This guideline/procedure details the processes to be followed to ensure that the Austin Community College District’s (“ACC” or “the College”) system of shared governance yields a climate of collaboration, communication, and access to information among ACC faculty, staff, and students.
All councils, standing committees, and ad hoc committees will have a written function statement, membership list (including terms of appointments), and contact information posted on the website Shared Governance at ACC.
Chairs of all councils and committees listed on the Shared Governance Councils & Committees website are to post provisional minutes of meetings within 10 days of the meeting date, and must post final, approved minutes within 10 days of the committee’s next meeting. Minutes will be posted on the shared governance website or on individual sites. (Suggested templates provided under Resources below.)
Chairs of the Academic and Student Affairs Council (ASAC), Administrative Services Council (ASC), and Shared Governance Review Council (SGRC) will share proposed changes to existing administrative rules and new administrative rules for input directly to the ACC community prior to a final vote.
All councils, standing committees, and ad hoc committees will schedule regular recurring meetings for the entire academic year and post the details by the start of each academic year. No meeting should conflict with another shared governance council or committee meeting. Meetings shall be scheduled using the Shared Governance Meeting Schedule Google calendar. Each event should list all members, so that members are notified of scheduled meetings automatically.
A new committee is created when it is determined that some sphere of responsibility needs the attention of a representative, recommending body and that there is no currently constituted body to which the responsibility can appropriately be assigned. Any member of the ACC community may recommend the creation of a new committee, if they believe that some sphere of responsibility needs to be represented within the shared governance structure. Employees should first consult with their supervisor, then make the recommendation in writing to the SGRC. It is recommended that the ASC or ASAC be informed, as appropriate, and provided the opportunity for input prior to the request. The SGRC may be consulted to determine which council is the appropriate place for the proposed committee. The SGRC will decide whether the committee should be formed and what its exact function and membership will be. In making this decision, the SGRC may solicit further input from relevant council(s) or committee(s).
The proposal for creating a new committee must include the following information:
- A general description of need for the committee including whether it will be a standing committee (permanent) or an ad hoc committee (temporary)
- A specific description of the function(s) of the committee
- Identification of the council to which the committee will forward its recommendations
- A draft of a work plan for the first year
- Suggested membership of the committee
- Ex officio members (i.e., people who serve because, and so long as, they fill a specified position at ACC, e.g., VC, Student Affairs, AVC, Workforce Transfer, etc.)
- Representatives of job functions (e.g., deans, campus managers, lab assistants, etc.) and college offices (e.g., Distance Learning, Campus Police, etc.)
- Representatives of ACC constituencies (e.g., Classified Employee Association, Student Government Association, etc.)
When a new committee is formed, the necessary components for a new committee webpage on the ACC Shared Governance website are:
- Committee functions
- Recipient of committee recommendations
- FY meeting schedule
- Meeting/agendas link
- Chair/Co-Chair information
- Membership roster
Note: The rules above do not apply when a committee creates a workgroup from a subset of its membership to address a specific issue that is under consideration.
To ensure that the efforts of each committee are worthwhile and contribute to the mission of the College, each committee will evaluate itself at the beginning of each fiscal year, report its evaluation to the council to which it makes recommendations, and be reviewed by that council. These evaluations will include a review of the functions of the committee, an assessment of whether the activities of the committee have been appropriately directed to its functions, and an assessment of whether the membership of the committee is appropriate for its functions. On the basis of these evaluations, recommendations may be forwarded to the SGRC for review and recommendations of the modification or dissolution of a committee in the late spring to the Chancellor. Councils will engage in a similar self-evaluation and make a report to the Chancellor. Workgroups will not self-evaluate. All authority over modification or dissolution of workgroups rests with the parent committee.
Proposals to the SGRC for modifying an existing committee must include the following information:
- “Red lined” Word or Pdf document showing proposed changes to the function, structure, membership.
- Documentation that the proposed changes were approved by the ASAC or ASC, as appropriate, prior to referral to the SGRC.
The SGRC Chair sends an email in September to the Presidents of the four employee associations, the Student Government Association (SGA), and to the chairs of all ACC councils and committees, requesting recommendations with respect to the structure, functions, and membership of councils and committees at ACC. All responses to this solicitation are to be submitted to [email protected] by the following February.
It is the responsibility of council and committee chairs/co-chairs to:
- Establish an annual calendar of meetings.
- Hold meetings at an ACC facility or virtually to the extent compatible with other institutional interests.
- Solicit agenda input from council/committee members at least 10 (ten) working days before each meeting.
- Distribute a proposed agenda at least 5 (five) working days before each meeting. A chair is not required to include all proposed items within the proposed agenda but must explain omissions in advance to the requestor.
- Begin each meeting by calling for a vote to approve the agenda, permitting modification of the agenda by amendment during that process.
- Keep meetings focused on the agenda and encourage participation.
- Permit a vote only when a quorum (i.e., a majority of the currently appointed members) is present.
- Conduct electronic voting only in accord with the approved procedure (see below).
- Record attendance at meetings and share attendance records once per semester with appointing personnel so they may make decisions about continued membership or removal.
- Orient new members to the council or committee and its functions.
- Process compensation for participation in shared governance.
- The Google calendar event for each meeting will have remote joining information available to ensure that meetings can be attended by guests.
- If the committee chair thinks that a meeting will address issues or include the presentation of materials that are not appropriate for virtual attendance, the chair will communicate this for a vote to the council or committee at least five working days in advance. If the majority agree, the “in person” attendance will be required.
- If an attending member loses the technological link, that member will cease to contribute to the quorum until the connection resumes, but this will not prevent the meeting continuing in their absence. Voting on agenda items will continue, unless it has become inquorate.
- When a meeting is taking place virtually, every reasonable effort will be made to ensure access for all attendees.
- Participants will be given electronic access to all documents included in the meeting and are expected to have accessed the meeting papers prior to the meeting in order to participate in effective governance.
- When shared governance meetings are to be held face to face, but with optional virtual attendance, the council or committee chairs will ensure the meeting room has suitable cameras, computer, phone, and internet connection arranged prior to the meeting, and the committee member attending virtually will ensure that they have suitable technology and bandwidth.
- An electronic vote is appropriate only when a matter has already been substantially addressed by the council or committee but some minor issue (e.g., the completion of minor revisions or the distribution of a piece of information) needs to be addressed prior to the vote or when, in the judgment of the chair, the interests of ACC will be damaged if the matter has to wait until the next scheduled meeting.
- The call for an electronic vote must be made on an email group/mailing list that includes all members of the council or committee or by an email for which the distribution list includes all members of the council or committee. In all cases, the communication medium employed must be one that reaches all members of the council or committee and one that facilitates making responses that are automatically distributed to all members of the council or committee.
- At the discretion of the chair, the voting may commence immediately, or only after some designated period set aside for discussion.
- Council or committee members may vote only through replies that are distributed to all members of the council or committee.
- Once a majority of the council or committee has voted, the vote will remain open for an additional 24 hours, at which time the decision of the majority shall count as the decision of the council or committee, except that at whatever time a majority of the council or committee registers votes on the same side, that immediately becomes the decision of the council or committee.
Compensation for Participation in Shared Governance
- Any student or non-full-time staffing table member of the adjunct faculty who serves as an official representative of the Student Government Association (SGA) or the Adjunct Faculty Association (AFA) on a council, committee, or sanctioned workgroup formed by a council or committee listed on the shared governance website shall be compensated for time spent attending scheduled meetings.
- A set hourly amount shall be paid to any non-full-time staffing table member of the adjunct faculty who participates as either an official voting or non-voting member of a departmental governing body.
- The amount of the supplemental pay will be set during the annual operating budget planning process and will be announced by the Chancellor.
- Supplemental pay will be processed as noted below:
- Fall – end of December
- Spring – end of May
- Summer – mid-August
- Committee/council chairs are responsible for reporting the attendance of adjunct faculty and ensuring that adjunct faculty are paid for their service.
- Committee/council chairs are responsible for reporting the attendance of SGA members to the SGA Manager.
- Department chairs are responsible for requesting supplemental pay for adjunct faculty through the Manage Period Activity Pay process in Workday for departmental governing body meetings.