3, Board-Staff Relations

3, Board-Staff Relations danim94751

3.0 Chancellor's Role

3.0 Chancellor's Role danim94751

The Chancellor, as chief executive officer, is the Board’s official connection to the District’s operations.

AMENDED February 22, 2011, Motion No. 9781, 9782

3.1 Unity of Control

3.1 Unity of Control danim94751

Only officially passed motions of the Board are binding on the Chancellor.

  1. Except in rare instances when a person, committee, or task force has been explicitly authorized to direct staff on an issue, no Board Member, officer, or committee has authority over the Chancellor or any member of the Chancellor’s staff.
  2. Board Members may request information through the Chancellor’s office. In the Chancellor’s absence, requests will be made to the Acting Chancellor or the Chancellor’s direct reports. In the case of individual Board Members or committees requesting information or assistance, the Chancellor shall make every effort to honor all such requests, with the exception where considerable time and expense are involved, in which case the request may be declined. The Board member may then refer such request to the full Board for consideration.

TECHNICAL CHANGES APPROVED June 27, 2023 Governing Board Meeting
AMENDED February 22, 2011, Motion No. 9781, 9782

3.2 Accountability of the Chancellor

3.2 Accountability of the Chancellor danim94751

All Board authority delegated to District management is delegated through the Chancellor. Therefore, all authority and accountability of staff, as far as the Board is concerned, is considered to be the authority and accountability of the Chancellor.

  1. The Board will not give instructions to persons who report directly or indirectly to the Chancellor.
  2. The Board will not evaluate, either formally or informally, any staff other than the Chancellor.

AMENDED June 27, 2023 Governing Board Meeting 
TECHNICAL CHANGE, Approved June 28, 2022 Governing Board Meeting
AMENDED October 22, 2013, Motion No. 10112
AMENDED February 22, 2011, Motion No. 9781, 9782

3.3 Delegation to the Chancellor

3.3 Delegation to the Chancellor danim94751

The Board will direct the Chancellor through written policies that prescribe the Strategic Priorities to be achieved, and describe acceptable organizational situations and actions, allowing the Chancellor to use any reasonable interpretation of these policies.

  1. Vision, Mission, Values and Strategies: policies direct the Chancellor to achieve certain results, for certain recipients, at a worth or priority. 
  2. Chancellor Responsibilities: policies define the boundaries of legality, prudence, and ethics within which the Chancellor is expected to operate. These policies describe those practices, methods, decisions, and circumstances that would be acceptable to the Board in producing the desired outcomes. 
  3. The Chancellor is authorized to establish all further administrative policies, make all decisions, take all actions, establish all practices, and develop all activities, as long as they are consistent with any reasonable interpretation of these policies and Chancellor Responsibilities.
  4. The Board may change its policies and Chancellor Responsibilities thereby shifting the boundary between Board and Chancellor domains. By so doing, the Board changes the latitude of choice given to the Chancellor. However, so long as any particular delegation is in place, the Board and its members will respect and support the Chancellor’s choices as long as they are consistent with Board policy, as reasonably interpreted. This does not prevent the Board from obtaining information, except for confidential/personal information relating to students and staff. AMENDED August 22, 2023 

AMENDED at the August 22, 2023 Board Meeting
TECHNICAL CHANGE, Approved June 28, 2022 Governing Board Meeting
AMENDED February 22, 2011, Motion No. 9781, 9782

3.4 Monitoring the Chancellor's Performance

3.4 Monitoring the Chancellor's Performance danim94751

The Board will systematically and rigorously monitor the Chancellor's job performance to determine the extent to which  the Vision, Mission, Values and Strategies are being achieved and whether operational activities fall within parameters established in Chancellor Responsibilities and Iterpretations policies.

  1. The purpose of monitoring is simply to determine the degree to which the Chancellor is fulfilling the Board's expectations as set forth in its governing policies. 

  2. A given policy may be monitored in one or more of three methods:
    1. Chancellor Report: The Chancellor conveys to the Board, in writing, policy interpretations as well as compliance information relevant to the policy under review. As appropriate in a given context, the Chancellor may present information to justify the "reasonableness" of his/her interpretation.
    2. External Report: Discovery of compliance information by a disinterested, external auditor, inspector, or judge who is selected by and reports directly to the Board. Such reports must assess executive performance only against policies of the Board (as reasonably interpreted by the Chancellor), not those of the external party unless the Board has previously indicated in Governing Board policy that party's opinion to be the standard for assessment.
    3. Direct Board Inspection: A designated Board Member, committee, or the Board as a whole assesses accomplishment of, or compliance with, a given policy, as reasonably interpreted by the Chancellor.

  3. In every case, the Board will judge whether a) the Chancellor's interpretation is reasonable and b) whether data demonstrate reasonable accomplishment of, or compliance with, the Chancellor's interpretation. Interpretations determined by the Board to be unreasonable, or data determined not to demonstrate reasonable accomplishment of or compliance with a Board policy, as reasonably interpreted, will be subject to a remedial process agreed to by the Board.

  4. All policies instructing the Chancellor will be monitored at a frequency and by a method chosen by the Board. The Board may choose to monitor any policy by any method at any time, but will ordinarily receive quarterly updates on Strategies at a regularly scheduled Governing Board meeting and annual report on Chancellor Responsibilities and Interpretations as part of the Chancellor evaluation process. 

  5. The Board will have a formal evaluation of the Chancellor in May - June of each year. The evaluation will be based primarily on a summary/review of the Board's judgment of the Chancellor's performance, per the criteria and process outlined above, during the previous twelve months.  In addition, the Board and Chancellor may jointly establish Chancellor annual goals. Further in consultation with the Chancellor, the Board may utilize an instrument that evaluates the Chancellor. The Board, in consultation with the Chancellor, may also solicit feedback from internal and external constituents. 


AMENDED June 27, 2023 Governing Board Meeting 
TECHNICAL CHANGE, Approved June 28, 2022 Governing Board Meeting
AMENDED April 25, 2017, Motion No. 10484 and Motion No. 10485
AMENDED April 28, 2015, Motion No. 10292
AMENDED October 22, 2013, Motion No. 10112
AMENDED February 22, 2011, Motion No. 9781, 9782

3.5 Access to the Internal Auditor

3.5 Access to the Internal Auditor danim94751

Direct but limited access to the Board by the Director of Audit, as the internal auditor, is an exception to the exclusive role of the Chancellor in connecting governance and management.

Accordingly, the Director of Audit oversees MCCCD’s Internal Audit and Management Advisory Services (IAMAS) Department, which is charged with the responsibility for ascertaining that MCCCD’s systems of internal controls, risk management, and organizational processes, as designed and represented by management, are adequate and functioning. IAMAS is also responsible for reporting to management and the Audit and Finance Committee on the adequacy and effectiveness of the organization’s systems of internal control, together with ideas, counsel, and recommendations to improve the systems.

  1. If, after having brought to the Chancellor’s attention any impropriety discovered in the course of his or her own work, the internal auditor feels that the Chancellor has failed to address the impropriety, the Director of Audit must report that impropriety to the Board President.
  2. Impropriety in this context means a material weakness in operational management or a violation of Board policies regarding financial affairs of the District.
  3. Nothing in this policy impedes the Chancellor from exercising his or her Board-granted prerogative to interpret applicable Board policies under the “reasonable interpretation” rule, nor does it remove from the Board the right to judge reasonableness. However, impropriety as used in provision #2 above can indicate that in the opinion of the Director of Audit, an interpretation made by the Chancellor is not “reasonable.”
  4. The Director of Audit is in all other ways as subject to the Chancellor’s managerial authority as all other staff and has no direct access to the Board except as permitted by law or district policy and/or regulations. The Chancellor may not impede the Director of Audit’s official access as described in this policy, or seek to inappropriately influence the content of the Director of Audit’s reporting to the Board as set forth in this policy.
  5. Nothing in this provision shall be deemed to limit or prohibit the Board from hiring external or internal auditors who may be assigned to report to the Board, or as the Board may choose, another designee (e.g., Legal Counsel).

AMENDED February 22, 2011, Motion No. 9781, 9782

3.6 Board / General Counsel Relationship

3.6 Board / General Counsel Relationship danim94751

The General Counsel is employed by the Maricopa County Community College District in accordance with Arizona Revised Statutes §15-1448. As such, he or she is vested by law with the powers of and the duties otherwise performed by the Maricopa County Attorney pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes §11-532 (A) (11), as amended. In exercising these powers and providing legal services, the General Counsel is expected by the District to conform to the generally accepted standards of the legal profession, including the Rules of Professional Conduct (ARPC) promulgated by the Arizona Supreme Court. These professional standards include, without limitation, standards of integrity, competence, diligence, and communication.

  1. The General Counsel reports to and is supervised by the Chancellor, and is primarily responsible for providing professional legal services to the district’s officers and employees who are acting in his/her official capacity in performance of his/her duties. Whenever the General Counsel is providing legal services to the district including the Chancellor and the Board, professional standards require that his or her legal advice and services be based upon independent professional judgment that is not subject to the client’s direction and control.
  2. Regardless which individual or group represents the district as the General Counsel’s client for purposes of any particular communication or representation, the district as a whole entity remains the General Counsel’s sole client. He or she owes professional responsibilities to the organization as a whole, including the Governing Board as an entity.
  3. To meet the expectations stated above, the General Counsel must have direct and independent access to the Governing Board when necessary in his or her professional judgment (e.g,. when obliged by the above professional standards to disclose information received from constituent members of the organization to the highest authority within the organization, and to provide advice to the highest authority.)
  4. Accordingly, the General Counsel shall have direct access to the Board and the authority to use independent professional judgment in providing professional services as an attorney, notwithstanding the Chancellor’s otherwise exclusive role in connecting governance and management.
  5. The General Counsel will provide timely legal opinions on proposed regulations, contracts, and documents and also contemplated actions when requested by the Chancellor and other district executives, as well as upon a request of the Board, by motion duly made, seconded, and approved.
  6. In addition to the foregoing, the Chancellor may in his or her sole discretion assign the General Counsel supervision of district risk management, insurance, training, and compliance programs. If so, the General Counsel will take reasonable care to clarify when he or she is exercising such administrative responsibility. When the General Counsel is performing such administrative duties, he or she will be subject to the direct and exclusive supervision of the Chancellor.

TECHNICAL CHANGES APPROVED June 27, 2023 Governing Board Meeting
AMENDED February 22, 2011, Motion No. 9781, 9782