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Staff Policy D-502.01
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Operations


  1. NMC Mission. Northwestern Michigan College provides lifelong learning opportunities to its communities.
  2. Goals. Governance processes exist at NMC to fulfill the College's mission and ensure that the College provides an effective governance structure, which ensures that the College:
    1. Systematically plans for the future based upon a strategic planning process and assessment of current performance and a commitment to continuous improvement;
    2. Acquires and effectively allocates resources;
    3. Establishes policy and procedures to guide faculty, staff, and students; and
    4. Effectively and efficiently administers these processes to ensure fulfillment of its mission and strategic plan, with appropriate involvement of the faculty and staff in decisions of the College.
  3. Processes. NMC governance shall be accomplished through the following processes.
    1. Planning. A process which establishes the intended purpose, direction, and expected outcomes of the College; establishes a system of evaluating and monitoring progress in achieving those outcomes; and provides for assessment of their effectiveness for the purpose of pursuing continual improvement.
    2. Budget Development. The acquisition and effective allocation and utilization of financial resources.
    3. Policy Development. The establishment of institutional policy.
    4. Administration. The efficient and effective implementation of policy and procedures, initiatives of planning, and the budget.

    These primary processes are guided by three College governance councils (Planning/Budget Council, Policy Council, and President's Council), which report to the President. This document outlines the purpose, membership and responsibilities for each process and its council. In addition to the governance councils, the faculty and staff employee groups (faculty, administrative/professional, technical/paraprofessional, and support) each have a representative council for their group's unique interests.
  4. Northwestern Michigan College Governance Council Structure.

    Board of Trustees


    • Planning/Budget Council

    • Policy Council

    • President’s Council


  5. A "council" is defined as a standing advisory body with a formal, representative nature. The above bodies are the governance councils of Northwestern Michigan College. While all governance councils will include representatives from various segments of the College community, the focus of council decision-making will be the long-term best interest of the College.
  6. Additionally, any council or executive officer may appoint a committee, task force, or cross-functional work team to complete a specific charge and report back to the council or executive officer.
  7. Each council, committee, task force, or cross-functional team must have a written charge which outlines membership, responsibilities, a communications plan, a time line for carrying out their responsibilities. Criteria for membership on a governance council
    1. A comprehensive understanding of the College;
    2. The ability to recognize present and future student and community needs, coupled with a desire to effect the changes required to meet those needs;
    3. The ability to recommend actions which are in the long-term best interest of the College;
    4. The ability to work effectively in a team-oriented manner.

  8. Additional criteria for membership on Planning & Budget Council include:
    1. The ability to envision a future state and define strategic goals to achieve that future state;
    2. Offer diverse perspectives;
    3. Assertiveness in articulating ideas;
    4. Ability to develop and recommend goals, targets, and metrics;
    5. Ability and willingness to assess tradeoffs in making resource allocations.
Governance Processes
  1. Planning/Budget Council.
    1. Purpose: To make recommendations to the President regarding strategic planning design and implementation, operational planning, resource allocation and the general fund budget. These recommendations will be consistent with the College's annual planning and budgeting processes.
    2. Membership: There are three ways to gain consideration for membership: self-nomination by notifying the President's office; recommendation to the President by the appropriate employee council; or at the request of the President.
      Membership consists of eleven regular members and additional ex-officio members all of whom are appointed by the President. Regular members include four faculty, one administrative/professional staff, one technical/paraprofessional staff, one support staff, one Student Government Association member, one maintenance/custodial staff, and two members selected at large. The ex-officio members include each of the college's vice presidents and the Coordinator for Planning. The chair is selected from within the council.
      Additionally, the Chair of PBC may identify and invite others to participate in the strategic planning process as needed.
      The term of office for members is three years with a limit of two consecutive terms. Terms will be staggered so that only one-third of the membership will change in a given year. Terms will end on August 31 of the third year of office
    3. Responsibilities:
      1. To review and use the Grasp the Situation summaries to inform the strategic planning process;
      2. To assist the President in developing the strategic plan including recommending goals, measures and targets;
      3. To identify the institutional capacities needed to be developed to achieve the strategic plan;
      4. To review the Leadership Tool and provide input to President's Council as they use the tool to inform final adjustments to operational plans, as required;
      5. To check the institutional progress on the strategic plan quarterly and adjust as needed;
      6. To recommend revisions to the budget guidelines;
      7. To align budget recommendations with strategic and operational plans;
      8. To consider and recommend future budget scenarios;
      9. To recommend allocation of resources;
      10. To communicate with member constituencies;
      11. To develop and implement an annual orientation program for new council members.
  2. Policy Council.
    1. Purpose: Policy development is the establishment of institutional policy and procedures. The process of policy development at NMC will be conducted under the guidance and oversight of the NMC Policy Council. This process encompasses the activities which determine Board of Trustees policy and staff policy, ensuring appropriate involvement of and communication with those affected by the proposed policies as well as conformance to the Board's policy governance model. The following describes the membership of the policy council, its responsibilities, the definition of policy and policy development procedure.
    2. Membership: The NMC Policy Council will consist of ten appointed and one ex-officio member: one member of the executive staff, four faculty members, one administrative/ professional staff, one technical/paraprofessional staff, one support staff, one member of the services area of educational services, and one Student Government Association member. The Curriculum Committee will provide a representative to serve as an ad hoc member to Policy Council on curriculum matters. The chair will be chosen annually, by consensus. The chair shall have served at least one year prior to selection, and may serve one additional year beyond the normal expiration of his/her term to assist the new chairperson in learning the responsibilities of the position. The Vice President for Educational Services will be an ex-officio member of the Policy Council.
      1. Membership. There are three ways to gain consideration for membership: self-nomination by notifying the President's office; recommendation to the President by the appropriate employee council; or at the request of the President.
      2. Term of Office. The term of office for the faculty and staff members of the council shall be three years, with a limit of two terms. Membership terms will be staggered so that only one-third of the membership will change in a given year. Terms end on August 31 of the third year of office.
      3. Quorum. A quorum of seven members must be present to conduct council business. No substitutes shall sit in for a regular member. The individual or chair of the committee initiating a policy proposal may join the council meetings on an ex-officio basis when that specific policy proposal is being discussed.
    3. Responsibilities:
      1. Receive and evaluate proposals for additions, deletions, or revisions to staff policy and procedure which affect two or more areas of the College.
      2. Maintain a policy development and review process that provides for:
        1. determining whether proposals are appropriate and/or timely;
        2. ensuring that policy statements are clearly drafted and in conformance with the policy model of Board governance;
        3. providing opportunities for review and comment by those who will be directly affected by the policy proposal; and
        4. reviewing all policies on a five-year cycle for relevance and appropriateness.
      3. Develop and implement a communications plan which:
        1. ensures the opportunity for input and awareness on the part of all faculty and staff;
        2. includes appropriate distribution of council minutes to the College community;
        3. includes written guidelines informing faculty and staff of council operational procedures, and includes semi-annual reports to the College community on council activities;
        4. ensures that members of the Policy Council receive the orientation, education, and training required to be effective participants in the policy-making process;
        5. conducts its business and meetings in an efficient manner; and
        6. obtains feedback on the effectiveness of the Policy Council and recommend changes as needed to improve.
    4. Levels and Types of Policy: In the NMC policy governance model, there are two levels of policy: Board Policy and Staff Policy.
      1. Board Policy: Board policies for the organization are broad, guiding statements which reflect the Board's philosophy, values, or principles. Proposed new or revised Board Policies are presented to the Board Policy Committee for consideration. Board policies can be proposed by staff to the President, by the President to the Board, or by a Board member for consideration for adoption by the Board of Trustees. There are four types of Board policy:
        1. Board Process Policies (Prefix A) are established by the Board for its own internal workings.
        2. Board-President Relationship Policies (Prefix B) are established by the Board to indicate how it delegates authority to the President and monitors Presidential (organizational) performance.
        3. Ends Policies (Prefix C) of the College are its Vision Statement, Mission Statement, Values Statement and the Institutional Effectiveness Criteria. Ends policies deal with the ends or goals for which the College exists. Ends policies state a philosophy or general principle which is intended to provide broad guidance for organizational decisions in a variety of situations. These policies are designed to promote consistency, continuity, and standards of performance, and to reflect the basic needs of the College as well as its faculty, staff, students and community.
        4. Parameters Policies (Prefix D) limit the means staff may use in accomplishing the ends of the College. They are generally in the form of placing boundaries or parameters on prudence, ethics, and methods.
      2. Staff Policy: Staff policies, with the exception of the Human Resources Policies, generally affect more than one area of the College and define in more operational terms how the Board policies will be interpreted and implemented. In other words, staff policies describe the means which staff will use in accomplishing the ends of the College. Staff policies are recommended to the President by the Policy Council. The President issues final authorization of staff policy.
        1. The Statement of Principle enunciates the guidelines which will govern the College's actions in implementing the specific Board of Trustee's Ends Policy it interprets. The Statements of Principle shall respect any limits set by the applicable parameters policy.
        2. The Means Statement defines and describes means or steps which staff will take to interpret, administer, implement, and achieve the guidelines enunciated in the statement of principle in a staff policy.
          New staff policies (both statement of principle and statement of means), as well as changes to existing staff policies, are proposed by the Policy Council to the President for approval and may be reported to the Board of Trustees as deemed appropriate.
      3. Staff Procedures: Staff procedures define a manner or process for implementing a Board or staff policy. Staff procedures are developed by the area primarily responsible for implementing the policy and approved by the appropriate executive officer or administrator. In order to assure effective and consistent implementation of staff policy, the Policy Council may review office procedures as part of the policy review process.
    5. Overview of Staff Policy Development and Amendment Process:
      1. Policy Proposal: When an individual or committee within the College community proposes a new policy or revision to an existing policy, said policy will be forwarded to the chair of the Policy Council who will provide a copy to the President. Proposals will be submitted using the New Staff Policy Proposal or Policy Change Form, which are available President at S:/Policy Council/Forms.
      2. Initial Review: Within 30 days of receiving a policy proposal the Policy Council will determine whether the proposal is appropriate and timely and establish a time line for processing the policy. If the proposed policy is judged to be improper and/or untimely, the chair or his/her designee will meet with the proposer and provide an explanation of its determination.
      3. Review Process: If the Policy Council concludes that the policy proposal is both appropriate and timely, the council will establish a timeline and process for review of the proposal, which provides for the development of clear and effective policies consistent with the governance model. The process will provide: opportunity for widespread public awareness, comment and review of proposed policies by all those affected by the policy; participation in the review process by the policy proposer; and appropriate revision of the policy based upon input received during the review process. The process will seek to gain consensus for the proposed policy prior to submission to the President for approval and will provide for full publication of policies approved by the President
      4. Return to President: The final recommendation of the Policy Council will be forwarded to the President for review. The President will respond to the Policy Council's recommendations for policy adoption or alteration in a timely and expeditious manner.
      Human Resource Policies
      The Office of Human Resources develops and maintains human resource policies including but not limited to areas such as compensation, benefits, compliance, employment law, leaves of absence, performance management, recognition of employees, safety, and staffing. Human Resource policies will be developed and modified by the administration and taken to Policy Council for the review process. The process will provide: opportunity for widespread public awareness, comment and review of proposed policies by all those affected by the policy; participation in the review process by the policy proposer; and appropriate revision of the policy based upon input received during the review process.

      Board of Trustee Policies
      The Board of Trustees will deal with changes to policies in the Board's domain (Board process and Board/President relationship policies). However, all Board policy proposals will be reported to the Policy Council.
  3. Administration and President's Council.
    1. Purpose: Administration consists of the effective and efficient implementation of policy and procedures, initiatives of planning, and the budget. The administration of NMC is conducted through its organizational units as defined by the NMC organization chart.
    2. Membership: The NMC President's Council is the main administrative advisory body to the President. The President determines the membership and serves as Chair of the Council.
    3. Responsibilities: Through the faculty and staff of the area, and in cooperation with other areas, council members have the primary responsibility to ensure that College policies and procedures are implemented, planning initiatives are achieved, and the budget is managed effectively and efficiently.

If any provision(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Northwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provision(s).

Initially adopted as D-1102.01 August 1995
Revised April 14, 2000
Revised September 22, 2000
Revised February 18, 2005
Revised November 18, 2005
Renumbered D-502.01 December 20, 2006
Revised October 19, 2007
Revised December 3, 2009
Revised September 9, 2011

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