Constitution

 

CONSTITUTION OF THE HARTNELL COLLEGE ACADEMIC SENATE

Amended August 15, 2014

ARTICLE I.  NAME

The organization shall be known as the Hartnell College Academic Senate (hereinafter referred to as the Academic Senate or Senate).

ARTICLE II.  OBJECTIVES

Section 1.  Purpose

In accordance with Title 5 (Section 53200-53204) of the California Code of Regulations, the Academic Senate is the recognized representative of the faculty concerning academic and professional matters.  The Senate shall participate in the formation and revision of District policies and procedures in all matters of an academic and professional nature.  In addition, the Senate will work to promote the general welfare of faculty, staff and students by promoting procedures that help to ensure quality instruction and that enhance collegiality and the professional standards of faculty.

Section 2.  Responsibilities

The Senate is responsible to provide faculty with a formal and effective procedure for participating in the formation of District policies on academic and professional matters.   The areas of responsibility and authority derived from the Education Code are specified within Title 5, Section 53200, as the “10 + 1” and include the following:

  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 process, 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 academic senate.

Section 3.  Powers

As described in Title 5, section 53203, and recognized in Board Policy 2005, the Senate is empowered to consult collegially, present recommendations to the Superintendent/President and, after such presentation, to lay its views and recommendations on academic and professional matters directly before the Board of Trustees.  In addition, the Senate is responsible to make appointments of faculty to governance, standing, selection, task force and ad hoc committees.

 Section 4.  Affiliation

The Hartnell College Academic Senate shall be affiliated with the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges to establish a formal and effective procedure for participating in the formation of state policies on academic and professional matters.

ARTICLE III.  ELECTORATE

The electorate for membership shall be composed of all academic employees who are employed by the college in full-time or adjunct faculty positions and whose primary responsibility requires regular and direct contact with students for the purpose of providing classroom education or related educational support. 

ARTICLE IV.  MEMBERSHIP

Section 1.  Representation

The following shall make up the membership of the Senate:

  1. All elected and appointed Senate officers
  2. A minimum of one full-time faculty member from each academic area as defined below:
    1. Math/Science/Engineering
    2. Languages and Fine Arts
    3. Social and Behavioral Sciences
    4. Advanced Technology and Applied Sciences
    5. Kinesiology/Athletics/Health Education
    6. Nursing and Allied Health
    7. Library
    8. Counseling and Categorical Programs

An academic area shall be entitled to a second Senate seat when the number of full-time faculty members reaches eleven (11) at the beginning of the fall semester. 

  1. Two representatives from the adjunct faculty shall be elected at large by the adjunct faculty
  2. Ex-officio, non-voting members:
    1. President of the Hartnell College Faculty Association
    2. Presidents of other recognized organizations on campus

Section 2.  Terms of Office for Senators

Senate members shall serve terms of two years, with one-half of the members being replaced each year.  Senators may be re-elected.

Section 3.  Declaring a Senate Seat Vacant

A Senate seat may be declared vacant for the remainder of the academic term when the Senator is absent for three consecutive meetings or a total of five meetings over a one-year period.   Such Senator shall be removed from office by a majority vote of the Senate at any regular Senate meeting.   A Senate seat may also be declared vacant when a written resignation is received by the Senate President from a Senator. 

If a Senate seat is declared vacant, the division dean shall be notified and requested to hold a special election at the next meeting of that division.  The new Senator will complete the unexpired term of the Senator he or she is replacing. 

Should a Senator be unable to attend Senate meetings because of special circumstances, the Senator shall send written notification to the Steering Committee requesting that the division dean hold a special election to select a temporary replacement.   Such requests must be made prior to reaching the number of absences required to declare the seat vacant as described above.

The Senate seat of an adjunct faculty member shall be declared vacant at such time as that member is no longer teaching at Hartnell College. 

 

ARTICLE V.  OFFICERS

Section 1.  Positions

The officers of the Senate shall be a President, 1st Vice-President, 2nd Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer and Senator-At-Large.  The officers of the Senate shall be selected only from the full-time faculty electorate.  These officers shall perform duties as prescribed by this Constitution and By-laws and by the parliamentary authority adopted by the Senate.   Duties of Senate Officers are delineated in the Senate By-laws.  The election of Senate officers shall be in compliance with Article VI of this Constitution.

Section 2.  Recall of Senate Officers

Upon written petition to the Senate Steering Committee by at least five Senators or ten percent (10%) of the full-time faculty, a recall election shall be held by secret ballot at the next scheduled meeting of the Senate.  A two-thirds vote of the Senate will be required to recall an officer.  In cases of recall, a special election will be held to fill any vacancies created.

 

ARTICLE VI.  ELECTION PROCEDURES

Section 1.  Election of Members of the Senate

The Senate President shall notify each division dean at the beginning of the fall semester of the need for Senate elections and how many seats are to be vacated.  The division elections should be held no later than the first week in September.   The new Senators will assume office at the first regular meeting of the fall semester.

Section 2. Election of Senate Officers

A nominating committee for vacancies in Senate offices will be approved by the Senate at the first regular meeting in March.  The candidates for President, 1st Vice-President, 2nd Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer and Senator-At Large shall be selected from the full-time Senate faculty members.  The slate of candidates shall be announced at the second regular meeting in April.  Additional nominations may be made from the floor of the Senate at that time.

The election of officers shall be conducted at the first regular meeting in May.  Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the ballots cast by Senators attending the meeting.  New officers shall assume office July 1st following the elections and shall serve a term of two years.

No officer may serve as a divisional representative. In the event that the new officer(s) have unexpired terms as divisional representatives, their positions shall be filled in accordance with Article VI Section 1 of this document.

The Academic Senate President may serve no more than one two-year term but may serve again after a one-term vacancy.  All other officers are eligible for re-election.

Section 3.  Election of Adjunct Faculty Senators

Election of adjunct faculty members of the Senate shall be conducted during the month of September or as needed to fill any vacant seat.

 

ARTICLE VII.  STEERING COMMITTEE

Section 1.  Members of the Steering Committee

The Senate Steering Committee shall consist of the President, 1st Vice-President, 2nd Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer, Immediate Past President, and one senator elected from the Senate at large.  The Immediate Past President shall only serve for the first year immediately following his or her presidency.

Section 2.  Functions of the Steering Committee

The Steering Committee shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Senate between its regular business meetings, fix the hour and place of Senate meetings, make recommendations to the Senate, set the agenda for Senate meetings, and perform other duties as specified in Article 3 of the Senate Bylaws.

 

ARTICLE VIII.   MEETING/OPERATIONS

Section 1.  Parliamentary Authority/Brown Act

In all matters of internal functioning not covered by this Constitution, the Senate shall be governed by Roberts Rules of Order, latest revised edition.  Notices for all Senate meetings will be posed in accordance with the Brown Act.

Section 2.  Meetings

The Senate shall hold regular meetings, not less than once per month, on a fixed day and time during the academic year.  The time and date shall be established by Senate President in consultation with the Steering Committee.  Special meetings of the Senate may be called at the discretion of the Senate President or when requested in writing by five members of the Senate with appropriate notification of all members per the Brown Act.

Items consistent with the functions and responsibilities of the Academic Senate may be placed on the agenda of the Senate by any faculty member or Senator through the Steering Committee at its regular meeting.  A simple majority of the Senate membership shall be considered a quorum.

Senate meetings are open to all members of the electorate, guests and the general public.  Only members of the Senate possess a vote.  Visitors, guests and faculty members may speak either at the time designated for public comments or at the time of discussion for an action item.  The speaker must be recognized by the Senate President and a time limit may be placed prior to speaking.

ARTICLE IX.  SENATE COMMITTEES

Section 1.  Standing Committees

Standing committees of the Senate shall include the Steering Committee (as described in Article VII), and other committees described within the Bylaws that pertain to the purpose and responsibilities of the Senate as described in Article II.

Section 2.  Faculty Appointment to Standing, Governance, Selection, Ad Hoc and Task Force Committees

The Senate shall confirm faculty appointments to all standing and shared governance committees.  Nominations for governance and standing committees shall be made by the Senate President in consultation with the Steering Committee.  Nominations of faculty for selection committees and other ad hoc and task force committees shall be in accordance with procedures established in the Senate Bylaws.  Faculty other than Senators may be appointed to committees and task forces.

 

ARTICLE X.  AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

This Constitution can be amended by a 60 percent (60%) affirmative vote of the full-time faculty, providing written notice of any proposed amendment was filed with the Senate President at least two weeks preceding the balloting.  Copies of the proposed changes must be sent to the faculty at least one week prior to a written, secret ballot.