In the last year, since assuming my new role of coordinator of planning, program review, and accreditation, I have had the opportunity to converse with a large number of personnel across a variety of administrative and instructional departments. Discussions with key administrators new to our campus have been especially enlightening, as they have highlighted the level to which our planning processes and governance committee structure can be confusing to the outside world. Although out existing system may work for us and fit our culture well, we have to do a better job at explaining this maze to internal and external constituencies. Despite our great schematics outlining our processes, the delineation of duties across committees involved with planning may be obscure to some. Below is a synopsis of various groups’ work.
Our planning processes and documents are born, fleshed out, implemented, and revised in three committees:
- Team B, the Master Planning Steering Committee (also known as the Planning Resource Committee), is a non-governance committee tasked with writing or updating the Educational Master Plan and overseeing the revision of all other plans on campus. At its most recent meeting, Team B evaluated the annual goals set last year for 2013-14 and proposed a new set of goals for 2014-15. This year, goals are linked to a set of metrics, strategies, and timelines to ensure that specific objectives are met within the year. Next on Team B’s agenda are the establishment of a calendar for the revision of all plans (HR, EEO, Staff Development, Diversity, Technology, Student Equity, Safety, Facilities, Library, Learning Resources, Student Services, and Instruction, to name a few) and the overhaul of the Educational Master Plan. Team B is the “working group” that develops planning documents that are subsequently adopted by Team A.
- Team A, the Master Planning Committee, is a very large governance committee comprised of the who’s who on campus: its membership consists of the vast majority of administrators; all division chairs; Guild, CSEA, and Academic Senate presidents; and classified and faculty representatives. The committee meets once per semester to “bless” various proposals put forth by Team B. At its May 9 meeting, Team A reviewed the proposed goals for 2014-15 and suggested a handful of revisions that will be returned to Team B in late May for review. The updated goals will be subsequently forwarded to the Campus Executive Committee for final approval. Other duties of Team A include an annual revision of the college’s mission, the implementation of the Educational Master Plan, the review of institutional plans, and a linkage of program review results with planning processes.
- IPCC, the Institutional Planning Coordinating Committee, is a relatively new addition to our governance structure. Its task is to coordinate the college’s planning, program review, and resource allocation process. Furthermore, it oversees, in conjunction with the Academic Senate, all matters pertaining to accreditation. For example, follow up reports submitted to ACCJC each year since 2011 have been developed and reviewed by IPCC.
Ultimately, all roads lead to Campus Executive, the “committee on committees.” Campus Executive is chaired by the superintendent/president; its voting membership consists of the three vices presidents, and presidents of the Guild, Academic Senate, and CSEA, and is the body that affixes the final stamp of approval on various institutional plans.
An integrated planning process ultimately links the college’s vision with its goals, strategies, and resource allocation. Like many other institutions, it took us a while to establish this linkage; however, we have made great strides in the right direction since our last accreditation site visit, and will hopefully continue to do so in the future.