Board of Trustees
To hold the office of Trustee in The San Jacinto Community College District, one must:
- Be a qualified voter.
- Take the oath of office.
- Serve without compensation.
- Reside in one of the independent school districts comprising The San Jacinto Community College District; to wit, Channelview, Deer Park, Galena Park, La Porte, Pasadena, or Sheldon.
An individual seeking election to the office of Trustee by having his or her name placed on the ballot must have been a resident of the state for 12 months, and a resident of the district for six months, prior to the last date on which the candidate could file to be listed on the ballot. An individual seeking election in the office of Trustee by write-in vote must have been a resident of the state for 12 months, and a resident of the district for six months, prior to the day of the election. An individual appointed to the office of Trustee must have been a resident of the state for 12 months, and a resident of the district for six months, prior to the day on which the appointment is made.
Election of Trustees shall be at large by position and either two or three Trustees shall be elected at each election, the number of Trustees depending upon that required to constitute a Board of seven to serve terms of six years.
A candidate for any position may have his or her name printed on a ballot for election to any position to be filled at each regular election by filing a written statement, signed by the candidate, with the secretary of the Board not later than 5 p.m. of the 61st day before the day of the election. An application may not be filed earlier than the 30th day before the date of the filing deadline. The application must state the number of the position for which the candidate is filing or the name of the incumbent member of the Board holding the position sought. The application shall include all statutorily required information, including a statement that the candidate is aware of the nepotism law. The location on the ballot of the names of the candidate for each position shall be chosen by lot. The candidate shall be eligible to run for only one position in each election.
Before a candidate can have his or her name placed on the ballot, he or she must execute and have notarized the loyalty oath.
A candidate shall not take any affirmative action to influence a district employee or current Trustee regarding the appointment, reappointment, employment, confirmation, re-employment, changes in status, compensation, or dismissal of a person related to the candidate within a prohibited degree of relationship under the nepotism law. However, this prohibition does not apply to a candidate's actions taken with respect to a bona fide class or category of employees or prospective employees.
Candidates for the Board shall file the designation of a campaign treasurer and all required financial statements with the Secretary of the Board in accordance with applicable law and directives from the Texas Ethics Commission.
The election of Trustees of the district shall be on the second Saturday in May in odd numbered years. The notice of election shall be given by publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation, at least ten days prior to the date of election, stating forth the date of the election, the polling place or places, the numbers or the positions to be filled, the candidates for each position, and any other matters deemed necessary or advisable.
The district shall cooperate with the commissioner’ court in ensuring that each polling place is accessible to and usable by the elderly and physically handicapped by the statutory deadlines for elections. The Board shall provide for early voting in Board elections as provided by law.
The Board, being subject to the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, shall not hold an election that implements any changes affecting elections until clearance is obtained from the U.S. Justice Department. Requests for clearance shall be submitted as soon as possible after enactment.
The winning candidate for any position shall obtain a simple majority of the votes cast. If no candidate receives a simple majority of the votes cast for all candidates for a position, then the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall run against each other for the position. The runoff election for all positions shall be held according to the provisions of Section 2.025 of the Election Code and shall be ordered, notice given, and held, as for regular elections.
Upon election, the Trustee shall take the official oath of office, and file it with the chairman of the Board. The oath may be administered and a certificate of the fact given by:
A judge, clerk, or commissioner of any court of record.
- A notary public.
- A justice of the peace.
- The Secretary of State of Texas.
- An employee of the Secretary of State of Texas who has duties related to the records required by Chapter 14, Texas Election Code, as amended.
- A member of the State Legislature.
Any vacancy occurring on the board through death, resignation, or otherwise, shall be filled by a special election order by the board or by appointment by resolution or order of the board. A person appointed to fill a vacancy in the representation of the district at large must be a resident of the district at large. The person appointed to fill the unexpired term shall serve until the next regular election of members to the board, at which time the position shall be filled by election for a term appropriately shortened to conform to what regularly would have been the length of the term for that position.
A person elected to serve as a Board member must remain a resident of the district throughout the term of office. A Board member who ceases to reside in the district vacates his or her office.
Texas law provides for the removal of Board members only for cause, including incompetence, official misconduct, intoxication on or off duty caused by drinking an alcoholic beverage (but not if it was caused by drinking such beverage on the direction and prescription of a licensed practitioner), or conviction by jury for any felony or for misdemeanor official misconduct (including conviction of an offense relating to the violation of college purchasing procedures). Actions for removal of Board members must be brought before the judge of the district court holding jurisdiction, except that any court convicting a Trustee of a felony or official misconduct shall order immediate removal.
Statement of Ethics
As a member of the Board, I will strive to improve community college education, and to that end I shall adhere to the following ethical standards:
- Attend all regularly scheduled Board meetings insofar as possible, and become informed concerning issues to be considered at those meetings.
- Bring about desired changes through legal and ethical procedures, upholding and enforcing all applicable statutes, regulations, and court decisions pertaining to community colleges.
- Work with other Board members to establish effective Board policies and to delegate authority for the administration of the colleges to the Chief Executive Officer.
- Work with other Board members to establish effective policies and practices prohibiting unlawful discrimination, including conduct that constitutes sexual harassment.
- Recognize that I should endeavor to make policy decisions only after full discussion at publicly held Board meetings.
- Render all decisions based on the available facts and my independent judgment, and refuse to surrender that judgment to individuals or special interest groups.
- Encourage the free expression of opinion by all Board members, and seek systematic communications between Board and students, staff, and all elements of the community.
- Communicate to other Board members and the Chief Executive Officer expressions of public reaction to Board policies and college programs.
- Inform myself about current educational issues by individual study and through participation in programs providing needed information, such as those sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges and the Association of Community College Trustees.
- Support the employment of those persons best qualified to serve as college staff, 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 my Board position for personal or partisan gain. In addition to filing disclosures required by the Texas Ethics Commission under Texas state law, a Board member who has a personal or private interest in a measure, proposal, or decision pending before the Board shall publicly disclose the fact to the Board, and that disclosure shall be entered in the minutes of the meeting. The Board member may not vote or otherwise participate in the decision.
- Take no private action that will compromise the Board or administration, and respect the confidentiality of information that is privileged under applicable law.
- Remember always that my first and greatest concern must be the educational welfare of the students attending the college.
Standards of Conduct and Conflict of Interest
As a member of the Board, I will strive to uphold those standards of conduct for state officers and employees and agree not to:
- Accept or solicit any gift, favor, or service that might reasonably tend to influence the officer or employee in the discharge of official duties or that the officer or employee knows or should know is being offered with the intent to influence the officer’s or employee’s official misconduct;
- accept another employment or engage in a business or professional activity that the officer or employee might reasonably expect would require or induce the officer or employee to disclose confidential information acquired by reason of the official position;
- accept other employment or compensation that could reasonably be expected to impair the officer’s or employee’s independence of judgment in the performance of the officer’s or employee’s official duties;
- make personal investments that could reasonably be expected to create a substantial conflict between the officer’s or employee’s private interest and the public interest; or
- intentionally or knowingly solicit, accept, or agree to accept any benefit for having exercised the officer’s or employee’s official powers or performed the officer’s or employee’s official duties in favor of another.
The following rules and regulations shall constitute the Bylaws of The San Jacinto College District and shall govern the Board of Trustees and the officials of the college.
Section 1: Election of Officers
The election of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Assistant Secretary shall take place at the first meeting of the Board of Trustees after the Board of Trustees election or subsequent run-off election of each election year or immediately after a vacancy occurs in any of the positions.
As far as practical, the Board of Trustees will perform its work as a committee of the whole.
Special committees may be appointed by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees on authorization by the Board of Trustees. Such committees shall perform specific duties and when the work of the committee has been completed, the committee shall be automatically discharged. The function of all such special committees shall be fact-finding and advisory, but never legislative or administrative. No committee shall have power to act unless specifically empowered by the Board of Trustees. If empowered to act, the committee shall report its action to the Board of Trustees at its next regular meeting.
Section 4: Powers and Duties of the Chairman
The Chairman of the Board shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Trustees; enforce the Bylaws; sign all contracts duly authorized by the Board of Trustees; countersign all warrants drawn on the funds of the college which have been duly authorized by the Board of Trustees ; appoint all committees not otherwise provided for, of which he and the chief executive officer of the college shall be ex-officio members; and perform such other duties as may be required by law or imposed by the Board of Trustees. The Chairman shall be entitled to vote on all matters coming before the Board of Trustees.
Section 5: Duties of the Vice Chairman
In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman shall act in his place.
Section 6: Powers and Duties of the Secretary
The Secretary shall keep a record of the Board of Trustees’ meeting in a book provided for that purpose; sign all warrants drawn on the college funds that have been duly authorized. The books, papers and records of the Secretary shall be the property of the Board of Trustees, under the custody of the chief executive officer of the college and shall be opened to inspection on request of any citizen.
It shall be the duty of the Secretary to record the vote of all members present on an action taken by the Board of Trustees.
In the absence of the Chairman and Vice Chairman, the Secretary shall call the meeting to order and act as President Pro-Tem.
Section 7: Duties of the Assistant Secretary
The Assistant Secretary shall act as Secretary in the absence of the Secretary.
Section 8: Regular Meeting
A regular meeting of the Board of Trustees shall be held on the first Monday of each month, at such hour and place as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees may designate, provided such regular meetings may be recessed or changed from time to time as the Board of Trustees may direct.
Section 9: Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Board of Trustees shall be held upon call of the Chairman. The purpose of the special meeting shall be indicated at the time the special meeting is called. Written notice of all special meetings including dates of such meetings shall be given to all members, whenever possible. Such special meeting may be called without written notice by majority vote of the Board of Trustees when in a regular meeting or a duly called special meeting.
Section 10: Official Business
All official business of the Board of Trustees shall be transacted at regular or special meetings of the Board of Trustees.
Section 11: Closed or Executive Sections. Convene in Opening Meeting.
Closed or executive sessions will not be held unless the Board of Trustees has first convened in an opening meeting for which notice has been given. If, during the open meeting, a closed or executive session is necessary, the presiding officer of the Board of Trustees shall announce that a closed or executive session will be held in accordance with Chapter 551 of the Texas Government Code (the Open Meetings law) which authorizes the holdings of such closed or executive session, including, but not limited to:
Section 551.071 - For the purpose of a private consultation with the Board's attorney on any or all subjects or matters authorized by law.
Section 551.072 and 551.073 - For the purpose of discussing the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real property and negotiated contracts for prospective gifts or donations.
Section 551.074 - For the purpose of considering the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee or to hear complaints or charges against a public officer or employee.
Section 551.075 - Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require a quorum of the members of a governmental body to confer with an employee or employees of the governmental body in an open meeting where such conference is for the sole purpose of receiving information from the employee or employees; provided, however, that no discussion of public business or agency policy that affects public business shall take place between the members of the governmental body during the conference.
Section 551.076 - To consider the deployment, or specific occasions for implementation, of security personnel or devices.
Section 551.083 - For the purpose of considering the standards, guidelines, terms or conditions the Board will follow, or instruct its representatives to follow, in consultation with representatives of employee groups in connection with consultation agreements provided for by Section 13.901 of the Texas Education Code 4.
Section 551.084 - For the purpose of excluding witness or witnesses from hearing during examination of another witness.
Should any final action, final decision, or final vote be required in the opinion of the Board with regard to any matter considered in such closed or executive meeting or session, then such final action, final decision or final vote shall be at either:
A. The open meeting covered by this Notice upon the reconvening of this public meeting, or
B. At the subsequent public meeting of the Board upon notice thereof, as the Board shall determine.
XIII. Reconvene In Open Meeting
Consider items discussed in Executive Session. (Those listed under Executive Session in this Notice.)
Section 12: Hearing of Citizens on Agenda Items
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees will include in the agenda of that meeting an opportunity for members of the public to address the Board of Trustees on any items of business which are included in the agenda, provided the citizen files an application with the secretary to the Board prior to the meeting being called to order. The Board of Trustees reserves the right to fix such time limits on presentations as it deems appropriate to the occasion and may limit the number of spokesmen who appear before it in opposition or in support of a given issue.
Section 13: Hearing from Citizens
A citizen desiring to appear before the Board of Trustees shall complete the Application for Hearing before the Board of Trustees, The San Jacinto College District, and file said application along with any support information concerning the citizen's concern, complaint or commendation, with the secretary to the Chancellor, before the scheduled meeting is called to order.
The time allotted each citizen or organization for presentation shall be no more than five minutes with an additional five minutes interaction with the Board of Trustees if needed for further clarification and better understanding of an issue. The total time for hearing of citizens shall be no more than 60 minutes at any one meeting. Should the speaker drift from the stated subject, he or she shall be given one warning; if a second warning is required, then the speaker shall forfeit the remaining time allotment.
Because the policy of the college flows from the Board of Trustees acting as a whole and not from individual members of the Board of Trustees, administrators or faculty, citizens' remarks must be confined to activities pertaining to the college. Other than the additional five minutes allocated for interaction, members of the Board of Trustees and/or administration will not respond at the meeting. However, there will be follow-up and reply to each person, or arrangements made for the appropriate administrator to contact the speaker regarding the concern expressed, provided the necessary evidentiary documentation has been submitted. Should a citizen or representative of a delegation or an organization wish to use the time as a forum, documentation and evidence will not be required and an official response will not be made.
Should any citizen wish to distribute a handout to the Board of Trustees or audience, this shall be done before or after the official Board of Trustees meeting and not during.
While citizens are urged to bring school matters to the Board of Trustees, no speech shall be permitted on behalf of any person running for political office, and no such literature pertaining to any form of electioneering will be permitted during the meeting.
Presentation of matters concerning a complaint or charge against a San Jacinto College District employee or officer will be heard in closed session unless the individual who is the subject of the change or complaint requests a public hearing.
Section 14: Quorum Necessary for Transaction of Business
A quorum for the transaction of college business shall consist of a majority of the membership of the Board of Trustees; less than a quorum may adjourn to a specific time.
Section 15: Order of Business
The order of business for regular meetings of the Board of Trustees will include the following items:
- Call to order
- Invocation and pledge to the flag
- Special Recognition and/or Presentations
- Communications to the Board of Trustees
- Hearing of such citizens or groups of citizens desiring to be heard before the Board
- Informative reports to the Board, when applicable
- Action Items
- Consent Agenda (Any item placed on the Consent Agenda shall be removed and taken up as a separate matter, if so requested by any member of the Board, otherwise all items will be voted on with one (1) motion, including the approval of Minutes from previous Board Meetings and the setting of the next meeting
- Items for Discussion/Possible Action (Items removed from the Consent Agenda)
- Reports from Board Committees (when applicable)
- Strategic Issues Discussion
- Adjournment to Closed or Executive Session Pursuant to Sections 551.071 to 551.084 of Chapter 551, the Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code
- Reconvene in Open Meeting for Consideration of Items Discussed in Closed Session
Section 16: Rules of Order
All business of the Board of Trustees shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, newly revised, unless otherwise provided in these Bylaws.
Section 17: Duties of the Board of Trustees
The chief duty of the Board of Trustees is to provide for the program and welfare of the college and to establish upon recommendation of the chief executive officer of the college, the policies which govern the college organization and operation. The Board of Trustees functions only when it is convened in meetings. An individual board member may speak for the Board of Trustees only when such authority has been delegated by the Board of Trustees. As a governing body, the Board of Trustees performs its duties as follows:
- It acts as a policy-making body and legislates to make these policies effective.
- It acts as an appraisal body sitting in judgment upon recommendations that may come to it through the chief administrator or its members.
- Performs other duties authorized by law.
Section 18: Employment of Chancellor
The Board of Trustees shall employ a chief executive officer carrying the title of Chancellor. The term of employment for the Chancellor shall be for a term set at the discretion of the Board of Trustees at the time of employment, in accordance with the school laws of Texas, and at an annual salary of such amount as may be fixed by the Board of Trustees. The Board shall evaluate the performance of the Chancellor on an annual basis.
In the event of a vacancy in the position of Chancellor of the college, the Board of Trustees shall employ a successor thereto at the earliest opportunity.
Section 19: Employment of Auditor
An independent auditor shall be employed who shall audit all accounts of the college and make his or her report to the Board of Trustees periodically, as directed by the Board of Trustees.
Section 20: Additional Powers and Duties
- Establish goals consistent with the role and mission of the college.
- Shall insist on the clarity of focus and mission.
- Assist the Chancellor in the achievement of performance goals.
- Shall nurture the college to the end that the college achieves its full potential within its role and mission.
- Study and pass upon the budget.
- Study and pass upon recommendations of the Chancellor for additional capital outlay and determine the means of financing them.
- Employ or reject the personnel upon recommendation of the Chancellor.
- Pass upon major financial problems upon the recommendation of the Chancellor of the college.
- Pass upon architect's plans for building which have been authorized, after approval of the Chancellor of the college.
- With the assistance of the Chancellor, determine current needs of the college and give active support to them before the public and the press.
- Approve the expenditures previously authorized by the Board of Trustees and approved by the Chancellor.
- Act as a body of final appeal for college personnel and the public in cases which may be appealed from the decision of the Chancellor of the college.
- Fill vacancies of the Board of Trustees created by death or resignation in accordance with laws of the state of Texas.
- Approve fees and tuition in accordance with statutory requirements.
- Approve the transfer of funds from one account to another.
- Approve the program of instruction as recommended by the Chancellor.
Perform other duties and functions as provided by applicable laws or regulations.
The term "administration" shall apply to those officers who control and operate over the college as a whole, or over some administrative division of the college program.
Section 2: The Chancellor as the Chief Executive Officer
The chief responsibilities and powers of the Chancellor of the college shall include the following:
- The Chancellor shall attend all meetings of the Board unless excused from attendance.
- The Chancellor shall act as the chief professional advisor to the Board of Trustees in all matters pertaining to the educational and business policies of the college involving their organization and operation.
- The Chancellor shall have general charge over the educational and business matters of the college and overall persons employed therein.
- All educational and business employees of the college shall be under the direction of the Chancellor. He or she shall recommend such employees to the Board of Trustees for employment, as well as dismissal of such employees.
- The Chancellor shall report to the Board of Trustees from time to time at his discretion or upon request of the Board of Trustees on the educational and business affairs of the college.
- The Chancellor may call meetings of the faculty or other employees at such times as he or she deems necessary for professional training and consultation.
- The Chancellor shall investigate the needs of facilities for the college and make such recommendations to the Board of Trustees as will meet with these needs.
- The Chancellor shall prepare a carefully classified estimate of receipts and expenditures for the ensuing year and submit this proposal to the Board of Trustees within the dates prescribed by law.
- Within the limits of the budget approved by the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor shall have power to approve requisitions for purchases and expenditures for the operational program of the college. He or she may delegate this authority to another member of the administrative staff with approval of the Board of Trustees. It is understood that it is the policy of the Board of Trustees that at least three bids be taken on majority items in the budget before placing the order. However, in the case of capital outlay, the Board of Trustees must approve the bids before placing the order.
- The Chancellor shall recommend the transfer of funds from one account to another as conditions may require. The actual transfer will be made upon approval by the Board of Trustees.
- The Chancellor shall represent the college to its constituency, to the general public, and in educational groups.
- The Chancellor shall assist, as far as possible, in raising funds for the support of the college and its programs.
- The Chancellor is charged with the responsibility of maintaining amity and unity of purpose among all members of the teaching and administrative staff, the Board of Trustees, the alumni and the college constituency.
- The Chancellor shall recommend all trips involving students and other personnel which are specifically provided for in the budget.
These Bylaws may be altered or amended at any regular meeting of the Board of Trustees by the affirmative vote of four Trustees after 30 full days have passed after such amendment has been reduced to writing and filed with the Secretary of the Board of Trustees in a regular or special meeting.
(Effective March 2, 1981. Revised February 3, 1992; August 7, 199; May 6, 1996; November 3, 1997, March 5, 2007)