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Constitution and Bylaws

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(Amended 2021)


The name of this organization shall be the Academic Senate of the San Mateo County Community College District, hereinafter called the District Academic Senate.


The purpose of the District Academic Senate shall be to assure that the faculty at the San Mateo County Community College District have formal and effective procedure for participating in the formation of District policies on academic and professional matters, in accord with the provisions of the California Administrative Code providing for the establishment of district senates, especially sections 53200 through 53206.

A primary function of the District Academic Senate is to represent the college faculties in making recommendations to the administration of the district and to the governing board of the district with respect to the formation of district policy in academic and professional matters.

Academic and professional matters of the District Academic Senate, as set forth in Title V and District Policies and Procedures, shall include but not be limited to the following policy development matters:

  • Curriculum, including establishing prerequisites.
  • Degree and certificate requirements.
  • Grading policies.
  • Educational program development.
  • Standards or policies regarding student preparation or success.
  • College governance structures, as related to faculty roles.
  • Faculty roles and involvement in accreditation processes.
  • Policies for faculty professional development activities.
  • Processes for program review.
  • Processes for institutional planning and budget development.
  • Other academic and professional matters as mutually agreed upon.

Powers and Responsibilities

The powers of the Academic Senate derive from Title 5. All powers and responsibilities of the District Academic Senate shall be exercised through the District Academic Senate, which shall also have the power of interpreting these bylaws. The District Academic Senate shall be primarily charged with representing the faculty to the district administration and the Board of Trustees. Academic and professional matters specific to the individual colleges shall be within the purview of the college senates.



(1989; amended 2003, 2009, 2010, 2016, 2018, 2021)

Article I: Membership of the District Academic Senate

District Academic Senate [hereafter DAS] is a representative body of all faculty from the three Colleges of the District. Members of DAS are: the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, two officers from each local senate, and faculty chairs of Standing DAS Committees and non-voting members as defined in these ByLaws.

Article II: Terms and Roles of the District Academic Senate

  • 2.1 The President-Elect. The faculty of the District shall elect the President-Elect of the District Academic Senate. The President-Elect serves for three years: one as President-Elect, one as President, and one as Immediate Past President.
    • 2.1.1 The President-Elect collaborates with the President to learn the role of the President and to develop and facilitate officer transition. The President-Elect assists and supports the President as needed and plans for the Presidential (second) year.
    • 2.1.2 The President-Elect shall automatically become President at the end of the term as President-Elect.
    • 2.1.3 The President-Elect is a voting member
  • 2.2 The President. The President shall conduct meetings of the District Academic Senate, co-chair the District Participatory, meet regularly with the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Planning, attend all Board of Trustees meetings, and serve on or coordinate appointment of faculty members to District committees and ad hoc task forces as the role necessitates.
    • 2.2.1 The President shall automatically become the Immediate Past President at the end of the term as President.
    • 2.2.2 The President may vote whenever their vote will affect the result.
  • 2.3 The Immediate Past President. The Immediate Past President provides advice and leadership to the President regarding past practices and other matters to assist in governing the District Academic Senate. The Immediate Past President serves as DAS Clerk and DAS Elections Chair, supports the President and assists in mentoring the President-Elect on an as-needed basis. The Immediate Past President performs the duties of the President in the absence or disability of the President.
    • 2.3.1 The Immediate Past President is a voting member.
  • 2.4 Senate Representatives. Each local senate shall choose no more than two representatives from each of the local Academic Senates in the District to serve on the District Academic Senate While these may typically be the local senate President and Vice President, the local senate may select and appoint any member of its senate for service.
    • 2.4.1 The Local Senate Representatives are voting members.
  • 2.5 DAS Standing Committee Chairs. The DAS Standing Committee Chairs, or faculty designees, are voting members of the DAS.
  • 2.6 Non-Voting Members of DAS
    • 2.6.1 Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Planning is a non-voting member of DAS.
    • 2.6.2 District Distance Education Advisory Committee Chair, or designee, is a non-voting member of DAS.
  • 2.7 Eligibility to serve. All candidates for election as President-Elect of the DAS shall have served at least one year as an active and participating member of the DAS, a local Academic Senate officer, or have been a local senate Senator or Committee Chair. In the event that no qualified faculty member chooses to be a candidate, the DAS may, by resolution, authorize any one faculty member of the colleges to be a candidate. The minutes of the meeting at which the resolution is adopted must be submitted prior to the individual's being nominated.
  • 2.8 Terms of office. Terms of office shall be one year, commencing August 1 and ending July 31.
    • 2.8.1 The DAS shall provide training to its membership.
    • 2.8.2 The District shall be apprised of the incoming officers elected who shall receive reassigned time.
  • 2.9 Vacancies. A vacancy in office shall be filled in accordance with Academic Senate District rules.

Article III: Duties of District Academic Senate Members

  • 3.1 The DAS members shall represent their respective constituencies which have elected or appointed them to the senate. The senate shall deliberate and act upon such matters of faculty interest and concern as are brought to its attention.
  • 3.2 The DAS shall approve all faculty appointments to DAS committees and District committees dealing with or relating to academic and professional matters.
  • 3.3 The DAS shall require that accurate minutes of its meetings be kept.
  • 3.4 The DAS shall receive and consider the reports and recommendations of the president, all local senates, and of the faculty committees herein specified.
  • 3.5 The DAS shall direct the president to ensure that major issues are sent in a timely manner to the local college senates for their deliberation and, when appropriate, for their approval.

Article IV: Duties and Reassignment of the President-Elect

  • 4.1 The President-Elect shall receive 20% (.2, or 3 units) reassignment each semester to carry out the duties of the office.
  • 4.2 The President-Elect shall:
    • Attend all DAS meetings during the year of their term as President-Elect
    • Confer with the President as needed to prepare for the role of President
    • Chair the DAS meeting in the absence of the President
    • Attend one each of the following over the course of the year as President-Elect:
      • Board of Trustees meeting
      • District Participatory Governance Council meeting
      • District Curriculum Committee
      • Distance Education Advisory Committee
      • One local senate meeting at each college

Article V: Duties and Reassignment of the President

  • 5.1 The President shall receive 60% (0.6, or 9 units) reassignment each semester to carry out the duties of the office.
  • 5.2 The President shall:
    • Represent faculty at the Board of Trustees' meetings
    • Be responsible for establishing the time and place for all the meetings of the DAS
    • Be responsible for the preparation of the agenda for all the meetings of the DAS
    • Preside over all meetings of the DAS
    • Represent and act as the spokesperson for the DAS
    • Have the power to authorize expenditures for the DAS budget, in consultation with the DAS
    • Convene or appoint a designee to chair meetings of the DAS committees or task groups
    • Serve as co-chair of the District Participatory Governance Council
    • Attend a meeting of each college's senate, at least once per semester
    • Attend Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) Area and State Plenary meetings and serve as DAS delegate to the ASCCC plenary sessions
    • Perform any function normally thought to be within the realm of a presiding officer which is not otherwise denied by the bylaws

Article VI: Duties and Reassignment of the Immediate Past President

  • 6.1 The Immediate Past President shall receive 20% [0.2 or 3 units] reassignment for the role.
  • The Immediate Past President shall:
    • Serve as DAS Clerk, attend all DAS meetings, take minutes, and post & update the DAS webpage in a timely manner
    • Assist the President in preparing reports for DAS meetings, webpage postings, and communication
    • Chair the Elections Committee and conduct all elections
    • Provide advice and leadership to the President regarding past practices and other matters to assist in governing the DAS
    • Work with the President-Elect in attending, understanding procedures and dynamics, and the role of DAS in the required district and local academic senate meetings
    • Support the President and the President-Elect on an as-needed basis
    • Perform such functions as the President may assign to assist in carrying out the purposes and policies of the DAS
    • Performs the duties of the President in the absence or disability of the President

Article VII: Meetings

  • 7.1 District Academic Senate (DAS) meetings are open meetings.
  • 7.2 The DAS shall meet no fewer than four (4) times each semester or eight (8) times each academic year.
  • 7.3 Should DAS be required to meet outside standard academic year, DAS will appoint an Executive Council consisting of at least three (3) members.
  • 7.4 A quorum for a meeting of the DAS is defined as when greater than 50% of the council is present, provided at least one member from each college and the president, or designee, are present. The DAS may recognize local-senate authorized substitutes for college representatives and District committee-authorized substitutes for official district committee representatives.

Article VIII: Amendments of the Bylaws

  • 8.1 Amendments of the Bylaws are deemed properly proposed if they meet one of the following criteria:
    • 8.1.1 Signatures of petition by 20% of the DAS members or a proposal by unanimous agreement of the DAS.
  • 8.2 The Bylaws shall be amended in one of the two following ways:
    • 8.2.1 If the DAS casts a unanimous vote in favor of a properly proposed amendment, or
    • 8.2.2 By two-thirds majority vote of the DAS, provided that of those DAS members casting votes, each college casts at least one affirmative vote for the amendment.
  • 8.3 Voting procedure
    • 8.3.1 The vote on any amendment put forth from the floor shall take place in or before April as part of each college’s regularly scheduled senate meeting.
    • 8.3.2 The vote on any amendment put forth by the DAS may take place at any DAS meeting after discussion at the previous meeting.

Article IX: Removal of an Officer

  • 9.1 An elected or appointed officer of the District Academic Senate (DAS) may be removed from office for cause. Cause can include: transgressions against any laws or bylaws, rules, and policies of the Academic Senate or a failure to fulfill the duties of a member of the District Academic Senate.
  • 9.2 Removal of an officer of the DAS may be initiated in one of two ways:
    • A motion made by a member of DAS which is properly seconded and passed by a two-thirds vote of those officers of the DAS casting votes in a secret ballot. A proposal to remove an officer must appear on the agenda prior to the meeting in which it will be considered.
    • A petition signed by 20% of each local Senate and presented to DAS.
  • 9.2.1 Upon the initiation of the process, the DAS will select a 3-member investigation team to consider evidence of the charge. The team will complete its investigations, present its findings, and make one of two motions:
    • A motion to close the investigation due to lack of sufficient evidence
    • A motion to remove the officer from the DAS.
  • 9.2.2 The motion requires two-thirds majority to pass and the vote is done by open ballot.

Article X: Committees of the District Academic Senate

  • 10.1 Standing Committees
    • 10.1.1 The District Academic Senate (DAS) may create Standing Committees who shall report to the DAS as needed.
    • 10.1.2 Standing committees of the DAS shall operate on a clear charge that supports the goals and objectives of the San Mateo Community College District and its three colleges and addresses matters which have districtwide impact.
      • Standing Committee shall create by-laws or procedures for committee operations
    • 10.1.3 Standing Committees will have defined committee composition that may include non-voting members of administration, classified professionals, and/or students.
    • 10.1.4 Standing Committees will have a faculty Chair who serves as a voting member of the DAS
  • 10.2 Task Groups
    • 10.2.1 The DAS may form task groups and may appoint to them members from the DAS or on the recommendation of the local senates.
    • 10.2.2 Task groups are short-term committees created to complete a specific task and will dissolve upon completion.

Article XI: DAS Appointments

  • 11.1 In accordance with Title 5 §53205 1 , the DAS appoints faculty to all District committees, task forces, task groups, work groups, or bodies that deal with academic or professional matters.
  • 11.2 All committees to which the DAS appoints members shall report to the DAS at least once in an academic year.
  • 11.3 Committees to which the DAS appoints faculty shall be specified in the DAS Rules.