• Individual Board Member's Authority and Responsibilities: 9040

  • Section 9000: Board By-Laws
    Individual Board Member's Authority and Responsibilities
    Board Policy: 9040
    Board of Education (BE)
    Approval: 11/9/16

    Any duty imposed upon the Board as a body shall be performed at a regular or special meeting and shall be made a matter of record. The consent to any particular measure obtained from individual Board members when the Board is not in session shall not be an act of the Board and shall not be binding upon the College.

    A Board member has the authority to act in the name of the Board when authorized by a specific Board motion.

    A Board member has the right to express personal opinions. When expressing such opinions in public, the board member must clearly identify the opinions and his/her own.

    Board members will be knowledgeable of information requested through Board action, supplied by the President, gained through attendance at College activities, and through professional Board activities.

    Members of the Board will adhere to the following in carrying out the responsibilities of membership:

    1. Request for Information
      Any individual Board member who desires a copy of a written report or survey will make such a request to the Board Chair and President. A copy of the material will be distributed to each member of the Board. Requests for the generation of reports or information that require additional expense to the College or services or assistance from College employees must be submitted to the Board for consideration.
    2. Requests for Legal Opinions
      A Board member may request a legal opinion. Such request, however, will be made through the Board Chair to the president. If the legal opinion sought involves the president's employment or performance, the request will be made to the Board Chair. Legal counsel is responsible to the Board.
    3. Action on Complaints or Requests Made to Board Members
      When Board members receive complaints or requests for action from staff, students or members of the public, the Board members will direct the staff, students, or members of the public to the appropriate complaint policy. Such information will be conveyed to the President for action.
    4. Board Member's Relationship to Administration
      Individual Board members will be informed about the College’s educational program and may request information from the President. Board members will coordinate all visits to the College through the President. Board members will not intervene in the administration of the College.
    5. Contracts or Agreements Made By Individual Board Members
      Contracts or agreements made by individual Board members without the Board's authority are invalid.

    Responsibilities of the Individual Board Member

    The basic function of a Board member is policy-making and not administrative. Board members leave to the president the execution of policy and methods used to enforce the provisions of the policy.

    It is the Board member’s responsibility to:

    1. Request the opinion of others and graciously accept and support the principle of "majority rule" in Board decisions;
    2. Refer all complaints or problems to the President's office and discuss them at a Board meeting only after failure of administrative solution. Also refer personal criticism of any College operation directly to the president;
    3. Require all College business transactions be on an ethical and above-board basis;
    4. Refuse to use or permit the use of a Board member's position for personal gain or for personal prestige;
    5. Decline to interject personal problems into Board consideration; and
    6. Refuse to participate in secret meetings that are not official and to which all members have not been invited.


    Legal Reference:
    ORS 341.283
    ORS 341.290

    Opinions of the Attorney General, Vol. 38, p. 1995 (1978)

    South Benton Education Association v. Monroe UH School District 1, 83 Or. App. 425 (1987).