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Standards of Practice and Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Highline College Board of Trustees serves Community College District 9, deriving its authority from RCW 28B.50 and legislated responsibilities as representatives of the community.  Trustees are appointed by Washington State’s Governor to serve at the will of the Governor, and advocate on behalf of, the community and the College.
  2. The Board of Trustees shall establish and monitor Highline College’s Core Themes on behalf of the community and the State’s public interest.
  3. The Board of Trustees shall review and authorize academic tenure for the college.
  4. The Board of Trustees shall select, and retain the President and, on an annual basis, evaluate the President’s performance and compensation.
  5. The Board shall pass the College’s annual budget or provide authority to expend funds as appropriate. 
  6. The Board shall take action on negotiated labor agreements on behalf of the College as required.
  7. The Board shall advocate for local control when appropriate, on Highline College issues and related community initiatives.
  8. The Board, on a yearly basis, shall conduct a self-evaluation of its performance to identify strengths and strategies for improvement.
  9. All Board meetings shall be open to the public pursuant to the Washington Open Meetings Act and Board members shall serve the public’s interest free of conflict of interest or personal gain.
  10. The Board shall delegate all operational responsibilities and appointing/termination authority to the President, upon consent of the Board, to and his/her designees.
  11. Board Members shall act in a manner that is mindful and respectful of the distinction between the Board’s governance role versus the operational/administrative roles or activities of the college and the President.
  12. The Board of Trustees shall develop, establish and support college policies working in good faith with the President to uphold the mission and vision of the institution; and the Board will maintain open communication between the Board and the President.
  13. The Board of Trustees shall evaluate/review with the President standards of quality and accountability in management of funds/assets, educational programs/student success, the college commitment to diversity, and equal and fair treatment of the student body, including its employees. 
  14. The Board of Trustees shall govern as a collaborative unit in the best interest of the students, faculty, administrators and general public regarding promotion of Highline College in District 9 and shall value the unique strengths and qualities of each Trustee and their integrative/ethical perspectives.
  15. Seek, support and foster partnerships with business and government, in addition to support of the Highline College Foundation.
  16. Questions and/or concerns regarding College operations are to be directed to the President, unless President directs otherwise.  The President (or designee) will serve as the primary communications liaison between the Board, Executive Staff, Staff, and Faculty. All communications to the Board or individual Trustees should be directed to the Board Chair, who acts as spokesperson for the Board.
  17. Trustee commit to collaboration, listening, critical thinking with clarification, flexibility, optimism, and support for each other on behalf of Highline College and the community it serves. 
  18. Regular Meeting: There shall be eleven regular meetings per year.
  19. Special Meeting:  Any Board member with the support of an additional Board member or the chair may request a special meeting of the Board at any time, by written request submitted to the chair. The special meeting shall be scheduled by the chair, in consultation with the College president. Meeting notice shall follow procedure prescribed by the Open Meetings Act. The Board shall not take a final action during a Special Meeting unless that action is listed on the meeting agenda. Discussion and potential final actions shall be held in open public session unless executive session is permitted by law required.
  20. Notice of Meetings: Notification of the date, time, purpose, and location of regular and special meetings shall be transmitted under guidelines of the Open Public Meetings Act, governed by the requirements of chapter 42.30 RCW (found under Chapter 1321-104-065). 
  21. Quorum: Three of five Trustees shall constitute a quorum at all annual, regular and special meetings.  Meetings shall be governed under Robert’s Rules of Order. With approval of the chair, a Trustee may attend a meeting by telephone, conference call or other electronic web media that that allows all Trustees to hear and be heard by every other Trustee and person in attendance at the public meeting.
  22. Board Officers:  At the June annual meeting, the board shall elect from its membership a chair and vice-chair, and appoint members to serve on working committees of the Board. Committee membership shall be for a one-year term. Trustees or may serve successive terms on a committee and may serve on more than one committee. The chair shall recommend committee assignments for approval by the other board members in an open meeting. 

    The standing committees include:

    • ACT
    • Legislative
    • Foundation
    • Finance

    The Board may establish other committees from time to time as it deems necessary e.g. building/facilities and or government affairs.

  23. Attendance: Board members shall attend all regular meetings with notification to the chair or President if absence is necessary. Trustees are expected to attend a minimum of 80% of regular meetings. Board members are eligible for per diem funds for each regular meeting pursuant to: RCW 43.03.050.
  24. Trustees should participate in commencement, the winter campus luncheon, the spring awards luncheon, and the major Highline College Foundation fundraisers or events.
  25. Amendment: These board practices and policies may be amended, altered, replaced or repealed by the Board at any regular or special meeting, provided that proposed action on the policy is announced in the notice of such meeting. New policy shall respect the College’s Policy Development Process.  However, if any conflict cannot be resolved then local board authority and responsibility shall adhere to RCW 28B.50.140. All policies shall be reviewed every third year by the Board.

Reviewed and updated, January 18, 2018
Chair, Debrena Jackson Gandy
Vice Chair, Bob Roegner
Member, Dan Altmayer
Member, Fred Mendoza
Member, Sili Savusa

Highline College Board of Trustees


Trustee Practices

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