BYLAWS OF THE ACADEMIC SENATE
ARTICLE I: DUTIES OF THE ACADEMIC SENATE OFFICERS
Section 1: The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Senate and its policy leader. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Senate and the Executive Board, and in every way endeavor to promote the interests and purposes of the Academic Senate. The President, with the advice and consent of the Executive Board, shall appoint members to Senate and college-wide committees. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and shall be held responsible for the progress and work of the Academic Senate. The President, or his/her designee, shall serve as the delegate to the Academic Senate of the California Community Colleges (ASCCC). The President shall coordinate the agenda for the general monthly meetings of the Senate and the Executive Board; be the official spokesperson for the Senate; call meetings of the Executive Board, which shall meet at least twice a month; and be responsible for the review of the minutes, notice of meetings, and agendas for all meetings to the members of the Representative Council, the Executive Board, and membership when appropriate.
Additional duties of the Academic Senate President may include, but are not limited to:
- Report monthly at the VVC Board of Trustees meeting
- Attend the Adjunct Orientation (Fall and Spring semesters)
- Approve and sign Equivalency documents approved by the Academic Senate Equivalency Committee
- Arrange and attend regular meetings with the college Superintendent/President, the Vice President of Instruction and Student Services, and other administrators
- Hold regular Senate Office Hours (or equivalent) to meet with faculty on academic and professional matters
- Assist with and approve all accreditation-related documents and work with appropriate shared governance committees on all accreditation-related work
- Establish and maintain open lines of communication with faculty bargaining units
- Assist with the writing and publication of the VVC Academic Senate newsletter, the Faculty Forum
- Complete, with input from the Academic Senate Executive Team (ASET), the yearly PRAISE document for the VVC Academic Senate
- Establish and maintain yearly goal setting for the Academic Senate to demonstrate continuous evolution and improvement
- Lead discussion and evaluation of potential full-time faculty hires, based on the Program Review process adopted by the VVC Academic Senate
- Participate in the final interview for full-time faculty hires
- Be the contact person for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship
- Participate in the Enrollment Management Committee
- Complete an annual report on the goals, accomplishments and challenges of the VVC Academic Senate for the previous academic year for planning and accreditation purposes
(Note: The Academic Senate President may appoint a designee for certain duties on a temporary [due to absence] or continuous basis as needed. Any time a designee is used, the Academic Senate President will notify appropriate personnel.)
Section 2: The Vice President shall serve as assistant to the President; shall assume the duties of the President in the absence of the President; shall serve as coordinator of committee activities at the direction of the President, keep an accurate roster of all committees, and shall Chair the Elections Committee. Additional duties of the Vice President may include holding regular Senate Office Hours (or equivalent) to meet with faculty on academic and professional matters.
Section 3: The Secretary shall manage the minutes of the proceedings of each meeting, regular or special, of the Senate and the Executive Board, and be responsible for the distribution of minutes for all meetings to the members. The Secretary maintains documents including updating the senate’s web site. The Secretary shall carry on the correspondence pertaining to the affairs of the Academic Senate as directed by the President. The Secretary may elect to assume the responsibilities of editing the Faculty Forum.
Section 4: While dues are permissible, the treasurer currently receives no funds from the membership. The district will allot the Academic Senate certain funds for expenses as may be mutually agreed upon. The Academic Senate Treasurer shall keep accurate records of such expenditures. The Academic Senate Treasurer duties shall include, but are not limited to, the Academic Senate annual PRAISE budget worksheet, as well as the purchase and delivery of food for the Academic Senate meetings. The Treasurer may elect to assist editing the Faculty Forum.
Section 5: The Past President shall serve as a resource person for the Academic Senate, Executive Board, and serve as Parliamentarian at Senate meetings. The Academic Senate Past President shall also, if requested by the President, attend meetings that the President and/or Vice President cannot attend. The Past President can also chair Academic Senate Task Forces or other groups as directed by the President as needed in the absence of the President or Vice President.
Section 6: In the event that an Executive Board office is vacant as a result of no one running for that position, the Senate President shall assume the duties and/or assign the duties to a designee or conduct a special election.
ARTICLE II: APPOINTMENTS, REMOVALS, AND COMMITTEES
Section 1: Appointments
In accordance with Title 5 (5 CCR § 53203): “the appointment of faculty members to serve on college or district committees, task forces, or other groups dealing with academic and professional matters, shall be made, after consultation with the chief executive officer or his or her designee, by the academic senate.” The President, with the advice and majority consent of the Executive Board, shall appoint members to Academic Senate standing committees, ad-hoc committees, shared governance committees and task forces. Each Fall semester, the Academic Senate Vice President will send out a list of all Academic Senate and Shared Governance Committees to both full-time and adjunct faculty (with the exception of Curriculum), with an ‘all call’ for volunteers. All new Committees will be approved by the Representative Council. Every two years, current committee membership will be reviewed, and faculty who have demonstrated non-participation on a given committee will be contacted by the Academic Senate Vice President, and, if it is determined by the Academic Senate Executive Board that faculty not participating do not contribute to a committee in any measurable way, the process of removal from that committee shall be conducted, based on the guidelines outlined below in Section 2: Removals.
Serving on committees is an important aspect of academic and professional contribution to the institution. The VVC Academic Senate encourages all faculty to participate in committee service, and will facilitate, in a fair and reasonable manner, opportunities for all faculty to serve on Academic Senate and Shared Governance Committees. Faculty in all Academic Senate and Shared Governance committees should make every effort to attend and participate in committee service. To facilitate continuity on committees, and provide opportunities for all faculty to serve on their desired committees, the VVC Academic Senate Executive Board recommends that faculty serve a minimum of two years on Academic Senate and Shared Governance Committees. The Academic Senate Executive Board also recommends that faculty serve no more than four consecutive years on Shared Governance Committees, and no more than six years on Academic Senate Committees; rotation of new faculty into these committees provides needed training and preparation for continuous improvement. The ultimate goal of the VVC Academic Senate is a well-trained and versatile faculty who have experience in a variety of committees. Every two years, membership in all Shared Governance and Academic Senate committees will be reviewed by the Academic Senate Executive Board. With the advice and consent of the Academic Senate Executive Board, the Vice President shall coordinate committee membership, including presenting recommendations for new membership to support all faculty having a chance to serve on the committee of their choice. If there is no interest in a specific committee, the current membership is encouraged to continue service.
All faculty appointed by the Academic Senate Executive Board to Academic Senate and Shared Governance Committees are representing the Academic Senate, and should consult with the Academic Senate Executive Board on a regular basis for issues and actions that affect faculty in academic and professional matters.
The Academic Senate Executive Board will determine appointments to committees and how that committee will best benefit from new members.
Membership in Academic Senate committees is open to all faculty (full-time and Adjunct); committee size is determined by the Academic Senate Executive Board and the Committee chair. No faculty on Academic Senate or Shared Governance committees can unilaterally, or via administration appoint faculty to serve on any committee. Any appointments to committees that do not go through the Academic Senate Executive Board are invalid and any faculty who serve without Academic Senate Executive Board approval do not represent the Academic Senate, and should be removed as soon as possible.
Membership in the Curriculum Committee is determined by academic area representation. All other Academic Senate guidelines apply to the Curriculum Committee, including membership and recommended term of service.
The Equivalency Committee, which meets as needed, is chaired by the Academic Senate President, who has the final approval of equivalencies. All other Academic Senate guidelines apply to the Equivalency Committee, including membership and recommended term of service.
Section 2: Removals
Serving on an Academic Senate or Shared Governance committee as an Academic Senate representative requires commitment to representing the views and goals of the VVC Academic Senate body.The President, with the advice and majority consent (3/5) of the Executive Board, shall remove members from an Academic Senate or Shared Governance committee with reason. Reasons for removal from a committee include (but are not limited to):
- Absence from 30% or more committee meetings per academic year with no cause
- Statements or actions contradicting the principals of the Academic Senate on a continued basis, with supporting documentation
- Before any action to remove a committee member is taken, the Academic Senate Vice President and one other Executive Officer will conduct an investigation, using meeting minutes and interviews to determine a faculty member’s continued participation on any committee where that faculty member represents the Academic Senate; the results of this investigation shall be presented to the body for review at the next monthly Academic Senate general meeting.
For additional information, please consult Section 5, ‘Committee Member Responsibilities’.
Section 3: Academic Senate Standing Committees
Committees include, but are not limited to:
- Academic Senate Allocations Committee
- Basic Skills Committee
- Catalog Committee
- Curriculum Committee
- Distance Education Committee
- Equivalency Committee
- Faculty Hiring Procedures Committee
- Fair Employee Relations Representatives Committee
- Graduation Requirements Committee
- Honors Program Committee
- Legislative Analysis Committee
- Petitions Committee
- Program Review Committee
- Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment Committee
- Teaching Abroad Committee
Section 4: Committee Chair responsibilities
- Facilitate the development of the committee’s charge, and making that charge available to the college community
- Coordinating and posting meeting agendas on the district-adopted web portal (or equivalent) and via e-mail to committee members for accreditation evidence for the college to meet accreditation standards
- Posting meeting minutes on the district-adopted web portal (or equivalent)
- Determine time and date of regular meetings (Senate committees should meet at least twice per semester; can meet as much as committee determines)
- Engage in active communication with committee members
- Respect committee members’ responsible freedom of speech on topics related to the committee’s charge
- Represent the interest of the Academic Senate and report on a regular basis at the monthly Senate meetings (can be a written report or designee from committee)
Section 5: Committee member responsibilities
- Communicate on a regular basis with committee chair and members
- Make every effort to attend all meetings
- Represent the interests of the Academic Senate
- Inform committee chair of nonattendance at meetings in a timely manner
- Carry out committee duties as determined the by committee
- Practice responsible freedom of speech in relation to the charge of the committee
Section 6: What constitutes ‘college service’
- Serving on an Academic Senate or Shared Governance Committee
- Serving on a task force of the Academic Senate or Shared Governance equivalent
- Serving on a hiring committee (faculty, management, classified, administration)
- Serving as an Academic Senate Area Representative, At-Large Representative
- Serving as the Department Chair Representative to College Council
- Serving in a college service capacity such as Puente Program, Bridge, etc., as long as this service is not part of the faculty job description of primary duties
- Mentoring new full-time faculty (one year counted as service for an academic year, as per Senate Hiring Procedures document); will require a year-end report to the Academic Senate Executive Board for dissemination
ARTICLE III: AMENDMENTS
These Bylaws may be amended in the same manner as the Constitution in that a simple majority vote by full-time faculty membership shall be required.
Upon ratification in Fall 2014, these By-laws will take effect Fall 2015.
Last Updated 10/29/19