Posted tagged ‘General Counsel’

Policies updated

August 22, 2017

The following policies have been updated or added and recently approved:

June 2017 Policy Meeting

6.14 Family Medical Leave Act

  • Section X.E.1 – added the following verbiage at the end of the section:

Employees (CEBA, Meet & Confer, APSS, Campus Police) who do not return to work and have used leave banks that are advanced will be responsible for reimbursing the College all unearned leave banks.

6.20 Criminal Background Checks

  • Policy statement revised for clarification. The statement is more inclusive and represents all of the groups who participate in background checks.
  • Policy owner is now Executive Director of Human Resources.
  • Added reference to volunteers in several sections.
  • Added reference to out-of-state background checks.
    • Out-of-state background checks are conducted as needed. Separate HR procedures apply for any person denied as a result of the check.
  • Added a section within procedures for current employees who may be convicted of a crime.
    • If a current employee is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, they must report conviction to the Exec Director of Human Resources.

Note:  We do not conduct random checks on current employees.  This new section in procedures helps to confirm that we are doing everything we can to keep our campus safe for students and our employees.

  • Added a section within procedures for inviting former employees and guests with known criminal backgrounds to campus for events or speaking opportunities.
    • As stated in this section, it is not our intention to complete a check on all guests, but we do have a duty to keep our campus safe and will review concerns with appropriate campus leaders.

11.22 Economic Development Participation

  • Section X.  Added C. – which allows us to consider not recommending “opting out” of new or expanded tax capture districts where there is an opportunity to participate in a gain-sharing agreement of at least 10% of the district’s tax-increment proceeds.

(NEW) 10.6 Withdrawal and Return of Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) Funds

  • Department of Defense is requiring that our institution have a return of funds policy available for students to view regarding return of Federal Tuition Assistance.

14.13 Communicable Diseases

  • Updates names of relevant documents and website links
  • Updates contact titles
  • Updates the language to specifically include students, as well as employees
  • Provides specificity on reporting responsibilities for both students and employees
  • Updates the authoritative sources for reporting guidelines
  • Clarifies role of the Health & Safety sub-team
  • Clarifies persons responsible for external communication

12.9 Facility and Ground Use

  • Added “and Ground Use” to policy name
  • Expanded reason for policy to include guidance on use of building and grounds
  • Entities affected by policy – Added GRCC Athletics and GRCC Student Life Organizations
  • Scheduling hierarchy – Added Athletics and Student Life Organizations
  • Fees – added (c) – External/third party involvement, and the extent to which the event and any related revenues/fees are managed by the third party
  • Added under X. Procedures:

When in the best interest of GRCC, the President or his/her designee may approve exceptions to procedures, fees, or requests for waivers, on a non-precedent-setting basis.

The College reserves the right to cancel any event for circumstances beyond its control and/or reasonable cause, or deny and make additional restrictions when in the best interest of the College.

For more information, visit the policy website.


Policies updated

July 20, 2017

The following policies have been updated or added and recently approved:

Bullet Points for policies from May 2017 meeting:

Computer and Network Acceptable Use Agreement

  • no changes

Health & Safety Policy (NEW) to replace 14.8 Bloodborne Pathogens and 14.11 Chemical Hygiene Plan

  • Recommending replacing 14.8 (Bloodborne Pathogens Policy and Plan) and 14.11 (Chemical Hygiene Plan) with a single, over-arching Health and Safety policy that covers workplace activities and instructional programs that are covered by federal and state laws & regulations (OSHA & MIOSHA)
  • Related plans become supporting documents
  • 11 – Chemical Hygiene Plan
    • This was never actually a policy, rather a link to the plan that was put together by the Chemistry Department.
    • The plan has been updated and renamed the Lab Safety and Chemical Hygiene Plan
  • 8 – Bloodborne Pathogens Plan
    • Has been updated and renamed “Bloodborne Pathogens and Exposure Control” Plan

For more information, visit the policy website.

GRCC In the News, 6-14-17

June 14, 2017

Grand Rapids nonprofit renovates new houses for the homeless

June 13, 2017; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A local nonprofit that provides low-cost housing to those who are homeless in the community is expanding its presence in Grand Rapids.

… Training funded through the new grant will include lead safety, dust containment, zero waste goals and renewable energy sources. The grant also funds sustainability workshops for tenants and neighbors, peer-to-peer mentoring and connects tenants to Grand Rapids Community College’s residential construction program.

First Lady Snyder announces members of Campus Sexual Assault Workgroup

June 13, 2017;

LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) – First Lady Sue Snyder today announced the members who will serve on the Campus Sexual Assault Workgroup tasked with developing resources for assault survivors.

… Kimberly DeVries of Hudsonville is the director of equal opportunity compliance and is the Title IX coordinator at Grand Rapids Community College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and telecommunications from the University of Georgia and earned a law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. She will represent Title IX coordinators.

Policies updated

February 15, 2017

The following policies have been updated or added and recently approved:

View this document on Scribd

For more information, see the policy website.

Policies updated

December 5, 2016

The following policies have been updated or added and recently approved:

11.15 Purchasing Policy (revised):

  • Raising PO requirement from $1,000 to $2,500
  • Infrequent purchase of materials, equipment, goods, supplies or services of $2,500 and less may be made without the execution of a requisition and/or purchase order (was $1,000)
  • BOT to consent to purchases $25,000 and above as opposed to providing approval.
  • (3) Written competitive quotes required between $5,000 and $14,999 (was sealed at $9,999)
  • Formal sealed bidding procedures will be conducted on all purchases over $25,000 (was $10,000)
  • Emergency purchases exceeding $100,000 may be approved by the President or designee (VP of Finance and Administration) to guarantee the safety of students, staff and visitors. BOT approval was formerly required.
  • Competitive sealed (hardcopy or electronic) bidding on all purchases of goods and services over $25,000 will be conducted and bids will be advertised in the appropriate media (there are no departmental exceptions) (was $10,000)

For more information, see the policy website.

Policies updated

November 2, 2016

The following policies have been updated or added and recently approved:

6.2 Equal Employment Opportunity and Non-Discrimination (revised):

  • Section VII (D): changed ESP to APSS and added Transgender EO Policy as a related document.
  • Section X(A)(III): Added a statement that external investigators will be retained if allegations involve executive level employees, or those in HR or General Counsel offices.
  • Section X(D): Separated employee sanctions from student sanctions.

6.25 Utilizing the Freedom of Information Act on Behalf of the College (revised):

  • Updated next review date to 2020.
  • No other changes.

6.23 Misconduct (revised):

  • Removed “Student Handbook” under related documents, as we no longer have one.
  • Added “Drug and Alcohol Policy” as a related document. Clarified that this policy applies to student employees as well.
  • Removed the Director of Student Life & Conduct as a contact for this policy (since it relates to employees).
  • Changed the title of the position in the General Counsel’s Office who remains a contact.
  • Clarified that medical marijuana is prohibited on campus.

For more information, see the policy website.

GRCC In the News, 10-14-16

October 14, 2016

Michigan Gave Colleges $500,000 to Fight Sex Assault. Here’s How They Spent It.

Oct. 14, 2016; The Chronicle of Higher Education

Last year Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan announced a new grant program aimed at preventing sexual assault on the state’s college campuses. More than 30 institutions applied, and a mix of private, public, and community colleges — 22 in total — received a slice of the pie.

… The challenges Grand Rapids Community College faces in preventing campus sexual assault are different from those at four-year colleges. But Kimberly DeVries found that most of the available resources and national training programs are geared toward the four-year experience.

Business Journal names 40 Under Forty class

Oct. 12, 2016; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Forty of West Michigan’s top young professionals will be honored this month by the Grand Rapids Business Journal.

… Honorees

… Sara Brooks

… Chris Sain Jr.

… Daniel Schoonmaker.

(Chris Sain is coordinator of retention, and Sara Brooks is adjunct faculty. Daniel Schoonmaker is a GRCC alumnus.)

Daybreak News

Oct. 14, 2016; WOTV

We’re pleased to announce that the Challenge Scholars program is expanding. Beginning next fall, any students in ninth grade with a GPA of at least a 2.0 can attend Grand Rapids Community College for up to two years.

Downtown Development Authority wants to expand boundaries by 200 acres

Oct. 13, 2016; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) voted to expand its boundaries by nearly 200 acres to encompass 873 acres that would stretch from Leonard Street on the north to the southwest side along Grandville Avenue SW.

… Hoping to gain approval from other taxing authorities, the DDA staff has been lobbying officials from Kent County, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Rapids Community College, the Monroe North Tax Increment Finance Authority as well as the Westside and North Quarter Corridor Improvement Districts


GRCC In the News, 9-29-16

September 29, 2016

Nothing gets lost in translation when Young Farmer Award winner speaks

Sept. 28, 2016; Michigan Farm News

SPARTA — Upon graduating from Grand Valley State University with triplet undergraduate degrees in international business, economics and Spanish, Nick Schweitzer had to make a difficult choice — accept a job offer from the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America or return to the farm to start digging in the dirt.

… Jose (Meza), who was born in Guanajuato, Mexico, came to the U.S. at age 5. He is currently attending Grand Rapids Community College and hopes to return to Grand Valley State to complete his business degree. He said he and Nick talk about college, and he considers Nick a trusted friend whom he seeks advice from.

Speaking out: GRCC’s policy supporting transgender students creates safe learning environment

Sept. 29, 2016;

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) has awarded me my most cherished opportunities and milestones. In April of this year, I was the first in my family to receive a college degree. I was also recently awarded The 2016 Women’s Salute Award, an honor given on behalf of the Bob and Alecia Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion. I was chosen out of 18,000 students and presented with this award thanks to my volunteerism and mentorship in our community.

(This article was written by GRCC alum Beau VanSolkema.)

Policies updated

September 21, 2016

The following policies have been updated or added and recently approved:

View this document on Scribd

For more information, see the policy website.

Policies updated

September 15, 2016

The following policies have been updated or added and recently approved:

2015-2016 AGC Policies

7.15 Prior Learning Assessment–Revision

  • The rewritten policy is more specific and provides more complete information and guidance for students who wish to use PLA to gain academic credit.  Further, this policy will help faculty better advise students who seek information on and credit through PLA.

 7.16 Common Syllabus Components– Revision

General Information and Section Policies

  • Contact Information and Availability – GRCC email address required
  • Student Learning Outcomes – updated language by replacing CARP with Curriculum Document

College Policies

  • GRCC Email and Course Communications – added GRCC email requirement
  • Disability Support Services – updated language
  • Added Campus Police/Emergency Resources
  • Added Title IX Reporting Policy
  • Changes to Syllabus – updated ‘voice’
  • Updated hyperlinks for consistency

Updated accessible syllabus template link:

7.19 Course Substitutions and Course WaiverNew

Course Substitutions—A course substitution allows a student to use an alternative course to meet a program requirement

  • Course substitutions are made in the context of the program requirements.
  • Course substitutions must maintain the integrity of the program.
  • Substituted courses must include substantially the same learning outcomes as the required course.
  • Students who are granted substitutions must still earn the total credit hours required for their academic program.

Course Waiver—

  • A course waiver allows students to graduate without completing a graduation requirement or a program requirement.
  • Students who are granted waivers must still earn the total credit hours required for their academic program.
  • Need for standards and criteria that are consistent across the College in order to ensure the integrity of GRCC Degrees.

8.22 Maximum Student Credit Hour Load Per Semester—No Changes

8.23 Student Medical/Hardship WithdrawalRevision

  • Changed name to include “hardship”.
  • Reasons for withdrawal past the 70% mark expanded to include hardship beyond a student’s control that negatively impacts attendance and/or academic success.
  • The approved Grading Policy (7.10) makes reference to students having the option to withdraw due to hardship after the 70% date; however, there was no process or policy that considers hardships outside of health related issues. The approved proposal will expand the medical withdrawal process to include other types of significant hardships and align with Grading Policy 7.10.

8.29 Transfer Course Credit-Institutions of Higher EducationRevision

  • Revised policy to accurately reflect our current practice.
  • Revised policy statement to now reflect GRCC awards course credit for “equivalent courses from any regionally accredited institution”
  • Provide the Registrar’s Office with guidelines for awarding credit.
  • The rewritten policy is more specific and provides more complete information and guidance for students who wish to receive credit for courses transferred to GRCC.

8.33 Industry Recognized Credentials/Test Credit PolicyNew

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) awards course credit for external nationally recognized industry or professional credentials and accredited or nationally recognized exams and tests.  When equivalence between a credential or test and a GRCC course(s) has been established by the academic department (in which the course(s) resides) and the College, the GRCC Registrar’s Office will award credit for the course(s), if the following guidelines are met:

  • The course alignment with external credential has been formally documented in the Registrar’s Office prior to student request for course credit.
  • The credential is current/valid at the time the credit is awarded (has not expired).
  • Students provide original verification to the GRCC Registrar’s Office.
  • All established requirements (for example, minimum acceptable test scores) are met.
  • This policy identifies the guidelines for and circumstances under which the Registrar’s Office may award course credit to students who have taken and passed external tests, exams, or industry credentials.

For more information, see the policy website.

Policy updated

July 25, 2016

For more information, see the policy website.

View this document on Scribd

GRCC In the News, 6-16-16

June 16, 2016

Grand Rapids Trans Foundation launches, works to support low-income students

June 16, 2016;

Members of a new Grand Rapids-based nonprofit are standing up to say: It is not OK that transgender residents experience unemployment at twice the rate of the general population. It is not OK that transgender individuals are four times more likely than the general population to have an annual income of $10,000 or less. It is not OK that someone who is transgender often faces homelessness, violence, harassment, depression, and more.

… And its not just LGBT groups that are embracing individuals who are transgender — change is happening across the area, with (Simon) Kittok noting that Grand Rapids Community College, for example, passed a transgender policy allowing students and staff to use the bathroom or locker room of the gender with which they identify. Grand Valley State University too has landed praise for being inclusive and was recently named one of the top 50 colleges or universities in the country when it comes to being LGBT-friendly.

(This article doesn’t mention it, but Simon Kittok works in GRCC’s IT department.)

State expands sexual assault education initiative

June 15, 2016; WGVU

A Michigan campus sexual assault program expands to high schools this year.

… Both (Sarah Prout) Rennie and (first lady Sue) Snyder spoke this week at an educational conference at Grand Rapids Community College.

Jewish Theater presents ‘Two Jews Walk Into A War’

June 15, 2016; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – The Grand Rapids Jewish Theater presents the comedy ‘Two Jews Walk Into A War’ this week. The story follows two Jewish men living in Kabul. They are the last two remaining Jews in Afghanistan and must share the only synagogue that hasn’t been destroyed by the Taliban. But, they hate each other and rarely see eye to eye. Their mission is to repopulate the Jewish community in Kabul.

It opens Thursday June 16 and runs through June 26 at Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain St. NE. That is on the GRCC campus in downtown Grand Rapids. Performances will be on Thursday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased either by calling the Box Office at 616-234-3946 or by going online.

Michigan man’s video stings snag sex predator arrests

June 15, 2016; The Detroit News

Grand Rapids Never before has catching alleged sexual predators been so much fun.

… He (Zach Sweers) is a graduate of Grand Rapids Community College who makes money building websites, he said.

High schools join forces for next season’s aquatics teams

June 15, 2016; Lowell Ledger

Lowell High School will join forces with Caledonia and South Christian High schools next school year as the Arrows dive back into the pool with both boys and girls aquatic teams.
Caledonia will be the lead in the newly formed partnership which will kick off next fall with the ladies’ season of swim and dive contests; gentlemen will compete in the winter.

The team will be practicing inside the aquatic facilities of Grand Rapids Community College and host no home meets due to the fact that none of the three schools have pools in their districts.

GRCC In the News, 6-15-16

June 15, 2016

GRCC joins national consortium to improve success of male students of color

June 14, 2016; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College has joined a national consortium for community colleges interested in sharing efforts and learning about new strategies to enhance the success of male students of color, officials announced Tuesday, June 14.

Michigan First Lady gives talk about on-campus sexual assault

June 14, 2016; WWMT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Michigan’s First Lady Sue Snyder said it is time to speak-up about on-campus sexual assault.

Snyder gave a talk at Grand Rapids Community College’s Consortium on Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

GR Foundation awards $1 million in scholarships

June 14, 2016; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For the third year in a row, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation has awarded over $1 million dollars in scholarships.

… Grand Rapids Public Schools students were also big recipients of scholarships. 84 GRPS students received scholarships that totaled $166,300. Students awarded scholarships went to a variety of Michigan schools including locally, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College and Ferris State University.

Michigan first lady Sue Snyder speaks at consortium on sexual assault prevention, awareness

June 15, 2016

GRCC’s third Community College Consortium on Sexual Assault and Prevention and Awareness featured Michigan first lady Sue Snyder. She announced at the event that her second annual conference on campus sexual assault would be held in September in Ann Arbor.

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GRCC In the News, 6-14-16

June 14, 2016

Newschannel 3 at 5 a.m.

June 14, 2016; WWMT

Michigan’s first lady, Sue Snyder, says it’s time to speak up about on-campus sexual assault. Snyder will talk at Grand Rapids Community College’s consortium on sexual assault prevention and awareness.