Southwestern College

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The name of this representative body shall be the Southwestern College Academic Senate.


The purpose of the Academic Senate shall be:

1.   To provide a representative democratic means for the faculty to make recommendations which are aimed at furthering the educational goals and fulfilling the mission of Southwestern College.

2.   To implement the philosophy that the members of the Academic Senate have the right and responsibility to participate in the formation of College and District policies.

3.   To provide a means of communication and representation on academic and professional matters among the faculty, student body, administration and the Governing Board.

4.   To cooperate with the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and other organizations involved with community college education and professional matters directly affecting faculty.

5.   To improve the status of community college education in California.

6.   To act as a liaison with the other post-secondary segments of higher education in California for purposes of articulation.


In accordance with Education Code Title 5, Section 532 (a), full-time certificated persons who are not designated as Management by the college administration shall be members of the Southwestern College Academic Senate. Insofar as the duties and responsibilities of adjunct faculty are proportionally similar to those of full-time faculty, and that the Academic Senate is recognized as the representative of all faculty to the Board, the Senate recognizes its responsibility to encourage and solicit membership of adjunct faculty.


A.   The Southwestern College Academic Senate shall consist of:

1.     The four elected officers, the immediate Past-President of the Senate, the Academic Senate Delegate to the State Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, additional Senators-at-Large and any ex-officio Senators as designated in the Senate Rules.

2.     Not less than one Senator elected from and by each instructional area of the College according to compatible discipline (areas of study) interests established in the Senate Rules and/or Elections Code.

B.   All Senators who represent discipline areas shall be full-time faculty members with not less than one year's previous employment at Southwestern College.

C.   Adjunct Faculty members shall be represented in the Senate as established in Senate Rules.

D.  Elected Senators shall serve for a term of three years. The terms shall be arranged so that only one third of the Senators are elected annually. Senators shall be eligible for re-election.


There shall be a President, President Elect, Vice President, Immediate Past President and a Secretary. Officers shall be faculty who meet the qualifications for membership and with at least three years full-time employment at Southwestern College and shall be elected according to the procedures as set forth in the Senate Rules and Education Code. The officers shall comprise the Academic Senate's Executive Committee. The duties of officers shall be specified in the Senate Rules.


A.   There shall be at least one regular meeting of the Academic Senate each month of the Fall and Spring semesters.

B.   The Academic Senate President shall call a special meeting within ten days after a request originating from (1) any four senators, (2) any ten members of the faculty, or (3) the President of the College. Written notice of a special meeting shall be given to all Senators at least three college days in advance of the meeting.


A quorum of the Academic Senate shall consist of one third of the Senators. If a Senator is unable to attend a meeting, s/he may be represented by proxy by an alternate representative from the same instructional area. Selection of alternate will be made as designated in the Senate Rules or Election Code. In no case may any Senator hold more than one vote on any matter.


Procedures for the operation of the Academic Senate shall be determined by the Academic Senate subject to the following:

A.   Items for consideration and appropriate action shall be determined from those presented by Senators or in writing from any faculty member. The Academic Senate has the prerogative to invite any resource persons to participate in any of its meetings.

B.   While the Academic Senate has direct access to the Governing Board, recommendations should initially be made to the President of the College or the cognizant Vice-President prior to the formal submission of any report or recommendation to the College Governing Board.

C.   The Senate shall endeavor to disseminate its actions as widely as possible. In addition to the published minutes, there shall be written communications between those groups and individuals involved in Academic Senate action, especially in regard to matters brought to the attention of the President.

D.  Since the Academic Senate represents the faculty at Southwestern College, all Academic Senate actions shall be published in the minutes. These actions are considered to have faculty approval unless a petition bearing the signatures of at least twenty percent of the faculty is presented to the Academic Senate President within ten college days of the publication of the minutes. Within ten college days after receipt of such a petition the President shall hold a meeting of the faculty. At this meeting, the faculty shall vote approval or disapproval of the action taken by the Academic Senators. A vote of approval by a simple majority of those present and voting shall indicate faculty approval of the Academic Senate action questioned in the petition.


This Constitution may be amended in the following ways:

A.   An amendment may be proposed in writing to the Senate by the Executive Committee or by a member of the Senate. If accorded a favorable vote, the proposed amendment shall be submitted for approval at a special faculty meeting or by a poll conducted by the Committee on Elections according to the Election Code.

B.   An amendment may be proposed by a petition to the Executive Committee signed by twenty-five percent (25%) of the tenured full-time faculty. The Executive Committee shall submit the proposed amendment to the membership as in (A) above.

C.   An Amendment may be proposed at any Academic Senate meeting. If approved by a majority vote, it shall be submitted to the faculty by poll according to the Election Code.

D.  A two-thirds majority of the balloted votes cast shall be required for adoption of a constitutional amendment, and the amendment shall become effective upon such adoption, unless otherwise provided.


The Academic Senate shall have Standing Committees as set forth in the Senate Rules. Senate Standing Committees shall be chaired by a Senator. Senators shall serve on College Standing Committees as set forth in the Senate Rules.

Methods for selecting members of these committees together with their duties shall be set forth in the Senate Rules.

The Academic Senate president shall appoint all Senate ad-hoc committees. Such a committee shall be terminated at the time of the presentation and acceptance of the committee report unless the Academic Senate President requests its continuance.


A.   The Senate shall be responsible for constructing its own rules of operating procedure, which shall be known as the Senate Rules, and which shall have the status of By-Laws of the constitution. Permanent changes in the Senate Rules may be made by a majority vote of those Senators present, providing the changes have been proposed at a previous meeting of the Senate.

B.   There shall be an Election Code governing all details of nominations, elections, and opinion polls for which the Committee Elections is responsible and a Committee Code governing the formation, operation, and dissolution of all Senate committees. These Codes shall be appended as Addenda to the Senate Rules.


All prior Constitutions and Amendments thereto are hereby revoked and shall become null and void immediately upon adoption of the Constitution.

APPROVED 12/8/87


Last updated: 1/10/2014 10:24:23 AM