College Council to be more inclusive

As the world has progressed, many have found it is much easier to put aside selfish ambition and make decisions as a group. Just look at “The Avengers” or “The Justice League.” Laramie County Community College has embraced this ideal with its College Council.

College Council is an organizational unit of representing Faculty Senate, student government and other college employees. Its purpose is to bring together a diverse group of people to make decisions relating to the welfare and improvement of the overall college.

The council is not completely new, but, according to college president, Dr. Joe Schaffer, this year’s changes to the council will be “pretty significant” with two major changes.

Among what’s new is the overall structure of the council, now being a bit broader than last year. “We are going to have people from student government, deans, directors and executive folks among others,” Schaffer said. “All around, it’s going to be a bit more inclusive.”

Council gets more authority

Second, the authority of the council is one Schaffer wants to express as a legitimate power at the college. “I will be going to the council for all of the major decisions regarding the college, which I will then bring to the board,” Schaffer said. “I think people didn’t think we had a whole lot of authority in the past. That’s something we are looking to change.”

With the change, the council is welcoming new faces as well as returning ones:

College Council getting down to business

However, no matter how many changes are occurring in the council, business is still the name of the game. Issues before the council will be the reconstruction of some of the recommendations made by council, developing a strong process in regards to issues like the budget, assessing priorities for positions and strategic planning in general.

“We just want to make sure everything is being decided in the college’s and student’s best interest,” Schaffer said. “When things like the budget come up, we want to make sure all these methods make for an easier and stronger process.” With such a big council and many issues to review, the most difficult aspect is not the one you would think. “With such a big group to coordinate just getting a meeting together is the hardest part,” Schaffer said with a laugh. “Everybody’s busy!”

Keep communication lines open

But even after that’s solved, there’s no denying that personal ideas and interests take hold. “You have all these people with competing interests, and everyone coming together and coming to a consensus is definitely one of the biggest challenges,” Schaffer said. “But it’s a nice challenge, and allows everyone to see the alternative perspectives. There’s always going to be that tension.”

Schaffer said the hope was by the end of the semester, issues and propositions will have been more effectively communicated within the council, and that the college is “represented justly.”

Schaffer said: “At the end of the school year, I want everyone to see the value in College Council as the mechanism for have campuswide debate in major decisions and to have brought transparency to the key processes of things like the budget and new faculty. I want people to realize they have a voice at the college and that they will be heard.