The Austin Community College District (“ACC” or “the College”) is committed to collaboration, communication, and access to information among its faculty, staff, and students.
ACC’s shared governance processes shall ensure:
- timely and appropriate dissemination of information;
- decision-making at the appropriate organizational level by the appropriate person or body within the College after solicitation of, and taking due account of, input from those with relevant expertise or information, including all stakeholders;
- decisions and their rationale are shared with those who provided input through ACC’s system of shared governance;
- representatives who serve on recommending bodies facilitate the accurate and timely flow of information between those they represent and the bodies on which they serve (in both directions);
- accountability at all levels and in all phases of decision-making process;
- ongoing review of decision-making processes;
- periodic recommendations concerning shared governance to college administrators and to the Board of Trustees.
College councils and committees serve as recommending bodies reflective of and accountable to relevant stakeholders. The primary function of those bodies is to make recommendations to administrators, who are accountable for their decision both through the administrative hierarchy and to stakeholders within the ACC community. For this reason, administrators must, in a timely manner:
- notify recommending bodies of actions to be taken concerning their recommendations provide the rationale for the action.
Recommending bodies shall seek broad participation of all relevant stakeholders with expertise in or who are affected by the issues under consideration. Representation on such bodies will be reviewed each year by the Shared Governance Review Council in light of this goal (see Monitoring Shared Governance).
Representatives from employee associations and other internal employee organizations will be appointed by the associations/organizations according to their internal guidelines. Representatives of functional roles in the College (e.g., deans, campus managers, department chairs, lab assistants, etc.), will be appointed according to a process established by the appropriate administrator. In this case, they are representing their department, not their employee association/organization.
Association and organization representatives have the responsibility to represent their constituencies’ interests and to communicate with their constituencies regarding their work on councils and committees. It is the responsibility of each association/organization to determine how its representatives will communicate with its membership. This communication plan should be shared by association/organization leadership to their council and committee appointees at the time of their appointments.
Chairs of councils and committees are generally appointed based on their position. Each academic year, chairs are appointed and co- or vice-chairs shall be elected by the members of the committee.
As the goal of councils and committees is to ensure diverse voices are heard and considered, they should be structured to ensure that there is a balance of members representing each stakeholder group. A group is said to be balanced when a majority of votes cannot be reached without coalitions between multiple stakeholder groups.
All shared governance meetings will include the option of virtual attendance. A voting mechanism that ensures transparency and accountability and is visible by members will be explained and employed during the virtual meeting.
Only the chair of a council or committee is authorized to call for an electronic vote and it will be held in accord with the guidelines associated with this Administrative Rule.
Councils and Committees
Institutional decision making at ACC is supported by a system of shared governance composed of councils and committees that function as recommending bodies with respect to those matters that fall under their sphere of responsibility.
A “council” is a recommending body that makes recommendations directly to the Chancellor and which has a sphere of responsibility of particularly broad scope or significance. ACC shall have the following three councils:
- Academic and Student Affairs Council (ASAC)
- Administrative Services Council (ASC)
- Shared Governance Review Council (SGRC)
A “committee” is a recommending body that makes recommendations to a council and whose sphere of responsibility falls within that of the council to which it makes its recommendations. A committee is either a “standing committee”, which is expected to meet an ongoing need of the College, or an “ad hoc committee”, which is expected to meet for a limited period of time and will be disbanded after fulfilling its stated purpose. Every committee shall be assigned to an appropriate council to ensure that recommendations are reviewed appropriately and forwarded ultimately to the Chancellor.
Monitoring Shared Governance
The Shared Governance Review Council (SGRC), which is a broadly representative body, monitors the implementation of and compliance with College Policies and Administrative Rules concerning shared governance. The SGRC includes representation from at least the following:
- internal employee organizations
- the Student Government Association
- functional roles in the College, such as deans, department chairs, etc.
The SGRC will review its membership each year and make adjustments to ensure the broadest possible participation of stakeholder groups within the ACC community.
The SGRC will establish and publish its internal processes and procedures, and all activities of the Council will be open to the College community.
The SGRC may review specific concerns regarding decision-making processes and make recommendations to the College administration where appropriate. Requests for review may be submitted to the SGRC by any member of the ACC community. Requests for review may include such issues as structural changes of representative bodies, changes in representation on councils or committees, etc. The SGRC reviews only those aspects of decision-making processes related to implementation of or compliance with College policy concerning shared governance. The SGRC will establish and publish processes whereby such requests for review may be submitted.
At least once each academic year, the SGRC will deliver a report to the Chancellor, the Board of Trustees, and the ACC community concerning the state of shared governance structures and processes in the College. This report will include review of and recommendations concerning the following areas, in light of the goals of shared governance specified above:
- representative decision-making structures and processes
- representation on decision-making bodies
- compliance with administrative rules regarding shared governance
- SGRC membership and activities
Such reports will include opportunities for input from stakeholders in the ACC community.Back to Top