The official title of the College’s participatory governance council shall be the
Skyline College Governance Council.
II. PHILOSOPHY OF PARTICIPATORY GOVERNANCE
The primary mission of Skyline College is to provide quality education to its students
in partnership with its community. Participatory governance is a required legal method
of college management based in democratic principles in which decision makers, whether
with primary or delegated authority, are committed to involving affected constituencies
in decisions as much as possible. Participatory governance is based upon individuals
having a voice in decisions that affect them.
Participatory governance is carefully planned, instituted and evaluated. It is designed
to lead to effective participation in decision making that unites constituencies,
produces an improved college environment, and draws upon the strength of diversity.
Participatory governance includes the structures and processes for decision making
that engage students, staff, faculty and administrators in reaching and implementing
decisions that further the primary mission of the college–to educate students. The
groups formed to address college matters are properly charged and empowered, the members
carefully selected, and processes clearly structured. The structures and processes
for participatory governance vary according to task. (Link to Participatory Governance
Guide once available).
In order for participatory governance to work, there must exist a covenant of mutual
trust, honesty, open agendas, equity, and respect for differing views. Essential to
maintaining this covenant are open communications and feedback from all constituencies.
All parties must commit to and take responsibility for fostering and maintaining an
environment in which participatory governance can occur, as well as being well informed
Members of the constituent groups must commit to participating in the implementation
of decisions made through participatory governance processes and to working within
legal and pragmatic parameters of decision-makers. The partners in participatory governance
acknowledge that traditional and legally mandated roles continue within the context
of participatory governance; e.g., the publicly elected members of the Board of Trustees
have the ultimate legal and ethical responsibility for setting policy and making decisions
regarding the operations of the District’s colleges.
One of the ways participatory governance is implemented is through the Skyline College
Governance Council. The purpose and operations of the Council are carefully defined
in this charter and bylaws. Membership for the Council is broad-based and is representative
of the College community. The Council actively participates in decision making regarding
major college issues. The Council is the primary planning group for the College, thereby
establishing the criteria and processes to be used by other units and committees in
accomplishing specific tasks. Although the purpose of the Council is broad-based,
it is not intended that the Council deal with all issues nor micro-manage individual
units. The meetings of the Council are open and public.
The Skyline College Governance Council is the primary planning and policy formulation
group for the College, thereby establishing the charges to other units and committees
in accomplishing specific tasks including but not limited to, the following areas:
budget, programs, student equity, accreditation and program review. The Council is
responsible for reviewing the progress and accomplishments of the units and committees.
The Council serves as the umbrella participatory governance committee for the College
and is a major participant in decision making for the College.
1. Members: The College Governance Council consists of the President of the College,
the Executive Council, and two representatives from each of the four constituent groups:
Academic Senate, Associated Students, Classified Senate and Management Council. The
President and the Executive Council members are Ex-Officio, non-voting members of
CGC. The President of the College will only act as a tiebreaker if needed. In cases
of absence, the member’s representative or designee will attend the meeting. (This
should be the exception, rather than the rule).
2. Removal/Replacement of Members: Members may be removed only by the group that selected
them. Any vacancies created by members resigning, changing office, or being removed
shall be filled by the original designating group.
3. Expectations of College Council Members: Among the expectations for members of
Skyline College Governance Council are the following:
a. Members possess an open-mind and are willing to develop a college-wide perspective
and an understanding of constituencies other than their own.
b. Members are willing to commit to active and regular participation in College Council
meetings and activities.
c. Members keep lines of communication open by informing those outside the College
Council of issues and developments.
d. Members observe standards of ethical conduct and campus wide norms.
4. Guests: Guests are encouraged to attend Council meetings and to participate in
the discussion of agenda items. Guests are expected to follow the guidelines for meetings
and will not be included in any polling for consensus.
1. Quorum: A quorum for meetings will be 50% of the Council members plus one. A quorum
requires at least one member from each designated unit.
2. Open Meetings: All meetings of the Skyline College Council will be open and public.
3. Meeting Times: Regular meeting times will be once a month. Special meetings may
be called as needed.
4. Conduct of Meetings: Meetings of the Skyline College Council will be conducted
in a flexible manner which promotes open discussions and full participation of all
members and takes into account the nature of the agenda items. The President will
serve as chair of the Skyline College Governance Council.
1. Agenda Building: Items may be placed on the agenda in the following ways:
a. Items for discussion will usually be determined at the close of the previous meeting
of the Council.
b. A Council member may request that an item be placed on the agenda by submitting
it to the President’s Office in accordance with the President's Office timeline for
agenda setting which is at least one-week prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting.
c. At the outset of a meeting, a Council member may request the inclusion of an item
for discussion. The item will be placed last on the agenda unless otherwise agreed
to by the members present. If there is not sufficient time to discuss the item, it
will be carried over to the next agenda or a special meeting may be called.
d. Members of the Skyline College community may request that an item of College concern
be placed on the agenda by contacting their representative at least seven working
days prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting.
2. Agenda Order: The normal order of the agenda for Council meetings will be to prioritize
the agenda for that meeting; b) to consider the various agenda items; c) to develop
the next agenda.
3. Agenda Format: When items are submitted for the agenda, the member will include
the purpose–reporting, problem solving, planning, reacting, decision making--and the
approximate time needed. The member will also recommend the process to be used for
that agenda item and if a facilitator is needed.
VII. DECISION MAKING/RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Decision Making: The Skyline College Governance Council will use consensus building
as its principal method for decision making. However, in cases where consensus cannot
be reached, a vote will be taken following parliamentary procedure.
2. Recommendations: If the College President or other primary decision maker rejects
a recommendation of the College Council, the College President or other primary decision
maker will provide a written explanation to the Council members of why the recommendation
was not accepted. In addition, the College President or other primary decision maker
will include a statement to the individual or group to which the decision is to be
forwarded (usually the Chancellor or Board of Trustees) that their recommendation
differs from the Skyline College Governance Council.
1. Notification: A clearly labeled agenda will be distributed to Council members 72
hours prior to each meeting. The agenda will show the time and location of the meeting
with an invitation for all interested parties to attend. A clearly labeled meeting
summary or minutes will be distributed to Council members. Council members are responsible
for posting agendas and meeting summaries in prominent areas where their constituents
have access to the agendas and summaries. In addition, a website will be constructed
where meeting agendas and minutes will be posted.
2. Reporting to Constituents: Members will be responsible for keeping their respective
groups informed regarding activities of the Skyline College Governance Council by
reporting back to those bodies and eliciting input regarding items under consideration.
3. Regular Reporting: A regular report summarizing the work of the Skyline College
Governance Council will be distributed as needed to the College community.
The Skyline College Governance Council may appoint one or more Council Task Groups,
consisting of one or more Council members and any number of non-members, with such
duties and responsibilities as the Council shall deem appropriate.
X. REGULAR REVIEW OF GOVERNANCE AND DECISION-MAKING STRUCTURES
The Skyline College Governance Council will undertake a review of the college’s governance
and decision-making structures at least once every six years, as part of the accreditation
This Charter and Bylaws may be amended by consensus or a vote in the absence of consensus
of the members of the Skyline College Governance Council. A new Charter and Bylaws
may be adopted by the unanimous consent of all the members of the Skyline College
Governance Council in consultation with their respective constituents.
Source: How to Make Meetings Work, Doyle and Straus