Nov. 7, 2012, 10:35 p.m.

Board of Trustees shares report card with public

At the Nov. 7 Laramie County Community College Board of Trustees’ study session, members learned the “grade” of their own first self-evaluation survey was a low B.

However, the president of the executive search firm that administered the survey said the board rated relatively well compared to other institutions. By phone, Marti Cizek, president of Cizek Associates Inc., who reviewed the results of the survey with the board, said overall the board scored an average of 80 percent. She added other boards usually score an average of 70-75 percent, so the LCCC board scored well, but it still has room to expand effectiveness.

The survey was organized in four different categories: knowledge, board performance, each trustee’s performance and CEO-relationship. In each category, each board member could answer the questions with never, rarely, sometimes, usually or always. In each category as well, the board members could comment on what they thought about the questions in that category. In the report, the comments were grouped anonymously, and the individual answers to the questions were identified as positive, negative or neutral on one report, and then the answers to the questions were represented numerically on another report. In the comments’ section trustees could anonymously state what they thought the strengths and development opportunities for the board were.

Cizek said the survey is usually presented positively. Overall, the board rated itself 87.5 percent favorable in the knowledge section; 67.85 percent favorable in the board performance section; 77.38 percent favorable in the “my performance” section, and 87.5 percent favorable in the CEO-relationship section.

Cizek pointed out a few of the questions for the board could work on were the results had a more unfavorable response such as the question under “my performance” that stated, “I have a designated mentor or fellow board member to assist with my orientation.” That question had a 37.5 percent unfavorable rating. Also, under the board performance section the question that stated that “the board increases its effectiveness through periodic retreats and training” was 25 percent unfavorable.

Cizek said yearly board self-evaluations are good to conduct, and accrediting bodies look upon self-evaluations of boards favorably. She added if the LCCC Board of Trustees would like to use this survey again, it can be edited however the members like.

Board Chairman Greg Thomas directed the president to make the results public by posting them to the LCCC’s website.

In the knowledge category one of the comments was as follows:

  • “In the last two years I have been much better informed than I was at first. It has been nice to participate in college meetings etc. without anyone thinking I am in any way trying to micro-manage.”

  • In the board performance category one of the comments was as follows:

  • “There is still disagreement over the boundaries of what is permissible and what is not. However, I will say that is is no longer possible for the administration to alter Board behavior by whining about micromanagement. At least we stick together on this topic.”

  • In the my performance category one of the comments was as follows:

  • “One question that caught my attention was regarding impact on the community. How do we actually know? We are never given a solid assessment, but rather a lot of anecdotes. Anecdotes are important, but they require a context that only solid, broad assessment can provide.”

  • In the CEO-relationship category some of the comments were as follows:

  • “Believe the community feels free to express views across the hierarchy of the organization. Unfortunately, several folks in some departments are still ‘fearful’ and unwilling to share concerns due to what they feel may lead to retribution.”

  • “We have a fine new president and he does a great job of keeping us in the loop. He is open to whatever ideas come from the board and gives his perspectives in timely manner.”

  • In the strengths of the board category one of the comments was as follows:

  • “People seem to know that the board is ‘accessable’ [sic] and that it wants to know if something is going right or going wrong so that we can work on fixing it with our President.”

  • In the development opportunities for the board category some of the comments were as follows:

  • “Each member needs to enhance their understanding of issues impacting our students and their achieving educational success.”

  • “Learning when to be involved, and when to allow CEO his own leeway. When to not listen to rumor, but look to evidence.”

  • “Complete governance transformation and then provide appropriate training.”