Published: Mar 24 2017 12:00AM
<i>Liz Feldman joined Montgomery College in 2009 as a part-time professor in the Media Arts & Technologies Department. A full-time writer at WTTG-TV in Washington, Liz also serves as a part-time faculty associate for the Institute for Part-Time Faculty Engagement and Support on the Rockville Campus. She currently is a member of the Employee Services Council, her first experience in governance at the College.</i>
<b>MC Governance (MC): What motivated you to serve in governance?</b>
Liz Feldman (LF): I believe I was nominated a couple of years ago to serve on a council, and truthfully I did not pay much attention to governance at the time. However, I learned more about governance last year through my role as a part-time associate with the Institute for Part-Time Faculty Engagement and Support. I wrote an article about governance for our newsletter, <i>The Advance,</i> and I learned a lot. I was nominated again last spring and decided to give governance a try to see if I could contribute in a positive way.
<b>MC: What is it like to be a council member? What do you actually do?</b>
LF: I am a part-time faculty representative on the Employee Services Council. We meet once a month. During our meetings, we discuss issues that come to the attention of the council, and we are working on some goals we hope to achieve by the end of the academic year. In addition, we have guest speakers come to our meetings to provide information about topics of importance to the College. As far as my actual role, I attend the meetings, I listen attentively to the issues brought before the council, and I am working on one of the goals the council would like to complete before the end of the year.
<b>MC: What would you consider a few of the most important accomplishments of governance?</b>
LF: Though I am fairly new to governance, I know that governance has worked to develop the proposed code of conduct for College employees. I think that is a great accomplishment. Overall, I believe through governance the different councils can elevate issues, problems, and concerns to the right channels at the College, including Dr. Pollard.
<b>MC: What are some ways that governance can have an impact on student success?</b>
LF: When we had our governance training last August, we talked extensively about how governance could support student success. I believe student success is the underpinning of what we are trying to do in governance this year. As a College, our mission is student success, and I believe through governance, the different councils are searching for ways to attend to students' needs and make Montgomery College the best institution it can be.
<b>MC: Do you think governance makes an impact on the College overall? If so, how?</b>
LF: Governance gives a voice to the different constituencies within the College. It is through governance that issues and problems can be addressed. Governance provides a mechanism for problem solving.
<b>MC: What advice would you give to someone considering whether to serve?</b>
LF: First, learn a little bit more about what governance does. My MC has an icon on the home page that can link directly to the Governance web page. Click on it and read more about the councils you might be interested in. While it took me a while to get more involved in the College, I do think it is important, especially for part-time faculty, to have a voice in what happens at the College. I think as professors, we have an opportunity to serve our students better when we understand the mission of the College, what the goals of the College are, and how the College wants to achieve those goals. I think if part-time or full-time faculty and staff are more aware of what is going on at the College, that knowledge can benefit us as employees and can help the people we are committed to serve - the students. So far, I have enjoyed my experience in governance. I have had a chance to meet people who I otherwise would not have met. I am learning more about the College that I did not know before. I do think it is good to be involved.
<b>MC: Are there ways for people who aren't formally on a council to participate?</b>
LF: If people are passionate about certain issues, they can bring them before a council during the open comments period at the beginning of every meeting. All council meetings are open to the public, so people are welcome to drop by any meeting as well. That may be a good way to get someone's feet wet to see what governance is all about, and maybe that can help a person decide whether he or she wants to join a council in the future.
<i>This article is one in a continuing series. To read about the experiences of other governance members, please visit the governance website:</i> http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/mcgovernance