Constitution

Academic Senate and Faculty Approved Fall 2003
CONSTITUTION OF THE WEST HILLS COLLEGE LEMOORE ACADEMIC SENATE
ARTICLE I. CHARTER

As authorized under Title 5 of the California Administrative Code, Section 53201 (Subchapter A), we, the members of the faculty of the West Hills College Lemoore, are uniting to form the West Hills College Lemoore Academic Senate. We are inspired by a common desire to vigorously promote the quality of community college education by whatever words and actions are appropriate and necessary.

We also believe that the Academic Senate is essential for realizing the fullest educational and professional potential of each member of the faculty and for furthering the aims and goals of West Hills College Lemoore. Towards these endeavors, we pledge our mutual support and cooperation.

In order to best promote 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 participatory 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 academic senate represents the faculty through consultative and collegial processes and, by such means, makes recommendations to the governing board and/or to its agents or designees. 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. With respect to these recommendations, the governing board and/or its agents or designees either relies primarily upon the advice or judgment of the academic senate, or otherwise enters into written mutual agreements with the academic senate in accordance with board policies delegating authority and responsibility to the academic senate. The Academic Senate shall engage in joint agreements with the district and participate in the design and implementation of participatory governance of the college in accordance with the Education Code, and Title 5, and any college policies related to the role of the Academic Senate in participatory governance.

"Consult collegially" means that the district governing board shall develop policies on academic and professional matters through either or both of the following methods, according to its own discretion:

  • Relying primarily upon the advice and judgment of the academic senate; or
  • That the district governing board, or such representatives as it may designate, and the representatives of the academic senate shall have the obligation to reach mutual agreement by written resolution, regulation or policy of the governing board effectuating such recommendations.

PRIMARY RELIANCE

“Primary reliance” means that, but for exceptional circumstances and absent of a clear and compelling reason provided in writing, the governing board and/or its representatives will adopt the recommendations of the academic senate.

MUTUAL AGREEMENT

“Mutual agreement” means a written resolution, regulation, and/or policy not subject to modification by the governing board absent the prior approval of the academic senate, unless continuance would expose the district to liability or substantial fiscal hardship and unless a prior and good faith effort has been made to reach agreement with the academic senate. (TITLE 5: 53200, 53202)

Note: Authority cited: Sections 66700 and 70901, Education Code. Reference: Sections 70901 and 70902, Education Code.

ARTICLE III. TERMINOLOGY

SECTION 1: NAME

The name of this organization shall be the West Hills College Lemoore Academic Senate or WHCL Academic Senate

SECTION 2: DEFINITIONS

The following terms are used frequently throughout the constitution and by-laws.

  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 instructional area(s) s/he represents and who enjoys full voting rights at both regular and special sessions of the Academic Senate.
  4. Learning Centers
    1. Liberal Arts
    2. Math/Science and Health
  5. Instructional Areas
    1. Social Science/Child Development (1)
    2. Arts and Letters (includes Basic Skills English) (1)
    3. Non-teaching Faculty (1)
    4. Math/Science/PE (includes Basic Skills Math) (2)
    5. CIS/Business & HRCM (2)
    6. Allied Health/Public Service (2)
ARTICLE IV. MEMBERSHIP

Membership in the Senate shall include all certificated faculty (Regular and Contract) who are employed at West Hills College Lemoore. A Regular employee is one who has completed his/her probationary assignment and holds regular status. A Contract employee is one who has been appointed to a regular position but has not completed the probationary period. Hourly rate employees are employed on the hourly rate salary schedule and shall be non-voting members of the Senate. Employees whose primary responsibility is supervisory, management, administrative or clerical are not faculty. Positions such as the following are not faculty: president, vice-presidents, deans, and possibly others.

The Senate reserves the right to interpret the definition of faculty when a specific position is not clearly defined. It is the general intent and spirit of this constitution that any employee whose primary responsibilities are administrative shall not be part of the faculty.
All faculty members shall have protection and duties commensurate with their positions under this constitution.

ARTICLE V. THE ACADEMIC SENATE

The Academic Senate shall consist of:

  • The Academic Senate President,
  • Vice President, Secretary/Historian
  • One Senator from each instructional area and one Senator from each non-instructional area as defined by the Academic Senate.

The President and Vice Presidents shall be elected by the full time faculty. The Secretary/Historian will be elected from the duly elected Senators from the constituted instructional areas. The Vice President and Secretary/Historian can be representatives from their respective Instructional Areas. 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

Candidates for President and Vice presidents shall have served for at least one year 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 instructional area s/he represents.

SECTION 2: TERMS OF OFFICE

The regular terms of senators and officers shall start at the beginning as of the last scheduled meeting of the Academic Senate at the academic year in which they were elected.

The president shall serve for two years and be elected in odd-numbered years; the vice president and Secretary/Historian 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, to serve the remainder of the officer’s term.

The senators from the instructional and non-instructional areas shall serve for two years. Their terms shall be staggered so that one-half of the instructional area senators shall be elected each year. Senators are eligible to succeed themselves by reelection. If a senator from an instructional area is elected president of the Senate, that instructional area shall have the right to select another member of the instructional area 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. The president shall vote in the case of a tie.2. The duties of the president or designee shall include, but not be limited to:

a. convening and presiding over Academic Senate meetings;b. 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;c. appointing, on the advice of the Academic Senate, faculty members to standing Academic Senate committees, ad hoc committees, and all relevant governance committees;d. calling general faculty meetings when necessary;e. representing or appointing a designee to represent the Academic Senate during intercessions;f. developing and monitoring the Senate budget;g. supervising the preparation of the official minutes of meetings; and

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

B. 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:

a. chair the Equivalency Committees;b. be a standing member of the Budget Committee;c. assist the President in the planning of flex day;d. conduct Senate meetings and other business in absence of President;e. assume the responsibility of parliamentarian during the meetings.

C. Secretary/Historian

a. insures notice and agendas of Academic Senate meetings at least one week prior to meetings in accordance with the Brown Act; 

b. records minutes of all Senate meetings and distributes the minutes to the faculty in a timely manner;c. insures that all minutes are archived; 

d. conducts Senate meetings and other business in absence of President and Vice-President.

e. maintains copies of all official Senate documents such as but not limited to, agendas, minutes, resolutions, and board correspondence.

ARTICLE VI. 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 April 15.

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 following method shall be used for the ballot procedure:

To be elected, a candidate must receive a majority of the ballots.

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

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

ARTICLE VII. 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 the Academic Senate and shall be posted at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting.

C. The President or designee 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 his/her 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 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 contests an issue, or a minimum of one-third of the full time faculty requests referral. A referral shall be in the following form; a petition signed by the required number of the faculty members and presented to the chairperson of the Senate no later than 30 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 than ten school days following the date of referral.

Article VIII. Standing Committees

The Senate shall create standing or ad hoc committees as it deems appropriate and necessary. 
The Senate shall act as the confirming body for all faculty appointments to district standing committees.

ACADEMIC SENATE SUB COMMITTEES

Curriculum Committee: 
Approves or disapproves all new classes, changes to classes, and five-year reviews

Budget Committee
Assists in the budget process and reports to the Academic Senate

Election Committee
Over sees the election process

Equivalency Committee:
Approves or disapproves all faculty equivalencies

Hiring Committee(s):
Ensures a standardized process of hiring procedures

Instructional Technology Committee:
Approves technology needs on campus

Program Review:
Ensures a standardized process for program review

Staff Development Committee:
Allocates flex day funds

ARTICLE IX. AMENDMENTS

A. Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by:

1. A two-thirds vote of the Academic Senate or
2. 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.

ARTICLE X. DISTRICT ACADEMIC SENATE

Acknowledgement is hereby made of a District Academic Senate. The membership of the District Senate shall include all members of the Presidency and Learning Area Senators from both West Hills College Coalinga and West Hills College Lemoore. The Presidency and/or senators from either college shall have the right to call for a District Academic Senate meeting. In odd numbered years the President of the Coalinga Senate shall preside and in even numbered years the President of the Lemoore Senate shall preside. The presiding president shall have the responsibility of reporting to the Board of Trustees. The presiding president shall only report on matters that involve both campuses and only with the permission of the District Academic Senate. The District Academic Senate shall have the responsibility of drafting a formal constitution and operating procedures, said constitution and operating procedures must the ratified by ¾ of those faculty voting on both campuses.

BY-LAWS
SECTION I. ELECTION PROCEDURES

A. 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 in 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.

B. 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 A.M. 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. (See appendix A for ballot procedures)

SECTION II. PROVISIONS FOR ABSENTEE BALLOTS

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 instructional area 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 to the election committee by election day. Absentee votes shall be counted with the other ballots.

SECTION III. COUNTING OF 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 of the Academic Senate.

SECTION IV. ELECTION OF SENATORS

Procedures for the election for instructional area senators shall be as follows:

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

SECTION V. ELECTION OF OFFICERS

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. To be elected, a candidate must receive a majority of the ballots

5. 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.

APPENDIX A. BALLOT PROCEDURES

Voting Instructions: Ballots will be submitted using a two-envelope process. The outer envelope will be used to determine faculty members that voted. Faculty will print and sign their name on the outer envelope. The ballot will be placed in an inner envelope. (The inner envelope will not be sealed or have any identifying marks on it.) The inner envelope will hold the actual ballot and will be used for counting purposes.