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About Virginia Western :: College Policies

V-1: Governance Structure

Policy Number: V-1
Last Reviewed: August 6, 2018
Responsible Dept.: Institutional Effectiveness

A signed copy of this policy is available in the President's Office.


This policy outlines the internal Governance Structure for Virginia Western. It defines the reporting and recommendation structure for Councils, Senates and Workgroups; outlines the annual meeting schedule; and explains the roles of members.


The President is the final authority with regard to College governance. The President has the authority to waive, suspend, or alter Virginia Western policies as necessary to address an emergency situation or extraordinary circumstance.

The College Council consists of representatives from the Executive Team, each Senate and Student Council. The College Council is responsible for reviewing College policy and procedure and for making recommendations on such matters to the President or Executive Staff. In doing so, this Council serves as the official voice of the College.

The Executive Team is responsible for areas within their scope of responsibility. This group consists of the Vice Presidents, Associate Vice Presidents and the Dean of Institutional Effectiveness. They identify the need for new or revised policies, recommend appropriate policies, and review College-wide policies. All new governance policies and substantive revisions to existing policies must be reviewed and approved by the Executive Staff and accepted by the President prior to becoming official policy.

Faculty Senate, Administrative Faculty, and Staff Senates are forums to discuss the concerns of teaching faculty, administrators, and College staff, respectively.

Workgroups focus on specific tasks. The workgroups are reviewed annually to determine if they are needed for the following year. Each workgroup is provided with charges and deliverables for the year by College Council. Workgroup memberships are coordinated through the Institutional Effectiveness Office, except where otherwise specified in by-laws and workgroup structures.

Student Council is a forum to discuss the concerns of students. All students are welcome to participate. Representatives from each student organization also attend Student Council meetings. Student Council selects the students who also become members of the College Committees.

Deans and department heads are responsible for assuring adherence to established policies in the conduct of College business. Deans and department heads may issue procedures associated with a policy within their areas or departments, and are responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of policies and procedures relating to their areas or departments. This responsibility includes proper notification to respective faculty and staff of changes and updates to these policies and procedures, and conducting a review of policies at least annually.



Virginia Western Community College is a component of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). As such, Virginia Western is subject to the policies and procedures established by the VCCS. In addition, Virginia Western is a Virginia State agency, and is subject to state policies which apply to state agencies generally. The College issues local policies to comply with and implement VCCS and State policies, and to address issues that are not fully addressed by higher authority as listed in the following hierarchy:

  • The Higher Education Reauthorization Act and other federal mandates such as IRS regulations
  • The Code of Virginia and Governor of Virginia Executive Orders
  • VCCS and other State central agency policies such as the Commonwealth Accounting Policies and Procedures (CAPP)
  • Virginia Western publications (Catalog, Faculty Handbook, etc.)
  • Other Virginia Western written policies such as parking regulations

In the event of a conflict or contradiction, the highest applicable level in the hierarchy takes precedence.

Internal Governance Structure

Internal Governance Structure

Recommendation Process

Recommendations for changes follow the outlined process:

Recommendations Process

Individual departments or employees who would like to recommend a change should make recommendations to the appropriate Executive Team member who in turn will direct the recommendation to the appropriate workgroup or College Council.

Executive Team members may make recommendations directly to the President.

The President is the final authority with regard to any recommendations for change.

A simple majority (50% or more) of the voting members of College Council meeting in person or electronically shall be necessary and sufficient to constitute a quorum.

All new governance policies and substantive revisions to existing policies must be reviewed and approved by College Council and accepted by the President prior to becoming official policy. Changes affecting only one department may be handled within that department with the approval of the Executive Staff member. Please see Policy V-4: Policy on Policies.

Special Conditions:

In accordance with VCCS policy, changes to the Faculty Evaluation process must be approved by a majority of Faculty Senate members who participate in the vote.

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