Philosophy, Mission, and Roles and Responsibilities of the Board of Trustees
Philosophy of the Board of Trustees
We, the trustees of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, commit ourselves individually and collectively to the highest standards of conduct. We acknowledge that each of us shares a profound obligation to exercise our best possible judgment as we face the matters affecting the health and vitality of this institution which we hold in trust for current and future generations. We pledge to work together on behalf of our community in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration.
Mission of the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees carries out the philosophy, mission and priorities of Foothill-De Anza Community College District through the execution of the following responsibilities:
- Determines policy and direction of the institution, and evaluates the implementation of policy recognizing the philosophy of participatory governance that exists in the District;
- Establishes and protects districtwide a climate in which teaching and learning are deeply valued, where the worth and dignity of each individual is respected, and where cultural diversity is celebrated;
- Acknowledges students, their opportunities, and their progress as the central purpose of our colleges and supports their academic pursuit through careful program review;
- Ensures the fiscal health and stability of the Colleges and Central Services by having close working relationships with the Chancellor, financial staff, and auditors, and assures that proper procedures are in place to monitor this fiscal stability;
- Appoints, supports and assesses the performance of the Chancellor, and assures integrity and oversight of the evaluation processes for all district employees and the Board itself;
- Ensures quality teaching through its oversight of policies and procedures for hiring, tenure review, and professional growth of faculty and administrative staff, and clearly recognizes the contribution of classified staff in enabling teaching and learning to take place;
- Acts as a community bridge, recognizing that community priorities are to be addressed through program offerings, types of facilities, and neighborly cooperation;
- Serves as a positive agent of change, recognizing that it holds the Colleges in trust for future generations of students;
- Serves as a court of appeal; and
- Works constantly to improve the Board's quality of trusteeship through orientation, education, and assessment of its own performance.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Board of Trustees fulfills its roles and responsibilities in each of the following areas:
A. BOARD LEADERSHIP, OVERSIGHT AND REPRESENTATION
- To establish and oversee the District's mission, purposes, goals, policies, programs, services, and needs, and ensure implementation through the Chancellor.
- To appoint, support, and evaluate the Chancellor.
- To hold the educational welfare of the students attending the colleges as a primary concern of the Trustees.
- To preserve the institutional autonomy and integrity of the District by serving as a model for all to emulate.
- To represent a broad cross section of the community and reflect the public interest; to represent the District, its Colleges, its aspirations, its students, and the taxpayers; to serve the District as a whole rather than any special interests; and to serve as a bridge between the community, the District and its Colleges.
- To ensure that the District is well managed.
- To assure long range planning.
- To fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities to the public by approving the District's budget, ensuring that it reflects the District's mission, priorities and goals; and informing the community of the financial needs of the District.
- To provide leadership and advocacy to obtain and assure adequate funding, fiscal soundness, and sustainability of the District's programs and facilities.
- To support the Foundation and Chancellor in implementing fundraising strategies through donor cultivation and solicitation.
- To participate in the life of the Colleges' communities (e.g., attending staff and student recognition ceremonies, special events, fundraisers, etc.) and to be willing to serve on committees.
- To advocate for legislation to meet the needs of the District and be active and supportive of political activity at the local, state and national level concerning laws and funding activities of the community college system, and to remain informed of and participate in community college trustee organizations to keep each member abreast of state and national trends and issues.
B. BOARD CONDUCT, PERFORMANCE AND STATUTORY RESPONSIBILITIES
- To observe all state and federal statutes and administrative regulations, including the open meeting requirements of the Brown Act, the Education Code, the Government Code, and the Labor Code.
- To follow all statutes regarding conflicts of interest, to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest that might embarrass the Board or the institution, and to reveal any possible conflict of interest to the Board in a timely fashion.
- To attend all Board meetings regularly and promptly, and review all materials sent out in advance of the meetings in order to assure meaningful participation and make informed decisions.
- To ask appropriate, timely and substantive questions at Board meetings consistent with one's conscience and convictions.
- To periodically suggest agenda items for Board meetings to ensure that significant policy-related matters are addressed.
- To vote on all motions of the Board except when removal from action for conflict of interest is declared, to make decisions only after all the facts have been presented and discussed.
- To maintain the confidentiality of the Board's closed sessions.
- To serve as a court of appeal.
- To support and defend all appropriate actions by the Chancellor, the Presidents, Administration, Faculty and Staff.
- To make judgments, without prejudice, based upon information received from individuals on the campuses and encourage those with real or perceived grievances to follow established policies and procedures through their supervisors. All matters of potential significance should be brought to the attention of the Chancellor or Board President. Any personal criticisms of staff should be presented to the Chancellor.
- To consult with the Chancellor's designated contact persons responsible for board items; to request special information, studies or board items through the Board or Board President; to be at all times polite and respectful of staff, remembering that they have other duties and responsibilities, and to avoid placing or appearing to place pressure of any kind on individual students, faculty, staff, or administrators.
- To speak for the Board only when designated to do so if contacted by the media.
- To follow the same rules, regulations, and policies of the District as do other employees related to benefits, travel, parking, financial reimbursements, etc.
- To encourage periodic review of the Board's performance.
- To communicate with the Chancellor's Office regarding extended absences, vacations, etc.
Note: Consolidated from the following ACCT and CCCT documents: Trusteeship in Community Colleges (ACCT, Smith, 2000); Guidelines for Effective Trusteeship; and Responsibilities and Effective Board Practices (CCCT Trustee Handbook. Inc.).