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College Governance

A4: Campus Structure for Policy Making and Review

Responsibility for taking ideas from any campus source and shaping them into College policy in the areas where responsibility has been delegated by the Board of Trustees is placed upon the standing committees and the three boards of the College.  The right of review, and therefore of vetoing any of the policies as shaped, rests with the faculty (see A3.f), the President, and the Board of Trustees.  The boards and committees also have responsibility for regular evaluation and, thus, review of existing policy.

  1. The Framework of the Structure:

    The three boards are central for policy formulation.  The policy areas of the Academic Affairs Board are the curricular and instructional program and cultural offerings of the College, including the Library.  The policy areas of the Campus Life Board are the extracurricular, religious, social, and recreational programs, and regulations for student conduct.  The policy areas of the Administrative Affairs Board are the pattern of organization and administration of the programs of the College, matters of general faculty and student welfare, and matters of public relations.
    The standing committees work under and are responsible to their respective boards in policy matters.  They may also have other functions, such as:
      1. To initiate policy recommendations to their board, preparing carefully written statements with rationale for the proposals they make.
      2. To examine ideas, recommendations or concerns referred to them by the chairperson of the board to which they report.
      3. To advise administrators on procedural principles and practices.
      4. To assist in implementing policies and procedures.
      5. To make specific administrative decisions when requested by the parent board.
      6. To initiate or carry out evaluative studies of programs in their area.

  2. The chart on the next page gives a visual picture of the structure of the governance boards and standing committees at Hope College.  The specific functions and membership principles of each board and standing committee are given in section A5.
    Click Here to see chart

  3. Principles of Representation

    The principles used in determining representation are:

    1. There shall be representation from each segment of the immediate community (student body, faculty, administration) on all boards and standing committees.  Regardless of the segment they represent, members are responsible to make judgments in the best interests of the entire community.

    2. On each board or committee, the number of members from a given segment of the College community is approximately proportionate to that segment's knowledge of or experience in the area of the group's jurisdiction, its responsibility for leadership in implementing policies in that area, and the impact of those policies on it.

    3. Individuals from each of the segments should be chosen on the basis of their knowledge, experience, or interest in the area of policy of that particular committee or board.

    4. Representation of both genders shall be a goal in selecting or appointing members of all boards and committees

  4. Principles of Eligibility

    1. Committee assignments shall change periodically following a replacement system that assures both continuity and fresh viewpoints, and leads to education of the committee member in the structure and functioning of the whole College program and the philosophy of education underlying it.  Membership on a board or elected committee is normally for a three-year term.   In order to ensure equitable representation of all segments of the community or when special administrative responsibility necessitates continuing membership on a board or committee, the three-year convention may be superseded.

    2. No faculty member shall be overloaded with committee responsibility.  Normally, he or she shall be a member of no more than two committees.  When possible, members of a policy board shall have some adjustment made in their other responsibilities to the College.

    3. To be eligible for election to one of the boards, a member of the teaching faculty with voting privileges must be completing at least two years of service at Hope College at the time of the spring election.  Faculty membership on a standing committee does not have this restriction; however, appointment of persons in their first year at the College shall be an exception rather than the rule.

      A student, to be eligible for board or standing committee membership, must be in at least his/her second semester of attendance at Hope College and must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and a 2.0 grade point average for the semester immediately preceding his/her term of service.

    4. No faculty member shall be a member of a board or elected committee during any year in which s/he is scheduled to be absent from the campus for one or more semesters.

    5. A faculty member may not serve concurrently on more than one of the following: Administrative Affairs Board, Professional Interests Committee, Status Committee, Advisory Committee on Financial Resources, and the President's Advisory Committee, nor concurrently on two boards.  Exception:  the Faculty Moderator (see A3.e2).  For limitations on Appeals and Grievances Panel membership, see A6f.

    6. The Provost's Office should be given notice of faculty appointments to all ad hoc and special committees.  This file of committee appointments will then be made available to the Status Committee and other bodies or individuals responsible for making committee assignments.  At the beginning of each academic year, the Provost will issue a listing of major ad hoc and special committees and their members, along with the list of board and standing committee memberships.

  5. Selection Procedure

    1. Boards

      1. Faculty:  Faculty members of the boards are elected so as to ensure representation from each of the divisions.  Each spring the divisional dean prepares a list of all faculty eligible for the respective board vacancies.  At a March meeting of each division, nominations are made and, when necessary, nominating elections are held to determine the two divisional nominees.  A majority of votes cast by those in attendance is necessary for a divisional nomination.  Before placing the name of a colleague in nomination, it is a professional courtesy to ask that person's permission.  No absent faculty member shall be nominated without advance consent.

        The Provost then combines the nominations from the four divisions into a single election ballot and distributes it by mail to all faculty members eligible to vote.  The representatives are then elected by the full faculty.

        Board members are elected for three-year terms staggered so that one-third of the members are elected each year.  If a faculty board member finds it necessary to resign, the replacement for the remainder of the academic year is the nominee who received the next highest number of votes in the preceding election.  If the list of divisional nominees is exhausted, the Status Committee appoints the replacement.

      2. Students:  Each of the three members of the Student Congress cabinet (the president, the vice-president, and the comptroller), who have been elected to these offices by an all-student election in April, serves on one of the three boards.  The Student Congress, elected in September, elects from its own membership one student to serve on the Academic Affairs Board, one on the Administrative Affairs Board, and three on the Campus Life Board.  The Congress president appoints the remaining student members to board positions.

      3. Administrators:  The President appoints the administrative personnel who serve on various boards with the exception of those who serve ex officio.

    2. Standing Committees

      1. Liaison from Parent Board:  To provide liaison with the parent board, the board members select one of their members to serve on each of the standing committees that report to the Board.  This selection is made in the spring for the coming academic year by the members of the Board who will serve in that year.

      2. The remaining members of the standing committees are appointed in the following manner:
      1. Faculty: The faculty members are appointed by the Status Committee.  The appointees are notified during the summer, and their names are submitted to the faculty for its review at the Pre-College Conference.  In making its appointments to the standing committees, the Status Committee will bear in mind that faculty representation from each of the divisions is generally desirable, especially on those standing committees dealing with academic matters.

      2. Students: The student members are appointed by the executive board of the Student Congress with approval by at least two-thirds of the membership of the Student Congress.

      3. Administrators: Administrative members are appointed by the President with the exception of those who serve ex officio.
  6. Committee Officers

    1. Boards

      1. Chairperson:  The chairperson of each of the three boards is elected in the spring by those new and continuing members who are to constitute the board for the following academic year.

        The chairperson of each board is responsible for calling meetings, for establishing the proposed agenda, and for determining whether a particular item is within the province of that board.  If there is a question of jurisdiction, the three board chairpersons, along with the President, Provost, and the Dean of Students shall meet as an executive committee to determine procedures to be used.  These might even include bringing together two or all three of the boards in joint session.
        The chairperson of each board is responsible for informing the President of any policy decisions made by the board.  S/he shall notify the President promptly in writing, attaching a marked copy of the official Minutes of the meeting at which the policy decision was made.
        The chairperson of each board must file with the Provost and with the newly elected board chairperson before the end of each academic year, a statement specifying all unfinished business of that board, along with copies of any documents relating to that unfinished business.
        The board chairperson is responsible for submitting to the Provost any revisions in the Faculty Handbook which have been approved by that board.  In the case of a proposed change in the campus governance structure, as relating for example to existing or proposed standing committees, the proposal is to be submitted first to the Administrative Affairs Board.  Upon positive action by the board, the AdAB chairperson will forward the approved revision to the Provost.

      2. Recording Secretary: The chairperson of the board appoints a recording secretary to serve for the entire year.  The recording secretary's role is to prepare minutes and to distribute them in accordance with the policy set forth in Appendix I, 21.b.

    2. The Standing Committees

      1. Chairperson: The chairperson is appointed by the Status Committee.  The chairperson's functions are basically the same as those of the chairperson of a board.  The chairperson of each standing committee must file with the Provost and with the newly elected chairperson of the parent board, before the end of each academic year, a statement specifying all unfinished business of that committee, along with copies of any documents relating to that unfinished business.

      2. Recording Secretary: The recording secretary is appointed by the chairperson. The recording secretary's role is to prepare minutes and to distribute them in accordance with the policy set forth in Appendix I, 21.b
  7. Meetings:

    1. Regular meetings of a board are held at least monthly.  Special meetings may be called by the chairperson.  The three major Boards meet as follows: Academic Affairs Board - first and third Tuesday of each month; Administrative Affairs Board - second Tuesday of each month; Campus Life Board - first Tuesday of each month.  If a fifth Tuesday occurs in any month, it will be allotted to the Academic Affairs Board.  If additional meetings become necessary, they should be scheduled at times other than Community Hours.

      The standing committees hold a minimum of two meetings per semester.  Thursday during the Community Hour (11:00 a.m. – noon) has been established as the regular meeting time for standing committees of the three major boards according to the following schedule: second Thursday of the month, Academic Affairs Board; third Thursday of the month, Campus Life Board; fourth Thursday of the month, Administrative Affairs Board.

    2. With the exception of the Status Committee, the Student Standing and Appeals Committee, and the Judicial Board, meetings of boards and committees are open to the college community.  It must be kept in mind, however, occasionally a board or committee may decide to act in executive session, at which time members of the community not elected or appointed to the board or committee may be asked to leave the meeting.

      The dates of meetings shall be publicized so that faculty and student groups or individuals that wish to present ideas or proposals are aware of deadlines for presentations.

    3. A proposed agenda shall be prepared for all regular meetings and consideration of agenda shall be the first item of business at each meeting.  If possible, agenda items shall be publicized so that faculty members or students who wish to be present are aware of the items under consideration.

    4. The normal rules of order shall be followed in transaction of business.  A quorum is defined as 50 percent of the eligible voters.  In the absence of a quorum, business may be transacted subject to later ratification.  The chairpersons of boards and committees do not normally vote, except in case of a tie vote.  Ex officio members of committees have full voting rights and privileges, except that the Faculty Moderator is a non-voting member of PIC (see A3.e.2).

    5. In the formulation of significant policy, the committees shall hold hearings so that the views of interested faculty members, administrators, and students can be heard, and their ideas and responses taken into consideration prior to the crystallizing of policy recommendations.

  8. Ad Hoc Committees Reporting to Boards or Standing Committees

    A board or standing committee may wish to appoint an ad hoc committee to make a particular study or to present special policy recommendations.  When it does so, it shall prepare a clear statement of the duties of this committee and establish a due date for its reports.
    The membership of an ad hoc committee need not be limited to members of the parent board or standing committee.

  9. Initial Policy Formulation Outside Boards and Standing Committees

    Although, as stated above (A3.f), "major responsibility for formulating and shaping policy is vested in the three boards and the committees under them," other groups may take an initiative in the development of policy proposals, beyond merely asking a board or committee to deal with an issue.  In addition to the special committees described in section A6 below, such groups include:

    1. Academic Departments

      The departmental meeting is a normal and effective means by which each member of the faculty may present ideas on any aspect of the College program and get initial reaction.  Departments may prepare recommendations on any matter and send them to the chairperson of the appropriate board or standing committee.
      Within the framework of policies established by the Academic Affairs Board, departments have some freedom to establish particular departmental policies.  To enact such policies, as well as to take up other items of professional stimulation and concern, each department shall hold regular meetings.  Minutes shall be kept and copies distributed to members of the department, to the divisional dean, to the Provost, to the President, and to the Archives.

    2. Divisions

      Divisional meetings may serve as a forum for discussion of matters that have ramifications beyond the individual departments.  Therefore, such meetings become a means of preparing divisional recommendations to the appropriate board or standing committee.
      Other functions of divisional meetings are to provide programs for intellectual stimulation and to become the means of presenting nominations to membership on the boards and on the Status, Professional Interests, President's Advisory, and Financial Resources Advisory Committees.

    3. Department Chairpersons' Councils

      The departmental chairpersons within each division meet on occasion at the call of the divisional dean, who acts as the chairperson.  In addition, all departmental chairpersons meet regularly with the President and the Administrative Staff (see A2.e).  The chief function of these councils is that of an advisory body.  They may make recommendations to the administration, the faculty, or the various policy-making boards and standing committees for changes in policy, new policies, procedures or programs, studies, and research in any area related to the various programs of the College.

    4. Ad Hoc Committees Reporting to an Administrator or Administrative Department

      In the interest of the creative academic environment which Hope College seeks to foster, it may on occasion be desirable to appoint an ad hoc committee to address a specific issue, opportunity, or situation.  While such ad hoc committees do not have policy-making power, they may forward policy recommendations to the appropriate decision-making body.  Ad hoc committees are to observe the following procedures:
      1. The responsibilities of an ad hoc committee should not duplicate the functions of a board or standing committee.

      2. When an ad hoc committee is formed, its task, membership, method and time of termination, and to whom it is to report should be delineated.  A statement specifying these matters will be submitted to the Administrative Affairs Board, which will evaluate the ad hoc committee plan and resolve any perceived conflicts with board and standing committee areas of responsibility.

      3. An outline of the ad hoc committee plan (task, membership, duration, to whom it reports), its minutes, and a summary of its conclusions or final report will be reported via KnowHope.

      4. In the appointment of faculty members to ad hoc committees, equitable distribution of extracurricular responsibilities should be kept in mind.

      5. If a policy recommendation results from the work of an ad hoc committee, it is to be presented to the appropriate board or standing committee.

    5. Administrative Departments

      Initial drafting of policy recommendations is sometimes done by an administrator, possibly with the aid of existing groups such as the Deans' Council (see A2.e). It is the administrator's responsibility, at an early stage of the development of such recommendations, to notify the chairpersons of the relevant board and standing committee that the work is under way, so that the board and committee may decide at what point it wants to become directly involved in the formulating process.

  10. Faculty and Presidential Review of Policies Enacted by the Boards

    All policy actions taken by the committees are recommendations to their parent board.  All policy actions by a board are subject to review by the faculty (see A3.f) and by the President of the College, who is the responsible agent of the Board of Trustees.
    If board decisions are of such significance as to require Board of Trustees approval, or if they have such financial ramifications as to require review by the President's Administrative Staff, the President shall upon being notified of such decisions, inform the board promptly of the additional steps needed.  Other board decisions shall become official upon approval by the President.  The action of the President should be indicated formally within 30 days of notification (see A4.e1a), subject to the proviso that the President is entitled to delay a response until after the time allotted for faculty review (see A3.f) has elapsed.

  11. "Checklist" and Workshop for Board and Committee Officers

    1. A "Checklist for Chairpersons and Secretaries of Boards and Committees" is available from the Provost's Office.  It contains practical recommendations on the conduct of business--from an initial idea to enacted and approved policy--and a digest of pertinent Handbook regulations, topically arranged for convenient reference.

    2. Board and committee chairpersons have an opportunity to discuss problems they have encountered in the governance system and ways of making the system work more effectively, in an annual Governance Workshop sponsored by the Provost's Office.