By Veronica Huertado
The Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees made changes to its meeting policy in order to allow better oversight of their many programs, especially construction.
The board decided to separate monthly meetings to improve on keeping board members and the community informed.
In a packed downtown Los Angeles district office, the board voted to amend the format of the monthly board and committee meetings.
District operations and construction issues will be addressed in separate meetings.
The first meeting will be dedicated to district operations with the second meeting concentrating on construction.
This will change the format in which information flows through the board members and how they share it to make decisions.
The changes came as a result of a meeting the board members held in December where they identified areas that needed greater focus to work more productively and efficiently.
The new process would allow board members to focus on policy matters, create a system to give an opportunity to better review and revise the oversight of construction, and use time more efficiently to deal with district complexities and pressures it is facing with budget shortfalls.
The change to have one meeting a month for construction oversight would be to give the board members time to focus on the bond program and its multi-phased length and seek-out the appropriate staff to gain the knowledge necessary to make decisions.
“It benefits everyone knowing that those kinds of activities are going on every month,” said District Chancellor, Daniel LaVista.
The new process will also reduce the current seven committees overseeing various district wide activities to just four committees with specific charges to make the best use of resources.
The four standing committees include Institutional Effectiveness to oversee student services and student success issues, Finance and Audit Committee to deal with budget issues, the Legislative Committee to review district policy and the Capital Constructions Committee to look at various aspects of construction.
Furthermore, in efforts to make the board members more efficient in time the option to institutionalize an optional study session is in place to seek additional responses from staff or to signal the staff more information before the board meeting.
“These board meetings are the single most important ritual in the district,” said LaVista.
“When the board of trustees takes action on policy matters we want to make sure you have the information you need in ways that are understandable.”
“And for those who are interested enough, like those present today, who have the interest to find out that we helped them by way as well,” said LaVista.