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MSJC > College Information > Administration > Academic Senate > Academic Senate Constitution

Academic Senate Constitution

Mt. San Jacinto College

Academic Senate Constitution

Approved by Congressional Senate on March 26, 1998
Approved by Executive Senate on May 11, 1998
Ratified May 29, 1998
As Amended on February 18, 1999
With revisions proposed, 9/1/00 by study committee (Bookin,
Davis, Rockwell, Ross), as directed by Congressional Senate
And approved by vote of the faculty at-large, 10/2000

With amendments proposed, 10/6/08 by petition (Executive Senate),

And approved by vote of the faculty at-large, 12/8/2008

 

 

PREAMBLE
  Article I Name and Definition of Faculty
  Article II Purpose and Function
  Article III Electorate
  Article IV Membership and Organization
  Article V Authorities and Powers
  Article VI Executive Senate
  Article VII Site Council
  Article VIII Site Council Officers
  Article IX Judiciary Committee
  Article X  Selection of Site Council, Executive Senate, and Senate Judiciary Members
  Article XI Vacancies
  Article XII Meetings
  Article XIII Rights of Petition
  Article XIV Committees
  Article XV Amendments
  Article XVI Ratification

PREAMBLE  

As authorized under Title 5 of the California Administrative Code, Section 53201 (Subchapter A), we, the members of the faculty of the Mt. San Jacinto College District, are uniting to form the Mt. San Jacinto College District 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 the Mt. San Jacinto College District. Towards these endeavors, we pledge our mutual support and cooperation.

Article I Name and Definition of Faculty  

Section 1 Name

The name of this organization shall be the Mt. San Jacinto College District Academic Senate, hereinafter called the Senate.

Section 2 Definition of Faculty

A faculty member is an employee of the district who meets both of the following criteria:

  1. an employee who does hold a position for which minimum qualifications for hire are specified by the Board of Governors (Title 5, Subchapter 2, Section 53200, paragraph A).
  2. an employee who does not hold a position which is designated management.

The Senate reserves the right to interpret the definition of faculty when a specific position is not clearly defined in this section through an elected body to be named the Judiciary Committee (see Article VIII). 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 II Purpose and Function 

Section 1 Purpose

The Senate shall be the executor and shall serve as the official representative body of the faculty. The purpose of the Senate shall be to ensure the Mt. San Jacinto College District Faculty formal and effective procedures for the formulation and implementation of district policies on academic and professional matters.

Section 2 Function

In accord with Title 5, California Code and Regulations, Subchapter 2, Section 53200, and in recognition of the Board of Trustees' obligation to either jointly develop and agree with or rely primarily upon the recommendations of the Senate, the function of the Senate or its delegates is to formulate and implement policies regarding the following academic matters

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, and

11.      other academic and professional matters as mutually agreed upon   between the governing board and the Senate.

Article III Electorate 

The electorate (hereinafter referred to as the faculty) shall consist of all faculty members as defined in Article I, Section 2, and as further defined in sub-paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article. Each individual herein defined shall be enfranchised equally. This enfranchisement ensures the rights of representation, as well as their commensurate duties. The abdication of the latter nullifies the former.

  1. The electorate for the site council shall include all faculty, fulltime or associate, who perform faculty duties at the site and/or at those off-site locations associated with the site. Those faculty serving at both sites may cast a vote in each site council election, the sole instance when dual service produces such a privilege.
  2. The electorate for the executive senate shall be the members of the site councils.

Article IV Membership and Organization  

Section 1 Constitutional Obligation

In recognition of a commitment to both the intent of this document and the spirit of Title 5, and in light of the increased responsibilities of California Community College Faculty, full-time faculty must recognize a constitutional obligation to serve on the Senate. All first-year full-time and all part-time faculty are encouraged and invited to participate in the Senate but are not constitutionally obligated to serve. Full-time faculty are distinguished from part-time faculty in that part-time faculty are not hired on a tenure track and do have renewable contracts.

Section 2 Composition of the Executive Senate

The executive senate shall consist of six members: the presidents and vice presidents of each site council, plus the associate faculty member from each site council. The titles of the officers shall be the Academic Senate President, the Academic Senate Vice President, the Academic Senate Corresponding Secretary, the Academic Senate Appointment Secretary, and the Associate Faculty Delegates.

All eligible faculty who are not members of the Judiciary Committee are eligible to serve as members of the Site Council and Executive Senate.

Section 3 Tenure

  1. Full-time Faculty Members of the Site Council
    A term of office for a full-time faculty member of a Site Council shall be defined as two consecutive academic years. A term of office begins on the 1May in the year of selection.
  2. Associate Faculty Senators
    A term of office for an associate faculty senator shall be one year.

Article V Authorities and Powers  

The faculty of Mt. San Jacinto College vests in its representatives, the Senate, the authority to make decisions regarding the welfare of the faculty and relating to the routine administration of business.

These powers are respectfully limited in that no individual senator shall make a determination regarding the conduct of business without the approval of a quorum of the Executive Senate.

Issues requiring mutual agreement in the district's shared governance process, and determined by the Executive Senate to be of critical interest to the Faculty-at-Large, must be presented to open faculty meetings conducted by the Site Councils, which bodies will then represent before the Executive Senate the opinions of the faculty at the site. The Executive Senate, as advised by the Site Councils, shall determine a course of action.

Article VI Executive Senate  

Section 1 Purpose

The Executive Senate exists for the purpose of monitoring and administering the daily operations of faculty professional matters, especially those pertaining to shared governance, academic standards, planning and professional staffing patterns. All policy proposals affecting the academic and professional interests of the Faculty must be approved by the Executive Senate, subject to the procedures and limitations contained elsewhere in this Constitution.

Section 2 Duties and Responsibilities of Officers

1. President

  • presides over all Faculty-at-Large, and Executive Senate meetings;
  • provides agendas for Faculty-at-Large meetings;
  • attends Board of Trustees meetings;
  • functions as executor;
  • attends conferences and/or appoints delegates to scheduled meetings of such professional organizations as directed by the membership;
  • represents the Senate in matters concerning shared governance;
  • represents the Senate in graduation exercises;
  • initiates special Faculty-at-Large meetings when deemed appropriate;
  • directs all correspondence to and from the Senate;
  • supervises Senate clerical staff and the functions of the Senate office;
  • acts as liaison to the collective bargaining unit;
  • designates proxy representatives to Shared Governance Committees.

2. Vice President

  • acts as parliamentarian, employing Robert's Rules of Order, Revised;
  • conducts Senate meetings and other business in absence of President;
  • conducts an orientation for new senators prior to the first meeting of the new Senate;
  • serves as treasurer;
  • performs all duties deemed necessary that are not in conflict with this constitution and are not the responsibilities of other senators.

3. Corresponding Secretary

  • insures notice and agendas of Faculty-at-Large and Executive Senate meetings at least one week prior to meetings in accordance with the Brown Act;
  • records minutes of all Executive Senate meetings and distributes the minutes to the faculty in a timely manner;
  •    insures that all minutes are archived; handles routine correspondence for the Executive Senate;
  • tabulates votes in Executive Senate meetings;
  • conducts Senate meetings and other business in absence of President and Vice-President.

4. Appointment Secretary

  • as guided by nominations from site councils, seeks faculty volunteers to staff the various representative, hiring, Senate, and shared governance committees attempting at all times to balance appointments by gender, ethnicity, and site;
  • maintains current and archival records of Senate appointments.

5. Associate Faculty Delegates

  • serve as liaison between the Executive Senate and the Site Council, with particular attention to those issues of an academic and professional nature which have impact on associate faculty.

Article VII Site Council 

Section 1 Purpose

The primary purpose of the Site Council is to investigate and serve as ombudsman for site faculty concerns. In this role, it is appropriate for the Site Council to develop policy or procedure proposals for consideration by the Executive Senate, to develop site-based recommendations for the joint hiring process, to develop site-based recommendations for planning, budget, and special recognition of members.

Section 2 Duties and Responsibilities of Members

A non-restrictive list of the responsibilities of the site council member would include the orientation and mentoring of new faculty to the functions of the Academic Senate and the college. This position may also require service on district standing committees and/or service on senate-created committees.

Section 3 Composition

All faculty members who are not members of the Judiciary Committee may serve on the Site Council, which will have five members elected from the ranks of Full-time Faculty and one member elected from the ranks of Associate Faculty. Each year, three Full-time members will be elected to one site council, and two to the other. In odd-numbered years, three members will be elected to the San Jacinto site council; in even-numbered years, three will be elected to the Menifee Valley Site Council. Associate Faculty members shall be elected annually.

Article VIII Site Council Officers 

Each Site Council shall have five members representing the Full-time Faculty of the site and one member representing the Associate Faculty of the site. The following officers of each Site Council will be selected annually by the members of the Site Council from among their members: President, Vice President, and Secretary.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Site Council President

  • presides over meetings of the site council;
  • provides agendas for the meetings of the site council and the site faculty;
  • attends meetings of the District Board of Trustees;
  • appoints site delegates to scheduled meetings of professional organizations or to groups considering site-specific issues, as directed by the membership;
  • represents the site at shared governance forums;
  • acts as liaison to the collective bargaining unit for site-specific matters;
  • addresses site-specific budgeting and hiring issues.

Site Council Vice President

  • conducts meetings of the site council or site faculty in the absence of the Site Council President;
  • serves as Parliamentarian for the Site Council
  • assumes duties delegated by the Site Council President, not in conflict with the duties of other Site Council members
  • recruits candidates for service on the Site Council

Site Council Secretary

  • insures that meeting notices and agendas of the site council and of site-based meetings of the faculty at large are posted with appropriate notice;
  • records minutes of Site Council meetings and distributes approved copies to all faculty of the site in a timely manner;
  • insures that minutes of the Site Council are archived;
  • records votes in site council meetings
  • conducts the meetings of the Site Council in the absence of the President and Vice President.

Article IX Judiciary Committee  

Section 1 Purpose

The role of the Judiciary Committee is to deliberate and decide issues relevant to this constitution.

Section 2 Composition

All faculty members who are not members of the Executive Senate or one of the Site Councils are eligible to serve on the Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee members shall be comprised of three duly elected faculty members (see Art. X, section 3). In recruiting and nominating candidates, deliberate care shall be taken to secure nominees from among the faculty at each site, if possible.

Section 3 Tenure

A term of office shall be for two years and begins on 15 October.

Section 4 Duties and Responsibilities

  • defines and interprets this constitution in instances of contention
  • reviews amendment proposals for constitutionality
  • conducts elections
  • facilitates the operation of the senate election process
  • responds in a timely fashion to appeals brought before the committee.

Article X Selection of Site Council, Executive Senate, and Senate Judiciary Members 

Section 1 Site Council

  1. The Academic Senate President will call for nominations no later than 1 March. All nominations must be sent to the Judiciary Committee. All nominees for Full-time faculty seats must be tenure-track members of the faculty. All nominations must reach the Judiciary Committee no later than 15 March. The Judiciary Committee must hold the elections no later than 31 March.
  2. An associate faculty request for a Site Council seat shall be granted, provided that no other request for the same seat has been made.  In the event that there are two or more requests for an associate faculty Site Council seat, an election for that seat shall be held no later than 31 March.  The candidate receiving the most votes shall receive Senate seat.
  3. The Judiciary Committee shall submit a ballot to the faculty listing incumbent Site Council members, new full-time faculty, and all associate faculty seeking seats. The ballot shall be distributed to all faculty who are eligible to vote. Faculty shall have ten working days to submit their ballots. Those candidates receiving the most votes shall receive Senate seats. In the event of a tie for the last remaining seat, the senator shall be chosen randomly from those who tied.
  4. If there is a need for both a full-time and associate election, a single ballot shall contain both sets of candidates.
  5. By no later than 31 March, the new senators shall have been elected.

Section 2 Executive Senate

The Executive Senate shall be seated annually. Upon election of the new Site Councils by no later than 31 March, the Judiciary Committee shall name the Executive branch from the membership of the site councils, in accord with the following provisions. In even-numbered years, the president of the San Jacinto Site Council will be President of the Executive Senate, and the President of the Menifee Valley Site Council will serve as Vice President; in odd-numbered years, this pattern will be reversed. In even-numbered years, the Vice president of the Menifee Valley Site Council will serve as appointment Secretary and the Vice President of the San Jacinto Site Council will serve as Corresponding Secretary; in odd-numbered years, this pattern will be reversed. For purposes of this section, "even-numbered" shall mean those years in which the scholastic year commences in a year evenly divisible by two.The names of the members of the Executive Senate shall be posted no later than the last day of April.

Section 3  Judiciary Committee

Judiciary elections shall be held annually. Faculty wishing to serve on the Judiciary Committee shall submit their names to the Academic Senate by mid-September. The Executive Senate shall seek a minimum of four nominees and conduct the election by the end of September.                                                 

The Judiciary Committee shall take office 15 October.

Article XI Vacancies  

Section 1 Executive Senate

In the event an Executive Senate seat is vacated, the affected Site Council shall appoint a member of the Site Council to fill the remainder of the term.

Section 2 Site Council

Site Council vacancies shall only be filled if there are nine or more months remaining in the vacated seat. In the event of a vacated Site Council seat, the candidate with the most votes of those not elected shall be given the opportunity to fill the seat and to complete the unexpired term. In the event of refusal, the seat shall be given to the next in line. In the event of a tie for replacement eligibility, the selection shall be made randomly from those tied who are interested in filling the seat. Should no such candidate be willing or available, then the Site Council shall recruit from the site faculty at large and select from among those faculty who are interested.

Section 3 Judiciary Committee

In the event of a vacated Judiciary seat, the candidate with the most votes of those not elected shall be given the opportunity to fill the seat and to complete the unexpired term. In the event of refusal, the seat shall be given to the next in line. In the event of a tie for replacement eligibility, the selection shall be made randomly from those tied who are interested in filling the seat. Should no such candidate be willing or available, then the Executive Senate shall recruit from the faculty at large and select from among those faculty who are interested.

Article XII Meetings  

Section 1 Frequency

1. Faculty-at-Large

Faculty-at-Large meetings may be held as often as the Executive Senate deems necessary. However, there shall be at least four meetings per academic year, no less than two per campus.

2. Site Council

Site Council meetings shall be held at least monthly.

3. Executive Senate

Executive Senate meetings shall be held at least monthly during the fall and spring semesters and as necessary between semesters.

Section 2 Conduct of Business

1. Quorum

In order to conduct official business, any body of the Senate must have a quorum. A quorum of the Executive Senate or Site Council shall be defined as a majority of its members. A quorum of the Judiciary Committee shall be defined as two members.

2. Agenda

Each body of the Senate establishes its own agenda. Any individual or group wishing to present an item for inclusion on an agenda may submit this request to the President or Secretary of the Senate.

3. Voting

Issues before the faculty, the Executive Senate, or Site Council, for which procedures are not addressed in this Constitution, may be decided by a roll call vote of majority of those present. Issues determined before the site faculty shall be binding on the Site Council. Those issues determined before the Site Councils shall be advisory to the Executive Senate as they affect college-wide issues. However, the Executive Senate cannot proceed on those matters which affect the faculty college-wide without

  1. concurrence of the Site Councils
    OR
  2. a general referendum.

Any member, on any matter, may ask for a vote by voice, show of hands, a secret ballot, or roll call and any such request shall be honored. In case of conflicting requests, a vote by show of hands shall decide which method of voting shall be used.

4. Closed Sessions

Any meeting can adjourn to closed session in accordance with the Brown Act.

Section 3 Special Meetings

There may be special meetings of the Faculty-at-Large, the Executive Senate, or Site Council if such meetings are requested by the Senate President, by a quorum of any of those senate bodies, or by petition of 10% of the faculty.

Section 4 Sites and Times

Meeting of the Faculty at Large shall be held on either the Menifee Valley or San Jacinto sites as appropriate during usual working hours.

Article XIII Rights of Petition  

Section 1 Recall and Censure

1. Justification

Faculty may initiate petitions to censure or recall senators for clearly delineated abuses of professional or ethical behavior or offenses against the letter or the spirit of this constitution.

2. Procedure

A petition requesting the censure or recall of any senator signed by 15% of the general faculty or 25% of the full-time faculty shall be presented to the Judiciary Committee. This committee shall notify, in writing, all faculty of a special meeting to present views on the matter. A vote by secret ballot, administered by the Judiciary Committee, shall be conducted within thirty days of submission of the petition. A simple majority of the ballots cast shall determine the outcome.

In the event that a Judiciary Committee member is the subject of censure or recall, the procedure shall be conducted as described above with presentation of the petition to the Executive Senate.

Section 2 Referendum and Initiative

Upon the presentation of a signed petition by 5% of the general faculty or 10% of the full-time faculty to the Judiciary Committee, proceedings of review, referendum, or initiative may be instituted in the context of any issue, policy, or question. Upon review for constitutionality, the Judiciary Committee shall forward the proposal to the Executive Senate for disposition or return the proposal to its author(s). Upon receipt of the proposal, the Executive Senate must include the proposal in the agenda of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Executive or Site Councils, and it shall precede other new business. The Senate shall then present the proposal to the Faculty-at-Large for a vote within thirty days.

Section 3 Suspension of Senate Action

Any faculty member wishing to halt a Senate action may present a petition signed by 5% of the general faculty to the Executive Senate for faculty-wide review. The Senate shall then present the proposal to the faculty-at-large for a vote within thirty days, and shall suspend further action until resolution of the matter.

Section 4 Appeals Process

Matters not addressed by, or not appropriate to, the rights of petition process described above may be brought to the Judiciary Committee in the form of an appeal. The committee shall hear any appeal concerning Site Council, Executive Senate or Faculty-at-Large action initiated by 10% of the faculty, by 60% of the Senate, by the Superintendent/ President or a designee thereof, or by a representative of the Board of Trustees acting on behalf of the district.

The Judiciary Committee shall render an opinion on the appeal within thirty days of receipt. These opinions shall be honored by the Executive Senate, or they may be overruled by a majority of the votes of the faculty, and take place no more than four weeks from the date rendered. The Executive Senate has the responsibility to conduct such balloting.

Article XIV 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.

Article XV Amendments  

This constitution may be amended by initiative procedure only. A petition to amend shall be signed by 10% of the general faculty and shall be presented to the Judiciary Committee for review of constitutionality. The Judiciary Committee shall forward the amendment to the Executive Senate for disposition or return the proposed amendment to its author(s). Upon receipt of the petition, the Executive Senate shall distribute the proposed amendment to the faculty and conduct an election by secret ballot within one month. If approved by 60% of the votes cast, the amendment shall become effective on the date stated in the amendment. Results of the balloting shall be announced within ten working days of the election.

Article XVI Ratification  

This constitution shall be ratified by 60% of the votes cast in a secret ballot, and it shall become effective immediately upon approval.