1-2: Governing Board Authority, Roles and Responsibilities Policy

Policy Overview

This policy outlines the authority, roles and responsibilities of the Governing Board of Santa Fe Community College (SFCC or College).

Scope and Applicability

This policy includes fiscal, administrative and educational oversight as defined in the Policy Statement below. This policy applies to all Governing Board members.

Policy Statement

The primary functions of the Board as prescribed by statute (New Mexico Statutes, Chapter 21 State and Private Education Institutions, Article 13 Community Colleges, Section 10 Board Duties) are to determine financial and educational policies of the College. The Board shall provide for the management of the College and execution of these policies and to delegate the administration to the President and staff.

In fulfilling their fiduciary and educational responsibilities, all Board members have a duty to put the necessary time, energy, study and collaboration to the work of the Board; to put College interests above personal interests; to promote and be guided by the policies of the College; and to honor the values of objectivity, confidentiality and diligence in decision-making.


  1. Educational Benefits for the purpose of this policy, may include tuition and fees for classes at SFCC, access to the William C. Witter Fitness Education Center and reimbursement for non-College seminars, educational programs or classes.
  2. Per Diem and Mileage Act refers to New Mexico Statutes Chapter 10 Public Officers and Employees, Article 8 Per Diem and Mileage, Section 1 through 8 NMSA, known as the Per Diem and Mileage Act or successor statute.

Policy Process

The primary responsibility of the Board is to determine the financial and educational policies of the College and to provide for its management. The Board shall actively support, promote and advocate for the College through fundraising, legislative advocacy, community engagements and other efforts deemed appropriate by the Governing Board.

  1. Board Membership.
    1. The Governing Board consists of five members elected to six-year terms. In addition, the President and the Student Government Association President serve as non-voting ex officio members of the Governing Board.
      1. While the President of the College may not vote, they may participate in closed sessions unless requested to withdraw by the Governing Board.
      2. Except as otherwise agreed by the Board, the student member shall not participate in closed meetings of the Board nor have access to confidential information, except as required by law.
    2. Meetings. The Board shall hold at least 10 regular meetings per year. The Board may hold special meetings and emergency meetings as required. All meetings shall be noticed in accordance with the Open Meetings Act and the Open Meetings Resolution adopted annually. The Board Chair, with the President, has primary responsibility for developing the Board meeting agenda. Any Board member may add an item to the agenda either by contacting the Board Chair or by so indicating at a regular Board meeting. The President must be notified of all agenda items placed on the agenda.
    3. Officers.
      1. Board members shall elect a Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary every two years, per New Mexico Statute, each serving a term of two years.
      2. In order to provide every Board member the opportunity to serve in various roles, Board members shall rotate officer positions, with the Chair becoming a Member, the Vice Chair becoming Chair, the Secretary becoming Vice Chair and a Member, excluding the immediate past chair, being elected Secretary, unless four members of the Board determine otherwise.
      3. If a vacancy occurs in any office (see 5. Vacancies, below), Board members shall select a new member at the next regular Board meeting to serve out the remainder of that officer’s term in rotation as described in b. above.
    4. Committees. The Board or Board Chair may establish committees as it deems appropriate. Any committee meeting at which a quorum of Board members shall be present must be noticed in accordance with the provisions of the Open Meetings Act and Open Meetings Resolution adopted annually by the Board.
    5. Vacancies. A vacancy on the Governing Board other than by the expiration of a member’s term shall be filled by appointment of a new member by the remaining members or may appoint an individual to fill the vacancy without a selection process. An individual appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve until the next Community College Board election, at which time candidates may choose to file for election to fill the vacant position to serve the remainder of the unexpired term.
  2. Duties of the Board
    1. Approve the mission, vision and long-term goals as defined in the College’s strategic plan to promote student learning.
    2. Recruit, appoint, support and evaluate the President to retain the quality of educational leadership needed to sustain the mission of the College.
    3. Oversee the fiscal integrity of the institution:
      1. Review and approve the institution’s budget.
      2. Monitor the resources and effectiveness of the institution.
      3. Oversee the institution’s endowment by delegating its management to the SFCC Foundation as defined by the Memorandum of Agreement between SFCC and the Foundation.
      4. Participate in fundraising, both through personal philanthropy and advocacy.
      5. Ensure that annual independent audits are conducted.
      6. Ensure Board accountability and transparency in the conduct of Board affairs.
    4. Oversee and participate in timely strategic planning and monitor progress on its outcomes.
    5. Oversee educational, research, and service programs and require evidence that the institution’s academic priorities are being met.
    6. In concert with the President, engage with the institution’s constituencies on a regular basis.
    7. Preserve institutional independence to protect the pursuit of truth, the generation of new knowledge and intellectual inquiry so that they remain unencumbered by direct government control or special interest.
    8. Be informed about institutional issues and the challenges confronting higher education.
    9. Acknowledge the President is the only employee who is directly selected and supervised by the Board and thus the Board has the exclusive privilege and duty to regularly evaluate the President and hold them accountable.
    10. Acknowledge that all other employees are accountable to the President through administrative channels set by the President.
  3. Travel, Compensation and Educational Benefits
    1. Travel.
      1. The Board will annually establish its meeting and travel priorities as part of the College budget process, including attendance at national meetings and other meetings in support of the College.
      2. All travel will adhere to, and Board members may receive reimbursement in accordance with, Policy 6-7 SFCC Employee Travel Expenses and Reimbursement. Alcoholic beverage purchases are not eligible for reimbursement.
    2. Compensation
      1. No Board member may receive compensation in any form from the College except for approved travel expenses and per diem.
      2. The Board shall adhere to a per diem rate set by the state for attendance at Board meetings. Board member attendance may include telephonic, telecommunications application software products (e.g. for video calling Skype, Facetime) or Internet-based (e.g. GoToMeetings) meetings if a Board member attends the entire meeting.
    3. Educational Benefits
      1. To provide a better understanding of College operations, Board members shall be granted the opportunity to register for one credit or noncredit course free of charge during the semesters in which they serve.
      2. Board members may apply for access free of charge to the William C. Witter Fitness Education Center.
      3. Family members of Board members are not eligible for the educational benefits outlined in this policy.
      4. The Board may approve tuition and fee waivers for members to register for additional classes at the College or agree to reimburse members for attending seminars, educational programs or classes when the Board determines that it is in the best interest of the College and sufficient funds are available.
      5. Upon election to the SFCC Governing Board, new members and members of the Higher Learning Center District Board, which by law are the same as the members of the SFCC Governing Board, shall receive a copy of all College policies.

Statement of Accountability and Responsibility

Governing Board members and/or the President or designee(s) shall be responsible for enforcing policies, as applicable.


New Mexico Statutes, Chapter 21, Article 13, Section 10 Board Duties
New Mexico Statutes Chapter 10 Public Officers and Employees, Article 8 Per Diem and Mileage, Section 1 through 8 NMSA, known as the Per Diem and Mileage Act
SFCC Policy 6-7 Travel Expenses and Reimbursement
SFCC Policy 1-31 Board Financial Oversight
SFCC Memorandum of Agreement with the SFCC Foundation
New Mexico Open Meetings Act
SFCC Open Meetings Resolution


SFCC Governing Board approved: 8/22/18