Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges values all forms of diversity and, as stated in its diversity policy, “recognizes the benefits to students, faculty, and the community college system that are gained by a variety of personal experiences, values, and views that derive from individuals from diverse backgrounds” and “encourages diverse faculty to participate in Academic Senate activities and supports local senates in recruiting and encouraging diverse faculty to serve on Senate standing committees”;
Whereas, Resolution 1.05 S09 called upon the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges to create caucuses that were “comprised of those faculty members who self-identify as diverse or faculty belonging to monitored groups with minority or diverse ancestral roots from traditionally underrepresented groups as classified by federal and state guidelines,” and Resolution 1.06 F09 called upon the Academic Senate to expand the focuses of caucuses to “develop a mechanism to confirm that any caucus it recognizes supports the Academic Senate mission, vision, and goals,” resulting in the establishment of policies and procedures for the creation of interest area caucuses to provide a means for otherwise unrepresented voices to be heard;
Whereas, In establishing these processes the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges committed itself to revisit and evaluate the effectiveness, usefulness, and potential adverse effects of establishing and maintaining caucuses; and
Whereas, An inconsistency between the intended purpose of caucuses and the focus of some proposed caucuses has brought to light several issues, including a presumption that formation of a caucus is an Academic Senate endorsement of said caucuses, confusion in the field as individuals and entities mistakenly think that a caucus speaks for the Academic Senate, overlap between proposed caucus activities and existing Academic Senate functions, lack of ongoing member participation leading to nonviability of some caucuses, and caucus creation efforts with only a limited connection to the formal role of the Academic Senate in assuring faculty purview over academic and professional matters;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges develop procedures and guidelines further clarifying the process for establishing and maintaining a caucus; and
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges approve the following revision to its Bylaws Article VI: Caucus.
Academic Senate caucuses are intended to serve as groups of independently organized faculty to meet, network, and deliberate collegially in order to form a collective voice on issues of common concern that caucus members feel are of vital importance to faculty and the success of students as they relate to academic and professional matters.
The Executive Committee shall establish procedures and guidelines for caucuses that will be posted on the Academic Senate web site. a least ten members from at least four different colleges and at least two districts with common goals and/or interests may form a caucus by sending a letter to the President, including its name, statement of purpose, and list of members. Recognition as a caucus shall be achieved by verification by the Executive Committee that the caucus’ goals and purpose are related to academic and professional matters and notification to the body through normal communication channels. Each May, caucuses will inform the President of their intent to remain active and provide a current list of membership. If a caucus fails to alert the President of the desire to stay active, the caucus shall be disbanded and a new letter of intent will need to be created to re-establish a new caucus. The intent is to have caucuses that are active and represent current faculty in California community colleges. Caucus chairs should be elected annually at the first fall meeting of the caucus and submit meeting minutes to the Senate Office.
The bylaws were changed and updated in print and on the website. The Standards and Practices Committee updated the procedures and guidelines for caucuses.
Update 7/27/15: Caucus procedures and guidelines were adopted by the Executive Committee in August 2013. The caucus section of the bylaws was revised with the adoption of resolution 1.01 S15.