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Through NMC’s Shared Governance, Input is Sought at all Levels (February 1, 2012)

The Northern Marianas College today released a statement emphasizing the important value and contribution made by students, staff, and faculty at all levels at the College.

“As an accredited institution of higher education, the Northern Marianas College’s commitment to shared governance is paramount,” said NMC President Dr. Sharon Y. Hart. “Through its shared governance structure and processes, all constituencies of the college””students, staff, faculty, and administrators””participate in major decisions in a spirit of collaboration, open and honest communication, engagement, and mutual respect and trust.”

“Nowhere is this more apparent than when the College’s feedback is sought on any proposed legislation,” said President Hart.

When legislation that may affect the College is introduced in the legislature, that legislation is reviewed by the College’s Management Team, which includes representatives from students, staff, faculty, as well as administrators from all divisions on campus. These representatives provide valuable input and are encouraged to meet with and seek input from the groups they represent.

According to President Hart, this vehicle of expressing opinions and input is also reinforced at the Board of Regents level. During its meetings, the NMC Board of Regents considers and deliberates on pending legislation to arrive at a unified position that reflects the College’s best interests. Here again on the Board of Regents level, all constituencies are represented by each respective student, staff, or faculty regent.

“In lieu of using these shared governance structures, some members of the NMC community have chosen to work outside of them and utilize the media to share views that may not reflect the consensus of the College community or their constituents,” said President Hart.

President Hart acknowledged that constituent representatives will need the training necessary to help them carry out their responsibilities more effectively. She indicated that the College will step up its efforts to ensure that student, staff, and faculty representatives receive the support they need from the President’s office, the other Regents, and College leaders. One of these efforts is to provide a comprehensive, formal orientation that other Regents receive when they are appointed to the Board of Regents.

“I also want to thank the members of the legislature who came to campus last week to meet with us and to learn about the important progress that we have been making on several fronts,” added President Hart. “Moving forward, we want to continue to build upon the important partnership between the legislature and the Northern Marianas College.”

“At the same time, I want to apologize for any accusations that may have been incorrectly and inappropriately directed at Representative Janet Maratita,” said President Hart. The College was empowered to control many aspects of the meeting’s agenda and felt some of the discussions needed to be hastened. As a result, some participants of the meeting did not feel they had an adequate opportunity to voice their concern or respond to inquiries.”

“Our discussion on pending legislation affecting NMC will require an ongoing dialogue between the College and the legislature. We look forward to meeting more frequently with our elected leaders to discuss our challenges and progress toward meeting our mission.”

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