VENTURA COLLEGE ACADEMIC SENATE BY-LAWS
ARTICLE I - SENATE COUNCIL
Section 1. Function and Responsibilities
A. It shall be the function of the Senate Council to transact the business of the Senate, to develop and implement the policies of the faculty, and to serve as the voice of the faculty.
B. It shall be the responsibility of the Senate Council:
1. To provide procedures for determining and implementing faculty policies.
2. To be the official representative of the faculty in relationships with the administration and the Governing Board on all academic and professional matters.
3. To appoint the members of standing committees; to establish subcommittees and ad hoc committees when necessary, appointing the members and naming the chairperson for each.
4. To advise the Senate President; to assist the Senate President in preparing the agenda; and to perform those duties requested by the President or the Senate.
Section 2. Basis of Representation
A. Representation shall be based on representative faculty groups
B. Representation for each division shall be one senator for every 9 full time faculty or fraction thereof, as of September 1 of each academic year. Each division shall have at least one representative.
C. Problems regarding the distribution of division representative positions shall be presented in writing to the Senate Executive Committee and resolved by this committee as well.
D. There will be one at-large part-time faculty representative who shall be self-nominated and appointed by the Senate Executive at the beginning of the academic year. The position will be for a one-year term.
E. Any faculty member who is holding or who has held office in the Academic Senate of the California Community Colleges shall be an ex officio member of the Senate Council.
F. The Curriculum Committee Faculty Co-Chair shall be a voting member of the Senate Council.
Section 3. Roles and Responsibilities of Senators
A. Shall be responsible for representing your division members at Senate Council meetings.
B. Shall keep your division members informed of Senate activities by:
1. Distributing or posting relevant material from Senate meetings.
2. Reporting regularly at division meetings.
3. Acting as liaison for concerns of individual division members to the Senate Council and from Council back to the division.
C. Shall read Senate material thoroughly and keep informed of college, district, and state issues and events as contained in that material.
D. Shall conduct surveys of your division as requested by the Senate President or Council.
E. Shall attend meetings regularly; when unable to attend, arrange for a substitute and inform the president who the substitute shall be.
F. Shall be knowledgeable regarding the Ventura College Senate constitution and bylaws, the state Senate constitution, Title 5, and SB160 and other laws and documents relating to the rights and responsibilities of local and state senates.
G. Shall promote the Academic Senate as the only representative of Ventura College faculty on academic and professional matters to any and all levels of administration. Any infringements of this right shall be reported to the Senate Council.
H. Shall be willing to serve on Senate committees and report their proceedings to the Senate Council.
I. Shall attend - when possible - area and state conferences relevant to Academic Senate issues.
J. The part-time senator shall attend meetings of the Senate Council and address part-time faculty issues.
Section 4. Elections
The slate of candidates shall be prepared by representative faculty groups, who shall also nominate and elect senators by the end of the Spring semester. The election shall be held before the end of the school year for the following academic year. Representative groups shall determine their voting procedures within each group.
Section 5. Duties of Officers
A. President. The primary responsibility of the President is “first to ask the Senate to deliberate [and decide on] policy and procedural questions that affect academic and professional matters, enabling the President to act as both the principal watchdog for the faculty and their chief spokesperson, once the Senate has voiced its stance” (State Academic Senate: Empowering Local Senates). It shall be the duty of the president to:
1. Preside at all meetings of the Senate Council.
2. Represent the Senate on all appropriate district and/or college level committees or assign a designee in consultation with the Senate Executive Committee.
3. Represent the faculty at meetings of the Governing Board and to keep the Senate informed of pertinent decisions and topics of discussion.
4. Assign, to appropriate committees, such matters as are requested by Senate members.
5. Communicate Senate or Senate Council recommendations and proposals to the President of the College.
6. Represent the faculty’s recommendations and proposals to the Governing Board.
7. Prepare the agenda for Senate meetings with the Senate Executive Committee.
8. Be an ex officio member of all committees except as otherwise provided in these by-laws.
9. Assist faculty requesting aid regarding non-contractual issues.
10. Recommend and/or approve faculty members to serve on committees
11. Represent the faculty at the state and regional meetings of the Academic for community colleges.
12. Perform other duties as assigned by the Senate as a whole or the Senate Council.
B. Vice-president. It shall be the duty of the vice-president to:
1. Serve for the President of the Academic Senate during any temporary absence of the President.
2. Be a member of college and district committees as are designated by the Senate Council.
3. Assume the duties of the President if the President leaves office.
4. Perform other duties as assigned by the Senate or Senate Council.
C. Secretary. It shall be the duty of the secretary to:
1. Issue notices of meetings, publish agenda, keep appropriate records, and publish and distribute minutes of all Senate and Senate Council meetings.
2. Conduct all correspondence appropriate to this office.
3. Maintain a log of the actions, policies, and other proposals of the Senate
4. Transfer to and store pertinent Senate records, policies, etc., in the Senate Office and/or the Academic Senate website.
5. Serve on college and /or district committees at the request of the Senate Council.
6. Perform other duties as assigned by the Senate or Senate Council.
D. Treasurer. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to:
1. Collect all Senate dues.
2. Deposit funds as necessary in the name of the Senate.
3. Issue checks, co-signed by the Senate President, for expenses incurred by and authorized by the Senate and/or the Senate Council.
4. Prepare and submit the annual budget to the Senate Council.
6. Serve on college and/or district committees at the request of the Senate Council.
7. Perform other duties as assigned by the Senate or Senate Council.
E. Order of Precedence. Order of precedence for officers shall be as follows:
President, Vice-president, Secretary and Treasurer. In the event of the temporary absence of any officer, the next in the above order shall perform any necessary functions of the absent officer. A further order of precedence may be established by the Senate Council.
F. The Executive Council
Members of the Senate Executive Council are entitled to 2.0 release time to be allocated by the Senate Exec and Ratified by the Senate Council preceding an election or filling any vacancies.
To be wholly effective and participatory, the Senate Executive Council “must be seen as open, encouraging of a free exchange of information, respectful of those who express divergent, even unpopular points of view. In exchange, as faculty serve the Senate on committees and task forces, they must report back and receive their direction from the Senate”(ASCCC: Empowering Local Senates).
The decisions of the Senate President shall be made with the consensus of the Senate Executive Council. If no consensus can be reached, items shall be forwarded to the Senate Council for resolution.
The duties of the Senate Executive Council shall be to:
1. Assist the Senate President in the preparation of the agenda.
2. Represent the Senate Council at meetings with the college president.
3. Inform the Senate of the results of such meetings.
4. Represent Senate viewpoints on committees to which the individual members are assigned by the Senate or by the Senate Council.
5. Perform other duties as assigned by the Senate or Senate Council.
Section 6. Vacancies on the Senate Council or Senate Executive Council
A. Leaving office. A member of the Senate Council or an officer of the Senate may leave office in the following ways:
1. A resignation in writing.
3. Failure to attend four (4) consecutive Senate Council meetings.
4. Recall (as described in Robert’s Rules of Order).
B. Vacancies for Senate Executive positions shall be filled as follows:
1. President. The Vice-President shall succeed to this position for the unexpired portion of the President’s term (or a previous President selected by the Senate Council).
2. Other elected office. The President of the Senate shall notify the Senate membership of the vacancy. Any Senate member may nominate by petition signed by ten (10) Senate members. Petitions must be filed with the President within fifteen (15) days after the announcement of the vacancy. If no petition is filed, the Senate President shall nominate candidates. Upon majority vote of the Senate Council, the candidate shall fill the vacancy. If one petition is filed, the Council may approve that person to fill the vacancy. If two or more petitions are filed, a special election among the general Senate membership shall be held to fill the vacancy. The vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the term of office.
3. Division representative. The President shall notify the division concerned that their representative has left office. The members of the division concerned shall elect a replacement to serve for the unexpired term.
ARTICLE II - PREROGATIVES OF THE MEMBERSHIP
Any member of the Senate may:
1. Attend any meeting of the Senate Council or of a Senate Committee other than an executive session (“executive session” as defined in the Brown Act).
2. Bring relevant business to the Senate Council for assignment to an appropriate committee.
3. Bring matters of concern to the attention of the Senate Council or the Senate at a meeting by prior request for time on the agenda or by requesting the floor from the presiding chairperson.
4. Request, through the Senate Council, that a given committee meet in an executive session to consider a specific problem.
5. Initiate action or policies, when the Council has not responded to regularly channeled requests, through a petition signed by five (5) percent of the Senate membership stating the action to be considered and requesting a special Senate meeting or a place on the agenda of a regular meeting. An initiative action shall be confirmed when passed by a majority of the Senate membership by written ballot.
6. Initiate action to recall any elected officer or chairperson through established procedures for requesting meetings and balloting. Action for recall shall be confirmed when passed by two-thirds of the ballots cast.
7. Request a caucus with other Senate members before voting on agenda items presented to Senate Council.
ARTICLE III - MEETINGS
1. At least one meeting of the Senate as a whole shall be scheduled each semester and shall be planned, through consultation on probable class scheduling, other events, etc., for maximum opportunity for attendance by all members.
1. The Senate Council shall meet at least once a month during the school year. As a legislative body that is stipulated in Title 5, the Senate Council is governed by the Raph M. Brown Act and therefore its meetings are open to all interested parties.
3. Meetings of the Senate, the Senate Council, and the Senate Committees, except for the executive sessions, are open to members of the Senate.
4. Guests to all meetings of the Senate Council may not participate in meetings unless requested to do so by the chairperson of the meeting.
5. A quorum for the Senate Council, and all of its subcommittees shall be a simple majority of its members. In case of a vacancy in a representation position, the quorum shall be considered reduced by one until such vacancy is filled by the division.
6. A majority vote of the membership shall be required for approval on all matters.
ARTICLE IV - COMMITTEES AND TASK FORCES
Section A. Senate Committee/Advisory Group/Workgroup Responsibilities
Any committee, advisory group, or workgroup whose charge relates to the areas of primary concern as articulated in A.B. 1725, also known as “10 +1” or “The Eleven Point Agreement”, shall be considered a Senate committee. All committees, advisory groups, and workgroups listed in this documentare subcommittees of the Senate even when the title of the body has the words “committee, advisory group, and/or workgroup” in its title. The responsibilities of all Senate committees are, at a minimum, to provide a monthly report to the Senate on the committee’s activities and proceedings while the committee is at work. Senate committees that do not report back to the Senate on a monthly basis while the committee is at work may be considered a committee in abeyance. All Senate committees must present to the Senate President as soon as possible at the beginning of the academic year and in no case later than the date specified for each committee, the name of the committee chair, established subcommittees and the committee’s voting membership list. All formal recommendations made by Senate committees, other than the curricular and programmatic actions of the Curriculum Committee, require approval of the Senate Council before said recommendation shall have the force, backing, support and voice of the full Senate. Operational actions taken by Senate committees do not need formal votes and approval by the Senate Council but may instead be made at the subcommittee level.
Section B. Senate Task Force Establishment and Responsibilities
The Senate may establish task forces by a simple majority vote of the Senate Council. The Senate Council shall determine who shall be the task force chair at the time that of that task force’s establishment. Task forces must relate to “academic and professional matters” and must be given a specific task to complete and a date by which to present its findings to the Senate Council and may last no longer than two consecutive academic years. A task force that demonstrates a need to exist longer than two academic years must be proposed as a new Senate committee. The responsibilities of all Senate task forces are, at a minimum, to provide monthly reports to the Senate on the task force’s activities and proceedings while the task force is at work. Senate task forces that do not report back to the Senate on a monthly basis while the task forces are at work may be considered disbanded.
The Curriculum Committee
Purpose and Mission:
As mandated by A.B. 1725 (1989) and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, the Curriculum Committee is a committee of the Senate. The mission of the Ventura College Curriculum Committee is to provide guidance, advocacy and oversight for the programs and curricula of Ventura College. The Curriculum Committee ensures that the curricula and programs of the college are academically sound, comprehensive and responsible to the evolving needs of the community so that the college’s mission, goals, values and educational delivery modalities of our students are well served. A representative of the Curriculum Committee shall make regular reports to the Senate, no fewer than once a month, on the committee’s activities.
The Ventura College Curriculum Committee has the sole responsibility and authority to initiate and evaluate the programs and curricula of the college in terms of purpose, objectives, content, and methods of instruction. The Curriculum Committee makes direct recommendations to the Governing Board with respect to all academic, occupational, and technical education courses and instructional programs of study. The Curriculum Committee conducts review of all credit and non-credit programs and curricula in accordance with the California Code of Regulations, Title 5 and as guided by the Program and Course Approval Handbook published by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. The Curriculum Committee conducts curricular reviews on a timely and regular basis to ensure that all courses are updated on a periodic cycle to ensure currency and viability for articulation. The Curriculum Committee conducts annual training for persons involved in curriculum development and review, in compliance with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office requirement for local curriculum approval certification. In addition, the Curriculum Committee monitors compliance with portions of ACCJC Accreditation Standard IIA. The faculty Co-Chair of the Curriculum Committee serves as a member of the Accreditation Steering Committee.
It is the responsibility of the Curriculum Committee to establish the following standing workgroups:
1. Philosophy and General Education
2. Curriculum Technical Review & Prerequisites
These workgroups will respond directly to the Curriculum Committee on an “as needed” basis and whenever courses and/or programs related to the topics listed above are placed on the Curriculum Committee agenda. The charge and composition of all Curriculum Committee workgroups shall be determined, reviewed and approved by the Curriculum Committee on an annual basis and no later than September 15 of each academic year. Also, the Curriculum Committee will appoint additional workgroups, ad hoc committees, or task forces for such special studies as are needed.
The Curriculum Committee has a defined membership.
Divisional representatives shall be faculty appointed by their respective divisions prior to the start of the academic year. Membership shall be non-proportional, with each division having two (2) voting representatives. Additionally, one AFT representative (as mandated by Article 17 of the AFT local 1828 contract), a librarian, the Articulation Officer, the Curriculum Technical Review and Prerequisites Chair, the Academic Senate President, and the Faculty Co-Chair shall also be voting faculty members of the Committee but shall not serve as Divisional representatives to the committee.
Ex-officio, non-voting members of the Curriculum Committee shall include the following: Recorder (Administrative Assistant to the Chief Instructional Officer, or designee), the college Registrar, the Chief Instructional Officer (who shall also serve as Co-Chair of the Committee), ASVC President, or designee, and the Academic Deans.
Co-Chairs: The Curriculum Committee is co-chaired by: (1) a faculty member nominated and voted on by the Curriculum Committee, and (2) the Chief Instructional Officer. The Faculty Co-Chair of the Curriculum Committee shall serve a two-year term commencing on June 1 and ending on May 31, and does not serve as one of the Division representatives. The Curriculum Committee will accept nominations and vote for the Faculty Co-Chair for the upcoming two-year term of office no later than the last Curriculum Committee meeting of the academic year preceding the beginning of his/her term. Only current voting members of the Curriculum Committee are eligible to be nominated or elected to the position of Faculty Co-Chair.
The Curriculum Committee meets twice monthly during the academic year, on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. As a legislative body which is stipulated in Title 5, the Curriculum Committee is subject to the Ralph M. Brown Act, so its meetings are open to all interested parties.
Faculty Professional Development Advisory Group
Faculty Professional Development Funds Workgroup
One Book, One Campus Workgroup
The Sabbatical Leaves Workgroup
Section L. Faculty Staffing Priorities Committee
ARTICLE V - SENATE-UNION RELATIONSHIP
It is the view of the ASCCC that the purpose and functions of an Academic Senate differ considerably from those of an employee organization, both in viewpoint and substance (or scope) as described below. However, these roles complement each other, and in fact close bonds of cooperation should exist between senates and employee organizations.
Employee Organizations and the Exclusive Representative
According to SB160 employee organizations represent their members in employment relations until (and if) a specific organization is certified as the exclusive representative. “The scope of negotiation shall be limited to matters relating to wage, hours of employment, and other terms and conditions of employment.” “Terms and conditions of employment” are then defined in the law so that the scope of representative is narrow. However, consulting rights are granted to the exclusive representative on definition of educational objectives and curricular matters. It is in this area that close cooperation between senates and employee organizations is essential to resolve overlap with the responsibilities and powers of the senate to make recommendations on academic and professional matters. (See appendix 53203, 53204). The scope of senates historically has been broad in California covering all academic and professional matters. In addition, SB160, Section 3540, Article I, does not intend to restrict, limit or prohibit the full exercise of the functions of an Academic Senate unless it conflicts with existing collective agreements.