B2003 Monitoring President Effectiveness

Policy Type: Board- Delegation of Authority
Responsible: President
Related Policies: B2000, B2001, B2002, B3000, B3001, B3002, B3003, B3004, B3005, B3006, B3007, B3008, B3009, B3010, B3011, B3012, B3013
Linked Procedures: None
Related Laws: 110 ILCS 805/ Illinois Public Community College Act
Related Standards: None
HLC Criterion: 2C5, 5A, 5C

Policy Statement


According to the Illinois Community College Act, the Board is exclusively responsible for the oversight and operations of the College.  To fulfill professional expectations and Higher Learning Commission accreditation obligations associated with operating the College, the Board hires a President and delegates operational activities to that person, as noted in B2001.  Since the President operates the College as the Board’s primary employee, the Board has a direct interest in monitoring the President’s performance and providing feedback in ways that support the President’s success. To accomplish this, the Board and the President create a partnership of focus and mutual accountability using the tenets of policy governance. 

In this collaborative relationship, the Board is responsible for clearly defining the Strategic Outcomes (which identifies the desired results of the College’s work) and the President is responsible for determining the Means (i.e. strategies and methods) to accomplish the Board-defined Strategic Outcomes.  To facilitate and strengthen communication, the Board clarifies the responsibilities of the President through B2002, defines performance expectations for the President, and communicates specific leadership competencies that the President must demonstrate as they carry out their duties.  By doing so, the Board effectively defines, monitors, evaluates, and assures accountability for the Strategic Outcomes, as well as provides the President with the necessary tools for continuously improving the quality of College operations. 

This process of monitoring President effectiveness provides the Board with opportunities to:

  1. Deepen its understanding of the President and the College.
  2. Strengthen the Board-President partnership to ensure President success.
  3. Connect and integrate elements of Board and President responsibility with College performance.
  4. Strengthen Board engagement with the President and College.
  5. Improve its oversight of College operations.

 

Monitoring President Effectiveness

As it relates to clarifying responsibilities of the President, the Board clearly defines areas of accountability and duties in the President Accountability Policy (B2002).  In addition, to maintain effective oversight and provide guidance to the President on Means activities, the Board establishes Executive Limitations (restrictions) on the President’s authority to administer and operate the College within the boundaries of prudence and ethics.

In terms of establishing performance expectations, identifying leadership competencies, and assessing performance, the Board will monitor President effectiveness through three activities: 1) Continuous evaluation through monitoring reports; 2) Conducting an annual performance assessment; and, 3) Conducting a periodic comprehensive review of President.

 

Continuous Evaluation through Monitoring Reports

Monitoring reports are the primary method used to evaluate President performance.  The Board will evaluate all monitoring report activities in a manner that systematically assesses College progress on the Strategic Outcome and President compliance with Executive Limitation policies.  As such, the Board shall use the following methods to monitor President performance:

  1. Internal Reports – reports created by the College as noted in the College Monitoring Effectiveness Policy.
  2. External Reports – reports created by parties external to the College (e.g. accrediting bodies, auditors, inspectors, etc.).
  3. President Reports – written reports that convey the College’s progress on strategic initiatives, financial updates, and external factors that may influence future operations and/or policy.
  4. Direct Board Inspection – Inspection of documents, activities, or circumstances directed by the Board to determine policy compliance.

 

Consistent with policy governance principles, the Board will consider the President’s conformance to Strategic Outcome and Executive Limitation policies as it evaluates the President’s performance through monitoring reports. The Board, not individual Trustees, evaluates the President’s accomplishment of Strategic Outcomes and compliance with Executive Limitations.

If the Board determines the President’s performance is acceptable, but the data presented does not demonstrate reasonable accomplishment (or compliance) with a Board policy, then the Board will review and clarify the appropriate policy, as necessary.  If the Board determines that the President’s performance is unacceptable, then the Board will develop, in collaboration with the President, a strategy to ensure future compliance.

All policies instructing the President will be monitored at a frequency and by a method chosen by the Board. To provide continuous and timely communication, the Board may choose to monitor any policy by any method at any time, but will ordinarily follow an annual review schedule as agreed to by the Board.

 

Formal Annual Performance Assessment

The Board will conduct a formal annual assessment of the President’s performance in October of each calendar year.  The Board, at its discretion, may conduct a mid-cycle review.  In the event of a mid-cycle review, a reason will be stated in writing 30 days prior to the commencement of the review.  A process and assessment instrument will be developed by the Board in collaboration with the President.  This assessment shall be based on the wider organizational and social context in which the President operates.  In this process, the Board will use continuous improvement principles as the purpose is to assist the President with a path forward by outlining issues to address, processes to improve, goals to set, and/or talents to develop.

This assessment will be based on a summary/review of the Board’s assessment of the President’s performance, drawn from data presented in the monitoring reports noted earlier, over the preceding fiscal year.  In addition, the President is responsible not only for achieving the Strategic Outcomes in the present, but also for positioning the College to achieve Strategic Outcomes in the future. 

The criteria for President performance are grounded in the goals, expectations, and metrics that have been established jointly by the President and the Board as they relate to the accomplishment of the Board’s Strategic Outcomes.  Further, they will define aspirations and provide measurable benchmarks that reflect President leadership and convey wider strategic possibilities for the College. This provides the opportunity for the Board to assess goals and expectations from the past and renew, reconfigure, and create goals for the future.

 

Comprehensive Performance Review of the Board and President

The comprehensive performance review is part of a larger cycle of assessment and governance that focuses on a broader examination of President and Board performance to include the relationship between the President and the Board, the effectiveness of the Board itself, and the progress of the College in achieving goals since the last comprehensive performance review.  The review will recognize successes, identify improvement areas, and raise key strategic questions for the Board and President. 

The comprehensive performance review will provide additional perspective on President and Board effectiveness from interviews with a cross-section of the College community. To accomplish this, the Board will seek an independent review to allow for objectivity and provide College constituents (i.e. faculty, staff, students, alumni, and others) the opportunity to offer anonymous feedback through a confidential process. Further, the comprehensive performance review will focus on strengthening relationships, building trust, and improving President, Board, and College effectiveness.

As it relates to the process of implementing a comprehensive performance review, the following guidelines will be observed:

  1. The frequency of the comprehensive evaluation will be at least every five years.
  2. The Board will develop an objective and structured process in collaboration with the President.
  3. Sufficient time, typically several months, will be set aside to conduct the review.
  4. A process for communicating with the College community will be implemented.

 

Change Log


Date of Change Description of Change Governance Unit
03-07-22 Initial Adoption Board of Trustees
06-15-23 Minor Grammatical Edits; Board Policy Numbers added for clarity; the term “Means” clarified as “Operational Activities” Board of Trustees