1-11: Shared Governance

Policy Overview

This policy sets the principles adopted by the Santa Fe Community College Governing Board to engage all governance groups in the process of making decisions.

Scope and Applicability

This policy describes the shared governance process, shared governance groups and roles, and the decision-making authority of the President and Governing Board. All students, all employees and all governance groups are included as participants.

Policy Statement

SFCC invites and values the perspectives of students and employees through the practice of shared governance, which leads to better decision-making for the College. While all official College policy is the result of action by the Governing Board, the College’s governance groups, working with the President through the Governance Council, participate in institutional planning and the development of policies for consideration by the Governing Board.


  1. Employee is any member of the college workforce: all staff (regular full-time, regular part-time, term, temporary, probationary, sensitive position); all student employees; all faculty (full-time, part-time, adjunct, probationary); all administrators, including interim; all contract employees.
  2. Governance Groups include the President’s Executive Team¬, Staff Senate, Faculty Senate, and the Student Government Association.
  3. Shared Governance is a participatory and collaborative process that engages SFCC’s students and employees in planning and in developing and reviewing policies.

Policy Process

  1. Shared governance at the College must function harmoniously with, but separate from, collective bargaining laws and the negotiated agreement between the SFCC-American Association of University Professors or other collective bargaining entity and the College.
  2. Shared governance should be practiced College wide as much as possible at all levels, such as schools, departments, programs, committees, and task forces.
  3. The Governance Council will meet at least 10 times per year and may not be suspended except by action of the Governing Board.
  4. Timely and effective communication is foundational to the shared governance process.
  5. SFCC ensures that faculty and, when appropriate, staff and students are involved in setting academic requirements, policy, and processes through effective collaborative structures.
  6. Because the College recognizes the value of the shared governance process, governance group participation shall be supported by supervisors by providing release time, schedule accommodations, clerical support, and coverage as necessary.
  7. The Governing Board has the authority to direct the President to make changes in policy procedures.
  8. Any disagreement on the procedures developed under the leadership of the President shall be discussed by each governance group and the full Governance Council. If the disagreement cannot be resolved it may be reported to the Governing Board as part of the respective governance group’s report to the Governing Board.
  9. Should a governance group believe that the President is not following policies or procedures, the governance group may notify the Chair of the Governing Board in writing.
  10. Per Policy 1-1 Establishing College Policies: New and revised draft policies from Sections 2 through 9 shall be reviewed through the Shared Governance process before they advance to the Board.
  11. The President or designee:
    1. Upon policy approval by the Governing Board, collaborates with policy owners to develop the related procedures.
    2. Communicates with all governance groups to keep them informed.
    3. Employs committees to solicit advice and recommendations when appropriate.
    4. Chairs the Governance Council, and
    5. Retains ultimate authority and responsibility for all recommendations submitted to the Governing Board.
  12. The Governing Board:
    1. Considers all data and information supporting policy recommendations from the Governance Council and presented by the President.
    2. Reviews all other data and information presented by the administration or governance groups and considers the impact on the College, the students, and the community.
    3. May review minority opinions from governance groups.
    4. Retains ultimate authority and responsibility for all policy decisions, including issues that cannot be agreed upon by the Governance Council.
  13. Faculty Senate:
    1. Keeps all faculty informed of the work of the Governance Council and conducts discussions seeking their feedback,
    2. Provides timely recommendations for policies under shared governance review, and
    3. Solicits and represents the views of all faculty to the Governance Council.
    4. Working with the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, ensures faculty’s role as experts in curriculum, faculty, rank, and other academic matters pertaining to student learning outcomes and student success.
    5. Is the sole body representing the faculty at SFCC.
  14. Staff Senate:
    1. Keeps all staff informed of the work of the Governance Council and conducts discussions seeking staff feedback,
    2. Provides timely recommendations for policies under shared governance review, and
    3. Solicits and represents the views of staff to the Governance Council.
  15. Student Government Association:
    1. Keeps all students informed of the work of the Governance Council and conducts discussions seeking student feedback,
    2. Provides timely recommendations for policies under shared governance review, and
    3. Solicits and represents the views of students to the Governance Council.
  16. The Governance Council:
    1. Includes an equal number of representatives from faculty, staff, students, and administrators selected by each group, and
    2. Makes recommendations using data when available for consideration by the President and the Governing Board.

Statement of Accountability and Responsibility

The Governing Board, the President, the Governance Council, and the governance groups are all responsible for implementing this policy. The President shall be responsible for enforcing shared governance policies and procedures, and shall work with the different departments and offices to comply with this policy and to develop procedures that will enforce this policy regarding awareness, prevention and remediation.


SFCC Governing Board approved: 3/20/2008
Revised and Governing Board approved: 5/19/2015
Revised and Governing Board approved: 2/26/2020


SFCC Policy 1-1: Establishing College Policies
SFCC Policy 1-2: Governing Board Authority, Roles and Responsibilities

Associated Procedures