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Board Governance (Policy)

LMC Revised Date

Office of Origin: Board of Trustees
Responsibility: Senior Executive Assistant to the President/Secretary to the Board of Trustees
Date Adopted: 07-29-82
Dates Reviewed: 1-10-18
Last Date Modified & Approved: 9-27-09, 1-23-18, 3-27-18

The Lake Michigan College (the College) Board of Trustees (the Board) has the responsibility to:

  1. Function as the legislative and policy-making body of the College.
  2. Select, appoint, and employ a suitable person, not a member of the Board, as President of the College, who shall have an educational background as fixed by law.  The contract may not exceed five (5) years and the duties to be performed are determined by the Board.
  3. Establish policies, by-laws, rules and regulations for its own governance and for control and governance of the College District.
  4. Review and pass on the recommendations of the President regarding personnel policies, chief administrative appointments, budgets, curricula, capital expenditures, and other matters of policy affecting the general welfare of the College.
  5. Protect and promote the College’s public relations in order to inform the citizens of the District of the College’s programs.
  6. Encourage adequate financial support of the College through local and state actions.
  7. Provide counsel and advice to the President regarding the administration of the College.
  8. Require of the President such periodic reports as the Board deems necessary to keep it properly advised on the administration of the College.
  9. Accept the moral obligation to provide such leadership and such service as will engender trust and confidence in education.
  10. Reserve to itself all of its legal responsibilities for the operation of the College.

  1. The State Constitution of 1963 provides the basis for community and junior colleges throughout Michigan.
  2. The Legislature shall provide by law for the establishment and financial support of public community and junior colleges which shall be supervised and controlled by locally elected boards (Article VIII, Section 7).
  3. The Legislature, in fulfilling its constitutional mandate, passed the Community College Act of 1966.  This legislation outlines the powers and duties of boards of trustees.
  1. The Board of Trustees, consisting of seven (7) members is elected at large in the Community College District at the general elections of the state.  Members are elected for six year terms of office which are staggered so that two and sometimes three expire each two years.
  2. Regular terms of office commence on January 1, following the date of the general state election.
  3. The general election laws of the state govern all elections.
  1. Any qualified elector residing within the Community College District is eligible to be chosen as a board member.
  2. An elector of a Community College District must possess the following qualifications:
    1. United States citizenship
    2. Eighteen years of age
    3. Resident of Michigan for six months
    4. Resident of the College district for thirty days
  3. Candidates for membership are nominated by petition as specified in the appropriate election laws.  The nominating petitions of those seeking election to the Board of Trustees of a community college shall be filed not later than 4:00 p.m. on the sixtieth day prior to the date of the general election.  The county clerk will provide the necessary information to candidates.
  4. The candidate for each term of office receiving the highest number of votes cast is elected.  A certificate of election will be delivered to the candidates by the Board of Canvassers.
  5. Within 15 days after appointment or after the final canvass of the election, each person elected or appointed as a trustee must file with President’s Office the following:
    1. Oath of Office
    2. Acceptance of Office
    3. Affidavit of Eligibility for Office
  6. The office of a member of the Board of Trustees becomes vacant immediately without declaration of any officer or the Board of Trustees or its members upon: the death of the incumbent; a court adjudicating insanity or mental incompetence; resignation; removal from office; conviction of a felony; the election or appointment being declared void by a competent tribunal; refusal or neglect to file the acceptance of office, or refusal or neglect to take and subscribe to the constitutional oath of office and deposit the same in the manner and within the time prescribed by law; and/or ceasing to possess the legal qualifications for holding office, including the residence qualification.
  7. Whenever a vacancy in the Board of Trustees occurs, the remaining members of the Board by majority vote are empowered to fill the vacancy with a qualified elector of the Community College District. Any person so appointed holds office until the next regular College election, at which time the electors of the Community College District fill the office for the unexpired portion of the term.

The Board of Trustees officers are: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. No person can be elected to two consecutive terms. If a Vice-Chair assumes the role of Chair during the Chair’s term, the Vice-Chair is still eligible to be elected into the Chair role for the next term.

  1. The Chair
    1. The Chair of the Board of Trustees is elected by the members of the Board from among their number and serves for two years.
    2. The duties of the Chair are to preside at all meetings of the Board of Trustees, to perform all duties prescribed by law and as directed by the Board of Trustees, and to preserve order and to enforce rules.  He or she appoints all Board committees unless otherwise ordered by the Board.
    3. In addition to the duties prescribed by law or by rules of the Board, the Chair exercises such other powers as properly pertain to the office or as may be delegated by the Board.
  2. The Vice-Chair
    1. The Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees is elected by the members thereof from among their number and serves for two years.
    2. He or she performs the duties of the Chair in the absence of the Chair, or in case of refusal to perform duties.
    3. He or she performs other functions as designated by the Board of Trustees.
  3. The Secretary
    1. The Secretary of the Board of Trustees is elected by the Board of Trustees and is to be a member thereof who shall serve for two years.
    2. The Secretary is responsible for ensuring that records of all meetings are maintained posting and all legal notices are posted, and that legal documents and the maintenance of all records of the Board of Trustees are available for public inspection. 
    3. If the Secretary is temporarily incapacitated or refuses to perform his or her duties; a Secretary pro tempore, who shall be a member of the Board, may be appointed by the presiding officer, subject to the approval of the Board.
    4. The Secretary performs the duties usually pertaining to his or her office and as are imposed by action of the Board of Trustees.
    5. The Executive Assistant to the President is responsible for posting legal notices; maintaining all records of the Board of Trustees for public inspection; sending each member of the Board prior to the meetings a copy of the minutes of the preceding Board meeting, and notifying the Board of all meetings. 
  4. The Treasurer
    1. The Treasurer of the Board of Trustees is elected by the Board of Trustees and is to be a member thereof who shall serve for two years.
    2. The Treasurer is charged generally with overseeing the management and reporting of the College’s finances, and will serve as the Chair of the College’s Finance Committee.  In addition, the Treasurer is to work with the President and the Chief Financial Officer to ensure that appropriate financial reports are made available to the Board on a timely basis and that the annual budget and audit reports are presented to the Board for approval.

No member of the Board of Trustees shall receive compensation for his or her services as a member or as an officer.  The members of the Board of Trustees may be reimbursed for expenses incurred in performance of Board functions approved by the Board in accordance with the College’s Board Member Expense Reimbursement policy. 

The Board of Trustees shall transact all business at public legal meetings of the Board. No member of the Board shall have power to act in the name of the Board outside of Board meetings.

A Board member cannot be interested directly or indirectly in any contract with the College District and he or she may not perform any labor or furnish equipment and supplies for compensation, unless there is public disclosure and approval by the Board of Trustees as mandated in the Board of Trustees Conflict of Interest Policy.

  1. Standing Committees -- The Board oversees the Finance Committee which is a standing committee of the Board. The Finance Committee will consist of three members of the Board.  The Board will appoint Finance Committee members annually.  Each Finance Committee member will be financially literate.  The Chair of the Finance Committee will be the Treasurer of the Board.  
  2. Special Committees of the Board -- The Board of Trustees may appoint special committees.  A special committee reports recommendations to the Board for appropriate action.  A special committee is dissolved when its report is accepted by the Board.  All special committees are nominated by the Chair of the Board of Trustees, who serves as an ex-officio member of the committee.
  3. The Board of Trustees may meet as a committee of the whole to review and appraise existing policies and College operations as occasion requires.
  1. Organizational Meeting -- The Board of Trustees meets for organization on the first Monday in January following the date of the regular community college election.  If the date of an organizational meeting falls on a legal holiday, then it is held on the next succeeding Monday, or at such time as the Board may determine.
  2. Regular Meetings -- The Board of Trustees will annually announce the dates, time and place of regular meetings.  Should the day appointed for a regular meeting be a holiday; or as other circumstances may warrant, a meeting shall be held at the discretion of the Chair and the Secretary of the Board of Trustees in consultation with the President of the College.

    An adjourned regular meeting may be reconvened for the transaction of business normally scheduled for the regular meeting.

  3. Special Meetings -- Special meetings of the Board of Trustees may be called by the Chair or by any three members of the Board by giving notice thereof in writing, stating the time, place and purpose of the meeting.
  4. Public notice requirements are specific to the type of meeting -- For regular meetings of a public body, there shall be posted within 10 days after the first meeting of the public body in each calendar or fiscal year a public notice stating the dates, times, and places of its regular meetings.

    For a change in schedule of regular meetings of a public body, there shall be posted within three days after the meeting at which the change is made, a public notice stating the new dates, times, and places of its regular meetings. 

    For a rescheduled regular or a special meeting of a public body, a public notice stating the date, time, and place of the meeting shall be posted at least 18 hours before the meeting. 

    A meeting of a public body which is recessed for more than 36 hours shall be reconvened only after public notice has been posted at least 18 hours before the reconvened meeting. [source:  Open Meetings Act Handbook: State of Michigan]

    No business shall be transacted except that for which the meeting is called, which shall be stated in the agenda.

  1. Quorum -- By statute, a majority of the full membership of the Board of Trustees constitutes a quorum unless otherwise provided.  When the vote is taken on any motion before the Board, the quorum present, a majority of the members voting shall determine the outcome thereof, provided there are at least four affirmative votes. 

    Goode vs. Department of Social Services 143Mich App 756 (1985) and Office of Attorney General, no. 6835 (January 13, 1995) provide for participation by a Board member in a Board meeting by telephone. Specifically:

    "A public body may conduct a meeting under the Open Meetings Act without all of the participants being physically present in the same room. The meeting would be held through a speaker phone and audible to everyone in the room."

    Further, a quorum must be physically present to satisfy the requirement for a Board meeting to take place.

  2. Obligation to Vote -- Every member present is obligated to vote on all questions, motions and resolutions submitted for action, unless the member advises the presiding officer the desire to abstain. Whenever the vote is a tie, the question shall be considered lost.  The names of those voting yea or nay shall be recorded, if desirable, through a roll call vote.
  3. Place of Meeting -- All meetings of the Board of Trustees are held at the offices of the College, unless a different place shall be designated by resolution, or in the notice of any special meeting.
  4. Order of Business -- The usual order of business of the Board of Trustees is as follows:
    1. Call to Order
    2. Pledge of Allegiance
    3. Roll Call
    4. Setting of the Agenda
    5. Approval of Minutes
    6. Petitions and Communications from the Floor
    7. Reports
    8. Old Business
    9. New Business
    10. Information Item
    11. Miscellaneous
    12. Adjournment
  5. Motions -- Rules of motion of the Board of Trustees are as follows:
    1. A motion is out of order while another motion is being discussed, unless it is an amendment to the motion under consideration.
    2. Exceptions are the motion to adjourn, the motion to table a previous motion, or the motion to refer the motion being discussed.
    3. A copy of all motions shall be carefully recorded, as well as the names of those who make motions and those who support motions when appropriate.
  6. Discussions -- Discussions at Board of Trustees meetings are conducted in the following manner:
    1. When non-Board members address the Board, the Chair shall allot such person not more than five minutes for a report nor five minutes for other business, unless the time is increased or decreased by majority consent of the Board.
    2. When Board members discuss a matter:
      1. The member first addresses the Chair, then the entire membership in an audible voice.
      2. The Chair may stop any discussion which does not apply to the motion last made; and may stop the discussion of a matter if the Board has previously agreed to confine discussion to a definite period of time, and that period of time has expired.
      3. Aside from such limitation, a member may speak without interference for such period of time as he or she deems necessary.
  7. Call for a Vote -- Any member of the Board may call for a vote on any question under discussion.  Such a call may be overcome by a majority of Board members present.

Except as provided above, the rules of parliamentary procedure in Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the Board in its deliberations.  Rules may be suspended at any meeting by a majority vote of members present.

Rules in regard to citizen participation in Board of Trustees’ meetings are as follows:

  1. Meetings of the Board of Trustees are to be open to the public.
  2. All citizen communications to the Board of Trustees must be addressed to the Board of Trustees.
  3. Citizens who wish to present any matter of concern to the College are required to make written request to the Secretary of the Board of Trustees at least one (1) week prior to the meeting.  This shall come under Miscellaneous in the order of business.  
  4. Under special circumstances, and with the consent of a majority of the Board, the Chair of the Board may give visitors who have not presented a written request an opportunity to present problems to the Board.  The Chair shall allot a visitor, at the appropriate time, not more than three minutes unless the time is increased or decreased by the consent of the Board.

Rules in regard to the minutes of the proceedings of the Board of Trustees’ meetings are as follows:

  1. Minutes of the Board proceedings are prepared under the guidance of the Secretary and emailed by the Executive Assistant to the President to the members when possible at least two working days before the time of the next meeting.
  2. Action on the minutes of the preceding meetings shall be approved by the Board as the first official act of the regular meeting.  Approved minutes are signed by the Chair and the Secretary of the Board.
  3. The official minutes are available electronically in the President’s office, on the College’s website, and in the College library under the direction of the Secretary of the Board.

Records of meetings of the Board of Trustees are available to citizens for inspection at the College President’s office during business hours, may be examined in the College library, or viewed on the College’s website. 

Policies may be revised, added to, or amended, at a regular meeting of the Board by a majority vote of the Board members.  Proposed amendments may be voted on at any meeting following their presentation. 

The current policies of the Board members are to be available to the College community.  Those related to students will be in the College catalog and/or the student handbook.  All policies will be available to employees on the College intranet, as well as posted to the College’s website.

The Lake Michigan College Foundation was established in 1986 for the purpose of accepting gifts on behalf of Lake Michigan College.  In the rare instance that a gift, at the donor’s request, be contributed directly to the College, the College will defer to the acceptance guidelines as outlined in the Lake Michigan College Foundation’s Gift Acceptance Policy.  The Board at its discretion may choose to accept or reject these gifts.  

The Trustees encourage the wide use of College facilities by the community it serves.  The Administration is authorized to enter into use and rental agreements with appropriate community groups.  Rates charged and priorities for determining use are delegated to Administration. 

Federal and State grants, including fund matching grants, required of the local District may be accepted by the administration and reported to the Board as soon as possible at a regular meeting. Applications for grants and final acceptance of grants will be noted in the minutes of the Board meetings.

The Board of Trustees has several scholarship programs in which it participates.  The awards are given on the basis of demonstrated excellence in a subject area, for economic need, and others for a retiree grant program.  Participation in federal and state programs provides greater opportunities for the citizens who reside in the Lake Michigan College District, and if possible, for those attending the institution as non-residents.

Signatures for checks, drafts, notes or orders drawn against designated depositories for various College funds shall be valid only when an authorized electronic signature is used.

The Chair and Treasurer of the Lake Michigan College District are authorized by electronic signature to pay approved obligations.  

The Administration is charged to make finance reports at most regularly scheduled Board meetings.

The Board authorizes the President, the Chief Financial Officer, and Vice President of Administrative Services to execute change orders in an amount not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), where it is in the best interest of the College to do so, reporting back to the Board of Trustees any such actions taken at the next regular Board meeting.  The three named positions are also authorized to enter into negotiations with the architect, contractors, and other parties involved.  Reports of such negotiations will be given at the next regular Board meeting.  Major capital project activities will comply with the College’s Purchasing Policy as well as the Capital Asset Procedure.

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