1-11: Shared Governance – Procedures Overview

  1. Membership
    1. The Governance Council will include equal representation from the following governance groups:
      1. President’s Executive Team
      2. b. Faculty Senate
      3. c. Staff Senate
      4. d. Student Government Association.
    2. Each governance group will select their representatives to serve on the Governance Council.
  2. Schedule of Meetings
    1. Governance Council will meet at least once per month during the academic year. Additional meetings will be scheduled as needed.
    2. Each academic year, the President will establish a regular meeting day and time in collaboration with those selected to serve by their respective governance groups.
  3. Operation of Governance Council
    1. The Governance Council will operate as a body that shares in the decision-making process.
    2. Each governance group may exercise their right to vote and then bring their recommendations to the Governance Council.
    3. When such recommendations are presented, they should be accompanied by supporting data when feasible.
    4. The shared governance process will be reserved for issues that cannot be resolved at the lower levels or through work with the appropriate Vice President. Such issues may be taken to the Governance Council only if no action or significant attempt at resolution has been taken in 30 days after the issue is presented to the appropriate Vice President.
    5. The following table assigns a Vice President to each governance group:
      Faculty Senate Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Governing Board, President, Governance Council
      Staff Senate Vice President for Finance/Chief Financial Officer Governing Board, President, Governance Council
      Student Government Association Associate Vice President for Student Success Governing Board, President, Governance Council
    6. The Governance Council will strive to make final recommendations to the President through a consensus process.
      1. If reaching consensus does not seem feasible, a vote will be taken (this does not apply to policy).
      2. When a vote is required, those in the minority position may provide a written position statement that will be shared with the President and the Governing Board.
    7. Governing bodies may submit, in writing, items to be placed on the agenda. Issues coming before the Governance Council shall include but not be limited to:
      1. Additions, deletions or changes to College policies.
      2. Major budgetary priorities of the College.
    8. Agenda items for the Governance Council should be forwarded to the President’s Office, preferably two weeks prior to the target date for discussion. Prior to forwarding, such agenda items and related materials should be:
      1. Thoroughly researched, with guidance and assistance provided by the Office of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness;
      2. Discussed internally with the originating governance group and also with fellow governance groups, if relevant and feasible;
      3. If an agenda item concerns an issue that would normally be resolved at the Vice President’s level, information must be submitted with the agenda item detailing specifics on action/inaction by the Vice President.
    9. The President maintains the right to approve Governance Council agenda items.
    10. When an agenda item has been rejected by the President, or has not been accepted for more than two consecutive Governance Council meetings, an individual governance group representative serving on the Governance Council may place that item on the agenda.
      1. Governance groups must submit the agenda item in writing to the President two weeks prior to the Governance Council meeting during which the item is to be considered.
      2. If individual governance groups find that the issue is not resolved by this process, they may bring the lack of action to the Governing Board.
    11. In those instances where the President may plan to make decisions or propose recommendations to the Governing Board different from those proposed by the Governance Council (whether they relate to policy or non-policy matters), the President:
      1. Will communicate in writing to the Governance Council the reasons for such a different recommendation, and
      2. Will provide the Governance Council the opportunity to respond in writing prior to the decision-making or taking the recommendation to the Governing Board for final action. This written communication from the President shall also be made available to the Governing Board.
    12. In exceptional circumstances and with compelling legal, fiscal or organizational reasons, the President and Governing Board maintain the right to act on policy or other non-policy issues without utilizing the usual shared governance process. Whenever possible, however, a good faith effort will be made to achieve consensus with the Governance Council on such issues, prior to action.
    13. If individual governing groups feel that an issue brought forth has not been acted on in good faith and in a timely manner, only then will the Governing Board be approached to consider the matter.
      1. The process in such a case will be a formal presentation at a regular Governing Board meeting or work session rather than individual or group discussion with the Governing Board or Governing Board members in informal settings.
      2. A written request to be added to an agenda must be submitted to the Governing Board Chair at least two weeks prior to the date of a scheduled meeting.
    14. The Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and Student Government Association have the discretion to develop distinct constitutions and bylaws. Constitutions of all governance groups are subject to approval by the College’s Governing Board.
    15. Only the Chair or Co-Chair (or other lead position) of governance groups have the authority to designate a substitute to participate and/or vote in Governance Council on behalf of the governance group in question.
      1. In the case where there is leadership through co-chairs, both co-chairs must have a consensus on such a substitute.
      2. The President must be notified in writing of the substitution prior to any Governance Council meeting.
    16. The Governance Council should at no time be used as a venue for discussion of individual personnel issues; nor should any other governance group. Such issues are of a confidential nature and should be handled according to the procedures in SFCC Policy 4-2 Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action or SFCC Policy 4-3 Employee Concerns and Complaints.
  4. Guidelines
    1. Policies are the directives of the Governing Board.
    2. Only the Governing Board may establish, modify, change, grant exception to, abrogate, suspend, or negate a policy, and the Governing Board may do so at any time in its capacity as the institution’s lawfully elected governing body.
    3. Policy approvals and/or changes must be approved by a majority vote at a scheduled and publicly noticed meeting of the Governing Board.
    4. The SFCC Shared Governance Policy Review Process is outlined separately (SFCC Policy 1-11 Shared Governance Procedures: Policy Review Process and Policy Review Flowchart).

Contact:          Becky Rowley, Ph.D., President, 505-428-1201
Audrey Lucero, Executive Assistant to SFCC Boards, 505-428-1148

Updated:        8/31/2021