Board of trustees to consider leadership policy change

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Trustee is frustrated by accreditation warning for three colleges.

By Zachary-Taylor Wright

The board of trustees will discuss changes Tuesday at the regular December meeting to a policy requiring faculty to incorporate “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” training into leadership courses.

The policy in question is B.9.1, which requires the incorporation of Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” into the curriculum.

The policy is under review after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges identified the policy as a problem with the autonomy of this college and St. Philip’s and Northwest Vista colleges.

The three colleges were placed on “warning” status this month and given a year to demonstrate autonomy.

Meeting as a committee of the whole Dec. 6, trustees discussed the accommodation of SACSCOC concerns on the colleges’ autonomy.

In the Policy and Long-Range Planning Committee meeting, Chancellor Brue Leslie informed the board of the SACSCOC recommendation that policy be “less explicit” in the leadership materials instructors and colleges employ when teaching students.

Leslie said the board of trustees could be explicit in requiring leadership.

Policy B.9.1 violates SACSCOC’s comprehensive Standard 3.4.10, which says primary responsibility for selecting curriculum content should be placed on faculty for an institution to be autonomous.

Leslie said the board was advised to seek further input from faculty and other stakeholders as to how this policy should be implemented.

To accommodate these requirements, the board has recommended an amendment of policy B.9.1.

This proposed amendment leaves the selection of a “single, districtwide leadership program … that ensures PK-16 alignment across the five Alamo Colleges” to faculty.

Jo-Carol Fabianke, vice president of academic success, said the policy is unclear as to how leadership will be implemented in the district.

She said the decision will take more discussion between the board and college leadership to determine how leadership will be incorporated into courses.

Leslie said the district will have a year to meet the six recommendations made by SACSCOC regarding autonomy of the three colleges.

District 6 trustee Gene Sprague asked Leslie if it was possible for the board of trustees to act more quickly while trying to meet SACSCOC’s concerns.

 “I just want everyone to understand, my point is that we get this resolved and get it off the table,” Sprague said. “I don’t like us having three colleges sitting on an accreditation warning list for a full year. It’s not necessary. So lets get to work. Get the job done on the other five issues.”

District 1 trustee Joe Alderete Jr. agreed with Sprague, saying the board of trustees needs to be “expeditious” in resolving the SACSCOC autonomy issue.

District 5 trustee Roberto Zarate reminded the board of trustees that the accreditation process leaves SACSCOC compliance to the college presidents.

Leslie said it is unlikely that these recommendations will be met by June, which is the first of the two annual SACSCOC meetings.

The board’s regularly monthly meeting is at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Killen Center.


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