Constitution

OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS:

Academic Senate = See general membership.
The Board = Ventura County Community College District Board of Trustees. Interchangeable with
governing board.
Committees = All Academic Senate committees and subcommittees
General Membership = All faculty, including the Senate Council and its committees. Interchangeable with Academic Senate.
Senate Council = Elected representative body of the Academic Senate.
Senate Executive Committee = Elected officers of the Senate Council, including a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer.  Interchangeable with Senate Executive or Senate Exec.
Senators = Members of the Academic Senate.

VENTURA COLLEGE ACADEMIC SENATE
CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE I – NAME

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Ventura College Academic Senate.

ARTICLE II – PURPOSE

Section 1. Purpose. The purpose of this organization shall be to represent the faculty in the formation of college and district policy on academic and professional matters, as outlined in Title 5, Section 53200 (b). These include:

  1. Curriculum including establishing prerequisites and placing courses within disciplines.

  2. Degree and certificate requirements.

  3. Grading policies.

  4. Educational program development.

  5. Standards or policies regarding student preparation and success.

  6. District and college governance structures, as related to faculty roles.

  7. Faculty roles and involvement in accreditation processes, including self-study and annual reports.

  8. Policies for faculty professional development activities.

  9. Processes for program review.

  10. Processes for institutional planning and budget development.

  11. Other academic and professional matters as mutually agreed upon between the governing board and the academic senate.

Section 2. Duties. It is the duty of the Senate to address, either directly or through its designated committees, all academic and professional matters and to establish positions on all such issues.

ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. In accordance with Education Code Title 5, Sections 53200 (a), full-time faculty who are not designated as management by the college administration shall be members of the Academic Senate. Insofar as the Academic Senate is recognized as the representative of all faculty to the Board, the Senate recognizes its responsibility to encourage and solicit membership of part-time faculty.

ARTICLE IV – ORGANIZATION

Section 1. Business. The business of the Academic Senate shall be carried out through the Senate Council and the committees of the Senate. Final authority remains with the general membership which retains the right of initiative, recall, and petition and may by a majority of votes cast countermand action taken by the Senate Council, provided that one-third or more of the general membership participates in the voting.

Section 2. Meeting. The Senate Council shall meet on campus as specified in Article IV of the By-laws. A special meeting shall be called upon petition of at least ten (10) percent of the general membership or upon majority vote of the Senate Council, or as deemed necessary by the Senate Executive Committee.

Section 3. Voluntary Dues. Voluntary dues are collected annually by the Senate Council, but are not a condition of membership.

Section 4. Rules. The latest edition of Roberts’ Rules of Order shall guide the Academic Senate on all matters not specifically covered by this Constitution and/or its By-laws.

ARTICLE V – SENATE COUNCIL

Section 1. Membership. The membership of the Senate Council shall be the Senate Executive Committee and representatives from the academic divisions as defined in the By-laws.

Section 2. Duties. The duties of the Senate Executive committee, chairpersons, and Senate Council representatives shall be those detailed in the Senate By-laws and/or outlined in Roberts’ Rules of Order.

Section 3. Terms. The Senate Exec shall begin their term of office on the day after the last day of spring semester. Standing committee chairpersons and Senate Council representatives shall begin their terms of office on the first day of fall semester, or after being elected by their divisions. The president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer shall be elected to a term of two (2) years.  The president and vice-president shall not serve more than two (2) consecutive terms in either of these positions. Standing committee members and Senate Council representatives shall be elected to a term of one (1) year by the groups they represent. Additionally, the Senate president can appoint faculty representatives to committees.

Section 4. Nominations.  Nominations for office to the Senate Executive Committee shall be made by any member of the general membership. A petition form must be signed by ten (10) Academic Senate members and presented to the Senate President. The petition form must also be accompanied by a written statement outlining the candidates’ reasons for running for office. The Senate Council shall establish an election committee of no fewer than three (3) members of the Academic Senate. All nominees for office shall make a presentation to the Senate Council at least two (2) weeks before the election. If no candidates for a particular office have submitted their petitions by the first Senate Council meeting in October, nominations may be made by a committee of the Senate Council.

Section 5. Elections. The slate of candidates shall be published and submitted to the general membership no later than October 15th. The date(s) of election shall be determined by the Senate Council no later than November 15. Elections shall be completed by the end of the fall semester. Voting shall be by secret and written ballot. The ballot shall be distributed to the mailboxes of the full-time faculty. The voting period shall be at least two (2) and no more than five (5) days. If no candidate receives a simple majority on the first ballot, a runoff election shall be held between the top two (2) candidates. Other election procedures are to be established each year by the Senate Council. Senate Council representatives shall be elected as specified in the By-laws and the Constitution.

Section 6. Vacancies on the Senate Council.  Vacancies on the Senate Council occur through resignation, incapacitation, failure to fulfill responsibilities as stated in the By-laws, retirement, recall or death. Vacancies shall be filled according to procedures outlined in the By-laws (Article I, Section D).

Section 7. The Senate Executive Committee.  Resignation from the Senate Executive committee shall be assumed if any officer fails to attend four (4) consecutive Senate Executive meetings. Vacancies shall be filled according to procedures outlined in the By-laws (Article I, Section D).

Section 8. Committees. The Senate President shall appoint faculty to all professional and/or academic committees, both college and district. The Senate Council shall approve these appointments, as specified in the By-laws. Ad hoc committees may be created by the Senate Council as the need arises; the chairperson of each ad hoc committee shall be named by the President. The Senate Council shall determine committee charges and responsibility.

  1. It shall be the duty of the committees:

    1. To consider, study and make recommendations on all matters submitted by the President and Senate Council, the Committee Chairperson, and/or Senate.

    2. To report to the Senate Council at least once a year and thereafter to the Senate, with or without approval of the Council. The process for reporting to the Senate Council shall be established by the Senate Council and may be revised by it at any time.

    3. To submit proposals to the Senate Council for approval prior to undertaking a study or investigation. In the event that the Senate Council disapproves of a committee’s proposal, the committee may appeal the decision of the Senate Council to the general membership by ballot.

  2. It shall be the duty of committee chairpersons:

    1. To call regular meetings of the committee and to provide notice of committee meetings with sufficient time to inform all Senate members.

    2. To prepare an agenda for committee meetings, to be responsible for maintaining all committee records, and to report committee actions to the Senate Council.

    3. To maintain liaison with other committees and with the Senate Council.

ARTICLE VI – AMENDMENTS

Section 1. An amendment to the Constitution or to the By-laws may be proposed by majority vote of the Senate Council or by written petition of at least ten (10) percent of the general membership. The proposed change shall be communicated to all Senators at least two (2) weeks prior to a regular meeting of the Senate Council at which time it will appear on the agenda. Or, the proposed change shall be communicated to the general membership via written ballot one (1) month prior to voting. Adoption of an amendment to the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority of the general
membership voting by ballot. An amendment to the By-laws requires approval by a majority of the general membership voting by ballot. All voting shall be by secret and written ballot.

(VC Academic Senate Consitution: Adopted- April 30, 1971; Revised- December 7, 1973; Revised- April 27, 1978; Revised/Adopted- April 18, 2002)

Revised by Bob Porter and Peter Sezzi on October 19, 2005
Revised by Senate Executive Committee on February 23, 2006
Revised by Senate Executive Committee on  March 1, 2006
Revised by Senate Council on March 2, 2006
Revised and Adopted  Unanimously by Senate Council on March 16th, 2006
Approved by the General Membership on April 5th, 2006

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