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What do Standing Committees do? What is their purpose/role in college governance?

Standing committees report directly to the Executive Council, which is led by the college President and comprised of the four constituency group leads – the Academic Senate President, the Classified Senate President, the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) Chair, and the Student Senate President. Standing committees may be directed by Executive Council to study, review, and make recommendations regarding issues related to their committee charge. Standing committees are also empowered by Executive Council to identify, study, review, and make recommendations regarding issues related to their charge and bring them to the attention of the Executive Council. Standing shared governance committees may appoint subcommittees and workgroups as needed.

diagram with Executive Council in the center, and the standing committees shown as individual circles linking back to the executive council
Figure 1: Relationship between Standing Committees and Executive Council

The Matriculation and Student Success Committee and the Student Equity Committee meet jointly.

Committee Charges

The college currently has eleven standing committees (two of which meet jointly). These committees and their respective charges are as follows:

Budget Committee

Budget Committee

Utilizing the results of the college planning process and established criteria, the Budget Committee evaluates requests for budget allocations; establishes procedures and calendars used in the college budget process and recommends allocations of the monies available from the college unrestricted COLA/growth and one-time-only (OTO) funds. The Budget Committee operates with the college policy of maintaining historical operating base budgets. Note: The amount of unrestricted COLA/growth and OTO funds available for the budget committee process is determined annually by the President in consultation with the VPA and reviewed by President’s Cabinet. Unrestricted COLA/growth and OTO funds are drawn from multiple sources including but not limited to: College Discretionary Fund (CDF), Instructionally-Related (IR), Partnership for Excellence (PFE), Vocational and Technical Education Act (VTEA), State Instructional Equipment Funds (SIEF), Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSP&S), etc. Changes in the initial calculation of unrestricted COLA/growth and OTO funds are brought to the committee for appropriate adjustments.

Campus Development Committee

Campus Development Committee

Reviews short- and long-range plans for general campus development and modifications, as well as for specific facilities. Reviews requests for Facility Resources including space utilization, equipment, communications, and other related topics. Makes prioritized recommendations on the above Facility Resource requests to the Budget Committee for integration with budget and IT requests developed through the unit planning process.

Campus Safety Committee

Campus Safety Committee

The Campus Safety Committee promotes campus safety, security, and emergency preparedness to endeavor to create a safe and secure learning and working environment for the campus community. The Committee reviews and makes recommendations on campus safety and security issues brought forth by staff, faculty, and students; provides guidance, support, and recommendations regarding safety policies and programs; and assists with emergency procedures planning and programming. The Committee periodically reviews reports of accidents, incidents, and injuries that occur on campus, recommends appropriate action to mitigate adverse trends, and provides oversight of the Environmental, Safety, and Security Program Plan.

Educational and Information Technology Committee

Educational and Information Technology Committee

Coordinates college activities related to educational and information technology policies, funding and resources, planning and implementation. Provides a single point of contact for communicating status and issues related to educational and information technology for the college. The committee also provides input to the district-wide activities performed by various educational and information technology task groups so that college interests are included in the district decision-making process.

Honors and Awards Committee

Honors and Awards Committee

Reviews policies on staff and student recognition programs (e.g., Celebration of Excellence, retirements, scholarship reception). Recommends guidelines for awards ceremonies and plans and conducts ceremonies. Develops and publicizes scholarships, reviews student applications for eligibility and selects recipients.

Learning Resources Committee

Learning Resources Committee

The Learning Resources Standing Committee reviews and makes recommendations for programs, services, and resources provided in the following areas:

  • Library
  • Instructional Media Services
  • Learning Skills and Tutoring
  • Writing Center
  • Instructional Development
  • Academic Computing
  • Distance Education
  • Archives
  • Media Services and Production areas.

Committee members work with students, faculty, and staff to identify corresponding needs of the college and to help ensure the Learning Resource Division’s responsiveness to those needs. The Committee also works with the campus community to promote student engagement with a special emphasis on activities and programs that highlight students, faculty, and staff. The Committee reviews quantitative and qualitative data related to the work of the Committee.

Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness Committee

Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness Committee

The PRIE Committee acts to assist the CSPC and PRIE Office in the tactical implementation of College Strategic Planning. This includes:

  • Communicate with the college community about key planning questions, how college data is used to support college goals, outcome measures, and information related to suggestions for process improvements.
  • Provide support for college-wide dialogue concerning key findings from the data analysis, planning questions, and the implementation of college plans. In order to provide this support the PRIE committee will review qualitative and quantitative data relevant to the College Strategic Planning Process.
  • Provide feedback to the PRIE Office as that office identifies planning data, conducts the initial assessment and interpretation of the data, and compiles the data for use by the CSPC.
  • Review and make recommendations regarding the college research agenda including support of the grant writing function.
  • Assure the continuity of the accreditation process from the self-study and team findings into the planning process.
  • Complete other tasks for the CSPC as requested.

Staff Development Committee

Staff Development Committee

Promotes professional activities for all college personnel that include professional and personal growth as well as innovations in programs, curriculum and services that relate across the college including initiatives, institution, division/department, program, resource, and unit plans. Collaborates with the Staff Resource Center for Professional Development & Education Leadership in planning, collaboration, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of programs, projects, Flex Day activities, including Convocation. Reviews the results of the annual needs assessment of all college personnel to recommend and support professional development activities annually as part of a continuous improvement model. Develops and manages the process of Conference/Workshop/Travel Funding distribution.

Staff Equity and Diversity Committee

Staff Equity and Diversity Committee

Develops, reviews, recommends and implements programs and services designed to enhance diversity and equity in educational, employment, and promotional opportunities for faculty and staff.

Student Equity and Success Committee

Student Equity and Success Committee

The Student Equity and Success Committee (SESC) intervenes on behalf of college students who seek higher education, transforms the institutional environment into one that promotes equity and inclusion by removing barriers to disproportionately impacted students, and acknowledges and honors human difference. The committee monitors student access, progress, success, completion, transfer, and employment, takes action on matters of support services, pathways, and technologies designed to welcome students and move them through to completion, and offers strategies for action through the shared governance structure to address equity issues that exist for disproportionately impacted students. The committee encourages all faculty, staff, and administrators to evolve into equity practitioners who work to create an educational experience that is transformative towards justice and liberation for students, faculty and staff, and the community at large.

Standing Committees FAQs

Who serves on Standing Committees?

All members of the college community can serve on standing committees, with the goal of achieving effective and meaningful participation of students, faculty, classified professionals, and administrators. Committee members are appointed by their respective constituency group leader, and the duration of committee appointments is typically for one academic year (August to May). Standing committees are led by faculty, classified, and administrative tri-chairs, and these positions are also appointed by the constituency group leaders.

What are the expectations of Standing Committee members?

Committees are a vital part of the college governance process. Some basic expectations for standing committee members include:

Regular attendance and participation

If members don’t attend committee meetings, the work won’t get done. Committee participation is the foundation of effective participation in the shared governance process at the college. Committee tri-chairs should set expectations for attendance and record attendance in meeting minutes. Members should also expect to participate in committee work outside of regularly scheduled meetings.

Advance preparation

Tri-chairs should send out agendas and meeting materials to committee members at least 72 hours before the scheduled meeting. This gives committee members time to review materials in advance, and come to meetings prepared to discuss agenda items.

Communication

Effective committee work requires good communication. This includes reporting regularly to Executive Council, as well as gathering feedback and information from members of the college community regarding issues related to the committee’s charge.

Evaluation

Committees should establish a process to evaluate the effectiveness of the committee’s work. It could be a quick evaluation at the end of each meeting, or it could be a more formal evaluation at the end of the semester. The PRIE office also conducts college-wide surveys of the effectiveness of governance groups, and this information will be shared at the end of each academic year.

I’ve never served as a Standing Committee Tri-Chair before. Are there tools or best practices that can help?

Yes! At the end of this document, you’ll find a variety of tools and templates to help you chair your committees effectively. These tools include goal-setting templates, templates for agendas and meeting minutes, an Executive Council report template, a work plan template, and evaluation tools.

In addition to these tools, the Dean of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness conducts comprehensive training for committee tri-chairs and constituency group leads at the beginning of each academic year. The training provides an overview of the college’s governance system, sets expectations for committee work, and shares best practices for effective meeting facilitation.

What is the process for making a formal recommendation to Executive Council?

A standing committee can make a formal recommendation to Executive Council by completing and submitting a Campus Issues Form.  Executive Council will then review the issue and recommendation, and take formal action. Those actions might include vetting the recommendation with the four constituency groups (Academic Senate, Classified Senate, Senior Leadership Team, and Student Senate), referring the issue to a specific office or area, or making a decision to approve or deny the recommendation.

Who can I talk to if I have additional questions about standing committees or shared governance?

As the Process Coordinator, the Dean of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness can answer any questions you have about our governance process. You can also reach out to your Academic Senate President, Classified Senate President, Senior Leadership Team chair, or Student Senate President.