HLC Self Study
Chapter 4 Graphic

Leadership at Estrella Mountain Community College

The Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board is the ultimate authority for all College decisions. The Governing Board delegates that authority to the Chancellor, who then delegates it to the College President. Estrella Mountain’s shared governance model provides an opportunity for all members of the organization to participate in strategic planning and budget development processes, as well as other decision-making structures, that impact college operations.

The Faculty Senate President and Faculty Senate President-Elect meet once a month with the College President, and they also meet with the Vice Presidents on a monthly basis. The College President meets regularly with other employee groups and holds open office hours for all employees. The major college governance teams are as follows:

  • Senior Leadership Team
  • President’s Cabinet
  • Leadership Council
  • Employee Groups
  • Student Government

This shared governance structure demonstrates Estrella Mountain’s commitment to collaborative decision-making on multiple levels. 

Senior Leadership Team

The Senior Leadership Team meets weekly and is composed of the College President and Vice Presidents.

President’s Cabinet

President’s Cabinet consists of the President, Vice Presidents, Deans, key Directors, and the Faculty Senate President, who meet monthly. President’s Cabinet is not part of the official structure of the College in terms of leadership. It is, rather, the President’s management meeting, similar to a division meeting. Recommendations do not go to President’s Cabinet for consideration nor does President’s Cabinet make recommendations to Leadership Council.

Leadership Council

Leadership Council represents all levels of College leadership, including the President, the Vice Presidents, the Deans, all Division Chairs and Directors, a student leadership representative, and representatives of all employee groups. This cross-functional structure allows for college-wide participation, creates opportunities to address institution-wide needs and priorities and provides a forum to bring about consensus.

Employee Groups

The following employee groups meet regularly to ensure inclusivity of all decision makers: Faculty Senate; Management, Administrative and Technological Staff (MAT); and Professional Staff Association (PSA). The District has the following nine employee groups, all of which are represented at Estrella Mountain:

  1. Residential Faculty
  2. Adjunct Faculty
  3. Management, Administrative and Technological Staff  (MAT)
  4. Professional Staff  (PSA)
  5. Maintenance and Operations  (M&O)
  6. Public Safety
  7. Crafts
  8. SouthWest Skill Center
  9. Chancellor’s Executive Council

A strong effort is made to include representation by members of individual employee groups on committees where outcomes could affect the respective employee group. The College’s Senior Leadership believes that there are advantages experienced when employees work collaboratively to accomplish goals as part of a shared governance process.

Faculty Senate

The Estrella Mountain Community College Faculty Senate includes a President, a President-Elect and a Secretary-Treasurer. The College has one voting seat on the District’s Faculty Executive Council, which governs the MCCCD Faculty Association.

The governance plan for residential faculty at Estrella Mountain Community College is set forth by the College Plan. In accordance with Residential Faculty Policies (RFP), the College Plan is a negotiated governance agreement between Faculty Senate and the College’s Senior Leadership.

Division Leadership

Estrella Mountain’s academic structure consists of six Academic Affairs Divisions, three Occupational Education Divisions, one Student Affairs Division, and the SouthWest Skill Center.  Division Chairs serve as leaders responsible for coordinating efforts to make sure that the goals of the College are met.  Roles and responsibilities of the Division Chairs are articulated in the College Plan.

Academic Issues Team

One of the sub-groups of Leadership Council is the Academic Issues Team (AIT). The purpose of AIT is to make recommendations and decisions that pertain to instructional and faculty issues. Discussions for new educational programs and courses are initiated, developed and implemented through College and District processes and procedures from AIT. This committee is responsible for developing and updating the College’s Instructional Plan and addressing issues identified by the College’s Student Academic Achievement Committee (SAAC). The Academic Issues Team is a committee of faculty Division Chairs as well as representatives from SAAC, the Center for Teaching and Learning, Student Affairs, and Learning Support. The Faculty Senate President and Deans are also members of AIT. The Academic Issues Team meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month to discuss issues related to the instructional functioning of the College.

Curriculum Product Development

Meeting in tandem, yet separate from AIT, is the Curriculum Product Development (CPD) committee. CPD reports to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and so does not report directly to Leadership Council. This group is responsible for creating a process to develop, improve and deliver courses, programs and degrees in response to constituent needs. CPD committee members include Division Chairs, the Faculty Senate President and appropriate administrative and staff members. This committee is similar to curriculum committees at other colleges.

Budget Development Steering Team

Since 2005-2006, the College’s Budget Development Steering Team (BDST) has continued to collaboratively provide funding support for the budget proposals submitted by the academic, occupational, student services, and administrative units. Budget proposals (i.e., funding to support new personnel, new initiatives) are ranked using a rubric that links to the Learning College paradigm and the College’s strategic goals. A ranked list with funding recommendations is sent to Senior Leadership by the BDST committee.

Sustainability Committee

The Estrella Mountain Community College Sustainability Committee strives to promote sustainability through environmental, economic and social responsibility. By educating students, faculty, staff, and the community, the College hopes to create awareness that fosters environmental stewardship.