Thursday, July 31, 2014

Outgoing DCC Board chairman reflects on his time there

By Jim Squires

Here are some observations from my experience serving as an elected trustee of the DCC Board.

1. There will always be challenges. Good planning and good communication through board retreats are very helpful. There will be issues when individual board members, unions or other procedure hawks try to micromanage the institution. Staffing and reporting are administration responsibilities.

2. There will always be opportunities for DCC and the community of Glendive. We need to be positioned to recognize them and choose wisely which to pursue.

3. Relationship building and networking are critically important for both the DCC Board members and administration. Those contacts are key to collaborative efforts such as shared services and lobbying representation.

4. There will always be someone who looks at things differently than you do. A classic example is news reporting. Reporters are trained to be skeptical. Sometimes not all the pertinent facts come out before the story is written. Staying off of the top half of the front page of the Ranger-Review is a worthy goal!

5. Conducting meetings is part art and part science. Roberts Rules of order aren’t always adhered to. “Through the chair!” is necessary to minimize sidebar conversations which stall meetings and allow meetings to drift off track.

6. The Open Meeting Law is a good thing. It is often used as a club to threaten boards that are not open or have well planned and written agendas. The open meeting requirements can delay accomplishing goals in a timely manner. Often it is simply poor planning that is wasteful of both administrative and Board members’ time. Learning how and when to give proper notice is very important! Use the agenda as it is printed with rare exceptions.

7. Short cuts are choices you don’t dare make. Due diligence is the only appropriate choice. Doing it right the first time after adequate preparation is not just highly desired, it is essential.

8. A DCC Board member needs to be willing to sacrifice and donate more of his or her time and talent than you feel you have. In regard to expectations you need to recognize your best efforts will often be regarded as the least you could do by some. Abraham Lincoln said “You can please most of the people a lot of the time but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

9. As I complete my board service I speak very highly of the administration, faculty and staff that rose to the occasion in searching for and hiring our new president Michael Simon. The current administration is on track with policy reviews, reporting and structuring work assignments.

10. The community of Glendive was enormously supportive in our recruitment during the search committee process and community visits by the three presidential finalists. I feel like I am exiting the Board with some positive accomplishments. I wish the best for the future of our DCC.

The Glendive Ranger Review

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