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Some governors express concerns about management in anonymous self-evaluation

Important questions are not being addressed between the college’s board of governors and management at meetings, one governor wrote in an anonymous self-evaluation filed in the agenda during its meeting June 12.

“My concern is that management and the executive committee chose (sic) to bring forward the ‘good news stories’ to the board while concerns are quietly discussed and brought to the board only when absolutely necessary,” the governor wrote, citing the failed Saudi Arabia campus as an example.

The board member was referring to the college’s decision to withdraw from its money-losing Saudi Arabia operations in Jazan last year. In the 2017 fiscal year alone, the college lost $4.8 million. The losses were made up from reserve funds.

The evaluation, which only 10 out of 16 governors filled out, offers a look at how the board perceives its own effectiveness.

The majority of governors had positive things to say, although there were some outliers.

One governor – it is unknown whom – wrote they disagreed that the board shows leadership in “living” the code of conduct. The rest agreed or strongly agreed.

Someone also disagreed that the board holds management accountable for results and meeting commitments, which is one of the board’s key responsibilities. Another two neither agreed nor disagreed and the remaining seven either agreed or strongly agreed.

Most agreed that the board effectively evaluates President Cheryl Jensen’s performance through its executive committee, although three indicated a neutral position.

Governors were split on whether pulling out of Saudi Arabia or drawing up a new strategic plan was their most important achievement of the year.

As for what can be done to improve, governors had a wider variety of thoughts. Some suggested more discussion among governors, with one describing BOG meetings as “a question and answer with management” rather than deliberation among the board.

Another suggested better summaries of the information that’s presented to the board, as well as a reduced number of attendees. One said more should be done to hold management accountable, citing the Saudi campus as well as a recent $500,000 accounting oversight.


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