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Shared Governance at ACC
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Shared Governance Structure

ACC is committed to fostering collaboration, communication, and access to information among its faculty, staff, and students.  Accordingly, the Board of Trustees has adopted Policy C-5 to address Shared Governance and the College has adopted Administrative Rule 3.05.005 to implement that policy.

Still in effect (FY14): Responses from President's Office in regard to Shared Governance (PDF). Additional changes must be approved by the President/President's Leadership Team.

1) The Fundamental Principles of Shared Governance

  • Decisions are made 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 (through their representative organizations).
  • Decisions and their rationale are shared with those who provided input through ACC’s system of Shared Governance
  • Representatives who serve on recommending bodies ensure the accurate and timely flow of information between those they represent and the bodies on which they serve (in both directions).

2) The Fundamental Structures of Shared Governance—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 President and which has a sphere of responsibility of particularly broad scope or significance.  ACC shall have the following five councils:

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 it function(s) within a limited time after which it will be disbanded. Every committee shall be assigned to an appropriate council to assure that recommendations are reviewed appropriately and forwarded ultimately to the President.

3) Access to Information

All councils, standing committees, and ad hoc committees will have a written function statement, membership list (including terms of appointments), and contact information posted in Organizational Reference.

Chairs of all committees and councils listed in the Organizational Reference are encouraged 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 ACC Meeting Minutes Repository or on individual sites.  

4) The Functions and Purposes of Councils and Committees

The commitment to Shared Governance at ACC entails a commitment to the effective use of participatory governing councils and committees to draw upon the expertise of the members of the ACC community, and to represent the stakeholders within the ACC community, in the process of governing the college and guiding it towards fulfillment of its mission.  The role of each governing council or committee is to make recommendations to the appropriate council and, ultimately, to the President of the college with respect to a designated sphere of responsibility.  For a committee to be effective in its work, its sphere of responsibility must be clearly defined in a set of functions, the fulfillment of which constitutes the purpose of the committee.  To properly regulate committees, they must be created with a clearly defined and well constituted purpose, they must be evaluated with respect to both the continuing significance of their purpose and their ability to fulfill that purpose, and they must be continued, modified, or dissolved on the basis of those evaluations.  

5) Creation, Modification, and Dissolution of Committees

A)  CREATION OF COMMITTEES
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 appropriately can be assigned.  Anyone in the college community can propose the creation of a committee in writing to the President who will decide (possibly after soliciting input from some relevant council(s) or committee(s)) whether the committee should be formed and what its exact function and membership ought to be.

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., AVP, Information Technologies, VP, Student Success and Support Systems, etc.)
    • Slots designated for representation by categories (including suggested term lengths)
    • 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., two from CEA, two from SGA, etc.)

Note: The rules above do not apply when a committee creates a sub-committee from a subset of its membership to address an issue that falls within its current sphere of responsibility.

< > Necessary components for a new committee roster listing for the ACC Organizational Reference. (PDF format)

B)  REVIEW, MODIFICATION, AND DISSOLUTION OF COMMITTEES
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 President for the modification or dissolution of a committee (except in the case of sub-committees for which all authority over modification or dissolution rests with the parent committee) in the late Spring. Councils will engage in a similar self-evaluation and make report to the President.

  • Modification of a committee’s function:  A recommendation may call for an addition to, change of, or deletion from, the existing functions of a committee within its sphere of responsibility.
  • Modification of a committee’s membership:  A recommendation may call for a change in the membership of the committee to assure access to valuable expertise or that all stakeholders are appropriately represented.
    • formal requests for association representative changes should be made to the President during the late Spring.
  • Dissolution of a committee:  A recommendation may call for the dissolution of a committee if either:
    • the work of the committee has been completed, or
    • the committee’s essential function(s) are better fulfilled by another body. Such a recommendation should include a suggestion addressing the transfer of the essential function(s) to another committee (or other committees). 

6) Representation on Councils and Committees

  • Employee Organizations and the Student Government Association appoint their own representatives to councils and committees. (Grid showing # of association reps FY12;)
  • NEW: Beginning Fall 2010, Shared Governance Review Council (SGRC) co-chairs send an email to the Presidents of the four employee associations and the SGA and to the chairs of all ACC councils and committees, and a submission to be included with the President’s Friday Announcements, 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 sgrc@austincc.edu by the second Friday in November.
  • Each council will be co-chaired by an employee or student representative, elected by its members.
  • 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 organization to determine how its representatives will communicate with its membership.
  • Students and members of the Adjunct Faculty will receive a stipend for participation in shared governance as discussed in (9) below.

7) Responsibilities of Chairs/Co-Chairs include:

RE: Meetings:

  • Establish an annual calendar of meetings.
  • Hold meetings at HBC to the extent compatible with other institutional interests.
  • Solicit agenda input from Council/Committee members at least 10 working days before each meeting.
  • Distribute a proposed agenda at least 5 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 (8) below).
  • Record attendance at meetings and report chronic non-attendance to the appointing personnel.
  • Use the Suggested template (available internally only) to prepare provisional minutes and post them; preferably within 10 days of each meeting. Post final, approved minutes within 10 days of the committee’s next meeting.
  • The Chairs of the ACAC, ASC, and SSC must distribute a provisional (unofficial) copy of the minutes of the Council of which she or he is Chair to the presidents of the four employee associations and the SGA within 5 working days of each Council meeting (to keep the associations apprised of the status of proposed ARs, Procedures, or revisions of the same in a more timely manner).

RE: Personnel:

  • Orient new members to the council or committee and its functions.
  • Process Stipend payments in accord with ACC Administrative Rule (see (9) below).

RE: Other Shared Governance Concerns:

  • Forward all recommendations to the appropriate body in accordance with (2) above.
  • Solicit regular reports from all immediately subordinate committees as to their activities and their fulfillment of their functions.
  • Initiate the committee’s self-evaluation early each fiscal year and present the results to the body to which the committee makes its recommendations (as per 5B above).
  • Assure that the committee’s functions, membership, and contact information are properly presented in Organizational Reference.
  • Council Chairs: Distribute to the Presidents of the employee associations and the SGA a draft of any proposed new administrative rule, change to an administrative rule, new college procedure, or change to a college procedure at least 10 working days prior to taking a final vote on the matter. 

8) Electronic Voting

Councils and Committees may use electronic voting in accord with the following procedures:

  • Only the Chair of a Council or Committee is authorized to call for an electronic vote.
  • 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 a listserv that includes all members of the Council or Committee or by an email for which the distribution lists 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.

9) Stipends

  • A stipend shall be paid to any Student or 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 or a committee listed in the Organizational Reference.
  • A stipend shall be paid to any member of the Adjunct Faculty who participates as either an official voting or non-voting member of a departmental governing body.
  • Stipend payments are determined as part of the annual operating budget and will be announced by the President.
  • Stipends are to be paid as noted below:
    • Fall - End of December for SGA
    • Spring - End of May for SGA
    • Summer - Mid-August for SGA
    • Adjunct Faculty may be paid monthly.  Committee/Council chairs are responsible for reporting the attendance of adjunct faculty and ensuring that adjunct faculty are paid for their service.
    • Department Chairs are responsible for requesting stipends for adjunct faculty through the Personnel Authorization system for departmental governing body meetings.
  • Additional Information:   
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