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Luna CC faculty, staff and students find their way to decision table

courtesy Jesse Gallegos 
SPRINGER — Following a report by the Higher Learning Commission which underscored a number of concerns with how the institution is being governed, the board of trustees has approved a significant number of policy revisions and adoptions over the past month.  The majority of changes are aimed at enhancing the processes by which the faculty, staff and students contribute to the well-being and strength of the institution.
At their Dec. 19 meeting, trustees unanimously approved the by-laws and constitution for the newly recognized staff advisory senate. The senate was established as part of the college’s new shared governance policy that was approved on Dec. 12.  The shared governance policy sets the principles for engaging Luna Community College constituents in the process of informed decision-making.
The staff advisory senate will serve as a source of input on issues and decisions at the college relating to all regular full-time/ part-time, non-faculty staff at the main campus and its satellites and site.  The senate will report to the college president and the staff senate president shall serve on the governance council along with leadership from student and faculty senates.  In addition, the senate shall promote the general well-being of Luna Community College by assisting the college in achieving its goals.
Also on Dec. 19, the board participated in a workshop led by consultants Dr. Hugh Prather and John F. Kennedy of Cuddy and McCarthy, LLP.  This, and other upcoming trainings, are geared to enhance the board’s understanding of its roles and responsibilities, collective effectiveness, and ability to achieve the institution’s goals.
“We are working diligently to make things better at Luna Community College,” said LCC BOT Chairman Dan Romero.  “We respect the Higher Learning Commission’s recommendations and are very serious about solving these issues.”
Policy changes included revisions to the college’s nepotism policy which states that the president shall not hire or approve the hiring of a person who is the spouse, partner and/ or significant other, father, father-in-law, mother, mother-in-law, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, sister or sister-in-law of the president or of a member of a board of trustees of Luna Community College.
On Jan. 9, the board also approved policy revisions that disconnect the employee performance appraisal process from the contract renewal process.
The Higher Learning Commission Board of Trustees issued the Show-Cause Order based on its findings of non-compliance following a Higher Learning Commission Advisory Visit to the college in June 2017. A Show-Cause Order is a procedural order that shifts the burden to the institution to   demonstrate that it is in compliance with all the requirements associated with its Higher Learning Commission accreditation.
Luna Community College is required to present its case for accreditation in response to the Show-Cause Order in a Show-Cause report by today, Thursday, Feb. 1.
Luna Community College will then host an on-campus show-cause evaluation visit conducted by Higher Learning Commission peer reviewers from March 19 to March 21.

John F. Kennedy of Cuddy & McCarthy, LLP provides information to the Luna Community College Board of Trustees last month about their roles and responsibilities. Photo courtesy Jesse Gallegos..