CONSTITUTION OF THE HARTNELL COLLEGE ACADEMIC SENATE
Amended March 31, 2022
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 §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, §53200, as the “10 + 1” and include the following:
- Curriculum, including establishing prerequisites and placing courses within disciplines,
- Degree and certificate requirements,
- Grading policies,
- Educational program development,
- Standards or policies regarding student preparation and success,
- District and college governance structures, as related to faculty roles,
- Faculty roles and involvement in accreditation process, including self-study and annual reports,
- Policies for faculty professional development activities,
- Processes for program review,
- Processes for institutional planning and budget development, and
- Other academic and professional matters as mutually agreed upon between the governing board and the academic senate.
In addition, Education Code grants additional authority to the Academic Senate in the areas of equivalency for minimum qualifications and faculty hiring.
Equivalency: Education Code §87359 grants the Academic Senate the following powers
“...The process, as well as criteria and standards by which the governing board reaches its determinations, shall be developed and agreed upon jointly by representatives of the governing board and the academic senate, and approved by the governing board. The agreed upon process shall include reasonable procedures to ensure that the governing board relies primarily upon the advice and judgment of the academic senate to determine that each individual employed under the authority granted by the regulations possesses qualifications that are at least equivalent to the applicable minimum qualification specified in regulations adopted by the board of governors. The process shall further require that the governing board provide the academic senate with an opportunity to present its views to the governing board before the board makes a determination; and that the written record of the decision, including the views of the academic senate, shall be available for review pursuant to Section 87358.”
Faculty Hiring: Education Code §87360(b) grants the Academic Senate the following powers.
“...hiring criteria, policies, and procedures for new faculty members shall be developed and agreed upon jointly by representatives of the governing board, and the academic senate, and approved by the governing board.”
Section 3. Powers
As described in Title 5, section 53203, and recognized in Board Policy 2510, 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:
- All elected and appointed Senate officers
- Faculty members from each Meta Major/area as defined below:
Ag, Business and Industry- Two representatives
Arts and Languages- Two representatives
Health Sciences- Two representatives
Social Sciences- Two representatives
S.T.E.M. - Two representatives
Library- One representative
Counseling - Two representatives
Adjuncts- Two representatives
At large- Four representatives
- Ex-officio, non-voting members:
- President of the Hartnell College Faculty Association
- Presidents of other recognized organizations on campus
Section 2. Terms of Office for Senators
Senate members shall serve terms of two years. Senators may be re-elected for multiple terms.
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. This 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, faculty members in the Meta Major/area shall be notified and a replacement election will take place. The new Senator will complete the unexpired term of the Senator being replaced.
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 Meta Major/area 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.
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 Meta Major/area by April 15 of the need for Senate elections and how many seats are to be vacated. The Meta Major/area elections should be held no later than the first week of May. 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. The President and 1st Vice-President shall serve a term of two years. The 2nd Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer and Senator At-Large shall serve a term of at least one year.
No officer may serve as a Meta Major/area representative. In the event that the new officer(s) have unexpired terms as Meta Major/area 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 two years but may serve again as president 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 first two weeks of the fall semester 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 their 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 seated 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. All meeting protocols will be enforced by the Senate 1st Vice-President (or designee) as parliamentarian.
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 standing and shared governance 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. Other committee structures (i.e. advisory, commissions, councils, etc.) involving the Academic Senate “10 + 1” responsibilities (Article II, Section 2) will follow the same procedures. Faculty other than Senators may be appointed to standing, governance, selection, ad hoc, task force and other committee structures.
ARTICLE X. EMERGENCY ACTION
If action is required in order to conduct time-sensitive Senate business which conflicts with previously approved Constitutional requirements pertaining to timelines, the Senate will adjust such timelines, on a one-time basis, by majority vote. If such a change is made, the Senate shall notify the faculty of the change as soon as reasonably possible.
ARTICLE XI. AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
This Constitution can be amended by a majority 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 via a written or electronic secret ballot.