Constitution

Approved Fall 2017
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 faculty of the West Hills College Lemoore (hereafter referred to as “WHCL”) forms the WHCL 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 Senate is essential for realizing the fullest educational and professional potential of each member of the faculty and for furthering the mission and vision of WHCL. Towards these endeavors, we pledge our mutual support and cooperation.

In order to best promote the educational interests of WHCL, 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 WHCL Academic Senate (hereafter referred to as “the Senate”) is hereby authorized.

ARTICLE II: PURPOSE

The 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 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 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 Senate in participatory governance.

CONSULT COLLEGIALLY

“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.

  • Faculty member: any full-time or part-time personnel hired under a certificated contract with the

  • The Senate: the body of faculty representatives elected by the learning

  • Senator: an individual who is elected to the Senate by the learning area s/he represents and who possesses full voting rights at sessions of the

ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP

The Senate represents all certificated faculty employed at West Hills College Lemoore.

The Senate reserves the right to interpret the definition of faculty when a specific position is not clearly defined. All faculty members shall have protection and duties commensurate with their positions under this constitution.

ARTICLE V:  THE SENATE

The Senate shall consist of:

  • President

  • Vice President

  • One Senator from each learning area

The President and Vice President will constitute the Executive Committee and shall be elected by the full time faculty. The Learning Area senators will be elected by a majority vote of the full-time faculty in said learning area. In addition, the Senate shall have the right to establish whatever additional offices and committees it may deem necessary to carry out its business.

ARTICLE VI:  METHODS OF CONDUCTING BUSINESS

The Senate shall have scheduled meetings at least once each month during the academic year and at such other times as deemed necessary. The agenda of each meeting shall be prepared by the President of the Academic Senate and shall be posted by the Secretary at least 72 hours in advance. All meetings will adhere to the Brown Act, which encourages openness and public involvement.

Any individual shall have the opportunity upon his/her request and upon recognition by the President or designee to discuss agenda items.

The President or designee and a simple majority of the elected members of the Senate shall constitute a quorum.

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

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

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 Senate.

Referendums: A referendum may be proposed by at least six (6) percent of the total number of faculty having voted in the immediate past Senate election for President and within thirty (30) days of the official Senate action in question.

The Senate’s Election Committee will validate a referendum petition to reverse and Senate action.

Upon receipt of a valid petition, the Senate action in question shall be suspended until a vote of the full faculty is held.

Upon receipt of the valid petition, the Senate President shall order a special election be held within ten

  • days of such proposed referendum by secret ballot provided and counted by the Elections Committee. If such proposal is made within one month of the regular Academic Senate Elections, it shall be placed on the

A simple majority vote of those members voting shall be necessary for the adoption of any initiative.

ARTICLE VII:  STANDING COMMITTEES

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

ACADEMIC SENATE SUB COMMITTEES

  • Curriculum Committee

  • Election Committee

  • Equivalency Committee

ACADEMIC SENATE COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS

The Senate will be responsible for appointing and confirming faculty representatives to the following committees:

  • Basic Skills Initiative Committee

  • Budget Allocation Committee, and Area Budget Committees

  • District Educational Coordinating Council

  • Facilities and Safety Committee

  • Institutional Effectiveness and Program Review Committee

  • Integrated Student Success Committee

  • Planning and Governance Committee

  • Professional Development Committee

  • Student Learning Outcomes Committee

  • Technology Committee

ARTICLE VIII. REVISIONS

A periodic review of the Senate Constitution is encouraged.

  • Revisions to this constitution may be proposed by:

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

    2. A petition signed by a simple majority of the full time

  • A two-thirds vote of the full time faculty shall be required to adopt a

Date Approved: October 9, 2017

November 7, 2016