Western District Board adopts the mission, vision, values, and practices of the College. At the same time,
the Board also adopts commitments and practices specific to the Board that
reflect the operations of the Board. The Board believes that these commitments
and practices serve as a guide for Board operations.
- We will follow the communication flow for board-president-staff interactions set forth by the president.
- We will embrace the College mission, vision, values, practices and culture fully as the board's own.
- We will work with the President and leadership team to assess and shape College goals, results, and measures. This will be led by the president and leadership team with board support, partnership, and endorsement.
- We will update policies that are older than 2015.
- We will commit to the tenets of the College's culture of accountability.
- We will express opinions at the table with respect and clarity to everyone present at the table and all parties speaking. In the end, we stand with one unified voice.
- We will not focus on the past but instead lead by focusing on the present and future in order to achieve student, college, and community success.
- We will work with the president to define the data necessary to make informed and educated decisions.
- We commit to a college-wide view at all times as we serve the entire region.
The Board operates under a continuous improvement philosophy in all of its duties and efforts on behalf of the College.
Open Discussion and Communication
The Board believes that everything is open to discussion, given mutual respect for individual positions, and a focus on College mission, vision, values, and practices.
Direction and Management
The District Board, in consultation with College staff and stakeholders in the community, establishes policies and the long-range direction of the College. The management is delegated to the administrative staff and is to be carried out consistent with the established policies and strategic directions.
"No Surprises" Rule
The Board is to have no "out-of-the-blue" issues, topics, questions, or public concerns brought before the group without discussion or dialogue with administrators and or members prior to meetings. It is appropriate to bring issues and concerns forward, but it is important to provide a "heads up" to the College President and Board Chair in advance of the meeting.
Board members may serve with staff and administrators on committees and attend conferences and seminars with staff, faculty, and administrators. It is a high priority for Board members to have in-service training, and the Board believes that the learning process is enhanced when there is staff and Board interaction.
Unified Public Voice
No one Board member may speak on behalf of Board unless authorized by the group. Once a Board decision is made, even with a split vote, the Board presents a unified voice to the public.
Communication Enhancement through Board "Advance" Sessions
Board planning sessions are held frequently throughout the year. Named "advance" sessions, typically, these sessions are held locally in an afternoon or evening setting.
Orientation and Mentoring for New Members
New Board members are provided with an orientation to the College and to the WTCS, conducted by the President. Members are assigned by the Chair to act as individual mentors for new Board members for orientation, interaction, and answering questions.
WTCS Boards Association Meetings
The District Board actively participates in the Wisconsin Technical College System Boards Association.
The Board places high priority in setting aside time to focus on emerging issues. The Board has established a "New Directions" committee, (Reference Policy A0126). The Chair of this committee works with administrators to develop an agenda.
Committees as a Whole
The Board uses the "Committee as a Whole" structure. The three standing committees are Budget and Facilities; Planning, Policy, and Instruction; and New Directions. This structure places balanced time and focus on key areas.
Selection of Chairperson
The Board always seeks qualified, interested, motivated individuals to serve as chairperson. The chairperson serves as the primary contact between the President and the District Board and works with the President to prioritize items that should be shared with the Board as a whole.
Compliance with All Statutes, Board Policies, and Legal Requirements (Local, state and federal)
A cornerstone of effectiveness for the Western Board is the earned reputation for ethical practices in every action.
Periodic Review of Board Policies and Practices
The Board believes that a periodic review of Board policies and practices is essential. The Planning, Policy and Instruction Committee serves as the formal review mechanism.
Rotation of Meeting Locations to Reach and Visit All Areas of District
The Board holds regular monthly meetings at least twice per year at one of the five Regional Learning Centers and Sparta Training Center.
Support Opportunities for the Professional Development of Members
The Western Board encourages and builds on opportunities offered through the mentoring process, the Wisconsin Technical College Boards Association activities, and Board/staff teams.
Consistent Decision Making
The Board believes that consistent decision making practices will aid in effective Board leadership. Decisions are made by the vote of the majority, however, the Board seeks consensus whenever possible. The Board encourages individual thought and participation in the formation of decisions, but encourages a unified voice once decisions are made.
Meetings serve as the basic framework for Board decision making. Board attendance is a priority. Meetings will include Board members plus appropriate administrators, staff, and outside resources needed to provide essential information.
When a leadership change occurs with the College President's position, the Board will actively seek a new leader who has the requisite experience, leadership philosophy, and commitment to maintain the mission, vision, and values of the College.