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Board of Trustees Policy

College Ends Statements

NorthWest Arkansas Community College will become a premier educational provider in northwest Arkansas by developing a responsive educational delivery system customized to the needs of learners and receiving organizations.

1.   For the learner community we will:

Provide expanded access to educational opportunities for the population in general, but especially for under-served learners in all age groups who are disconnected from education by choice or circumstance and will actively support student retention and completion.

2.   For the business community we will:

Enhance partnerships and collaborations with business and industry through innovative approaches to design and deliver training and education.

3.   For the owner community (taxpayers) we will:

a. Enhance NWACC's capacity to achieve its initiatives by diversifying its resource base.

b. Provide educational and comprehensive programs, services and facilities to the owner community (taxpayers).

4.   For the pre-kindergarten through grade 16 community we will:

Forge a systemic linkage with P-16 and University partners to achieve "seamlessness" in curriculum, technology and learner support and service delivery.

5.   For the college community we will:

Align the organizational infrastructure of NWACC with College growth.

POLICY TYPE: EXECUTIVE LIMITATIONS

EL-200 Global Executive Constraint

The President shall not cause or allow any practice, activity, decisions, or organizational circumstance which is either unlawful, imprudent or in violation of commonly accepted business and professional ethics or Board of Trustee policy.

Definition:  Practice or activity refers to events of the college.  These events cannot violate law or NWACC's Ends and Executive Limitations.

Organizational circumstance refers to any event occurring that involves the college.

Unlawful refers to violation of local, federal, and state statutes.

Imprudent refers to actions taken without regard to outcome or consequential results to the college.

Commonly accepted business and professional ethics refers to truthfulness and avoidance of conflicts of interests.

 

MONITORING:
Methods:   Written report with verbal explanation of variances

EL-201 FINANCIAL CONDITION

With respect to the actual, ongoing financial condition and activities, the President shall not cause or allow the development of fiscal jeopardy, or a material deviation from the Board approved budget and priorities established in Ends policies.

Definition:  Fiscal jeopardy is defined as exhibiting a pattern of overspending the Board approved annual cash reserve.  The Board cash reserve is calculated exclusive of designated, auxiliary, and restricted funds.  Material deviation is defined as overspending realized revenues by more than 10% and failing to comply with Board priorities established in the Ends policies.

Further, without limiting the scope of the foregoing by this enumeration, he or she shall not:

1.   Fail to monitor the College's revenues and expenses to ensure responsible fiscal stewardship.

Definition:  Responsible Fiscal stewardship includes monitoring expenditures on a monthly basis making sure that adequate reserves are maintained.  Monthly reports of cash flows, accounts receivable, comparisons of actual expenses to budget and actual revenue to expenses will be presented at Finance and Audit Committee meetings or to the committee chair, and reported out at Board meetings.

2.  Fail to ensure that the College is not indebted beyond trade payables in the normal course of business.

Definition:  Trade payables are unsecured accounts payable debt incurred to purchase maintenance and operating materials and services in the normal course of college activity.

3.  Fail to maintain adequate Board approved cash reserves.

Definition:  Adequate cash reserves refer to the Board budgeted annual amount, generally 8-10% reserve.  Cash reserves are calculated exclusive of designated, auxiliary, and restricted funds.

4.  Fail to conduct interfund transfers consistent with the fund accounting principles and Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) standards.

Definition:  Consistent with fund accounting principles means following GAAP and GASB standards in all accounting procedures and practices.

5.  Fail to settle financial obligations in timely manner.

Definition:  A timely manner in payroll matters is defined as paying each payroll on time and meeting all payroll tax obligations according to applicable federal and state laws.  A timely manner in other obligations is defined as paying all payables obligations on or before the due date, unless valid reasons exist for remitting later payments.

6.  Fail to ensure that tax payments or other government-ordered payments or filings are timely and accurately filed.

Definition:  Government-ordered payment or filing will be made on or before the due date and contain correct and accurate information.

7.  Fail to aggressively pursue receivables after a reasonable grace period.

Definition:  Aggressively pursue refers to using an in-house collection program followed, if necessary, by the use of a professional collection agency.  Reasonable grace period refers to immediate contact by in-house collection personnel when the obligation is past due, and, if not successful, referral to professional collection agency within 10 days of the last contact by in-house collection personnel.

 

MONITORING:
Methods:   Written report with verbal explanation of variances

EL-202 TREATMENT OF STUDENTS

With respect to interactions with consumers or those applying to be consumers, the President shall not cause or allow conditions, procedures, or decisions, which are undignified or unnecessarily intrusive.

Definition:  Interaction with consumers or those applying to be consumers shall mean official written or oral communication or unofficial written or oral communication where the communicator is acting in an official NWACC capacity. Undignified refers to disrespectful.  Unnecessarily intrusive refers to violating the privacy right of the individual.  (FERPA regulations must not be violated.  Certain personnel records, police investigations, and proprietary business information must be protected.) Unsafe refers to putting the consumer at potential physical or mental risk.

Further, without limiting the scope of the foregoing by this enumeration, he or she shall not:

1.   Use application forms that elicit information for which there is no clear necessity.

Definition:  Application forms refer to college admission applications or college employment applications.  No clear necessity refers to any legitimate reason that relates directly to student academic, student life or employee application purposes.

2.  Use methods of collecting, reviewing, transmitting, or storing consumer information that fail to protect against improper access to the material elicited.

Definition:  Fail to protect against improper access refers to physically and electronically safeguarding information to assure only officially authorized collection, access, and usage of the information.  An example is confidential, priority data used for program development, such as protected formulas that should not get into the hands of competitors in business.

3.  Fail to furnish consumers a clear statement of what may be expected from the service offered.

Definition:  A clear statement refers to written statements of employee and student expectations posted in full view in the appropriate college department.  This information includes the College Catalog.

4.  Fail to inform consumers of this policy or fail to provide a way for persons to be heard who believe they have not been accorded a reasonable interpretation of their protections under this policy.

Definition:  Informing consumers of this policy refer to including this policy in the College Catalog, Schedule of Classes, and the Administrative Procedures Manual.  Providing a way for persons to be heard refers to appropriate procedures outlined in the Administrative Procedures Manual.

 

MONITORING:
Methods:  Written report with verbal explanation of variance

EL-203 COMMUNICATIONS AND SUPPORT TO THE BOARD

The President shall not permit the Board to be uninformed or unsupported in its work.

Definition:  The President will supply to the Board information needed for dialogue and decision making on college related topics.

Further, without limiting the scope of the foregoing by this enumeration, he or she shall not:

1.   Neglect to submit monitoring data required by the Board (see Policy on Monitoring Presidential Performance) in a timely, accurate, and understandable fashion, directly addressing provisions of Board policies being monitored.

Definition:  Monitoring reports on Ends and Executive Limitations will be submitted no less than annually.   Date and narrative comments will be specific and focused.

2.  Let the Board be unaware of relevant trends, anticipated adverse media coverage, material external and internal changes, particularly changes in the assumptions upon which any Board policy has previously been established.

Definition:  Relevant trends refer to such things as enrollments, funding, organizations, relationships with other agencies, media coverage including Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) issues, and relationship with media personnel.

3.  Fail to inform the Board of property acquisitions, material loss of property, life or limb, and any changes in administration at the executive level (deans and above).

Definition:  Real property refers to land and real estate.  Material loss of personal property refers to loss due to theft over $2,500, one half of the deductible threshold.  Loss of limb refers to physical injury on college property to a student, employee, or citizen that requires hospitalization.

4.  Fail to advise the Board if, in the President's opinion, the Board is not in compliance with its own policies on Governance Process and Board- President Linkage, particularly in the case of Board behavior which is detrimental to the work relationship between the Board and the President.

Definition:  The Board will communicate with the President on College related matters rather than any other employee.  The Board members will communicate with the President on any need for improvements.

5.  Fail to marshal for the Board as many staff and external points of view, issues and options as needed for fully informed Board choices.

Definition:  Staff and external points of view refer to customers affected by Board decisions.  Fully informed Board choices are decisions based on significant facts, or information about any decision that is likely to affect users or customers.

6.  Present information in unnecessarily complex or lengthy form.

Definition:  Generally speaking, reports should be under three pages.

7.  Fail to provide a mechanism for official Board, officer, or committee communications.

Definition:  A mechanism is an avenue or means of communication for the entire Board, a Board officer assigned by the Board to do something specific, or a Board appointed committee.

8.  Fail to deal with the Board as a whole except when (a) fulfilling individual requests for information or (b) responding to officers or committees duly charged by the Board.

Definition:  Generally, the President will communicate with the entire Board on College matters.  This policy does not prevent the President from contacting a Board member wherein that person has expertise or particular input on a college related issue.

9.  Fail to report in a timely manner an actual or anticipated noncompliance with any policy of the Board.

Definition:  If an Executive Limitation or Ends report will be altered from the scheduled monitoring report time, the President will inform the Board in advance as to the reason for the change.

10.  Fail to supply for the agenda all items delegated to the President yet required by law or contract to be Board-approved, along with the monitoring assurance pertaining thereto.

Definition:  Budgets, tuition, construction contracts and real estate documents are a few examples of items delegated to the President but still require Board approval.

 

MONITORING:
Methods:  Written report with verbal explanation of variances

EL-204 TREATMENT OF STAFF

With respect to the treatment of paid and volunteer staff, the President shall not cause or allow conditions, which are unfair, undignified, and unclear or present a conflict of interest.

Definition:  Conditions are defined as official actions, policies, and procedures. Unfair refers to legally defined discriminatory acts, policies, or procedures. Undignified refers to disrespectful treatment or language.  Unclear refers to ambiguously written or oral presentation.  A conflict of interest is defined where a party shall receive direct personal monetary gain, or an advantage in the workplace as a result of official college decisions they are in a position to make.

Further, without limiting the scope of the foregoing by this enumeration, he or she shall not:

1.  Operate without written personnel policies, which clarify personnel rules for staff, provide for the effective handling of grievances, and protect against wrongful conditions.

Definition: Personnel policies, which address these provisions, are included in the online NWACC Policy and Procedures manual available at: http://www.nwacc.edu/web/policy/policy_procedure

2.  Fail to make available to staff in a timely manner all personnel rules that affect them.

Definition:  Making policy and procedure available to staff in a timely manner refers to having a complete copy of the NWACC Policy and Procedures manual available online for all employees.  This electronic format supports access but also ensures that policy and procedure updates are completed regularly and communicated efficiently.

3.  Continue in employment or employ any person serving on the Board.

Definition:  Employees who are elected to the Board will be asked to resign immediately upon election.  The college may not employ any current Board members.

 

MONITORING:
Methods:  Written report with verbal explanation of variances

EL-205 EMERGENCY PRESIDENTIAL SUCCESSION

In order to protect the Board from sudden loss of Presidential services, the

President may have no fewer than two other executives familiar with Board and Presidential issues and processes.

Definition:  Presidential succession refers to acting in the stead of the College

President in case he/she is unavailable to administer college activities.

Policy 205A:  At the beginning of each new fiscal year, the President will present to the Board for affirmation, the two individuals identified in rank order as the college executives to act in the President's stead in case he/she is unavailable to administer College activities.

Policy 205B:  Should there be a change in executives identified for succession planning during a fiscal year, new individuals, once identified or hired, will be presented to the Board for affirmation.

Policy 205C:  The President is authorized to delegate, or withdraw such delegation, to the executives in presidential succession, the President's authority to contract in the name of the College for business activities in the normal course of operations.

 

MONITORING:
Methods:  Written report with verbal explanation of variances

EL-206 ASSET PROTECTION

The President shall not allow corporate assets to be unprotected, inadequately maintained or unnecessarily risked.

Definition:  Unprotected refers to (1) facilities not being physically safeguarded by locks during other than normal operating hours, (2) physical and electronic surveillance by security personnel not performed during normal operating hours and (3) employees not locking their offices when not in use and safeguarding personal items.  Inadequately maintained refers to unacceptable maintenance standards as judged by (1) monthly maintenance inspections by in-house staff, (2) semi-annual inspections by professional outside staff, (3) unannounced inspections by local building inspectors and (4) annual inspections by state insurance department.  Unnecessarily risked refers to not having property and casualty insurance to cover at least 80% of the replacement cost of buildings and contents owned by the college.

Further, without limiting the scope of the foregoing by this enumeration, he or she shall not:

1.   Fail to insure against theft and casualty losses to at least 80% replacement value and against liability losses to Board members, staff and the organization itself in an amount greater than the average for comparable organizations.

Definition:  Liability losses refer to liability judgments actually filed against Board or staff members due to their actions as officials/employees of the college. A comparable organization is a two-year community college in the state of Arkansas.

2.  Allow unbonded personnel access to material amounts of funds.

Definition: Unbonded personnel refers to college employees not automatically covered by the college surety bond.  Material amount of funds are any amount in excess of $50.  Access refers to any physical access.

3.  Unnecessarily expose the organization, its Board or staff to claims of liability.

Definition:  Unnecessarily expose refers to failure to comply with federal and state laws regarding discrimination, safety, hiring practices, workplace activity, student's privacy rights, etc.

4.  Fail to protect intellectual property, information and files from loss or significant damage.

Definition:  Protect refers to adherence to Arkansas legislative audit recommendations and best practices concerning data backup and offsite storage.

5.  Receive process or disburse funds under controls, which are insufficient to meet the legislative or independent auditor standards.

Definition:  Insufficient refers to not meeting standards so that more than one finding or more than five comments are received from the annual legislative audit in any one year.

6.  Endanger the organization's public image or credibility in ways that would hinder its accomplishment of mission.

Definition:  The Board shall be notified of pending adverse coverage.

 

MONITORING:
Methods:  Written report with verbal explanation of variances

EL-207 COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

 With respect to employment, compensation, and benefits to employees, consultants, contract workers and volunteers, the President shall not cause or allow jeopardy to fiscal integrity or public image.

Definition:  Cause or allow jeopardy to fiscal integrity refers to the total of all compensation and benefits paid to all employees, consultants, contract workers, etc. exceeding the total budget for these positions in a fiscal year plus 5%, unless specific revenue such as grants, gifts, etc. becomes available and expenditure of these funds is approved by the college President for these purposes.

Further, without limiting the scope of the foregoing by this enumeration, he or she shall not:

1.   Change his or her compensation and benefits.

Definition:  Changes refers to he or she altering his or her compensation/benefits without official Board action.

2.  Promise or imply permanent or guaranteed employment.

Definition:  Promising or implying permanent or guaranteed employment refers to employment of staff/faculty person with or without a Letter of Employment, entering into any other oral or written agreement with a staff/faculty person without the use of a college Letter of Employment, or entering into an employment contract not containing pertinent employment terms, such as starting date and salary.

3.  Establish compensation and benefits, which deviate materially from the geographic or professional market for the skills employed unless required by law.

Definition:  Deviate materially refers to 10% less than and up to 10% more than the average for the same position in compensation and benefits package combined.  Geographic and professional market refers to similar positions in northwest Arkansas (Benton and Washington Counties) and at least two nearby community colleges and similar skilled positions as defined by Arkansas Department of Labor or where job descriptions are comparable.

4.  Establish or change pension benefits.

Definition:  Establish or change refers to benefit change action by other than the College Board.  Pension benefits refer to the written NWACC Defined Contribution Benefit Retirement Plan only.

 

MONITORING:
Methods:   Written report with verbal explanation of variances

Policy EL-208 Budgeting

The College budget for any fiscal year or the remaining part of any fiscal year shall not deviate materially from the Board's Ends priorities, risk fiscal jeopardy, or fail to provide financial guidance for all college units.

Definition:  Deviate materially refers to creating a budget that does not follow the Board's Ends priorities in a given planning cycle.  Fiscal jeopardy is defined as not having sufficient funds to cover the cost of planned expenditures.  Provide financial guidance is defined as producing a comprehensive budget that is transparent and provides a roadmap for annual financial transactions.

Further, without limiting the scope of the foregoing by this enumeration, he or she shall not:

1.  Fail to include credible projection of revenues and expenses, separation of capital and operational items, and disclosure of planning assumption.

Definition:  Credible projections is defined (1) a projection based on multi-year college trends in tuition and fee, millage, state, and other revenue and (2) a projection based on current and next year forecasts of expenditures related to priorities established by the Cabinet.  Separation of capital and operational items refers to adherence to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).Planning assumptions are specific revenue and expense assumptions based on strategic plans developed by the College.

2.  Fail to ensure that the expenditure budget in any fiscal year is balanced with the revenue budget which is based on conservative projections for the same period.

Definition:  A balanced budget has revenues equal to or greater than total expenditures.  Annual revenue projections should be based on prior year trends; college annual planning assumptions; enrollment projections; and local, regional, and national economic forecasts.

3.  Fail to provide sufficient funds for Board prerogatives in any fiscal year budgets as is set for in the Cost of Governance Policy.

Definition:  The annual operating budget should have sufficient funds needed for

Board operation under the Policy Governance.

4. Fail to propose the percent of annual BOT cash reserve to ensure fiscal stability.

Definition: The Board shall annually approve a cash reserve to cover potential operational costs due to natural disasters or other emergencies.  The approved cash reserve for the fiscal year (generally 8-10%) should be taken from the projected educational and general revenue or carryover funds before the annual expenditure budget is established.

 

MONITORING:
Methods:  Written report with verbal explanation of variances