Constitution and By-Laws

College Shared Governance System, Orange County Community College
Revised October 2015

 

Purpose Statement: The purpose of the College Shared Governance System is to allow its constituencies at the College to participate in its decision-making processes. The College Shared Governance System is committed to a collegial approach to creative and judicious decision-making in meeting our shared responsibilities to our students.

Rationale for Shared Governance at Orange County Community College:
The faculty, staff, administration, and Board of Trustees of Orange County Community College believe that the institution will best achieve its declared mission and goals when the college community draws upon its knowledge, collective experience, and creative powers in an on-going cooperative effort to develop college policies and programs.

College Shared Governance System Definitions:

COLLEGE SHARED GOVERNANCE SYSTEM: The principal instrument through which the College’s responsibility to its faculty, staff, and students and administration is mutually shared and fulfilled.

ASSEMBLY: The principal agency through which the faculty, staff and administration participate in the governance of Orange County Community College.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: The unit responsible for the organization of governance business and functions. The officers of this body are the Governance President and the Governance Vice President.

STANDING COMMITTEES: Committees with long-term duties and responsibilities.

AD-HOC COMMITTEES: Committees with short-term duties and responsibilities established by the Executive Committee for a specific purpose.

EX-OFFICIO COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Members of the College or local community who are invited to participate in meetings of standing and/or ad-hoc committees as non-voting members who can offer insight or perspective to the committee’s work.

REGULAR FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE: Any full-time employee whose compensation comes from the annual operating budget of the College.

ACADEMIC DIVISIONS: The multidisciplinary grouping of faculty according to the organizational structure of Academic Affairs. The three Academic Divisions include: 1) Liberal Arts, 2) Business, Math, Sciences, and Technology, 3) Health Professions.

FACULTY: The full-time faculty of the college who are associated with one of the Academic Divisions. For governance purposes, this includes the chairs, assistant chairs, and coordinators who perform credit-bearing teaching and who are associated with a specific academic department. This Governance designation must not be confused with any bargaining unit designation.

PROFESSIONAL STAFF: The full-time personnel who serve as technical assistants, technicians, coordinators, department heads, assistant department heads, directors, librarians, retention specialists, counselors, health office personnel or in other capacities within the organizational structure of the College, not included in faculty, support staff, or upper-level administration. This Governance designation must not be confused with any bargaining unit designation.

SUPPORT STAFF: The full-time staff of the college not included in professional staff or upper level administration. This Governance designation must not be confused with any bargaining unit designation.

ADMINISTRATION: Administration refers to the College President and upper-level administrators, e.g. Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents (AVPs).

QUORUM: The minimum attendance required for the Assembly or a governance committee to conduct official business. For Assembly, quorum shall consist of 33% of its membership in attendance. For a governance committee, a majority of voting members present will constitute a quorum.

FACULTY COUNCIL OF COMMUNITY COLLEGES (FCCC) DELEGATE: Faculty member who is elected by the Assembly to represent Orange County Community College to the Faculty Council of Community Colleges. This position reports to the College President. The responsibilities of this position are defined by the FCCC.

FACULTY COUNCIL OF COMMUNITY COLLEGES (FCCC) ALTERNATE DELEGATE: Faculty member who is elected by the Assembly to support the FCCC delegate and assume that role in the event the FCCC delegate is unable to perform his/her duties. The responsibilities of this position are defined by the FCCC.

 

ARTICLE I. NAME

The name of this organization shall be the College Shared Governance System of Orange County Community College.

ARTICLE II. FUNCTIONS & OBJECTIVES

A. The functions of the College Shared Governance System are to:

  1. provide a means by which the membership may participate in decision-making processes and in the formation of policies and procedures for the College;
  2. provide a collegial environment through which institutional concerns can be raised, discussed and resolved; and;
  3. support the judicious operation of the decision-making process.

B. The objectives of the College Shared Governance System are to:

  1. recommend policies and procedures and offer advisory opinions to the President and administration of the College concerning teaching, learning, and the work environment; this includes, but is not limited to, academic policies and standards, curriculum, staff development, planning & resource allocation, institutional research & assessment, building and grounds, academic technology, sustainability, student affairs, and recruitment and retention in accordance with the regulations of the State University of New York and the Board of Trustees of the College;
  2. initiate any action that would: enhance the professional interests of its members and the general welfare of the College; and improve access to and quality of College services for its faculty, staff and students in accordance with the policies and regulations of the Board of Trustees of the college; and;
  3. provide a forum to ensure the opportunity for the exchange of ideas among members of the organization.

ARTICLE III. ASSEMBLY

The Assembly shall consist of the College President, all regular full-time employees of the academic, professional, and administrative staff, and regular full-time support staff employees who are serving on a governance standing committee.

A. Assembly Membership

The Assembly shall consist of the College President, all regular full-time employees of the academic, professional, and administrative staff, and regular full-time support staff employees who are serving on a governance standing committee.

B. The Right to Vote at Assembly

The right to vote at Assembly meetings shall extend to all members of Assembly as defined in Article III. A. above, except the College President.

C. Presiding Officer at Assembly

The presiding officer at all meetings of the Assembly shall be the Governance President or, in his/her absence, the Governance Vice President or another Executive Committee designee.

D. Assembly Procedures

  1. Quorum. For Assembly, quorum will consist of 33% of its membership.
  2. Voting Procedure. Voting at Assembly shall be conducted by signed ballot, and can be administered either via paper or by a secure electronic voting system.
  3. Minutes. The recording of the minutes at Assembly meetings shall be the responsibility of the Governance Vice President or his/her designee. Approved copies of these minutes shall be posted electronically.
  4. Order of Business at Regular Meetings. The order of business at regular meetings of the Assembly shall include, but not be limited to: (1) Call to Order, (2) College President’s Report (3) Executive Committee Report, (4) Open Forum, and (5) Adjournment
  5. Agenda of Regular Meetings. The agenda for regular meetings shall be prepared by the Executive Committee and circulated to all members of the Assembly at least one week prior to the date of the meeting. However, a matter must be included on the agenda of any regular Assembly meeting if a petition signed by ten percent of the members of the voting Assembly is presented to the Governance President or to the College President at any time prior to the next scheduled Assembly meeting.
  6. Parliamentary Authority.The most recent edition of Roberts’ Rules of Order shall be the parliamentary authority at all meetings. Any parliamentary law or authority defined within these Constitution & By-Laws supersedes Roberts’ Rules of Order. The Governance President will select a parliamentarian at the beginning of each academic year, and that individual will provide guidance related to parliamentary procedure at each Assembly meeting.
  7. Resolutions from Assembly. Resolutions arising from the Assembly shall be sent to the College President or his/her designee, who shall acknowledge receipt of the resolution within one week. A response to the resolution shall be delivered to the Governance President within 30 days, and shared with the Assembly at their next regular meeting. This written statement will include plans for implementation of the recommendations or rationale for any alterations to the recommendations. In the event that a resolution passed by the Assembly is rejected by the College President or his/her designee, these officers shall return the proposal to the Governance President with a written explanation of the reasons for their lack of support. Upon approval of the Assembly, the resolution may be sent directly to the Board of Trustees but must include the comments of the College President or his/her designee, along with the Assembly’s written defense of the resolution.

E. Special Meetings of Assembly

Special meetings shall be held at the discretion of the Executive Committee, at the request of the College President, or by petition of twenty-five percent of the Assembly (calculated from the number of members at the time of the most recent Assembly meeting). The order of business at special meetings shall be per the agenda provided by the individual or group calling the meeting and approved by the Executive Committee of the College Shared Governance System..

 

Article IV. Committees

A. Committees’ responsibilities: It is the responsibility of each committee to fulfill its charge to the best of its ability. Shared Governance Committees, both Standing and Ad-Hoc, shall not act independently of the College Shared Governance System. Actions taken shall be those of the committee as a whole, representing a consensus, and when a consensus cannot be reached, by majority vote. Minority reports and recommendations may be submitted to the Executive Committee by dissenting committee members.

B. Quorum and Right to vote: A majority of the committee’s voting membership shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business of the committee. Ex-officio members and volunteer members are non-voting members on their committees.

C. Each academic division is to be represented on all committees where possible.

D. When committee meetings conflict, the attendance priority of members should be, in order, first to last: Assembly, standing committees, ad-hoc committees.

E. Types of Committees

1. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

I. Functions: The Executive Committee of the College Shared Governance System shall provide a forum for dialogue on issues of importance to the Assembly and propose the formation of or the dissolution of Standing Committees to the Assembly. This group will organize elections for representation on Standing Committees and Executive Committee, including the Governance President, the Governance Vice President, the FCCC delegate, and the FCCC alternate delegate. It will also determine the membership of new committees, both in number and in composition, whether they be standing or ad-hoc, and form, charge and determine the life of Ad-Hoc Committees of the Governance System as may be needed. The Executive Committee will examine the work of the various committees, preventing the duplication of effort and ensuring the carrying out of committee charges. Its membership will also assist in the preparation of the agenda for Assembly meetings, determine whether proposals or reports are in proper form for distribution or presentation, determine and enforce proper routing procedure of all proposals intended for action, ascertain the highest level of approval required for all proposals, distribute copies of reports or proposals that have been approved, and record and file such proposals or reports. The Executive Committee has the right to request ex-officio members from the College at large and/or the local community.

II. Membership: The Executive Committee shall consist of fourteen members, which includes, as ex officio members, the College President and the FCCC Delegate:

a.A Governance President and Governance Vice-President are both elected “at large” by the Assembly from a list of full-time faculty and professional staff candidates put forward by a nominating committee named by the Executive Committee.

i. The Governance President shall preside at all meetings of Executive Committee and at all meetings of the Assembly. He/she will appoint the Parliamentarian of the Assembly and shall exercise such powers and duties as may be vested in him/her by the Constitution and By-Laws of the College Shared Governance System. In addition, he/she will serve as a member of the College President’s Cabinet, on the Academic Affairs Leadership Team, and other appropriate administrative meetings if requested/required. The Governance President will serve as the Governance liaison with the Board of Trustees, subject to the By-Laws of the Board, and make regular reports to the Board of Trustees. The Governance President will be given a redefined load in order to manage shared governance activities and be given secretarial assistance by the College President’s Office upon request. A detailed list of the duties of the Governance President is listed in the EC Procedures Manual.

ii. The Governance Vice President shall assist the Governance President in fulfilling the charge of Executive Committee. He/she will serve as Governance President during the President’s absence or inability to act, and record the minutes at each Assembly meeting. The Vice President shall be given a redefined load in order to manage shared governance activities. A detailed list of the duties of the Governance Vice President is listed in the EC Procedures Manual.

b. Two representatives elected by each academic division

c. One representative elected by professional staff

d. One representative elected by support staff

e. One representative elected by each of the Student Senates (Middletown and Newburgh).

III. Right to vote: Each member of the Executive Committee, except the College President and the FCCC Delegate, is entitled to one vote.

IV. Terms of office: Members of Executive Committee, including the Governance President and Governance Vice President, shall serve for terms of three years. All members shall be elected by April 30th and begin their terms by June 1st of that year.

V. Re-election:Members of the Executive Committee shall not serve more than two consecutive full terms in any one position on Executive Committee.

VI. Vacancies: In the case of a vacancy or in the event that a representative is to be on a leave of absence for more than one semester, the body that this individual represents will hold an election to replace the individual for the requested time frame or to fulfill the unexpired term in the same manner as the original election. For a leave of one semester, the Executive Committee will appoint a replacement.

VII. Responsibility to Other Committees: Representation on committees is the responsibility of Executive Committee, who will hold elections for standing committees and who will appoint representatives to ad-hoc committees. Executive Committee will announce the formation and purpose of new committees and invite interested faculty and staff to serve. Executive Committee will provide an information session for committee chairs at the beginning of each fall semester and assign Executive Committee members as liasons to each standing committee.

2. STANDING COMMITTEES

I. The recommendation for the creation, establishing of charges, and dissolution of standing committees shall be made by Executive Committee to the Assembly.

II. Membership of standing committees must include equitable representation from each academic division, as well as appropriate representation by professional staff, support staff, and students. Students may serve as members of all committees except the Scholarship Committee and Faculty/Staff Development Committee. Adjuncts may serve on Professional Recognition and Awards Committee as temporary voting members as necessary for specific award processes. Terms are for three years unless otherwise stipulated, with a limit of two consecutive terms. Committee members may serve on no more than two standing committees in any given academic year, unless Executive Committee approves the exception. In the case of a vacancy or in the event that a representative is to be on a leave of absence for more than one semester, the body that this individual represents will hold an election to replace the individual for the requested time frame or to fulfill the unexpired term in the same manner as the original election. For a leave of one semester, Executive Committee will appoint a replacement.

III. The standing committees are to elect chairs from among their voting members each academic year. In the event that a new standing committee is formed or in the event that a chair is not elected in the previous year or cannot fulfill his/her duties, the Executive Committee will designate an individual to convene a committee’s first organizational meeting at which the first order of business will be the election of a chairperson (if a quorum exists) or establishing the first meeting time at which a quorum must be present to elect a chair and review the committee’s charge. Committee members may chair only one standing committee in any given academic year.

a. Responsibilities of the Chair:It is the responsibility of the Committee Chair to make every effort to establish convenient meeting times for all members to promote maximum attendance at all meetings, with priority given to voting membership attendance. If a scheduling conflict prevents a member’s attendance on a regular basis, the chair should report such to the Executive Committee so that alternate representation may be sought or appointed by Executive Committee in accordance with Article IV.2.II. The chair shall also set the agenda for meetings, facilitate discussion, and conduct votes, where necessary, at meetings. He/she will arrange for the minutes of the meeting to be taken and is responsible for posting those minutes electronically. The chair will also forward a final report to Executive Committee by Commencement of each academic year. This final report shall summarize the committee’s activities and goal achievement for the year and list the goals of the committee for the next academic year. This final report will be distributed to the Assembly membership by Executive Committee and the Governance President will post the reports electronically.

IV. Members of standing committees are to operate under the guidelines established in their Policies and Procedures manual. If such a manual does not exist, or is outdated, the committee should seek to clarify operating procedures in writing to Executive Committee.

V. Proposals for amending committee charges must be sent in writing to Executive Committee, which is responsible for the charges to standing committees.

VI.Executive Committee will review reports and recommendations of the standing committees and will determine the level at which final action is needed, unless otherwise stipulated by these By-Laws. Executive Committee will then forward its recommendations to the College President for action as outlined in (VII) below. Reports and recommendations of the Academic Policy Committee will be brought to Assembly for approval prior to being sent to the College President..

VII.The College President or his/her designee shall respond to Executive Committee in writing within 30 days of receiving committee recommendations. This written statement will include plans for implementation of the recommendations or rationale for any alterations to the recommendations. Executive Committee will then communicate this response to the chair of the appropriate Standing Committee. In the event that a recommendation is rejected by the College President or his/her designee, these officers shall return the proposal to the Governance President with a written explanation of their lack of support. If the Governance President and Standing Committee Chair feel it is appropriate, and upon approval by the Assembly, the recommendation may be sent directly to the Board of Trustees but must include the comments of the College President or his/her designee, along with the Assembly’s written defense of the recommendation.

VIII. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will review reports and recommendations of the Curriculum Committee and will report his/her approval or disapproval of Curriculum Committee recommendations to the College Assembly before forwarding such recommendations to the College President.

IX. To ensure adequate representation of the various constituencies, members of Standing Committees who regularly miss committee meetings may be replaced by a vote of the constituency which they represent.

3. AD-HOC COMMITTEES

I. The chair of an ad-hoc committee, the number of ad-hoc committees, charges of ad-hoc committees, and the life of each ad-hoc committee are to be determined by the Executive Committee.

II. All proposals for the formation of ad-hoc committees, including committees proposed by the Administration, must be submitted to the President of Shared Governance in writing. No special format is necessary for the written request.

III. Proposal authors may be invited to attend Executive Committee meetings when their request for action is being discussed or if clarification seems necessary.

IV. The chairperson of each ad-hoc committee is responsible for forwarding a final report to the Executive Committee by the date specified in the charge to the committee, unless an extension has been granted. This final report should respond to each item in the committee’s charge, list the committee’s activities for the year, and list the recommendations of the committee.

V. Copies of the minutes of the meetings of ad-hoc committees will be forwarded to the Governance President and posted electronically.

VI. The Executive Committee will review reports and recommendations of the ad-hoc committees and will recommend the level at which action shall occur. If the Executive Committee decides to bring the recommendations to the Assembly for discussion, actual voting on the recommendations will not be scheduled until the subsequent Assembly meeting. When action is needed beyond the Assembly, the Executive Committee shall send a resolution to the College President.

VII. The College President or his/her designee shall respond to the Executive Committee in writing within 30 days of receiving committee recommendations. This written statement will include plans for implementation of the recommendations or rationale for any alterations to the recommendations. Executive Committee will then communicate this response to the chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee. In the event that a proposal passed by the Assembly is rejected by the College President or his/her designee, these officers shall return the proposal to the Governance President with a written explanation of the reasons for returning the proposal. Upon approval of the Assembly, the proposal may be sent directly to the Board of Trustees but must include the comments of the College President or his/her designee, along with the Assembly’s written defense of the proposal.

ARTICLE V. Enacting Statement

These By-Laws shall become effective upon approval of a majority of those officially attending an Assembly meeting and after approval of the President and Board of Trustees of Orange County Community College.

Article VI: Amendments

These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the College Assembly provided that a copy of the proposed amendment has been circulated in writing to all members of the voting Assembly at least two weeks in advance of the meeting in which the amendment is to be discussed. It must be brought to the floor at the next meeting and approved by two-thirds of those in attendance.

ARTICLE VII. Personnel Policies

All matters concerning wages, hours, and working conditions, as defined by the Taylor Law, shall be forwarded to the Staff and Chair Association of Orange County Community College and/or the SUNY Orange Faculty Association. All matters covered by the Agreement between the Civil Service Employees and the Board of Trustees shall be forwarded to the Civil Service Employees Association as prescribed by Taylor Law.

ARTICLE VIII. Statement on Academic Freedom

As a governing body of Orange County Community College, the College Shared Governance System operates under and protects the faculty right to academic freedom and participation in shared governance as outlined by the FCCC Position Statement on Academic Freedom and the Policy Statements on Academic Freedom from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

Article IX. – Parliamentary Authority

The most recent edition of Roberts’ Rules of Order shall be the parliamentary authority for all governance meetings. Any parliamentary law or authority defined within these Constitution & By-Laws supersedes Roberts’ Rules of Order.

Approved by College Assembly on 10/26/15.