The WCC Board of Trustees assigning policy-making duties to the College president opens a serious question. When was the last time WCC had a functional Board of Trustees? Giving up policy-making responsibilities means giving up oversight. And oversight is the Board’s most basic function.
The Board Policy Manual offers some insight into when this deterioration started, and its effect. Currently, the manual lists a total of 81 policies related to all facets of the College operation. Of the 81 policies, the last decade has seen 20 policies introduced or updated. In other words, the College president introduced or updated an average of 2 policies per year. The Board last reviewed the remaining 61 policies sometime between 2001 and 2010. Someone updated the majority of these – 74% – in 2002.
To put that in perspective, the Department of Homeland Security didn’t even exist the last time more than half of the policies in the Board manual were updated.
The other problem with the current Board Policy Manual is what it doesn’t show. Someone has eliminated policies, but we don’t know who, what, when, or why. There is very little transparency in how the WCC Board operates and little to no oversight. We’ve literally invested billions in WCC, and the Board has turned it over to executives who do not live in Washtenaw County and have no direct accountability to the taxpayers. They just spend our money. Based on WCC’s looming deficit, they’re doing a pretty good job of that.
This is how the College operates.
We cannot continue to give Board seats to people who have no interest in performing the work of a Trustee. We cannot continue to elect Trustees who favor “business as usual,” because “business as usual” isn’t working.
Photo Credit: Jason Boldero , via Flickr