Process for Updating the TMCC Policy Manual
See Also: Request for Policy Review Form
- Membership, Chair and Administrative Support
- Process (Activities)
- Emergency committee activities
An institutional policy means a legal mandate, a financial mandate or consideration, or an operational or academic issue that affects the entire college or college community.
The president shall authorize, on an annual basis, an Institutional Policy Committee to review college-wide policies, to consider changes to college-wide policies and to consider instituting new college-wide policies. The committee reviews, amends and proposes policies on an annual basis. The committee reports directly to the president. The committee makes recommendations directly to the president.
The purpose of the committee is to review and consider policies that tend to affect the entire college community as a whole, not to review concerns or issues that solely affect individual members of the college community or individual units/departments. When there is doubt as to this distinction, or as to whether the committee should consider a certain matter, the membership of the committee shall make a determination by simple majority vote, following the timeline and process outlined below.
Members of the TMCC community bring policies for review or consideration to the attention of the committee. Committee members are charged with considering issues brought before the committee from individuals in the college community, setting an annual agenda, taking pertinent agenda items to their constituents for feedback in a timely manner, and making final recommendations by the final committee meeting on an annual basis, following the timeline and process outlined below.
The Institutional Policy Committee shall consist of the following ex-officio membership:
- the VPAA/SS or his/her designee
- the Chair of faculty senate or his/her designee
- three (3) senators from the TMCC Faculty Senate
- the VP of Finance and Administrative Services or his/her designee
- the Institutional Research director or his/her designee
- the Financial Aid director or his/her designee
- the Student Services director or his/her designee
- the Admissions & Registrar director or his/her designee
- a representative from Classified Council
- the campus technology officer or his/her designee
- the Human Resources director or his/her designee
- a senator or officer of the Student Government Association
If a certain position listed above or its fundamental equivalent does not exist or remains vacant, that ex-officio seat shall remain unfilled. Only the persons who hold the positions listed above or the person's designee where mentioned as an option may sit in membership on the committee.
On a two-year cycle, the president shall appoint from this membership a chair of the committee. The president shall designate this chair position on a rotating basis, so that the same chair does not serve in consecutive cycles. The president shall designate an individual from the college community to provide administrative support to the committee (for the taking of minutes, etc.). All members of the committee are voting members, except the chair of the committee, who votes only in the case of a tie vote of the membership.
Where not otherwise specified in these sections outlining the charge, membership, timeline and activities of the committee, the committee shall operate under the guidelines set forth in the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order. Whenever appropriate and possible, however, the committee may operate under informal rules of order, e.g. accepting oral motions instead of written ones, etc. If there arises doubt as to how to proceed in a certain matter, the procedure shall be determined by a simple majority vote of the committee.
The committee shall operate on an annual schedule that follows the academic calendar. The committee shall hold three yearly meetings, as follows: the first meeting is to take place not later than October, but after the first annual meeting of the TMCC Faculty Senate; the second meeting shall take place in January before the start of the spring semester; the third meeting shall take place in the spring semester at least one week prior to the catalogue deadline (deadline for changes to appear in the upcoming college catalogue). An optional meeting may take place in May to prepare for the following academic year.
It is the committee chair's responsibility to inform the college community of the charge, timeline, and activities and processes of the Institutional Policy Committee.
At its first meeting, the committee shall agree upon an annual agenda of specific college-wide policies to review or consider. These items may be brought to the attention of the committee by any individual in the college community, who must provide the committee some rationale for the proposed policy review or change. This individual shall have an opportunity to address the committee at its first meeting prior to its vote to set the annual agenda. The committee will design and implement its own forms and procedures, except that it must follow the general process outlined in these sections.
The committee determines its own agenda, i.e. it does not have to place any specific item on its annual agenda, other than in response to a specific request of the president (see "Emergency committee activities" below). The chair of the committee or any member of the committee may suggest agenda items; however, the final committee agenda shall be approved by a simple majority vote of the committee at its first meeting. Once the agenda is established for the given academic year, it may not change.
Members take agenda items to their constituents for feedback. Members are responsible for understanding and recording feedback given to them by constituents. Members are responsible for presenting such feedback to the committee at its second annual meeting. In the absence of appropriate stakeholders at the first meeting, the committee chair shall assign feedback and fact-gathering tasks to designated committee members.
At its second annual meeting in January, the committee shall take a simple majority vote of "proceed/do not proceed" on each agenda item. If the committee votes to "proceed" with consideration of an agenda item, the committee then determines what further feedback or information is needed. The chair may assign committee members fact-gathering tasks in this regard. If the committee votes "do not proceed," then the agenda item will no longer be considered in the given academic year but may, when appropriate, be placed on the agenda for the following year.
At its third annual meeting, the committee shall take final votes on each agenda item. These votes shall serve as policy recommendations to the president.
The president shall inform the college community of his/her final decisions on each policy recommendation.
Also at its final meeting or a subsequent meeting in May, the committee shall determine membership reappointments for the following year. When this meeting falls at the end of the chair's two-year cycle, the president shall designate the chair for the following year by this meeting date. The committee may make a recommendation to the president in this regard. Any proposed agenda items for the following academic year shall be forwarded to the chair of the faculty senate.
In pressing or emergency circumstances (e.g. an accreditation matter that requires immediate attention, a revision to the catalogue that must be addressed immediately for legal reasons or in order to accommodate changes in the NSHE code, etc.), the president may call together the committee to consider designated agenda item(s) of his/her determination on an as needed basis. In such circumstances, the president may also set an emergency timeline for policy review (e.g. three weeks to review and make a recommendation); the president may task the committee with additional charges related to the regular charges outlined above; however, the general intent and purpose of the committee must remain intact, i.e. the committee is to review college-wide policies that tend to affect the entire college community and not issues or concerns that solely affect an individual member of the college community or individual unit/department. In the absence of a pressing or emergency situation, the president shall abide by the procedures outlined above, i.e. he or she should request that the committee chair place a certain policy item to be considered over the course of the academic year on the annual agenda.