Constitution and By-Laws

COLLEGE GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Revised April 2013 [revision/amendment dates noted in italics]

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. [Amended 04/15/13]

COLLEGE GOVERNANCE SYSTEM DEFINITIONS:

COLLEGE GOVERNANCE SYSTEM: The principal instrument through which shared responsibilities of faculty, staff, students and administration are fulfilled. [Added 04/15/13]

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. [Amended 04/15/13]

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.

REGULAR FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE: Any employee whose compensation comes from the annual operating budget of the College. [Added 04/15/13]

ARTICLE I. NAME

The name of this organization shall be the COLLEGE GOVERNANCE SYSTEM of Orange County Community College.

ARTICLE II. FUNCTIONS & OBJECTIVES

A.) This organization will:

  • provide a means by which the membership may participate in the formation of policies and procedures for the College;
  • provide a collegial environment through which institutional concerns can be raised, discussed and resolved;
  • promote interdisciplinary understanding of College policy, and;
  • support the judicious operation of the policy-making process.

B.) The objectives of this organization are to:

  • 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, academic technology, buildings and grounds, 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;
  • 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;
  • provide a forum to ensure the opportunity for the exchange of ideas among members of the organization.

[Amended 04/15/13]

ARTICLE III. 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. [Amended 04/15/13]

ARTICLE IV. 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., except the College President. [Amended 04/15/13]

ARTICLE V. PRESIDING OFFICER AT ASSEMBLY

The presiding officer at all meetings of the ASSEMBLY shall be the President of the College Governance System or in his/her absence, the Vice President of the College Governance System or another Executive Committee designee. [Amended 04/15/13]

ARTICLE IV. ASSEMBLY MEETINGS

The COLLEGE ASSEMBLY shall meet monthly or as needed during the academic year. Meetings will be scheduled with at least one week advance notice. Attendance by members of the ASSEMBLY is a matter of professional responsibility.

ARTICLE VII. SPECIAL MEETINGS

Special meetings shall be held at the initiative of the Executive Committee of the College Governance System or at the request of the College President or by petition of twenty-five percent of the ASSEMBLY.

ARTICLE VIII. ACADEMIC DIVISION, PROFESSIONAL STAFF GROUP, AND SUPPORT STAFF GROUP MEETINGS:

As a matter of practice, governance issues will be included as a standing agenda item for academic division meetings in order for representatives to report on standing committee activities, solicit input, and enhance communication. Governance must be included on the agenda twice during the academic year: 1) for the fall semester’s first meeting to introduce committee members, discuss committee responsibilities, gather agenda items and address any other items of concern that come before the group; 2) for a spring semester meeting for the purpose of electing members to standing committees for the following academic year. Academic division representatives on Executive Committee or standing committees should contact the appropriate academic division head to request inclusion on the agenda for other governance business. Professional and support staff groups will meet at least once per academic year for the purpose of elections and otherwise as needed. The professional staff and support staff Executive Committee representatives will call these meetings. [Amendment passed by Assembly on May 2004 and approved by President William Richards]

ARTICLE IX. ASSEMBLY PROCEDURES

  1. Quorum. 33% of the ASSEMBLY shall constitute a quorum. [Amended 05/15/12]
  2. Voting Procedure. Voting shall be by a show of hands, except that any voting member may require a closed, written ballot as a point of order. Unless otherwise mandated by Roberts’ Rules of Order, motions shall carry by a majority vote of those present voting aye or nay; if a two-thirds vote is required by Roberts’ Rules, then it shall be two-thirds of those voting aye or nay.
  3. Minutes. The recording of the minutes at ASSEMBLY meetings shall be the responsibility of the Vice President of the Governance System or his/her designee. Approved copies of these minutes shall be posted to the College webshare, and made available upon request. [Rev. approved in Assembly 4/23/08]
  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) reports of the President of the College, (3) reports of the Executive Committee, (4) reports of the College Governance Committees, (5) Open forum, and (6) adjournment.
  5. Order of Business at Special Meetings. The order of business at special meetings shall be per the agenda provided by the individual or group calling the meeting approved by the Executive Committee of the College Governance System.
  6. Agenda of Regular Meetings. The agenda for regular meetings shall be prepared by the Executive Committee and circulated to all members of the ASSEMBLY one week prior to the date of the meeting. However, a matter must be included on the agenda of any regular meeting if a petition signed by ten percent of the members of the voting ASSEMBLY is presented to the President of the Governance System or the President of the College at any time prior to the next scheduled meeting.
  7. Parliamentary Authority. The most recent edition of Roberts’ Rules of Order shall be the parliamentary authority at all meetings except where there be a conflict between them and these By-Laws, in which case these By-Laws shall prevail.

ARTICLE X. COMMITTEES

  1. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
    1. Functions: The Executive Committee of the College Governance System shall perform the following functions: provide a forum for dialogue on issues of importance to the ASSEMBLY; propose the formation of or the dissolution of Standing Committees to the ASSEMBLY; form, charge and determine the life of Ad-Hoc Committees of the Governance System as may be needed; examine the work of the various committees preventing the duplication of effort and ensuring the carrying out of committee charges; 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; record and file such proposals or reports.
    2. Membership: The Executive Committee shall consist of twelve members, which includes the President of the College ex officio,[amended 4/23/08] and:
      1. A President and Vice-President both elected “at large” from the full-time professional faculty and staff by the ASSEMBLY from a list put forward by a nominating committee named by the Executive Committee.
      2. Two representatives elected by each academic division [Amended May 2004]
      3. One representative elected by professional staff
      4. One representative elected by support staff
      5. One representative elected by the Student Senate.
    3. Right to vote: Each member of the Executive Committee, except the College President who serves ex officio, is entitled to one vote. [Amended 4/23/08]
    4. Terms of office: The elected representatives shall serve for terms of three years, beginning on June 1. Representatives shall be elected by April 30 for the following academic year.
    5. Re-election: Members of the Executive Committee shall not serve more than two consecutive full terms in any one position on Executive Committee. [amended 4/23/08]
    6. 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 appropriate body will hold another election to fill the unexpired term in the same manner as the original election. For a leave of one semester, the Executive Committee will appoint a replacement.
  2. OFFICERS
    1. President of the Governance System. The President of the Governance System shall preside at all meetings of the ASEMBLY and shall exercise such powers and duties as may be vested in him/her by the Constitution and By-Laws of the Governance System. The President of the Governance System may appoint an official Parliamentarian for ASSEMBLY meetings. The President of the Governance System shall serve as a liaison with the Board of Trustees, subject to the By-Laws of the Board, and shall make periodic reports to the Board. The President of the Governance System shall be given a redefined load per semester in order to manage college governance activities. Secretarial assistance shall be provided to the President of the Governance System.
    2. Vice President of the College Governance System. The Vice President shall serve as Governance President during the President’s absence or inability to act. The Vice President is responsible for the preparation of the minutes of the ASSEMBLY and shall be given a redefined load per semester appropriate to this responsibility.
  3. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES OF COMMITTEES:
    1. Committees’ responsibilities: It is the responsibility of each committee to fulfill its charge(s) to the best of its ability. Governance Committees shall not act independently of the College 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.
    2. 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. [Last sentence revised & approved by Assembly on Nov. 25, 2002]
    3. Committee Chairs: 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.
    4. Responsibilities of the Chair: It is the responsibility of the Committee Chair to: make every effort to establish meeting times when all duly elected or appointed members can attend; to notify the Executive Committee if scheduling conflicts occur whereby a duly elected or appointed member can not attend the meetings on a regular basis; to notify the Executive Committee when a duly elected or appointed member stops attending meetings on a regular basis; to set the agenda for meetings; to arrange for the minutes of the meeting to be taken; to forward copies of minutes to the President of Governance; to facilitate discussion and conduct votes where necessary; and to forward a final report to the Executive Committee.
    5. Replacement of Non-attending Members: To ensure adequate representation of the various College Groups, members of the Standing Committees who regularly miss committee meetings may be replaced by a vote of the group which they represent. [Amendment passed Oct. 29, 2001 and approved by President Preston Pulliams]
  4. STANDING COMMITTEES
    1. The recommendation for the creation, establishing of charges and dissolution of standing committees shall be made by the Executive Committee to the ASSEMBLY.
    2. Each academic division is to be represented. Professional staff, support staff, and students should be represented appropriately. Terms are for three years unless otherwise stipulated, with a limit of two consecutive terms from the 1998-99 academic year forward. The standing committees are to elect chairs each academic year. [Amendment passed May 2004 and approved by President William Richards] Committee members may serve on no more than two standing committees in any given academic year, unless the Executive Committee approves the exception. Standing committees are to elect chairs from among their voting members each academic year. Committee members may chair only one standing committee in any given academic year. [Amended 4/23/08].
    3. Members of standing committees are to operate under the guidelines established in their “Duties and Responsibilities” manual. If such a manual does not exist, or is outdated, the committee should seek to clarify operating procedures in writing to the Executive Committee.
    4. Proposals for amending committee charges must be sent in writing to the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the charges to standing committees. [Amended 4/23/08]
    5. Copies of the minutes of the meetings of standing committees shall be sent to the President of Governance. In addition, copies will be made available, upon request, to all members of the College ASSEMBLY.
    6. 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 President of the College.
    7. The Executive Committee will review the reports and recommendations of the Academic Policy Committee and will bring the recommendations of the Committee to ASSEMBLY for approval.
    8. The Chairperson of each standing committee is responsible for forwarding a final report to the Executive Committee by May 1 of each academic year. This final report should name the committee members, summarize the committee’s activities for the year, and list the recommendations of the committee. This final report will be distributed to the ASSEMBLY by the Executive Committee.
    9. The 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. The Executive Committee will then forward its recommendations to the President of the College for action as outlined in (10) below.
    10. The President or the President’s designated college administrator shall respond to the Executive Committee and the standing committee membership 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.
    11. Resolutions arising from the ASSEMBLY shall be sent to the President of the College or the President’s designated college administrator, who shall respond in writing as outlined in (10) above.
    12. In the event that a proposal passed by the ASSEMBLY is rejected by the College President or his/her designated authority, the proposal shall be returned to the President of the College Governance System with a written explanation of the reasons for returning the proposal. The College ASSEMBLY may vote to send a rejected proposal to the Board of Trustees but must include the comments of the President of the College, or his/her designated authority, along with the College ASSEMBLY’s written defense of the proposal.
  5. AD-HOC COMMITTEES
    1. Ad-Hoc Committees are short-term committees established by the Executive Committee for a specific purpose.
    2. The number of ad-hoc committees, charges of the ad-hoc committees, and the life of each committee are to be determined by the Executive Committee.
    3. All proposals for the formation of ad-hoc committees, including committees proposed by the administration, must be submitted to the President of the College Governance System in writing. No special format is necessary for the written request.
    4. Proposal authors may be invited to attend Executive Committee meetings when their requests for action are being discussed or if clarification seems necessary.
    5. 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.
    6. Copies of the minutes of the meetings of ad-hoc committees will be forwarded to the President of the College Governance System and will also be made available upon request to all members of the ASSEMBLY.
    7. 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.
    8. When action is needed beyond the ASSEMBLY, the Executive Committee shall send a resolution to the President of the College.
    9. The President or the President’s designated college administrator shall respond to the Executive Committee and the ad-hoc committee membership 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.
    10. In the event that a proposal passed by the ASSEMBLY is rejected by the President of the College or his/her designated authority, these officers shall return the proposal to the President of the College Governance System 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 President of the College, or his/her designated authority, along with the ASSEMBLY’s written defense of the proposal.
  6. COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
    1. Representation on committees is the responsibility of the Executive Committee, who will hold elections for standing committees and who will appoint representatives to the ad-hoc committees. Students may serve as members of all committees except the Scholarship Committee and Faculty/Staff Development Committee. The Executive Committee will announce the formation and purpose of new committees and invite interested faculty and staff to serve.
    2. The number of members on a new committee is to be determined by the Executive Committee.
    3. The Executive Committee has the right to request ex-officio members form the College at large.
    4. Each academic division is to be represented on all committees where possible. [Amendment passed May 2004 and approved by President William Richards]
    5. Committee chairs will seek 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 X.A.6. [Amended 4/23/08].
    6. When committee meetings conflict, the attendance priority of members should be in order, first to last: ASSEMBLY, standing committees, ad-hoc committees.
  7. PERSONNEL POLICIES
    1. All matters concerning wages, hours, and working conditions, as defined by the Taylor Law, shall be forwarded to the OCCC Staff and Chair Association and/or the OCCC Faculty Association.
    2. 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 XI: 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 XII: 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.

Revised April 2013

Revisions/amendments noted in italics and dated.