0140 HFC Membership
The Board of Trustees shall consist of seven (7) members elected at large in the territory of the district.
0142.1 Electoral Process
Candidates for the office of member of a community college board shall be nominated and members shall be elected as provided in Chapter XIV of the Michigan Election Law M.C.L. 168.301 to 168.315. M.C.L. 389.152
Trustees shall be elected in the regular school election in May or November.
Any U.S. Citizen, qualified elector, residing in the district is eligible to be chosen as a board member.
M.C.L. 389.151, M.C.L. 168.30A )
A term of office is six (6) years. If the election is in May, the term of office shall commence July 1. If the election is in November, the term shall commence on January 1 and shall continue until a successor is elected and qualified or until a vacancy occurs. At the next regular election immediately preceding the expiration of a member’s term of office, the electors shall elect the member’s successor for a term of six (6) years.
Within fifteen (15) days after appointment or after the final canvas of the election each person appointed or elected shall file with the secretary of the Board of Trustees an acceptance of office as well as an affidavit of eligibility and shall take an oath of office.
The office of a Trustee shall become vacant immediately upon the occurrence of any one (1) of the following events:
A. The death of the incumbent;
B. The incumbent being adjudicated insane or found legally to be an incapacitated individual by a court of competent jurisdiction;
C. The incumbent’s resignation;
D. The incumbent’s removal from office;
E. The incumbent’s conviction of a felony;
F. The incumbent’s election or appointment being declared void by a competent tribunal;
G. The incumbent’s neglect or failure to file the acceptance of office, to take the oath of office, or to give or renew an office bond required by law;
H. The incumbent ceasing to possess the legal qualifications for holding office;
I. The incumbent moving his/her full time residence out of the District. Commuting and/or part time residency out of the District on a temporary basis shall not create a vacancy.
If a vacancy in the Board of Trustees occurs, the remaining members of the Board by majority vote shall fill the vacancy immediately, (but in no event later than 30 days to comply with Michigan Election Law M.C.L. 168.311 because College Trustee Board Members serve simultaneously as board members of the Dearborn Public School District).
M.C.L. 389.157, M.C.L. 168.310
Any person so appointed shall hold office (the general member’s seat) until the next regular Community College election held for the election of members to the Board of Trustees in the district at which time the electors of the district shall fill the office for the unexpired portion of the term.
The elector appointed and/or elected shall fill the general board member seat created by the vacancy but not any office held by the vacating member. Officers are elected under Bylaw 0150, 0152.
Any member of the Board may be recalled pursuant to M.C.L. 168.951 et seq.
The Board believes that the preparation of each Trustee for the performance of board duties is essential to the effective functioning of the Board. The Board shall encourage each new Trustee to understand the functions of the Board, acquire knowledge of matters related to the operation of the District and College, and learn board procedures. Accordingly, the Board shall give to each new Trustee, no later than his/her first regular meeting as a Trustee for his/her use and possession during the term on the Board, a copy of the Board Policy Manual and the Henry Ford Community College Policy Manual.
The Board will provide and maintain a library of publications and reference materials for the use of Trustees.
Each new Trustee shall be .invited to meet with the Board Chair, Superintendent, the College President and the central office administrators to discuss board functions, policies, and procedures.
The Board shall encourage the attendance of each new trustee at orientation and training meetings.
Individual Trustees do not possess the powers that reside in the Board of Trustees. The Board speaks through its official action as recorded in the minutes and not through its individual members. An act of the Board shall not be valid unless voted at an official meeting by at least a majority vote of the members elected to and serving the Board.
No Trustee shall be denied documents or information to which he/she is legally entitled and which are required in the performance of his/her duties as a board member.
Access to District and College personnel records shall be subject to the following rules:
Personnel records shall not be available to Board members except as necessary to conduct disciplinary hearings and shall be available to school administrators as may be required in the performance of their job.
Information obtained from employee• personnel records by members of the Board shall be used only for the purpose of aiding the members in fulfilling their legal responsibilities in making decisions in such matters as appointments, assignments, promotions, demotions, remuneration, discipline, and dismissal or to aid the development and implementation of personnel policies, or for such other uses as are necessary to enable the Board to carry out its legal responsibilities.
0143.1 Public Expression of Board Members
From time to time individual Trustees make public statements on school matters:
to local media;
to local officials and/or state officials.
Sometimes the statements imply, or the readers (listeners) infer, that the opinions expressed or statements made are the official positions of the Board. The misunderstandings that can result from these incidents can embarrass both the Trustee and the Board. Therefore, Trustees should, when writing or speaking on school matters to the media, legislators, and other officials, make it clear that their views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Board or of their colleagues on the Board.
Expenses of a Trustee shall be reimbursed when incurred in the performance of his/her duties or in the performance of functions, when authorized by the Board, and duly vouchered.
M.C.L. 380.115, 380.116, 380.243, 380.331
0144.2 Trustee Ethics
As members of the Board of Trustees, Trustees will strive to improve education and to that end they will:
attend all regularly scheduled board meetings insofar as possible, and become informed concerning the issues to be considered at those meetings;
recognize that they should endeavor to make policy decisions only after full discussion at publicly held board meetings;
render all decisions based on the available facts and independent judgment, and refuse to surrender that judgment to individuals or special interest groups;
encourage the free expression of opinion by all Trustees, and seek systematic communications between the Board and students, staff, and all elements of community;
work with the other Trustees to establish effective board policies and to delegate authority for the administration of the District to the Superintendent and the College President;
communicate to other board members and the Superintendent and the College President expressions of public reaction to board policies and school programs;
inform themselves about current educational issues by individual study and through participation in programs providing needed information, such as those sponsored by the Michigan and National School Boards Association and the Michigan Community College Association;
support the employment of those persons best qualified to serve as staff and not become personally involved with the promotion of a particular candidate, and insist on a regular and impartial evaluation of all staff;
avoid being placed in a position of conflict of interest, and refrain from using their board positions for personal partisan gain;
take no private action that will compromise the Board or administration, and respect the confidentiality of information that is privileged under applicable law, or that is important to the successful management of the College (e.g., especially contract negotiations);
remember always that their first and greatest concern must be for the educational welfare of the students;
strive toward the highest standards of personal conduct. Source: Adopted from Board of Directors, National School Boards Association.
0144.3 Conflict of Interest
Board Trustees shall perform their official duties in a manner free from conflict of interest. To this end:
no Trustee shall use his/her position as a board member to benefit either himself/herself or any other individual or agency apart from the total interest of the District;
each Trustee shall abide by the contents of all Board policies concerning standards of conduct and conflicts of interest;
when a Trustee of the Board determines that the possibility of a personal interest conflict exists, he/she should, prior to the matter being considered, disclose his/her interest (such disclosure shall become a matter of record in the minutes of the Board), and thereafter shall abstain from participation in both the discussion of the matter and the vote thereon.
M.C.L. 15.321 et seq.
The Board may defend and hold harmless, indemnify, pay, settle, or compromise a judgment against a board member to the extent allowed under the law.
0145 Sexual Harassment
The Board of Trustees believe that sexually-offensive speech and conduct are wholly inappropriate to the harmonious relationships necessary to the operation of the College and intolerable in a workplace to which the students of this College are exposed.
Sexual harassment includes all unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical contacts of a sexual nature whenever submission to such conduct is made a condition of employment or a basis for an employment decision; or when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
The sexual harassment of a College staff member or student by a member of the Board is strictly forbidden. Any member who is found to have sexually harassed a member of the staff or a student will be subject to discipline by the Board and may be reported to law enforcement authorities.
Sections 0141 - 0142.5 revised on May 18, 2015