The College has historically struggled with the concept of governance. One step in the creation of shared governance was the creation of a collaborative body, the Compass Council, tasked with setting policy and driving the Strategic Plan. Originally formed in 2002, the Compass Council included the members of the President’s Executive Staff and other key administrative personnel along with the faculty. The Compass Council brought together the Executive Staff (heads of the seven functional areas of the College) along with key decision makers in other areas to work in a collaborative fashion to provide guidance to the President.
The College has continued to evolve this process. The current framework of the shared governance structure has been driven by the President, who recognized a dichotomy between administration and governance. The vision for a transparent, inclusive governance structure has been a point of discussion since 2006. Recent changes to the Compass Council have begun to broaden the representation in the decision making process by including the President of the RSC Faculty Association. The College President, in conjunction with the Compass Council and College constituents are continuing to refine the model.
The President communicated the first working draft during the Fall Quarter 2007 Presidential Address (September 12, 2007). Following discussions in the Self-study Town Meetings, it became evident that the College community lacked a common vision and understanding of the difference between organizational management and shared governance. A Rhodesside Assistance Intervention #13 (RD105) was presented to the President to address the lack of understanding. The President and Compass Council determined that a College-wide awareness communication campaign was necessary to ensure a successful introduction of the new structure.
The communication campaign was deployed during the winter quarter 2008 and continued into spring 2008, with the President holding over 20 sessions across all segments and units of the College community. Students, administrators, staff, and faculty all will play increasingly influential roles in decision-making, and communication among constituents will be an important and expected outcome. According to the latest approved draft (Compass Council Meeting Minutes – 9/13/07) definition for Governance, “Shared governance is an inclusive process by which the College Community has the opportunity to influence decisions on matters of planning effectiveness, policy, procedure, and programs.”
Governance System Policy and Procedure Manual