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College Governance

The bylaws for Governance of the College of Humanitities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences were adopted in spring 2012 and the Standing and Ad Hoc committees portion was updated updated May 2018.


The College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences is committed to the principle of shared governance by the Faculty and the Dean. The governance structure shall encourage a balance of responsibility, authority, and accountability with the goals of maintaining and developing the viability and diversity of College programs and promoting excellence in undergraduate and graduate education. College governance shall operate in a spirit of fair play, mutual respect, and commitment to the College community, and with elected representation to reflect the perspectives of academic discipline. The Faculty, with appropriate input from staff and students, shall assume primary responsibility for developing, and recommending to the Dean, College academic policy, procedure, budget, allocation of instructional and support positions, and curriculum. College governance shall be consistent with the University and College Mission Statements and the Memorandum of Understanding between the California Faculty Association and the Trustees of the California State University.

Faculty Meetings

The Faculty shall carry out its duties in formulating policies and establishing procedures through Faculty meetings and through participation in four standing committees (see below). As appropriate, policies related to specified aspects of the College's educational program are to be implemented (administered) by the Dean, academic departments and programs, institutes, centers, and department chairs, and program directors.

Faculty meetings are essential to the effective governance of the College. At these meetings, faculty will be informed of the business and decisions being transacted in the committees. Of equal importance is the opportunity for faculty to comment upon and give advice to the standing committees and the Dean (who will also give brief reports at each meeting) on a regular and formal basis. In addition, the Faculty meetings will be the place where members of the College can call for discussion of College business falling outside the regular business of the committees.

Faculty meetings shall be held at least two times a year. All members of the Faculty are expected to attend regular and special Faculty meetings, which will be public. The privilege of voting at Faculty meetings shall extend to all persons holding tenure-line appointments. A quorum of 10% of voting members shall be required. Reports from each of the standing committees and the Dean will be heard and discussed at each meeting. The Chair of the Faculty will have the responsibility for setting meeting dates, in consultation with College administrators and Faculty. However, any quorum of the voting members (defined as 10% of voting members) may call for an additional Faculty meeting if they believe pressing circumstances so warrant.

The presiding officers of the Faculty meetings will be a Chairperson and a Secretary who are elected in May, with terms of two years. The Office of the Dean shall call for and hold the election. The Chair shall conduct the meetings according to Robert’s Rules of Order, and the Secretary shall be responsible for keeping and publishing minutes of the meetings. The Chair may call a special Faculty meeting at her/his discretion. Clerical support to the Chair and Secretary will be provided by the Office of the Dean.

Recommendations from standing committees need not be approved by the Faculty before being forwarded to the Dean. However, the voting members of the Faculty are free to call for a vote of endorsement, dissatisfaction, or modification of any aspect of committee business, as well as matters falling outside the regular business of the committees, at any Faculty meeting. The opinions and votes of the Faculty will be reflected in the minutes of the meetings.

Changes in the by-laws shall be proposed (by any member of the Faculty or College administration) in writing and distributed to the faculty ten days prior to a regular Faculty meeting. The Chair of the Faculty shall then prepare and distribute a ballot no later than two weeks after the meeting. A simple majority of all eligible tenure-line faculty must vote in favor of the proposed change(s) for the change(s) to be implemented.


Standing and Ad Hoc Committees

 *updated May 2018

Agendas of the four standing committees (see below) shall be set in the first week of the fall semester at a meeting of the College Coordinating Committee (CCC), called by the Chair of the Faculty. The CCC shall include the following voting members: the four standing Committee Chairs, the Chair and Secretary of the Faculty, and one Department Chair (elected each year by the Department Chairs). The Dean and Associate Deans of the College shall be non-voting members. All members of the CCC shall be responsible for setting the standing committees’ annual agendas. Additions to the agendas may be proposed at Faculty meetings. In addition to this annual meeting each fall, the Chair of the Faculty may convene the CCC as needed, in order to coordinate the flow of business from committees, advise the Dean’s Office on ad hoc matters, and enhance communication between committees, the administration, and the Faculty.

Each year, elections for committee representatives will be held by May 1, to select representatives to serve in the following academic year. For each of the standing college committees, five tenure-line faculty representatives will be nominated and elected, as follows: Two faculty members shall be nominated and elected from each division of the College (Humanities and Arts, and Behavioral and Social Sciences). All tenure-line faculty in the division will vote on their slate of nominees; faculty may vote in only one division. The divisions are:

Division 1: Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSS): American Indian Studies; Anthropology; Communication; Economics; Environmental Studies; Ethnic Studies; Global Studies; Liberal Studies; Political Science; Psychology; Sociology; Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Division 2: Humanities and Arts (HA): Art, Media, & Design; Dance; History; Literature and Writing Studies; Modern Language Studies; Music; Philosophy; Theatre.

The fifth seat on all standing committees will be reserved for a faculty member elected at-large from the faculty. All tenure-line faculty, across divisions, will vote in the at-large elections for each committee. No faculty member may stand for election in both a Divisional race and one of the at-large races for the same committee. The at-large positions may not be filled by a faculty member from a department represented via any of the Divisional seats. (In case of such duplication, the at-large seat in question would go to the next runner-up from a department/program not already seated on the committee via the Divisional elections.) Tenure-line faculty will be elected for two-year terms.

For each of the standing college committees, one at-large lecturer faculty representative will be nominated and elected. All lecturer faculty are eligible to vote on their slate of nominees, but only lecturers on one-year appointments or above are eligible to be nominated. If elected, lecturers will be compensated for their service work on an annual basis. Lecturer faculty will be elected for one-year terms.

Because tenure-line faculty are required to take leadership in service, the standing committees shall select their chairs from among the tenure-line faculty representatives and establish a regular meeting time for the upcoming semester prior to May 15. Terms of office begin the first day of the fall semester. If a committee member cannot fulfill her/his term of office, the resulting vacancy shall be filled, for the remainder of the term of office, by a replacement member selected from the same constituency as the original member. The replacement member shall be selected from a pool of volunteers by an appointments committee comprising the Chair of the Faculty and the Chairs of the standing committees. The Secretary of the faculty shall publish a notice of the vacancy, soliciting volunteers to serve in replacement, and shall record and publish the decision of the appointments committee, but will not vote on that committee (so as to ensure an odd number of voting members).

Under very rare circumstances a constituency may wish to recall its representative to a committee. A petition to recall a committee member may be initiated by a member of the relevant constituency. If 25% of the constituents sign the petition, a recall ballot shall be prepared by the Dean and distributed to all members of the constituency. Recall must be favored by a majority of the eligible constituents. The Dean may ask the Chair of the Faculty to convene the College Coordinating Committee for purposes of discussing the possible need for ad hoc committees (e.g., Task Forces). Such ad hoc committees would deal with matters that arise outside of regular committee business. The CCC shall either appoint members to the ad hoc committee under discussion, or shall arrange for the election of representatives to the ad hoc committee.

The role of the Dean’s Office representatives on the college committees is to provide information and advice relevant to the topics at hand. In consideration of the importance of the balance of power implied by shared governance, Dean’s Office membership on the committees is non-voting.