COLLEGE OF THE SEQUOIAS ACADEMIC SENATE CONSTITUTION
The purpose of the Academic Senate, as a representative of the faculty, is to make recommendations to the administration of the college and the Board of Trustees with respect to academic and professional matters. We are a recommending body, and we make our recommendations to the college community under the assumption of collegiality, that is, under the assumption that the faculty interact with each other, the administration and the Board in a professional relationship, mutually respecting each other’s opinions. Faculty and administration must keep in mind that the college exists to serve our students. To this end the Academic Senate of the college of the Sequoias is dedicated. (Revised 1997)
Article I: DEFINITIONS shall apply as follows in all references to these designations:
A. The name of this organization shall be the College of the Sequoias Academic Senate, hereinafter called the Academic Senate.
B. Faculty - all academic personnel under a permanent or temporary contract who are not declared as holding a management position.
1. Full-time Faculty – all academic personnel with permanent contracts and temporary, academic personnel working more than 67% of a full load.
2. Adjunct faculty – all academic personnel with a temporary contract working at 67% or less of a full contract.
C. Academic Senate – the organization whose primary function is, as the
representative of the faculty, to make recommendations to the
administration of the college and to the governing board of the
district with respect to academic and professional matters
(Title V., Section 53200).
D. Senator – any faculty member duly elected to the Academic Senate
according to the terms and conditions of this Constitution.
E. Division – any department or group of departments presided over by a
F. Department – any discipline oriented entity within a division.
G. Special Programs – any program that is not administered through a
Article II: POWERS AND FUNCTIONS shall be delegated to all the Senate as follows:
A. The Academic Senate shall be empowered to make recommendations to the President/Superintendent of the College and shall have the right, after such presentation, to lay its views directly before the Board on any matter pertaining to the academic and professional matters of the college as defined in Title V of the California Code of Regulations.
B. The functions of the Academic Senate are two-fold:
1. Advisory- to advise the administration and Board on academic and professional matters including the following:
a. Curriculum, including establishing prerequisites and placing courses within disciplines.
b. Degree and certificate requirements.
c. Grading policies.
d. Educational program development.
e. Standards or policies regarding student preparation and success.
f. District and college governance structures, as related to faculty roles.
g. Policies for faculty professional development activities.
h. Processes for program review.
i. Process for institutional planning and budget development.
j. Faculty roles and involvement in accreditation process, including self-study and annual reports.
k. Other academic and professional matters as mutually agreed upon between the Governing Board and the Academic Senate.
2. Appointments – to make all appointments of faculty to college-wide
C. Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, Division 6, Chapter 4,
Subchapter 2, Article 2, Section 53200 defines the powers, rights, and
responsibilities of the Academic Senate in California Community
Colleges. This stipulates that the district Governing Board shall consult
collegially with the Academic Senate when developing policies
regarding academic and professional matters by using either or both of
the following methods, according to its own discretion:
1. Relying primarily upon the advice and judgment of the Academic
2. That the district governing board, or such representatives as it may
designate and the representatives of the Academic Senate shall have the
obligations to reach mutual agreement by written resolution,
regulation, or policy of the governing board effectuating such
Article III: MEMBERS of the Academic Senate shall be determined in the following manner:
A. Senators shall be elected by their respective Divisions for two (2) year
B. Senators may be re-elected by their respective Divisions.
C. Representation on the Academic Senate shall be determined as follows:
1. Senators shall be chosen by Divisions, or other appropriate college
body indicated in this article. Each Division should develop its own
procedure for substitutions in the event a designated Senator is
unable to attend a meeting.
2. Each division with 1 to 10 full-time faculty shall elect one senator,
11 to 20, two senators, and 21 to 30, three senators. The division chair
and department heads shall be counted as members of the division.
3. During any one school year, any instructor teaching in more than
one Division shall declare to the Division Chairs and to the
Academic Senate Secretary in which of these Divisions he/she shall be
a member for representation and with which he/she will vote.
4. For purposes of representation on the Academic Senate and
wherever else applicable in this Constitution, non-classroom library
faculty shall be considered a Division, and this Division shall elect a
chairman for the purpose of calling meetings and conducting
business. One of the items of business shall be to elect a Senator to
represent the Division as delineated in this Article.
5. Adjunct faculty shall elect two Senators.
6. The College of the Sequoias Associated Student Executive Board
shall elect one representative to serve on the Academic Senate. This
is a non-voting representative.
7. The classified staff shall elect one representative to serve on the
Academic Senate. This is a non-voting representative.
D. The method of election to the Academic Senate shall be as follows:
1. In April of each year, division chairs where Academic Senate
vacancies are due to occur, shall call a meeting of all faculty
members in their divisions.
2. At this meeting, faculty members shall elect the Division’s Senators,
with each division member casting one vote.
E. A Senator may be recalled by a two-thirds vote of the members of
the Division in a meeting called for that purpose. Notice of such a
meeting must be provided one week in advance.
F. Vacancies shall be filled by the division prior to the regular meeting of
Academic Senate after which they occur; the procedure shall be the
same as the process for a regular election to the Academic Senate.
Article IV: MEETINGS of the Academic Senate shall be subject to the following regulations:
A. The Academic Senate shall meet at least once each month during the
B. Special meetings may be called at any time by the President of the
Academic Senate on his/her own initiative or at the request of any
member of the Academic Senate. Any special meetings shall require
a forty-eight hour email notice to each Academic Senate member.
C. Official action can take place only at regular and special meetings of
D. Regular and special meetings of the Academic Senate are open to all.
Guests may voice their opinions or ask questions when they are
recognized by the Chair.
E. Outside speakers to appear before the Academic Senate are limited to
those invited by the Executive Board.
Article V: OFFICERS of the Academic Senate shall be as follows:
A. The officers of the Academic Senate are the President, the Vice-
President (President elect), Secretary/Treasurer,
the Faculty Enrichment Chairperson, and the Senate State
B. The officers of the Academic Senate shall be elected at-large, by
faculty-wide election. Any full-time faculty member of the College of
the Sequoias is eligible to run for Academic Senate office.
1. The election of all Academic Senate officers shall be conducted
in the month of February of even-numbered years.
2. Officers shall serve for two-year terms and may be re-elected to
succeed themselves in office. The Faculty Enrichment Committee
Chairperson shall serve for a three-year term.
3. In the event of a resignation or other absence of an officer during
the term of an officer, the Academic Senate President may appoint
an interim officer for the remainder of the term with the consent of
the Academic Senate.
C. The voting procedure is as follows:
1. Each full-time faculty member is eligible to cast one vote per office.
Each adjunct faculty member is eligible to cast a vote for each
office proportional to his/her teaching load (e.g. 40% FTE equals 0.4
vote) in the semester in which the election occurs.
2. A minimum of two weeks notice by email shall be given prior to the
date of the election.
3. Elections shall be held over a period of two consecutive weekdays,
which shall not include a Friday.
4. Voting areas shall be provided where privacy and confidentiality of
the ballots are assured.
5. For each office, the candidate receiving the most votes
shall be deemed the winner.
6. For each office, the number of ballots cast and the number of votes
received by each candidate shall be announced.
7. No candidate for Academic Senate office shall participate in the
planning, administration, or vote tabulation of any Academic
D. The powers and duties of the Academic Senate Officers are as follows:
1. The President shall:
a. Establish the time and place for all general
meetings and all Executive Board meetings.
b. Prepare the agendas for all general meetings and all Executive
c. Appoint a Parliamentarian.
d. Preside over all general and Executive Board meetings in an
impartial manner. The President is not allowed to introduce
motions or resolutions.
e. Represent the Academic Senate at the meetings of the Board
f. Report to the Academic Senate in a timely manner the
disposition of Senate actions.
2. The Vice-President (President elect) shall:
a. Act as President in the absence of that officer.
b. Become the President at the end of the President’s current
c. Perform such functions as the President assigns to assist in
carrying out the purposes and policies of the Academic Senate.
d. Serve as Co-Chair of the Institutional Planning Committee.
e. Represent the Academic Senate on the Instructional Council.
3. The Secretary-Treasurer shall:
a. Record all minutes of all general meetings and
b. Maintain the currency of all mailing lists
of the Academic Senate.
4. The Faculty Enrichment Chairperson shall:
a. Plan, develop and host faculty development workshops.
b. Promote and approve sabbatical proposals and Institutional
c. Coordinate with other groups and committees to provide
d. Facilitate New Faculty Orientation prior to the first day of the
e. Supervise the approval of FLEX hours.
5. The Senate State Delegate shall:
a. Vote at State Academic Senate meetings.
b. Ascertain Academic Senate preference on significant State
Academic Senate resolutions.
c. Bring relevant State and local resolutions to the attention
of the Academic Senate.
e. Facilitate nominations for State Academic Senate awards.
Article VI: THE METHOD OF AMENDMENT for the Academic Senate constitution shall be as follows:
A. Amendments may be proposed by:
1. The Board of Trustees.
2. The President/Superintendent of the College of the Sequoias.
3. A simple majority vote of the Academic Senate.
4. A simple majority of any Division.
5. Petition of twenty-five (25) percent of the Full-time Faculty.
B. Amendments to the Constitution must be submitted to the
full-time faculty by email, at least thirty (30) days prior to the vote
C. Amendments to the Constitution require presentation at a faculty
D. Amendments to the Constitution must be ratified by a two-thirds
vote of all the full-time faculty.
Article VII: BY-LAWS shall be adopted as follows:
A. The Academic Senate shall be empowered to adopt its own by-laws by a
simple majority vote. Changes in the Academic Senate by-laws shall be
made in the following manner:
1. Changes may be proposed by any Academic
2. Proposed changes must be submitted by email to each Academic
Senate member at least thirty (30) days prior to the vote.
3. Changes in the existing by-laws must be ratified by a two-thirds
vote of the Academic Senate.
A. Senate meetings and meetings of the committees shall be conducted
under Robert’s Rules of Order, revised, with all formal recom-
mendations of the Academic Senate written and presented in resolution
B. Business of the Academic Senate shall be decided by each Academic
Senator casting one vote. A quorum shall consist of a number equal to or
greater than fifty percent of the combination of the number of Academic
Senators plus the Secretary/treasurer and State Delegate. The Academic
Senate President shall vote only in case of a tie vote
C. Any member of the faculty , administration, member of the Board of
Trustees, or member of the Student Executive Board may bring matters
to the attention of the Academic Senate, but in order to receive consid-
eration, such matters must be distributed to each Academic Senate
member, by email, seventy-two hours before the following Academic
D. The Academic Senate President has the authority to call and preside over
a general faculty meeting.
E. Upon the request of the majority of the Academic Senators or any two
Divisions, the Academic Senate President shall be required to call and to
preside over a general faculty meeting.
F. Upon a majority vote by the Academic Senate, the Academic Senate can
submit a matter to a vote of the faculty.
G. The majority of the faculty of any two Divisions can request that any
decision made by the Senate be submitted to the faculty for a
H. Any matter other than a constitutional amendment referred by the
Senate to the faculty for a decision shall require a majority vote for
II. SENATE COMMITTEES and LIAISONS shall be established as follows:
A. The Academic Senate shall maintain an Executive Board, three Standing
Committees, a Faculty Enrichment Committee, Curriculum Committee,
a Student Learning Outcomes Committee, and
any other permanent committees to which problems will be assigned as
deemed necessary by the Academic Senate.
B. The Academic Senate may create one or more Ad Hoc committees if
necessary to investigate short-term issues.
C. Each of the three Standing Committees shall elect its own chair and
D. Each Academic Senator must serve on one of the three Standing
Committees; however, no Academic Senator may serve on more than
two Standing Committees simultaneously; no Academic Senator may
be chair of more than one committee.
E. The Academic Senate President shall appoint Academic Senators to the
Committees with the consensus of the Academic Senate.
F. Senate business to be referred to committee shall be delegated to the
appropriate Committee by the Academic Senate President
with the consensus of the Academic Senate.
G. Each Academic Senate Committee shall meet as needed
for the conduct of its business and shall submit progress
reports at the Academic Senate meetings.
H. The Academic Senate shall distribute to the Board of Trustees, Faculty
and Administration a summary of accomplishments at the close of the
I. The COSTA (College of the Sequoias Teachers Association) Liaison shall:
1. Be a Senator elected by the majority of the Senate.
2. Meet monthly with the Liaison Committee of COSTA (College of the
Sequoias Teachers Association).
J. The Distance Education Coordinator (full-time faculty position) shall:
1. Chair the DECOS committee.
2. Recommend to the Senate policies regarding Distance Education:
a. Course management system.
b. Training and certification of faculty.
K. The Curriculum Coordinator (full-time faculty position) shall:
1. Chair the Curriculum Committee and with the consent of the
Curriculum Committee shall:
a. Determine that courses meet quality standards.
b. Define critical thinking and college level rigor.
c. Review prerequisites.
d. Assure courses meet standards for articulation.
e. Review distance education classes for conformity to regulations.
f. Determine associate degree requirements.
g. Determine the COS GE courses.
h. Recommend the courses for transfer and articulation.
i. Review existing courses to maintain course currency.
j. Bring to the Academic Senate in a timely manner courses for
2. Chair the Student Learning Outcomes Committee.
a. Recommend to the Senate policies regarding Student Learning
(1). Use of SLOs to assess and improve student learning and
(2). Facilitate training and dialogue regarding student learning
3. Contribute to the Accreditation Reports.
4. Serve as a member of the Program Review Committee.
5. Be an Ex-officio member of the Institutional Planning Committee
III. EXECUTIVE BOARD of the Academic Senate shall be as follows:
A. The five officers of the Academic Senate, the chairs of the three
Standing Committees, the Distance Education Coordinator, and the
B. Executive Board meetings shall be instigated by the Academic Senate
President preceding each scheduled general Academic Senate meeting.
C. The Senate Executive Board is responsible for encouraging faculty
members to run for office, for developing a slate of candidates, and for
insuring that all elections are administered in a fair, honest, impartial,
and professional manner.
IV. SUMMER OPERATIONS
A. There shall be no scheduled meetings of the Academic Senate from the
end of the Spring Semester to the beginning of the Fall Semester.
B. The Academic President or Vice President shall inform the Academic
Senate Executive Board about all academic and
professional matters that arise during, or must be addressed in the
course of the summer. The President and Vice-President will receive
release time for this duty. A meeting of the Executive Board may be
called by any of its members to consider such issues. A summary of any
such meetings called will be made available to all Academic Senators by
V. RESOLUTION GUIDELINES
A. Academic Senate resolutions are designed to recommend policy or action
to the Board of Trustees, the Superintendent/President of the College,
the Academic Senate, and/or Faculty.
B. Resolutions may be drafted in committee or by individual Senators.
C. Resolutions should be submitted for a first reading and then designated
as “action item” at a following Academic Senate meeting.
D. Resolutions must be made available three days prior to the general
Academic Senate meeting by email.
E. A Resolution which contradicts a motion or resolution already passed by
the Academic Senate during the same meeting is out of order.
F. If a motion or resolution contradicts a motion or resolution passed at a
previous meeting the latter motion or resolution shall take precedence.
G. Discussions, debate, and voting shall be conducted according to Robert’s
Rules of Order, Revised.
H. Discussion on Resolutions or any amendments to Resolutions shall have
a pre-set time.
I. The Academic Senate President may institute a pro/con style of debate.
When there is no speaker on the side to be heard next, debate on the
resolution is closed.
J. Any attendee at the Academic Senate meeting may engage in the debate;
however, only Academic Senators may vote on the resolution.
K. Approved Resolutions shall be forwarded to the
President/Superintendent and to the Board of Trustees and/or any
other appropriate parties by email within ten days.
L. Operating within the criteria of the Delegation of Authority passed by
the Board of Trustees, the Academic Senate will expect the Board of
Trustees to “primarily rely” upon the advice of the Academic Senate
or to reach “mutual agreement” with the Academic Senate before
deciding the issue.
M. Resolutions which the Superintendent/President does not forward to the
Board of Trustees must be addressed by email to the Academic Senate.
COS Constitution revision 1/19/11