Academic Senate


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Charge: To make recommendations to the administration of West Valley College and to the Board of Trustees, with respect to academic and professional matters. As outlined in Title 5, the Senate's responsibilities include curriculum, degree and certificate requirements, grading policies, instructional program development, standards regarding student success, professional development, accreditation process, program review, institutional planning and budget development.

Senator Terms: Two years

Meetings: Second & Fourth Tuesday of the month during the Fall and Spring semesters, 2:15 PM – 4:30 PM.

Accreditation: Self Study, Reports and Documents

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2024–2025 Academic Senate Meetings

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The WVC Academic Senate meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month during the Fall and Spring semesters from 2:15 PM – 4:30 PM in the Campus Center Club Room (except where noted) and online via Zoom. Special meetings are as noted.

Fall 2024
  • August 27
  • September 10
  • September 24
  • October 8
  • October 22
  • November 12
  • November 26
  • December 10-Finals Week-May be rescheduled
Spring 2025
  •  February 11
  •  February 25
  •  March 11
  •  March 25
  •  April 8
  •  April 22
  •  May 13

All Senate meetings are open to anyone who wishes to attend. The West Valley College Academic Senate is the voice of all faculty, both full and part time, in the governance and decision-making processes of the college. In accordance with Title 5 section 53203, the Academic Senate makes recommendations to the college and district on a wide range of academic and professional matters.



Name Term Position
Meg Farrell September 2017 – June 2025 Senate President
Joe Bucher September 2019 – June 2025 Student Services
Jasmine Colon January 2019 – June 2025 Library
Chris Cruz September 2023 – June 2024 Professional Studies
Scott Eitelgeorge, Alternating September 2022 – June 2024 Health and Human Development
Farima Fakoor September 2021 – June 2025 Associate Faculty Representative
Dan Fenstermacher February 2024 – June 2025 School of Art and Design
Michelle Francis September 2023 - June 2025 At-Large Representative
Vicky Kalivitis September 2021 –  June 2025 Language Arts
Tim Kelly June 2005 – June 2025 Social Science
Erika Llantero October 2022 – June 2024 Student Services
Faun Maddux September 2019 – June 2025 Science and Math
Margaret Ortiz September 2022 – June 2024 Continuing Education
Christine Peters-Stanton September 2023 – June 2025 Science and Math
Cynthia Reiss June 2008 – June 2025 School of Art and Design
Paul Starks, Alternating September 2023 – June 2024 Health and Human Development
Minh-Chau Pham October 2023 – June 2024 Student Rep


Name Term Position
Meg Farrell June 2023 – June 2025 Senate President
Vicky Kalivitis June 2023 – June 2025 Senate Vice President
Name Term
Gretchen Ehlers 2017 – 2023
Eric Pape 2013 – 2017
Lance Shoemaker 2009 – 2013
Angelica Bangle 2005 – 2009
Vivian Lock 2003 – 2005
Linda King 2001 – 2003
Jim Wilczak 1998 – 2001
Joan Sarlo 1996 – 1998
Lydia Harris 1995 – 1996
Ed Lodi 1994 – 1995
Wanda Wong 1993 – 1994
Linda King 1992 – 1993
Fred Barnikel 1991 – 1992
Ed Lodi 1989 – 1991
Michael Herauf 1987 – 1989
Claudine Simpson 1986 – 1987

Academic Senate's Role in Governance

Assembly Bill 1725 (1989), the last major California community college reform legislation, codified the concept of shared governance and required each district to implement the provisions of law within parameters established by regulation in Title V. The district's Board Policy 3.3.4, Academic Personnel, recognizes the role of the Academic Senate under the provisions of AB 1725 as codified in the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, 53200 and following. Board Policy 3.3.4b states, "It shall be the policy of the District to rely primarily upon the advice and judgment of the Academic Senate in all eleven areas identified in the California Code of Regulations, Title 5 # 53200." Board Policy also states, "The recommendations of the Senate will normally be accepted, and only in exceptional circumstances and for compelling reasons will recommendations not be accepted. If the recommendation is not accepted, the Board or its designee, upon request of the Academic Senate, shall promptly communicate its reasons in writing to the Academic Senate."

Academic Senate Purview

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

Academic Senate Bylaws

Section 1: Elections

  1. The election for President-elect shall be held in October of the second year of the current President’s term of office.
  2. Elections for one faculty member senator at-large shall be held in February and/or in coordination with the timeline for the development of the Fall Class Schedule for the following academic year.
  3. Election for Associate faculty members at-large shall be held at the start of each academic year in the last semester of the senator’s term.
  4. Each faculty member's vote is to be counted as one (1) full vote.

Section One: Committee Definitions

  1. An Ad-hoc Committee or Task Force is a temporary, short-term, single subject committee that meets for a designated period and is not subject to the Brown Act.
  2. Standing Committees are permanent, long-term committees that meet regularly and are subject to the Brown Act. The current Standing Committees are:
    1. Professional Development
    2. SOAPP (Student Outcomes and Program Planning)
    3. Distance Education
    4. Curriculum

Section Two: Academic Senate Committees

  1. The Academic Senate shall be involved in the recruitment and selection of committee appointments, including ad hoc, sub committees, task forces, etc., as needed throughout the academic year.
  2. All committees are responsible for and shall maintain communication with the Academic Senate, providing periodic reports to the Senate, at least once per semester.
  3. All committee chairs will identify specific goals in consultation with the Academic Senate and committee members.
  4. Tenured, non-tenured, and/or associate faculty members may serve.
  5. The Academic Senate has the responsibility of assigning work to the committees.

Section Three: Standing Committees

  1. Standing Committees will have an approved purpose statement in the Academic Senate Constitution via a standard form as defined by the Participatory Handbook and in alignment with Academic Senate 10+1 and accreditation standards.
  2. Standing Committees make decisions autonomously within the scope of their statement of purpose.
  3. Committees have the goal of developing an inclusive team membership with at least one representative from each of the divisions represented on the Senate unless the membership is otherwise specified in the Academic Senate Constitution.
    1. As a way of attaining this goal, each committee is encouraged to reach out to all areas of the college to foster membership that represents the diverse backgrounds of the West Valley College faculty.
  4. The channel of communication for all actions of the committees shall be through the Academic Senate first and then to the College President or to the Board of Trustees, or both.
  5. The Academic Senate can establish a Standing Committee by a simple majority vote. Similarly, Standing Committees may be changed to an ad hoc basis with a simple majority vote of the Academic Senate.

Section Four: Committee Chairs

  1. Standing Committee Chairs are elected by the faculty members on the committee.
  2. Appointment of the Committee Chair shall be confirmed by the Academic Senate prior to taking on the role.
  3. Standing Committee Chairs receiving reassigned time or other compensation for their work shall abide by all requirements associated with such compensation.
    1. Any job description for that chair’s position shall be developed with the collaboration and mutual consent of both the Senate and the Office of Instruction or other administrative unit overseeing that committee.
  4. Committees Chairs must seek Academic Senate approval for policy changes or any changes related to the membership composition of the committee.
  5. All Chairs meet with the Academic Senate each semester to report updates as needed on items like key performance indicators and committee member composition.
  6. All Chairs consult with the Academic Senate President as necessary to discuss issues/policies and/or procedures.

Section Five: Committee Meetings

  1. Ad Hoc/Task Force Committees meet during the semester they are active.
    1. They serve at the behest of the Academic Senate (AS).
    2. They report back to AS with progress and products.
    3. They decide as a committee how members will attend (i.e., in-person, hyflex, or remotely).
    4. Together, the committee members determine their meeting frequency.
  2. Standing committees meet regularly throughout the semester.
    1. They adhere to Brown Act Legislation. The committees have the freedom to choose which version of the Brown Act to follow.
    2. The committee members must make a good faith effort to attend and participate in all scheduled committee meetings in person in accordance with the Brown Act.
      1. If, in accordance with the Brown Act, a committee member attends remotely, they must participate through both audio and visual technology.
      2. Attendees must follow the requirements of the Brown Act.
      3. The public must always have an opportunity to attend and participate in each meeting.
    3. The Standing Committee meetings have a published agenda distributed college-wide 72 hours before the meeting. The agenda should have enough information so that people who are not on the committee are aware of the core content of the meeting.
    4. The Standing Committees must distribute and share meeting minutes and meeting materials on a domain the public can access within a reasonable timeframe.

Section 1: Impeachment and Removal

  1. Any member of the Academic Senate may introduce a motion of impeachment of the Academic Senate President for cause, including non-performance of their assigned duties, once agendized through the administrative assistant.
  2. A 2/3 vote of those Senators present voting in favor of the impeachment motion will result in the immediate removal of the Academic Senate President.
  3. Upon the removal of the Academic Senate President, the Vice President will fulfill the remaining term of the presidential position until new elections are called by the Academic Senate.

Section 2: Censure

  1. Any member of the Academic Senate may introduce a motion of censure of the Academic Senate President or Vice President for cause, including non-performance of their assigned duties, once agendized through the administrative assistant.
  2. A majority vote of those Senators present is required for the motion of Censure to pass.

Section 1: Regular Meetings and Agendas

The Academic Senate shall schedule and conduct a minimum of five (5) regular meetings per semester. Written agendas shall be distributed to all Faculty at least three days in advance of a meeting as required by the Brown Act.

Section 2: Special Meetings

Special meetings may be called by the President or by the written request of 10% of the West Valley College Faculty. A written notice of a special meeting and its agenda shall be distributed by the President to all Faculty at least one day prior to the special meeting as required by the Brown Act.

Section 3: Minutes

The President shall be responsible for overseeing that the minutes of each meeting are recorded and distributed to all Faculty within two weeks.

The Academic Senate is hereby empowered to make rules governing its own internal organization and procedures, subject to the following:

  1. A majority of the Academic Senate members (not including the student representative or Senate President) must be present to open a meeting and constitute a quorum.
  2. Any faculty member may attend any meeting and may speak to agendized items or present other issues of concern when recognized by the presiding officer.
  3. All actions or recommendations shall be made by majority vote of the Senators present. Should a senator be unable to attend a meeting, an alternate may be selected from his/her academic area. The alternate will assume full responsibility as the senator from that area. If an alternate does not attend, then the senator may submit a proxy vote on a given issue. Proxy votes will be honored. Voting procedures will be determined by the presiding officer unless two or more Senators request a roll-call vote.
  4. The Brown Act and Robert's Rules of Order (latest edition) will guide procedures.
Interpretation of any sections of this constitution shall be made by a Senate committee composed of five (5) members of the Senate. The committee will include the President and the Vice President if the issue does not concern them.

Academic freedom in the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge through all media shall be maintained at the West Valley-Mission Community College District. Such freedom shall be recognized as a right of all members of the faculty, whether of tenure or nontenure rank, of all administrative officers, and of all students.

Academic Freedom and the Common Good

Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. Recognizing this, the West Valley-Mission Community College District exists to promote these purposes and the common good of the citizens of California and mankind and not to promote the welfare of an individual faculty, an individual department or college, or the institution as a whole.

The freedom of faculty to inquire, to teach, to speak, and to publish contributes very much more to the welfare of their fellow citizens outside the College than to their own good or the good of the campus. As a previous Chancellor of the California State University system, Glenn Dumke, said, the academic community has as one of its oldest functions to serve as "one of the consciences of society." The academic community "is a questioner, a worrier, a critic, and idealist, seeking a better way toward human aspiration and fulfillment." Academic freedom and tenure are essential for excellence in education and, moreover, exist so that society may have the benefits of objective and independent criticism, and honest answers to scientific, social and artistic questions that might otherwise be withheld for fear of offending an influential social group or transient social attitude.

On the most practical level many of the technological innovations of great material value to our society are the results of scientific research that is most effectively carried out in an atmosphere of complete academic freedom. On less tangible levels the social benefits of academic freedom are not so easily identified and accepted, but they are no less real than the material benefits. Free research, teaching, and discussion in political, social, and cultural freedom.

Society is best served when the teacher and the scholar feels free to criticize and advocate change in any theories and beliefs, however widely held, and in any existing social, political, and economic institutions. It is not easy for faculty to dissent and to advocate unpopular ideas; it is almost always to their personal disadvantage to do so; but it is to the advantage of society to encourage them; only thus will society be aware of the full range of social political and cultural choices available to it; and only thus can the democratic ideal be fulfilled.

Academic Freedom and Responsibility

It is recognized that faculty in the West Valley-Mission Community College District must defend and protect academic freedom - however unpleasant and costly to them personally. Earlier citizens of the State of California wisely established institutions of higher education in which the principles of academic freedom were respected; it is the responsibility of all faculty to conserve the integrity of these institutions at whatever sacrifice to their personal tranquility.

West Valley-Mission Community College District faculty have these further and related responsibilities: to maintain themselves as experts in their fields of competency by study, research, and, where appropriate, publication; to diffuse knowledge and, if possible, to encourage creativity by their teaching; to defend their colleagues and their institution against any threats to the exercise of their responsibilities, whether from within or without the West Valley-Mission Community College District.

From time to time in the history of higher education in California and elsewhere, advocates of particular social, moral, political, or aesthetic positions attempt by violence, lawlessness or political and social pressures to interfere with academic freedom. At such times, West Valley-Mission Community College District faculty have a special responsibility to see that their own actions do not interfere with the freedom of others. They have further responsibility to insist that their institution does not yield to ephemeral passion or heavy community pressures to take hasty actions that may infringe on freedom of expression.

Professional Ethics

Faculty, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end, faculty devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although faculty may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.

As teachers, faculty encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Faculty demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Faculty make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to assure that their evaluations of students reflect each student's true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between faculty and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect their academic freedom.

As colleagues, faculty have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. Faculty do not discriminate against or harass colleagues. They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas, faculty show due respect for the opinions of others. Faculty acknowledge academic debt and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. Faculty accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.

As members of an academic institution, faculty seek above all to be effective teachers and scholars. Although faculty observe the state regulations of the institution, provided the regulations do not contravene academic freedom, they maintain their right to criticize and seek revision. Faculty give due regard to their paramount responsibilities within their institution in determining the amount and character of work done outside it. When considering the interruption or termination of their service, faculty recognize the effect of the decision upon the program of the institution and give due notice of their intentions.

As members of their community, faculty have the rights and obligations of other citizens. Faculty measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subject, to their students, to their professions, and to their institutions. When they speak or act as private persons they avoid creating the impression of speaking or acting for their college or university. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, faculty have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.

Last Updated 7/17/24