As specified in the Constitution of the Academic Senate, a major responsibility of the Senate as a whole is to carry out all responsibilities delegated to a community college academic senate by state law, the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, and the Board of Trustees. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Through collegial consultation, provide the Board of Trustees with the advice and judgment of the faculty on professional and academic matters, including:
- Curriculum, including establishing prerequisites and placing courses within disciplines.
- Degree and certificate requirements.
- Grading policies.
- Educational program development.
- Standards or policies regarding student preparation and success.
- District and College governance structures, as related to faculty roles.
- Faculty roles and involvement in accreditation processes, including self-study and annual reports.
- Policies for faculty professional development activities.
- Processes for program review.
- Processes for institutional planning and budget development.
- Other academic and professional matters as mutually agreed upon between the governing board and the Academic Senate. (Title 5 Regulations, Subchapter 2, Section 53200, 53203)
- Through joint agreement with the Board of Trustees, assist in the development of District and College hiring criteria, policies and procedures (section 87360).
- Through joint agreement with the Board, assist in the development of District and College policies and procedures regarding equivalencies to minimum qualifications (section 87359), reassignment of administrators to full-time faculty positions (section 87458), and exceptions to the minimum degree requirements for tenure (section 87615), and provide the Board with the advice and judgment of the faculty in regards to these matters.
- Consult with the bargaining agent(s) regarding faculty evaluation procedures and policies, and concerning faculty service areas and competency requirements (section 87663, 87743.2).
- Appoint faculty to serve on College or District committees, task forces, or other groups dealing with academic and professional matters (section 53202,f).
ARTICLE II: DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1: President
It will be the duty of the President to:
- Preside at all meetings of the Senate.
- Be non-voting except in cases where a vote by the Senate results in a tie.
- Appoint faculty representatives to college committees.
- Appoint faculty to Senate committees according to the provisions of Article III.
- Create such ad hoc committees as required to fulfill specific objectives of the Senate and select the members for such committees.
- Serve as the official representative from the Senate to any other organization.
- Call and preside over such special meetings of the Senate as deemed necessary.
- Call a special meeting for the purpose of filling vacancies, which may occur in the Senate in accordance with the election code, Article VIII.
- Represent the Senate at all official meetings of the Board of Trustees during the school year or send a delegate.
- Appoint a parliamentarian from among the members of the Senate.
- Represent the local Senate at the State Academic Senate (ASCCC) as the District delegate at both Area and Plenary meetings, or send a delegate.
- Meet regularly with the Administration (notably the Superintendent/President and the Vice President of Academic Affairs) to maintain free and open communications.
- Solicit and select faculty to serve on District hiring committees.
- Calendar the next year’s meetings and retreats.
Section 2: Vice President
It will be the duty of the Vice President to:
- Serve as a member of the Senate Executive Committee.
- Serve as assistant to the President in all duties of the President.
- Assume the duties of the President during any temporary absence of the President.
- Perform such other duties as may be assigned by the President.
- Assist with the assignment of faculty to College and Senate committees.
- Serve as a Senate representative on selected College committees. (When possible, this will include the Curriculum Committee.)
Section 3: Executive Secretary
It will be the duty of the Executive Secretary to:
- Serve as a member of the Senate Executive Committee.
- Serve as assistant to the President in all duties of the President.
- Assume the duties of the President during any temporary absence of both the President and Vice President.
- Perform such other duties as may be assigned by the President.
- Assist with the assignment of faculty to College and Senate committees.
- Assist with proofreading minutes prior to dissemination to the Senate.
Section 4: Past President
It will be the duty of the Past President to:
- Serve as a member of the Senate Executive Committee.
- Advise the Senate President in matters of the office of the President.
- The Past President will advise the Senate and its officers on any matter affecting the duties and responsibilities of the Senate.
- Perform other duties as assigned by the Senate President.
Section 5: President-elect
- The President-elect is a Senator or past Senator who is elected to become president. The President-elect will serve on the Senate Executive Committee.
- If the President-elect is not a seated Senator, then they will attend Senate meetings but they will not have a vote.
- The President-elect will prepare for office by attending, at minimum,
- one State Academic Senate Plenary during the year prior to assuming the Presidency, preferably the spring Plenary.
- one Area B meeting during the year prior to assuming the Presidency.
- the State Academic Senate Leadership Institute within three years prior to taking office.
- various Council meetings whenever possible.
Section 6: Administrative Assistant (Classified Employee)
It will be the duty of the Administrative Assistant to:
- Manage the Academic Senate Office, including being available to officers, faculty, and administrators during routine business hours; ordering and maintaining supplies and office equipment, making travel arrangements, managing business accounts, monitoring the budget and assisting with budget development, and other administrative duties as may be assigned.
- Provide, in cooperation with the President, an agenda for each business meeting. Post the agenda outside the Senate Office and on the Senate website. Upon request, provide hard copies to Senators, the President of the College, and members of the Board of Trustees.
- Attend Senate meetings.
- Issue calls to meetings, maintain an accurate roster of membership, and keep appropriate minutes, documents, and attendance records.
- Prepare the minutes, including a list of those Senators attending and a list of those absent. Minutes will provide a record of official votes by the Senate. If such votes are not unanimous, the minutes will include votes of individual Senators. Post copies of the minutes on the Senate website and provide hard copies upon request:
- One copy to each member of the Board of Trustees.
- One copy to the President of the College.
- Prepare all correspondence pertaining to the affairs of the Senate, as directed by the President.
- Coordinate special projects, including Senate elections, Faculty Recognition Awards event, Senate retreats, etc.
- Determine, prior to elections, the terms of office for elected positions when an imbalance in staggered terms exists in area representation. Half of the seats in an area should be up for election every two years.
- Call for nominations of elected Senate members, administer and supervise online elections, and announce or post the election results.
- Maintain a separate indexed file of Senate resolutions and statements of policy.
- Maintain a file of reports of all Senate advisory and District standing committees.
- Maintain and update the Senate’s website.
- Maintain a historical record of the Constitution and Bylaws with amendments documented and dated.
- Maintain a record of Senate membership, with term expiration dates.
- Maintain records of Professional Ethics Committee actions and documentation.
- Solicit faculty participation on committees, on behalf of the President, and maintain rosters of faculty on College committees.
ARTICLE III: SENATE COMMITTEES
Section 1: Committees
- The Senate will have seven Senate designated committees as follows:
- Professional Ethics
- Faculty Professional Development
- Faculty Recognition
- Petaluma Faculty Forum
- Program Review, Revitalization, and Discontinuance
- Faculty Fund for Advanced Studies (FFAS)
- The Senate will have consultation committees, also known as standing committees of the college, dealing with topics outlined in AB 1725. A consultation committee functions to provide faculty principal consultation and advice on matters outlined in AB 1725. Senate Consultation Committees include:
- Basic Skills
- Class Size Advisory
- Curriculum Review
- District Online
- District Tenure Review and Evaluation (consultation with District Collective Bargaining Agent)
- Educational Planning and Coordinating Council (EPCC)
- Institute for Environmental Education
- Institutional Planning Council (IPC)
- Majors Review
- Professional Development
- Project Learn Steering
- Sabbatical Leave (consultation with District Collective Bargaining Agent
- Textbook and Instructional Materials
- The Senate will have consultation committees that are also President's Advisory Committees.
- Budget Advisory Committee (BAC)
- Integrated Environmental Planning
- LGBTQ Campus Climate Committee
- Student Success and Equity
- In addition, the following President's Advisory Committee has a faculty co-chair: Faculty Staffing
- Each Senate Consultation Committee will keep a record of business transacted and will submit periodic written progress reports or summaries to the Senate and to the Senate Administrative Assistant. Reports should be provided a minimum of once a year based on the frequency of meetings.
- Issues or conflicts brought to any Senate Consultation Committee that cannot be resolved through the committee process may be referred to the full Senate. Upon hearing the issues the Senate may exercise the options of:
- Hearing the matter and taking appropriate Senate action.
- Referring the matter to the Educational Planning and Coordinating Council.
- Referring the matter to an ad hoc Senate committee.
- Terms of committee members are for one academic year except where noted in College Council roster. For temporary ad hoc task force, the assignment will be the period of time needed for the group to complete its assigned task.
- QUORUM: A quorum of any Senate or standing committee is a simple majority of its membership. A quorum is required to vote on action items.
Section 2: Professional Ethics Committee
- Composition: Sixteen faculty members appointed by the Senate, three of whom are Academic Senate members.
- Each committee member will serve for two (2) years, with half of the members appointed each year.
- The Senate President will appoint a subcommittee of five members selected from the 16 Committee members and call a meeting of the subcommittee within 25 instructional days of the filing of a complaint. The subcommittee will include at least one Senator.
- Duties: Professional Ethics subcommittees will:
- Convene at the request of the Academic Senate President in response to a filed ethics complaint.
- Complete an evaluation of whether or not a complaint filed warrants further investigation.
- Complete further investigation(s) as warranted.
- At the completion of an ethics investigation make recommendations for further action and/or resolution to involved parties and the Academic Senate President.
- Procedures: See Professional Ethics Committee Procedures on the Academic Senate website.
- Meetings: When the Academic Senate President forwards a professional ethics investigation, meetings of the subcommittee will be scheduled by the subcommittee chair as deemed necessary.
Section 3: Election Committee
- Composition: Three Senate members appointed by the President of the Senate.
- Duties: The Election Committee will:
- Supervise and administer all elections of the Senate, Executive Officers and faculty members on committees with elected representatives.
- Act as tellers when votes are cast by ballot and report the results to the Administrative Assistant and the Senate Executive Committee.
- In consultation with the Office of Institutional Research, conduct opinion polls of the electorate on any issue, as directed by the Senate.
- Meetings: Meet during the Spring Semester as needed.
Section 4: Executive Committee
- Composition: The Senate President, Vice President, Executive Secretary, President-elect, and the Past President during that person's tenure as defined in the Constitution.
- Duties: The Executive Committee will:
- Meet informally with the Administration for the purpose of maintaining free and open communication between the Administration and the Senate.
- Assign members to college committees with Senate designees. When assignments are made to unfilled seats, the President will consult with or notify the Executive Committee.
- Meetings: Meetings will be scheduled by the President. Meetings will be scheduled between Senate meetings as often as needed to plan and coordinate the work of the Senate.
Section 5: Faculty Professional Development Committee
- Composition: At least five faculty members appointed by the Senate. These should include representatives from a variety of disciplines and should include teaching, regular and adjunct faculty and one at-large Senator. The Faculty Professional Development Coordinator(s) will be appointed by the Senate for two years. The Staff Development Coordinator will serve as a non-voting ex officio member.
- The committee will be responsible for determining the professional development needs of all faculty, for setting goals, and for evaluating progress towards those goals.
- The committee will oversee all professional development activities for faculty, including the Flexible Calendar.
- The committee will coordinate its work with the staff development activities of other groups in the college through the Professional Development Committee.
- The Faculty Professional Development Coordinator(s) will maintain close communication with and receive guidance from the Senate.
- The Committee will consult with the bargaining agent when appropriate.
- Meetings: Meetings will be scheduled by the Faculty Professional Development Coordinator(s) as needed to discuss faculty-specific professional development matters being discussed by the Professional Development Committee.
Section 6: Faculty Recognition
- Composition: At least five faculty members appointed by the Senate.
- The committee will strive to ensure that there is meaningful public recognition for outstanding work done by individual faculty members or by programs for which the faculty are responsible.
- The committee will keep track of the annual awards given to faculty by local, state and national groups, and it will develop a timely process for nominating SRJC faculty and programs for these awards.
- The committee will advocate, as appropriate, for faculty recognition by SRJC and State and/or Federal Organizations.
- With support from the Academic Senate Office, the committee will organize and host the annual Faculty Recognition Awards Event.
- Meetings: The first Wednesday of the month, with the possibility of extra event planning meetings in spring semester as needed as it becomes closer to the actual date of the awards.
Section 7: Petaluma Faculty Forum
- Composition: Faculty providing instruction or allied services at the Petaluma Campus are eligible members and are eligible to vote. Personnel whose job requires an administrative or supervisory credential or who are placed on the administrative salary schedule do not qualify to be members.
- To promote the professional interests of the faculty of the Sonoma County Junior College District and to participate in the collegial governance of the college as it specifically concerns the Petaluma Campus.
- To promote communication and mutual understanding among the faculty on the Petaluma campus, to strengthen communication between the Petaluma and Santa Rosa campuses, and to facilitate and maintain communication between the PFF and the Academic Senate of the college.
- To promote the development and maintenance of teaching excellence within the framework of academic freedom and professional responsibilities and ethics, especially as this pertains to the Petaluma campus.
- Meetings: An average of once a month when the College is in session. Special meetings may be called at the discretion of the Chair of the PFF or by written petition to the Chair of at least four regular participants of PFF. No business may be transacted other than that for which the special meeting was called.
Section 8: Program Review, Revitalization, and Discontinuance
- Composition: Six faculty members appointed by the Senate, including: the Senate President or designee and the Faculty Co-chair of Curriculum Review or designee. Other faculty members whenever possible will include the following instructional areas: Student Services, Career and Technical Education and Liberal Arts and Sciences. Preferably at least one member will be a Department Chair. The Dean III of Career and Technical Education and Economic Development and the Dean III of Liberal Arts and Science may be requested to attend meetings in an Ex-officio capacity.
- Duties: The Academic Senate Evaluation Committee will evaluate certificates or majors in the six-year rotation cycle using the rubric information, District compiled data, PRPP documents, and consideration of the recommendations made by the Academic Affairs Council. The Evaluation Committee will make recommendations to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
- Meetings: An average of twice a month during the fall and spring review cycle. Fall meetings focus on new programs being reviewed. Spring meetings focus on progress made on Evaluation Committee recommendations and approved by the Academic Affairs.
Section 9: Faculty Fund for Advanced Studies (FFAS)
- Composition: 8 to 10 contract faculty members appointed by the Senate.
- Solicitation of funds in support of contract faculty professional development opportunities.
- Work with the SRJC Foundation to oversee the stewardship of FFAS funds and their distribution.
- Solicitation of applications by contract faculty in support of professional development.
- Screening of applicants and selection of grant winners.
- Organization and hosting the annual Soupfest Awards Event.
- Meetings: A required, in-person meeting is held early spring to select grant recipients and plan Soupfest. Meeting date is selected by consensus. Other fall and spring meetings are as needed. Email is the major form of communication.
ARTICLE IV: MEETINGS & CONSTITUENT COMMUNICATION
When the College is in session, the Senate will meet an average of twice monthly.
Special meetings may be called at the discretion of the Senate President or by written petition to the President of at least one-third of the Senate members. No business other than that for which the meeting was called may be transacted.
Each Senator is encouraged to engage in discussions with Senate area constituents. Regular constituent meetings for the purpose of exploring academic issues, reporting on Senate actions, and nominating Senate and committee candidates are encouraged.
- At the beginning of each year, Senators elected to represent an area will meet and designate subdivisions within that area (if appropriate) and methods of contact for each department represented. It should be noted that Senators represent areas, not departments. This will help to ensure that each faculty member has one assigned member of the Senate as a contact.
- Once the assignments have been made, each Senator will do the following to ensure that adequate representation is occurring:
- Contact constituents within the first two months and let them know who their representatives are.
- When possible, attend at least one meeting per represented department per semester to report on Senate actions and provide constituents with an opportunity to present their concerns.
- Emphasize that representation requires that constituents play an active role by contacting any of their area representatives or attending Senate meetings to express their concerns at Open Forum.
- Encourage faculty to play an active role in the committee structure to ensure a more diverse range of input.
- Contact new faculty members within the Senator’s constituency to discuss the role of the Senate and promote their involvement in the larger campus community.
- Preferably, Senators will send regular electronic reports to the Senator’s constituents using the Senate distribution lists. Senators are encouraged to write reports in conjunction with other related areas.
ARTICLE V: ORDER OF BUSINESS
The regular order of business of the Senate will be the agenda prepared by the Senate Executive Committee.
The following will be the order of business for all regular meetings, unless changed for a particular meeting by two-thirds of those present at a regular meeting.
- Call to Order.
- Open Forum – not to exceed 15 minutes, 5 minutes maximum per speaker.
- Minutes – Correction and adoption of the minutes of the previous meeting.
- Reports – President’s Report and other Senate committee reports.
- Action agenda: Items must come from the discussion agenda of a previous meeting or be carried over from a previous action agenda. When an agenda item needs clarification or is large in scope, the Executive Committee, at its discretion, will provide descriptive language for informational purposes to an action agenda item.
- Consent agenda: The consent agenda will be treated collectively as one action item. At the request of any member of the Senate an item will be removed from the consent agenda to allow for discussion.
- Discussion agenda: Following discussion, items may be moved to the action agenda of a subsequent meeting or carried over for further discussion. Discussion items not requiring action will be treated as information only. When an agenda item needs clarification or is large in scope, the Executive Committee, at its discretion, will provide descriptive language for informational purposes to a discussion agenda item.
Agenda – Any member of the electorate may present to the President, in writing, an item for the discussion agenda. The item must be presented not later than one week prior to the meeting. The President, in consultation with the Executive Committee, will place the item on the discussion agenda on a priority basis.
ARTICLE VI: PROCEDURES
The Administrative Assistant will give written notice of each meeting to the members of the Senate at least three days prior to the Senate meeting.
The Administrative Assistant will record all motions other than procedural. The maker of a motion should state his or her name so it can be recorded in the minutes (It is not necessary to record the maker of the second). The meeting chair will repeat the name of the Senator making the motion.
A Senator who is unable to attend a meeting may designate in writing any other member of the Senate as proxy. All proxies must be in the hands of the Senate’s President or other Executive Committee member prior to the Call to Order of any meeting. In no case will a Senator hold more than one proxy at any given meeting.
Senate meetings are open to all members of the electorate, but only Senate members may vote. Members of the electorate may speak only with the consent of the Senate President or by a majority vote of the Senate. During discussion, priority to speak will be given to Senate members.
Absences – Attendance will be taken by the Executive Secretary. When unable to attend a meeting, Senators should notify the Senate President and Administrative Assistant. A Senate member absent from two consecutive meetings of the Senate or 50 percent of the meetings in a semester may be declared delinquent by the President after discussion with the Senator and the Executive Committee. If so declared, that seat will be considered vacant. Vacated seats, including those resulting from a Senator voluntarily leaving a seat, will be announced by email to recruit faculty to serve the remaining term; appointments will be made by the Senate President in consultation with the Executive Committee. Faculty recruited from the representative area will be given priority when filling the seat. The appointed seat will remain until the next election cycle, at that time it will revert to an area seat for the appropriate term length.
Quorum – A majority of the Senate members will constitute a quorum. A quorum is required to vote on action items, to move a discussion item to the action agenda, to suspend the rules, to change the order of the agenda items, or to demonstrate Senate approval for adding new items introduced during a meeting.
ARTICLE VII: PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
All questions of parliamentary procedure in the conduct of all meetings of the Senate and its committees will be resolved according to the latest edition of "Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised" insofar as they do not conflict with the Constitution and/or Bylaws of the Senate.
ARTICLE VIII: ELECTION CODE
The Administrative Assistant will conduct elections for Senate positions in a timely manner to allow faculty members to arrange a work schedule to accord with Senate meetings. Each regular faculty area will have two representatives. Half of all Senate positions will be elected each year. Adjunct faculty will have four representatives. Half of all adjunct positions will be elected each year.
Members of the electorate may offer their own name in nomination for a Senate seat or another member of the electorate may nominate a member of the electorate provided that the name is submitted by permission of the nominee. In either case, the nominees should provide the Administrative Assistant a statement supporting their candidacy and explaining their intention to serve in the capacity of a member of the Academic Senate. The statement will be presented on the ballot. Any eligible faculty member may run for any area representative position. If no one is nominated for a seat for an area representative, then that seat will be filled by an at-large representative. The Administrative Assistant will publicize the manner and the time window during which nominations will be accepted. The nomination period should be open for thirty days prior to the end of the election. Once the Administrative Assistant receives all nominations, then the list of candidates and their areas of representation will be sent out electronically two weeks prior to the close of the election. All faculty members eligible to vote should receive written notice about the candidate list. The nomination period for At-Large seats will be two weeks and the election will be open for one week.
Voting will be by means of an email ballot. In each election for area representatives, only eligible faculty members within the area may vote. In each election for an area representative, the ballot will offer an option to vote for an “at-large representative.” If “at-large representative” receives the highest number of votes, the position will then change to an at-large position to be filled at the next at-large election. At-large elections occur after the election cycle for all areas vote for their representative(s). All eligible faculty members may vote for at-large representatives. After completion of the normal two-year term, the at-large position will become an area position again.
Voting procedures will include:
- Careful distribution of appropriate email ballots to the area electorate for area representatives.
- The Senate Office will maintain an accurate list of electorate members, with their representational area specified.
- The Senate Office will provide written notice of the deadline for the submission of the ballots.
- Representational Seats – The Senate Office will provide election results; to be elected candidates must receive a plurality of the total votes cast by the constituency.
- If a seat is vacated after area nominations are close, then that seat will be added to the At-Large Election.
- At-Large Seats – Candidates for an at-large position will be elected if they are among those receiving the highest number of votes.
- In the case of an exact tie, there will be a run-off election between the candidates with the highest vote count.
- The Election Committee members will certify a completed election report.
Of the 26 Senators who are elected as representatives, 22 will represent designated academic areas. Contract faculty areas will have two representatives. Adjunct faculty will have four representatives. Adjunct representation will be assigned to two areas after the election, with two representatives per area to be elected on alternating years. If an area does not elect a representative, then the designated area representative position will become a contract faculty at-large position or an adjunct at-large position respectively. (See Article VIII, Section 3).
- Counseling, Work Experience, EOPS
- Life Sciences, Earth & Space Sciences, Chemistry and Physics, Agriculture
- Disability Resources, Adaptive PE, College Skills
- Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences
- Art, Music, Theater Arts, Communication Studies, Philosophy, Humanities, and Religion.
- Business Administration, Computer Studies, Engineering/, Applied Technology
- Modern & Classical Languages, ESL, Library
- Health Sciences, Kinesiology, Athletics & Dance
- Industrial & Trade Technology, Administration of Justice/Dept. of Public Safety, Consumer & Family Studies, Child Development, Culinary Arts
Representation will be reviewed every five years by the Senate for apportionment reconsideration.
Prior to Senator elections the Executive Committee and Administrative Assistant will publicize and encourage Senator candidacy and oversee the election process according to the Election Code, Bylaws Article VIII.
- President Tenure – The first term of Senate President is two years. The Senate President may elect to run to continue service as President during the spring of the first year of service. During the election cycle of the first term, the Senate President can decide to run for an additional one year or a two year term. If they run for a one year term, they are eligible the following spring to run for another one year term. Presidents are limited to a maximum of four consecutive years serving as President; however, they may run for election after vacating the seat for at least one two-year term.
- Nominations for President-elect – During the spring semester of the election cycle, the Administrative Assistant will call for candidates for Senate President. The Senate will work to encourage an open nomination and selection process, and contested elections. Election dates will be set well in advance in order to permit adequate participation and publicity.
- Elections of President-elect – The President-elect will be chosen by the faculty electorate at-large. A plurality of votes cast constitutes election. If no majority arises, there will be a run-off election between the candidates with the highest vote count. During the first year after election, the winning candidate will serve as President-elect. The President-elect will assume office at the last meeting in May one year after election.
- Election of Executive Committee Officers – The Vice President and Executive Secretary are selected by the Senate from among the Senators to serve two-year term(s). Elections will be held at the last meeting in May of the election cycle. Both officers will assume office immediately. A majority vote of the Senate quorum will be required for election.
ARTICLE IX: CHANGES TO BYLAWS
Changes or additions to the Bylaws will be considered by the Senate at two meetings as close together as possible. Bylaws changes may be adopted by the Senate at the second meeting by a two-thirds vote.
Whenever there is a change to the Bylaws the Administrative Assistant will ensure that the changes are made in the Senate records, posted on the Senate webpage, and that revised copies of the Bylaws are electronically distributed to all Senators.
The Administrative Assistant will maintain a historical file of all changes to the Bylaws and Constitution.
Revised: 02/10/98, 02/17/99, 03/15/00, 11/12/02, 11/07/07, 02/20/13, 04/29/15