surprisingly, this proportion was the inverse of the previous year. Respondents suggested that greater effort be conducted to encourage part-time faculty to be involved in shared governance. Thus, the respondents reported that they did not want to get more involved, but recommended that others not traditionally involved be pulled into the processes (4A.8).

The Shared Governance handbook is now available to all members of the Gavilan community, and it is clear that the "Road Show" had an impact. The researcher will continue to survey this issue and will seek greater clarity on individuals' understanding of, and participation in College decision-making.

EVALUATION:

Gavilan College meets Standard IV (A)(2)(a).

PLAN:

None.

b.   The institution relies on faculty, its academic senate or other appropriate faculty structures, the Curriculum Committee, and academic administrators for recommendations about student learning programs and services.

DESCRIPTION:

The official responsibilities of the faculty and of academic administrators in the development and approval of curriculum and other educational matters are well established in the policies, procedures, and other authoritative documents that establish standard operating procedures at Gavilan College.

Gavilan College relies primarily on the faculty and the Academic Senate for academic matters. Board Policy 4600 on student success states that "the Board will consult collegially with the Academic Senate with respect to standards or policies regarding student preparation and success." In practice, faculty provides leadership for changes that may be needed to ensure that curriculum and programs meet the needs of students. The board of trustees and administration identify areas where the communities served by Gavilan College are in need of services. Faculty members develop curriculum, programs, and establish learning outcomes for all educational programs offered at the College. The documents that identify the faculty's role in development of educational offerings of the College are listed below and all are available online:

  • The Academic Senate bylaws  (4A.32)
  • The Curriculum Committee bylaws  (4A.33)
  • The Faculty Staff Development Committee documents  (4A.34)
  • The Gavilan College Faculty Association Contract  (4A.35)
  • The Faculty Handbook  (4A.36)
  • The Shared Governance Handbook (4A.10)

These documents establish the foundation from which the faculty can participate in every major discussion and decision related to the student learning programs and services offered by Gavilan College.

EVALUATION:

Gavilan College meets Standard IV (2)(b).

PLAN:

None.

3.   Through established governance structures, processes, and practices, the governing Board, administrators, faculty, staff, and students work together for the good of the institution. These processes facilitate discussion of ideas and effective communication among the institution's constituencies.

DESCRIPTION:

Shared governance procedures related to specific roles for faculty, staff, and students are published, distributed, and regularly promoted through College publications and governance committees. Publications include the Gavilan College Faculty Association contract; Faculty Handbook; the Shared Governance Handbook; Classified Staff Employee Association contract; and bylaws of governance committees. The participatory governance process of Gavilan College is grounded in Assembly Bill 1725 and is incorporated into Board Policy 3250 and Administrative Procedure 3250 (4A.18). The College uses the President's Council as the primary structure for input and participation by constituency groups. Individuals and representatives of constituency groups can bring items forward for discussion at President's Council. The administration also brings items to President's Council and the Academic Senate for discussion and input.

The President's Council consists of at least one representative from Academic Senate, professional support staff, managers/supervisors/confidentials, and the Associated Student Body. The superintendent/president chairs the President's Council. The vice presidents of instruction, student services, and administrative services are resources to President's Council and participate as non-voting members. President's Council makes recommendations to the superintendent/president on matters affecting the College (4A.37).

There are a number of additional College governance committees that report to the President's Council. The main institutional committees are the Health, Safety, Facilities, and Grounds committee, the District Budget Committee, and the District Technology Committee. Standing groups such as the Academic Senate, Learning Council, and Associated Student Body, as well as ad hoc committees, provide reports to the President's Council. Due to the wide range of subcommittees reporting to the President's Council and the other shared governance committees, there are a large number of employees and students who participate in the collaborative decision-making process. Participation by faculty, staff, and students is substantial. As a result, many different perspectives are considered before recommendations are sent to the Board of Trustees for action. It is not uncommon to find positive and negative comments obtained during the participatory governance process to be included in agenda items as they are presented to the Board of Trustees for consideration (4A.38).

The academic senate also receives reports and makes recommendations on significant matters of interest to the College. The academic senate has several standing committees, and creates ad hoc committees when necessary to discuss particular topics of importance. Standing committees of the academic senate that are chaired by faculty members appointed by the senate president include: curriculum, faculty staff development, Institutional Effectiveness, Learning Council, technology, and vision committees.

Ongoing institutional communication is facilitated through the college website and the MyGav portal. There is an intranet restricted to College staff (administrators, classified, and faculty) that includes committee reports and discussion areas, planning documents, forms and document drafts for review, all regularly updated. It includes links to a full range of College planning and assessment tools; employee information; general College information; and drafts of a wide array of College reports. Through the MyGav portal staff have detailed pertinent information, and also are able to keep abreast of reports as they are being drafted.

In addition to the MyGav portal, information is disseminated across the College in department newsletters, through campus email and staff listserves, the Campus News blog, and through regular reports from the Public Information Office (PIO). Local newspapers also receive regular news releases from the PIO. Information about college events and news is also published in social media venues. A traditional mailroom is maintained with mailboxes for College offices and services, as well as full-time and part-time faculty. Moreover, the superintendent/president sends emails when there are extraordinary newsworthy events that are of importance to the College community. On occasion, the superintendent/president will meet with all employees to discuss important changes that are affecting the College.

The Spring 2011 President's Council/Strategic Planning Shared Governance Survey had indicated that many staff and faculty were unclear about the President's Council, the planning processes, and their role in College decision-making, but that the rates of satisfaction in these processes were higher than in previous surveys (4A.21). The 2012 survey showed that this upward trend continues, with greater participation and awareness of planning and governance processes (4A.8).

Between the 2011 and 2012 surveys, a variety of activities were conducted that may have had an effect on the awareness and attitudes. A College-wide discussion on student success was conducted along with two open forums on the strategic plan. The new MyGav portal was also implemented in order to increase and improve communication throughout the College. New initiatives, such as the Learning Council, have become an avenue for greater involvement. Additionally, academic departments were allowed time to work on the new online version of the program plan on Staff Development day. A presentation on the program plan and the planning process in general was also conducted at this staff development day. These efforts may explain the relatively high approval rates of the program planning process. A "Shared Governance Road Show" (4A.20) brought information about governance and planning processes to different groups and departments, and solicited feedback on communications about these processes. The College also published a Shared Governance Handbook (4A.10) as an informational resource for current and new employees.

EVALUATION:

Gavilan College does not entirely meet Standard IV (3), as employee feedback shows a continuing need for communication about shared governance, even as participation and awareness have grown.

PLAN:

  • Improve communication between constituent groups and the President's Council.
  • Replicate activities that have improved awareness and attitudes about strategic planning: College-wide discussions on student success,
  • Continue to send out the President's Council/Strategic Planning Shared Governance Survey every other year to measure the impact. The results will be used to measure the impact of the activities and to modify them to improve the success.
  • The Shared Governance/Integrated Planning presentations (Shared Governance Roadshow) will continue as needed to increase understanding and solicit input from all campus groups.

4.   The institution advocates and demonstrates honesty and integrity in its relationships with external agencies. It agrees to comply with Accrediting Commission standards, policies, and guidelines, and Commission requirements for public disclosure, self-study and other reports, team visits, and prior approval of substantive changes. The institution moves expeditiously to respond to recommendations made by the Commission.

DESCRIPTION:

Gavilan College has positively and accurately responded to both the Accrediting Commission and the public regarding past accreditation history. The College has provided to the Commission the following documents detailing the College's intent to work within the standards of the Commission while keeping the public informed about procedures, processes, and outcomes:

  • March 2007: Institutional Self-Study in Support of Reaffirmation of Accreditation   (4A.39)
  • March 2010: Midterm Report, Submitted March 2010 (4A.40)
  • May 2010: Substantive change document for the Drywall program (4A.41)
  • Budget Request Flow Chart-Program Review to Final Budget (4A.42)
  • May 2012: College Status Report on Student Learning Outcomes Implementation (4A.43)

Additionally, in the Midterm Report submitted to the Accrediting Commission on March 15, 2010 (4A.40), Gavilan College was charged with developing a communications plan to educate all employees on the planning and budgeting process. The College completed this request by developing a flow chart "Budget Request Flow Chart-Program Review to Final Budget" (4A.44). The College also included other planning agendas and its intent to implement those agendas. Furthermore, the College prepared a program response dated October 10, 2007 (4A.45), and was visited by the accrediting team on October 15, 2007. Upon conclusion of the evaluating team's work, it was determined that all recommendations were declared fully implemented. Additionally, all annual reports to the Commission are up-to-date. Gavilan College has positively responded to all recommendations of the previous accreditation team report. All issues are considered resolved.

Gavilan College works hard to insure that the information forwarded to the public and its constituencies is complete and accurate. The Office of Institutional Research (OIR) examines data in reports prior to publication, and ensures that it is accurately gathered, processed, and reported. When appropriate, the OIR will share data gathered from surveys or other modes of data collection by presenting to different shared governance groups. If anything is determined to be incorrect, the OIR can work with those groups and correct the problem. Reports are written in an easy to read format, limiting statistical jargon, and providing interpretation of data.

The Gavilan College Public Information Office also ensures that information being presented to the public is accurate and consistent with policy and procedures. Portrayals of Gavilan College in the media are fact-checked and corrected when needed. The PIO works with shared governance committees and subcommittees to proofread and check for content accuracy. These include the "Webheads" (district technology subcommittee on the website), the schedule committee, the catalog committee, and the signage subcommittee.

EVALUATION:

Gavilan College meets Standard IV (4).

PLAN:

None.

5.   The role of leadership and the institution's governance and decision-making structures and processes are regularly evaluated to assure their integrity and effectiveness. The institution widely communicates the results of these evaluations and uses them as the basis for improvement.

DESCRIPTION:

The Gavilan College board of trustees, through their delegation to the College president, has established a two-year cycle to consider the effectiveness of the governance structure. In order to identify weaknesses and make needed improvements the College performs comprehensive qualitative evaluations on a regular basis. Different constituencies on campus are interviewed to determine weaknesses and strategize how to apply solutions. In addition the College has provided regular presentations on the shared governance process to all constituency groups, and provided opportunity for discussion and feedback, through the 2012 Shared Governance Roadshow (4A.20).

The Office of Institutional Researcher (OIR) conducts a survey every other year on the College's shared governance process. The goal is to insure that the College community maintains awareness of the shared governance process. Secondly, the OIR survey provides an opportunity for the campus community to identify its level of understanding of the governance process. In addition to the OIR survey, discussions occur at each of the governance committees (e.g. Academic Senate, President's Council, Curriculum Committee). Senior administration officers make themselves available to shared governance committees. The College president and executive vice president regularly attend the Academic Senate meetings. The Executive Vice President is a voting member of the curriculum and Institutional Effectiveness committees and chairs the Department Chairs meetings.

EVALUATION:

Gavilan College meets Standard IV (5).

PLAN:

None.


Standard IV (A) Evidence


Last modified: February 20, 2013
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800