1.31 Official Seal

The Board shall maintain an official seal for use upon any and all official documents of the Board. The seal shall have inscribed upon it the name of the college, which shall be: Community College District No. 11, Pierce College, State of Washington.

1.32 Office of the Board

The Board shall maintain an office at the Puyallup College, 1601 39th Avenue SE, Puyallup, Washington 98374-2222. This address is the official mailing address for the Board, board records and meeting minutes. The office shall be open during normal business office hours.

1.33 Board Organization and Responsibilities

The Board consists of five members appointed by the Governor, each for a term of five years. The Board, at the September meeting, shall elect officers to serve from the first day of October through the last day of September of each year. In the event that this does not occur, officers shall be elected during the next scheduled regular meeting. These officers shall be a Board Chair and a Board vice chair. The chancellor shall serve as the Board secretary without a vote. The Board shall appoint a treasurer to the Board.

Board Chair

The Board Chair, in addition to any duties imposed by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, shall preside at all regular and special meetings of the board, authenticate all legal and official documents of the Board. The Board Chair is the board spokesperson unless, in individual instances, this authority is delegated to another board member by Board action. The Board chair will:

  • Preside at all meetings of the Board in an efficient and effective manner and set the general tone for each meeting.
  • Participate jointly with other members of the Board in the conduct of appropriate organizational affairs, yet being careful to mediate and not dominate the board by virtue of the position of the board chair.
  • Appoint Board committees in accordance with the bylaws and call for performance reports on a timely basis.
  • Stimulate the Board and extract the opinion of each individual, where appropriate, and serve as a catalyst for encouraging the members to ask discerning questions.
  • Expedite decision-making and voting of the Board after due deliberation.
  • Advise and consult with the chancellor on major issues.
  • Consult with the chancellor on the content and order of the trustee's meeting agenda.
  • Establish and maintain on behalf of the Board, good relationships with the press, governmental units, and the public.
  • Carry out special assignments on behalf of the Board and act as spokesperson for the Board.
  • Channel to the administration requests made by citizens and other Board members for special information about the district.
  • Provide leadership and recommend appropriate in-service training such as attendance at trustee conferences, the utilization of outside resource consultants, and the planning of special trustees' programs.
  • Consult with other trustees, on a timely basis, who are not carrying out their agreed upon responsibilities or who are violating board bylaws, policies, and practices.
  • Serve as a catalyst in initiating evaluation of the chancellor.
  • Ensure that the Board has adequate advance information and sufficient lead time for deliberation of a topic prior to decision-making.
  • Provide leadership in causing the board to deliberate appropriate Board topics as opposed to matters that should be delegated, or receive recommendations from, the chancellor.

Board Vice Chair

The Board vice-chair shall preside in the absence of the Board chair and is vested with the same power and duties as the board chair in those instances.

Secretary of the Board

The secretary of the Board shall be the chancellor who shall maintain records of all meetings and other official actions, and correspondence of the board. S/he shall serve public notice of all meetings of the Board as required by these bylaws and state law. The secretary shall prepare the meeting agenda, ensure pre-meeting distribution of the agenda to board members and other authorized recipients, and distribute the minutes of meetings and related reports. The secretary shall also ensure distribution of available documentation to Board members concerning action items appearing on a given agenda in sufficient time to allow Board members adequate study time of the items.


The treasurer shall be appointed to serve at the pleasure of the Board. The treasurer shall render a true and faithful account of all monies received and paid out and comply with the provisions of RCW 28B.50.143. The treasurer shall give bond for the faithful performance of the duties of his or her office in such amount, as the trustees require: Provided, that the district shall pay the fees for any such bonds. The treasurer shall be supervised by the Chancellor.

Board Members

Board members are expected to attend all board meetings, be absent only when necessary, and arrive on time.

Board members are expected to:

  • Actively participate in the Board search and selection of the chancellor.
  • Cooperate with other Board members in making policy decisions.
  • Accept committee assignments or ad hoc tasks as may be assigned by the Board Chair.
  • Become acquainted with Pierce College, its programs, and its people. However, care must be taken that the trustee does not interfere in the administration of the college, or undermine the chancellor's authority.
  • Make a continuing impression of the chancellor's performance so that s/he can assist in making an accurate annual evaluation of the chancellor.
  • Represent the college to the public, making clear the goals and needs of the institution.
  • Conform to the Board of Trustees bylaws and the addenda thereto.

Individual Authority and Responsibilities

Legal authority is vested in the Board of Trustees and may be exercised only through Board action taken in regular or special meetings. No individual member may speak or act on behalf of the board unless specifically authorized by board approval. Every member of the Board shall be under obligation to support any decision or policy adopted by the majority (a minimum of three concurring votes) and shall not publicly oppose such decision or policy after it has been adopted.

1.34 Board Ethics and Conflict of Interest

Chapter 42.52 RCW, Ethics in Public Service applies to each member of the Board of Trustees. It governs the actions and working relationships of members of the Board.

When there are questions with regard to the application of the Washington Ethics Law, Board members are expected to resolve them in favor of good, ethical judgment and in keeping with the basic principle that their position of trust may not be used for personal gain or private advantage.

In resolving questions regarding conflicts of interest, the following statements from state law shall be considered:

  • Board members may not have a financial interest or engage in any activity that is in conflict with the proper discharge of their official duties.
  • Board members may not use their official position to secure special privileges for themselves or any other person.
  • Board members may not receive compensation from any person, except the State of Washington, for performing their official duties.

If a matter comes before the Board which presents a conflict of interest or other ethics law violation for a Board member, if the conflict or violation cannot be otherwise resolved, the Board member must recuse him/herself from taking any action on that matter.

1.35 Board Performance Review

The Board is committed to assessing its own performance as a Board in order to identify its strengths and areas in which it may improve its function. The self-assessment process each year will include the completion of a self-assessment instrument by each member of the Board, a discussion of the compilation of the results and development of a set of goals for the next year.

Board self-assessment categories:

  1. Board Organization
  2. Policy Role
  3. Community Relations
  4. Policy Direction
  5. Advocating for the College
  6. Board- Chancellor Relations
  7. Standards for College Operation
  8. Institutional Performance
  9. Board Leadership
  10. Board Education

1.36 Board Meetings

Opening Meetings Act

The Board will comply with the spirit and letter of the Open Public Meeting Act.

Regular Meetings

Regular meetings will customarily be held on the second Wednesday of each month.

  • Regular meetings normally will be held at: Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, 9401 Farwest Drive Southwest, Lakewood, Washington 98498-1999 OR Pierce College Puyallup Campus, 1601 39th Avenue SE, Puyallup, Washington 98374-2222
  • From time to time, regular meetings may be held at other locations within the District. At no time will a meeting be held in a private home.
  • All regular meetings of the Board are open to the public and will be advertised publicly at least ten days in advance.
  • Robert's Rules of Order shall be followed except where contrary to state law or regulations of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
  • Three members of the Board constitute a quorum, and Board adoption of any action shall require approval by at least three members.
  • Normally, voting shall be via voice. Any member of the Board, for purposes of record, may ask for a roll call vote.

Special Meetings

Special meetings other than regular meetings may be called at any time by the Board chair or a majority vote of the Board. These meetings will be publicly advertised at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to being convened, and are open to the public.

Meeting Agenda

The agenda is prepared by the Secretary and approved by the board chair. Items for the agenda must be submitted to the Secretary in a timely manner to be included on the agenda.

Study Sessions

Study sessions are scheduled on the agenda as part of the meeting and are open to the public. This is a gathering of the Board and Secretary for the purpose of receiving presentations, reviewing programs and proposals, or studying information relative to issues or actions.

Executive Sessions

While all official business must be conducted in open meetings, the Board may hold an executive session during a regular or special meeting, which shall be closed. The following subjects may be considered in executive session:

  • Matters affecting national security.
  • REAL ESTATE: Selection or sale of real estate when public knowledge would likely affect price.
  • CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS: To review negotiations on the performance of publicly bid contracts when public knowledge would likely increase cost.
  • EVALUATION OF CHARGES AGAINST EMPLOYEES: To receive and evaluate complaints or charges brought against a public officer or employee, provided a public hearing shall be conducted at the request of each officer or employee.
  • EVALUATE QUALIFICATIONS OF APPLICANTS OR REVIEW EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE: To evaluate the qualification of an applicant for public employment or to review the performance of a public employee.
  • LEGAL COUNSEL: Discussion with legal counsel representing the agency on matters relating to agency enforcement actions, litigation or potential litigation if public knowledge regarding the discussion is likely to result in an adverse legal or financial consequence to the agency.

Minutes of Meetings

The Secretary shall ensure the accurate and faithful reporting of Board meeting activities through a system of written minutes. The recording of notes and production of minutes may be done by a member of the staff selected by the Secretary. In each case, the minutes will be approved and authenticated by the Secretary or, in his/her absence, a specific designee, prior to final publication and distribution. Minutes will be distributed to each Board member and others holding records of board meetings.

1.37 Policy Manual

The Secretary of the Board shall ensure that a Board Policy Manual is maintained which shall contain those policy decisions taken by the Board that are designated for inclusion.

1.38 Administrative Policies and Procedures manuals

The Chancellor shall ensure that administrative policy and procedure manuals are maintained. These manuals will contain directives implementing Board policy and administrative decisions.