Becomes First Community College to Earn System-Level Honor

PHOTO: SUNY Orange Accepts 2015 SUNY Shared Governance AwardMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- SUNY Orange became the first community college to receive the State University of New York’s Shared Governance Award Friday (March 20) as Tina Good, president of the Faculty Council of Community Colleges, presented the award at the SUNY Voices Conference on Shared Governance in Syracuse, N.Y.

Standing in for SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and H. Carl McCall, chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees, Good issued the award to Michelle Tubbs, president of SUNY Orange’s shared governance system. The SUNY Shared Governance Award, presented for the first time in 2014, is a system-level honor conferred annually upon one SUNY campus in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of shared governance.

Criteria for the SUNY Shared Governance Award include effective engagement of campus administrations and trustees with students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the community and elected officials, on issues and policies that impact SUNY. Engagement can include shared and timely decision-making, shared accountability, collaborative dialogue, and open communication.

At SUNY Orange, shared governance is the method through which faculty, staff, administration, the Board of Trustees and students cooperatively participate in the development of College policies and procedures and in decision-making that affects the College.

“SUNY Orange exemplifies the purpose of the SUNY Shared Governance recognition, reaching beyond faculty engagement to involve the entire campus community,” Zimpher says. “Shared governance is an essential component of any campus’s strategic mission and vision, and SUNY Orange sets an excellent model. Congratulations to President (Dr. William) Richards and all those on campus who have contributed to this extraordinary achievement.”

“An effective and engaged shared governance system assures the future good health of the College by helping us make informed and thoughtful decisions today,” Richards explains. “SUNY Orange effectively achieves its mission and goals when the College community draws upon its knowledge, collective experience and creative powers in an on-going cooperative effort to develop policies and programs. I am proud to say that the College community has built an environment where collaboration, mutual respect and diversity are all valued.”

The structure of the shared governance system at SUNY Orange is that of a College Assembly that encompasses both campuses. Members of the Assembly include the College president; all full-time academic, professional and administrative staff; and full-time support staff who serve on a governance standing committee.

PHOTO: Horton HallThe Assembly meets monthly during the fall and spring semesters, typically nine times per year. Meetings serve as a forum where information is shared, topics are discussed and feedback is requested. Standing agenda items include the president’s report, a report from the executive committee that oversees governance, and an open forum where any member of the Assembly can have the floor. Updates on institution-wide projects are regularly addressed at Assembly meetings as well.

Much of the work undertaken by the governance structure is handled by members who serve on the 15 standing committees.

This past year, the Assembly provided significant contributions as the College concluded its decennial Middle States Commission on Higher Education Self-Study accreditation process; implemented SUNY’s new Seamless Transfer initiative; revised its mission, vision and values; and embarked upon its newest strategic planning cycle.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940