Take time to get it right first time

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Patience and focus at beginning will prevent need for so many revisions.

The board of trustees voted through a policy change with wording that could be misconstrued, saying they can make revisions later.

Policy H.1.1 says, “we are further committed to hire the best-qualified person to fill each available position and reward each employee based on his or her job performance.”

This could be interpreted to mean merit-based pay, which is illegal under state law.

The Policy and Long-range Planning Committee is the second-to-last committee meeting, just before Audit, Budget and Finance. These come after Student Success and Building Grounds and Sites Selection.

The majority of the time spent at committee meetings is on Student Success, and that is great, but it should not be at the expense of everything else.

By the time the trustees get around to Policy and Long-range Planning, it is evident they want to go home because this section is always rushed through with little discussion about the policy changes. Audit, Budget and Finance is done even faster.

If trustees would spend more time talking about changes, policy discrepancies like in H.1.1 can be caught before getting to the board of trustees for a vote.

Once it gets to the board, no changes can be made. The trustees can either table the discussion and readdress the policy at next month’s meeting or vote it through with the intention to make more revisions later.

In this instance, they chose to do the latter. This is lazy and potentially hazardous.

In this particular instance, the added time to revisions will not cause immediate problems. District 9 trustee James Rindfuss, who has been a lawyer for 49 years, says he does not interpret the wording in a negative way, but can see the need for rewording.

But what about future policy changes in need of careful scrutiny?

If the trustees continue as they have, it is clear these policies will not get the attention they deserve, putting policies in an endless cycle of constant revisions.

During the board meeting Tuesday, Policy B.6.1 Board Committees, a policy from October, was finally fully revised and voted through without needing changes.

In October, the amendment to move to a committee-of-the-whole model was voted through by the board but had to be revised before being put into action.

Committee of the whole means all committees consist of all the trustees rather than the three or four actually assigned to a committee. The amendment forgot to note who would act as vice chair in the standing chair’s absence.

Instead of rushing through committee meetings in an effort to leave as early as possible, trustees need to put in the necessary time to make sure the job is done right the first time.

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