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What Is It Like to Serve in Governance? An Interview with Linda Hankey

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What Is It Like to Serve in Governance? An Interview with Linda Hankey

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Category: Governance

Published: Sep 26 2016 12:00AM

Linda Hankey has been a Montgomery College employee for 31 years. She currently works as an administrative aide for the Psychology Department and Study Abroad Program on the Rockville Campus. She recently reflected on her experiences in governance and its impact on the College community.

MC Governance (MC): How long have you served in governance and in what capacities?

Linda Hankey (LH): This is my second year in governance. I serve on the Staff Council and am on an ad hoc committee looking at the issue of bullying. The committee would like to have a statement in the College Policies and Procedures that relates to bullying because of concerns brought forward by some constituents. The Hate/Violence Activity policy in effect right now does not address bullying.

MC: What motivated you to serve?

LH: I wanted to have a say in making Montgomery College the best it can be and the ability to address and find solutions when possible to constituents' concerns. I had declined the nomination in the past because I was afraid I could not meet the time commitment involved, but I am very blessed that I have a department chair who encourages me to take on new tasks and supports me in my role on the council.

MC: What is it really like to be a council member? What do you actually do?

LH: The position of a Staff Council member is to represent the staff and to consider the well-being and interests of the College at the same time. You are elected by your constituents to represent their views as closely as possible when dealing with issues that come before the council. However, your constituents have many views and opinions, and you cannot represent all of them all of the time. You cannot make promises that cannot be kept or you will lose credibility with the Staff Council, your constituents, and Montgomery College.

MC: What would you consider a few of the most important accomplishments of governance?

LH: Last year the Staff Council worked on a statement to prevent retaliation against employees participating in governance, and it was adopted. The council worked with Kevin Long to develop the wording and incorporate the statement into the Employee Privileges policy and procedure. Staff Council is currently working with HRSTM on the possibility of offering a voluntary sick leave bank.

MC: Do you think governance makes an impact on the College? If so, how?

LH: Absolutely! Without having a governance system in place, there would not be an interrelationship between management and employees that addresses the needs of both employees and the College. Montgomery College has done a superb job in implementing the great governance system we have today.

MC: What advice would you give to someone considering whether to serve?

LH: It is an honor and a great privilege to be a part of governance. I would say if you have the opportunity to serve on one of the councils, make the time if you can and join in.

MC: Are there ways for people who aren't formally on a council to participate?

LH: Yes. You could become part of a standing committee to assist a council with its duties.

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