Academic Senate
Constitution

ARTICLE I. CHARTER

In order to promote best the educational interest of West Hills College, full cooperation between the Board of Trustees, the administration and the faculty is necessary. While policies are formulated or approved by the Board of Trustees, it is agreed that these policies should be developed through a process of shared governance; therefore, in order to provide the Board of Trustees and the Administration with the service and assistance of the faculty, the creation of an Academic Senate is hereby authorized.

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE

The general purpose of the Academic Senate is to consult collegially with the Board of Trustees and its representatives in the governance of the college. The Academic Senate has primary responsibility for making recommendations in the areas of academic and professional matters, including but not limited to curriculum, academic standards, hiring policies, procedures, and criteria for contract faculty and administration; and is to comment upon and review policies proposed by the Board of Governors of the Community Colleges of California.

ARTICLE III. TERMINOLOGY

SECTION 1: NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Academic Senate of the West Hills Community College District.

SECTION 2: DEFINITIONS

The following terms are used frequently throughout the constitution and by-laws. Whenever encountered, these terms are to be understood in the restrictive and technical sense herein defined.

  1. A faculty member shall be any full time academic employee of the district.

  2. The Academic Senate shall be the body of faculty representatives elected by the full time faculty.

  3. A Senator is an individual who is either appointed or elected to the Academic Senate by the department s/he represents and who enjoys full voting rights at both regular and special sessions of the Academic Senate.

ARTICLE IV. THE ACADEMIC SENATE

The Academic Senate shall consist of: the Academic Senate President, two Vice presidents, one Senator from each instructional department and one Senator for the non-instructional department as defined by the Academic Senate.

Officers of the Senate shall be the President and two Vice presidents. The President and Vice Presidents shall be elected by the full time faculty. In addition, the Academic Senate shall have the right to establish whatever additional offices and committees it may deem necessary to carry out its business.

SECTION 1: QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE

The President and Vice presidents shall have one year’s experience as a Senator prior to serving as President or a Vice president.

A Senator shall be a full time faculty member who is a member of the department s/he represents.

SECTION 2: TERMS OF OFFICE

The regular terms of senators and officers shall start at the beginning of the last scheduled meeting of the Academic Senate at the end of the school year.

The president and vice presidents shall each serve for one year. If any officer of the Academic Senate is unable to continue in office, the Academic Senate shall elect an officer to replace him/her from among the elected members, but that term shall be limited to the unexpired portion of the term.

The senators from the instructional and non-instructional departments shall serve for three years; their terms shall be staggered so that one-third of the department senators shall be elected each year. Senators are eligible to succeed themselves by reelection. If a senator from a department is elected president of the Senate, that department shall have the right to select another member of the department to serve as its senator for the term of office of the president.

SECTION 3: DUTIES

A. President

  1. The president shall be the spokesperson for the educational and academic concerns of the Academic Senate, to the Board of Trustees, to the administration, staff, students, and to the public.

  2. The duties of the president or designee shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. convening and presiding over Academic Senate meetings;

  2. attending all regular meetings of the Board of Trustees and reporting to the Board on behalf of the Senate any view or recommendations of the Senate;

  3. appointing, on the advice of the Academic Senate, faculty members to standing Academic Senate committees, ad hoc committees, and all relevant governance committees;

  4. calling general faculty meetings when necessary;

  5. representing or appointing a designee to represent the Academic Senate during intersessions;

  6. developing and monitoring the Senate budget;

  7. supervising the preparation of the official minutes of meetings; and

  8. developing and supervising the publishing and distribution of the agenda of official meetings.

B. First Vice President or designee

  1. The duties of the vice president or designee shall be to assume the duties of the president in the president’s absence

  2. In addition, the Vice President or designee shall:

  1. chair the Equivalency Committees;

  2. assume the responsibility of parliamentarian during the meetings.

C. Second Vice President or designee

  1. The duties of the second vice president shall be to assume the duties of the president and/or vice president in his/her absence.

  2. In addition, the second vice president or designee shall:

  1. chair the faculty Flex Committee.

ARTICLE V. ELECTIONS

An Election Committee shall be named yearly by the Academic Senate. This committee shall consist of at least two Academic Senate members, excluding the president and vice presidents. The Election Committee shall be formed no later than the Senate meeting immediately preceding the last Senate meeting before the proposed election.

It shall be the function of the committee to make up the official ballot for the election and to conduct such election by secret ballot in a safe and secure manner.

The election shall be considered valid only if a majority of the eligible faculty vote.

The official ballot of the resolution(s) to be voted upon in the election shall be approved by the executive board of the Academic Senate at least two meetings prior to the election. A Resolution shall be considered passed if it receives a majority of the votes cast.

Election procedures shall be in accordance with the by-laws.

ARTICLE VI. METHODS OF CONDUCTING BUSINESS

A. The Academic Senate shall have scheduled meetings at least once each month during the academic year and at such other times as deemed necessary.

B. The agenda of each meeting shall be prepared by the President of and shall be posted at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting.

C. The President and a simple majority of the elected members of the Academic Senate shall constitute a quorum.

D. Senate meetings shall be open to the public. Any individual shall have the opportunity upon their request and upon recognition by the chairperson to discuss agenda items.

E. Minutes of each meeting shall be published and distributed to the faculty and the college Board of Trustees.

F. Agenda items may be submitted by any faculty member through a senator, by the administration through the college Superintendent/President, or by the Board of Trustees through official board action.

G. The Board of Trustees or its designated representative, upon official action of the Board, and/or the administration, may meet with the Academic Senate upon the Trustees’ request, or by invitation of the Senate.

H. Parliamentary Procedure: The latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the authority on parliamentary procedure in all meetings, elections, and other activities of the Academic Senate. Any action of the Academic Senate not specifically covered in the Constitution or the By-Laws shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.

I. A decision of the Academic Senate may be reviewed by the full time faculty if a simple majority of the Academic Senate requests referral, or a minimum of one-third of the full time faculty requests referral. The faculty requests must be in the form of a petition signed by the required number of the faculty members and presented to the chairperson of the Senate no later than fourteen days after the action. In the instance of referral to the full time faculty, a vote must be taken by secret ballot on the matter no later that ten school days following the date of referral.

ARTICLE VII. AMENDMENTS

A. Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by:

  1. A two-thirds vote of the Academic Senate;
    A petition signed by a majority of the full time faculty.

B. A simple majority vote of the full time faculty shall be required to adopt an amendment.

BY-LAWS

SECTION I. ELECTION PROCEDURES

The elections committee shall announce to the general faculty, by appropriate means, the following information at least five regular school days before the election:

  1. The issues to be included on the form of a sample ballot;

  2. The time and place where voting shall take place;

  3. The time and place where ballots shall be counted;

  4. The time and place where results of each election shall be declared official;

  5. The time and place of any possible run-off election; and

  6. The procedure for casting an absentee ballot.

Ample time and convenient locations shall be established to allow convenient voting by all faculty members.

  1. The times and places for voting for full time faculty shall be as follows:

  1. The ballot boxes shall be available for voting for two consecutive school days from 8:00 am to the closing time of a center during the week of the election.

  2. There shall be a ballot box located at all campus centers where three or more full time faculty teach a full load.

  3. Absentee ballots shall be provided for those faculty who are unable to vote at the designated locations.

  4. A list of faculty eligible to vote shall be available at each site during the election. Each member shall indicate that s/he has voted by signing beside his/her name.

PROVISIONS FOR ABSENTEE BALLOTS

The elections committee shall automatically provide faculty teaching at centers where there are fewer than three full time faculty members with absentee ballots. In addition, when the time and place of an election are announced, any faculty member may notify his/her senator that s/he cannot be present to vote and needs an absentee ballot. The department senator shall present a list to the Elections Committee which shall send an absentee ballot with a return envelope to the voter who must return his/her marked ballot by election day to the election committee. Absentee votes shall be counted with the other ballots.

All ballots shall be counted by members of the Election Committee at a public meeting previously announced to the general faculty. The results shall then be reported to the Academic Senate to be certified and announced to the full time faculty. Acceptance and/or challenges to the ballot shall occur at the next regular meeting.

Procedures for the election for department senators shall be as follows:

The Elections Committee shall determine which departments should hold elections because of expiring terms or other reasons and notify the department chairpersons for teaching faculty and the senator for the non-teaching faculty. By not later than April 15 of each year, each eligible department shall conduct its own election for senator, and shall report its choice to the Election Committee. The election within each department shall be by majority vote.

DEPARTMENTS shall INCLUDE:

The Departments shall include:

*Agriculture

*Arts and Letters

*Basic Skills

*Computer Information Systems and Business

*Student Services Faculty

*Public Services

*Science, Mathematics, Health and Physical Education

*Social Sciences

The Departments can be changed by a vote of a plenary session in full time faculty.

Procedures for the election of the president and vice presidents shall be as follows:

  1. The Elections Committee shall prepare one ballot consisting of all eligible faculty members who have given their written consent to be candidates for the position.

  2. The election shall take place before the end of April.

  3. On the first ballot, each full time faculty member shall vote for one candidate for each position.

  4. Should a second ballot be necessary, the candidate list shall consist of two names for each position. The candidates shall be those receiving the highest number of votes on the previous ballot.

Adopted at a plenary meeting of the full time faculty:

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