Reference ACCJC Standard IV: Leadership and Governance

The members of the Board of Trustees, as elected officials, recognize their accountability to the electorate with the District and their responsibility under law to make policy decisions affecting the District.

By establishing the Merritt College Council, the College provides a forum through which students, faculty, administrators and staff make policy recommendations to the College President. The sole purpose of this Constitution is to implement the concept of participatory governance enacted by AB 1725. This Constitution shall not be construed in any manner to alter the fundamental relationship between the PCCD Board of Trustees and Merritt College. The Board retains all powers implied or granted by state law (Education Code and Title 5).

This Constitution recognizes the special relationships mandated by Title V, AB1725 and the Ed Code between the Board of Trustees, and the faculty, or staff or students. This Constitution do not detract from the rights and responsibilities of unions or the Academic Senate to address the President or the Board of Trustees directly on items within their scope, nor are these procedures meant to detract from any negotiations or negotiated agreement between collective bargaining units and the Board of Trustees.

In matters concerning “Academic-Professional Matters” (Title V, 53200), the Administration will rely primarily on the advice and judgment of the Academic Senate. (See Board Policy 2.23, attached.) PFT Union and Academic Senate recommendations on District policy as mentioned under “Purpose” are not within the scope of the College Council, nor are recommendations of the Curriculum and Instructional Council which go directly to the Vice President of Instruction, the Academic Senate and to CIPD (Council on Instruction, Planning and Development). Items concerning broad-based College practices shall be presented to the College Council to ensure that all constituencies have had an opportunity to participate in the formulation and development of those matters through the process of governance.



The name of the organization shall be the Merritt College Council.



The purpose of the College Council will be to receive college recommendations from all Committees, obtain constituent opinions, advise the President as to recommendations, and provide a means of communication within the college community. The College Council is the forum in which all proposed broad-based College practices and procedures are discussed collegially before they are acted on or implemented by the College President. The College Council is charged with the responsibility of upholding participatory governance principles through consultation with the Academic Senate, Peralta Federation of Teachers, Classified Senate, Administration and Associated Students of Merritt College. NOTE: Policy concerns and/or recommendations are referred to the proper District groups that are addressed by the Chancellor and the Board.



All committees of the College Council shall adhere to the procedural operations of the Constitution.

Goal-Setting and Assessment (per accreditation standards)

At the start of each academic year, committees are to set attainable and measurable goals, which are then reviewed and assessed the end of the academic year. Assessment of these goals are reported to the College Council each year.


All committees shall consist of representatives from all four constituency groups. Committee memberships should not exceed 12 voting members. Constituency leaders will communicate membership to each committee chair.

Terms of service for committee members is one academic year. Committee members can serve no more than three consecutive terms. Committee chairs can serve no more than two consecutive terms.

Committee members who miss two consecutive meetings automatically vacate their seat on the committee. If a seat becomes vacant during the academic year, the committee chair shall notify the appropriate appointing authority to identify a replacement to serve out the remainder of the term.

It is strongly recommended that committee members be appointed, and chairs be elected at the end of the spring semester to ensure continuity.

Roles and Responsibilities

Committee Chair and Co-Chair

Chairs should be knowledgeable of parliamentary procedures to maintain order and ensure efficient dialogue.

The responsibilities of the Chair/Co-Chair are as follows:

  • Regulate attendance at meetings and track membership
  • Understand the committee’s charge, membership, and reporting relationships to other governance groups
  • Prepare/distribute the agenda and facilitate discussion of all items in a timely manner
  • Encourage feedback from members
  • Responsible for ensuring minutes are taken and reposited to

Committee Member

The responsibilities of members are as follows:

  • Arrange one’s schedule to accommodate the committee’s meeting schedule
  • Attend all committee meetings
  • Be prepared for meetings: review materials in advance; be ready to discuss and/or provide feedback; take notes to report back to the constituency group
  • Advocate for the interests of their respective constituency groups 15

Expectations and Engagement

  • Faculty and staff who participate in governance must fulfill their professional obligations before assuming additional responsibilities as committee chairs (i.e., assessment, performance evaluations, program reviews and annual program updates, etc.)
  • Maintain a professional and collegial environment; attack the issue – not the person; communication shall take place without fear of reprisal
  • Committee members are expected to share the floor and avoid dominating the discussion
  • Stay engaged in meeting discussions and avoid sidebars and distractions


See Article V: Meetings


All committee meeting agendas and minutes should be posted to the College website in a timely manner. Committee Chairs are asked to submit their approved meeting agendas, minutes, reports, presentations, and any other pertinent materials within 72 hours of meetings to NOTE: The Participatory Governance Repository is not a means of communication. Therefore, committee chairs are still responsible for disseminating meeting information.

Reporting committees and senates must provide reports in written form for each College Council meeting.

Creation or Deactivation of Committees

Robert’s Rules of Order informs the process of creating or deactivating a committee that reports to the College Council. In order for the creation or adoption of college committees, it must (1) receive a 2/3 affirmative vote of the College Council, (2) be reviewed by all four constituent groups of the College and (3) be approved by at least three of the four constituent groups.



Brown Act

It is suggested that all meetings be guided by the principles of the Brown Act but is not required unless otherwise noted.

Parliamentary Procedure

It is suggested that all meetings are guided by Robert’s Rules of Order as a model for conducting committee business.


Regular meetings shall be scheduled at least once a month during the fall and spring academic terms. The chair may call emergency as needed to conduct business. An emergency is defined as the need to take action before the next regularly scheduled meeting. The chair may also call extra meetings to continue deliberation on an action item as needed.

A Master Calendar of College meetings is managed through the President’s Office. If a governance group wishes to change the time, day, or location of its meetings, the request (including rationale) must be submitted in writing to the President’s Office. The request will be reviewed and evaluated, with regard to processes, room availability, and potential impact on other meetings and constituents.


Robert’s Rules of Order inform the need to conduct committee business. In the absence of a quorum, discussion amongst those committee members can occur, but no motions can be made or vetted.


All committees utilize standard templates for meeting agendas and minutes, which include the College Mission statement.


The Chair(s) shall determine the agenda for each meeting. The College President, Academic Senate President, Classified Senate President, and ASMC President may submit agenda items. Agenda items should be submitted in writing to the Chair(s) no less than three working days prior to the agenda being distributed.

Action Items

Any action of committees is to be consistent with Board Policy 2510 and AP 2511. Consideration of recommendations/proposals require a vote to approve, disapprove, refer to another college committee/senate or back to the originator with instructions for revisions.


All meetings must be documented with official minutes, which include the following: • Meeting Information (i.e., date, time, location, type of meeting)

  • Attendance, quorum, name of each motion maker
  • Exact wording and action of motions, amendments (e.g., adopted, defeated, postponed, referred, laid, etc.)
  • How every member voted (depending on bylaws)

Minutes shall be approved as part of the regular agenda.



Bylaws shall adhere to the Constitution and consist of the following sections

  • Purpose/Function of the committee within the participatory governance structure.
  • Charges are the specific responsibilities that the committee must fulfill.
  • Membership must include equitable representation of all constituency groups.
  • Appointments, Vacancies, and Elections of Chairpersons
  • Duties of Chairpersons (see roles and responsibilities)
  • Meeting Procedures
  • Ratification of amendments to bylaws


Review and Revision of Committee Bylaws

Bylaws must be reviewed annually at the first meeting of the academic year to ensure that they align to institutional processes and procedures.

Any revisions to participatory or operational by-laws should be submitted to the College Council and will be reviewed and voted upon. Once approved, changes will be reflected in the Participatory Governance Handbook.



Ratification of and amendments to the Constitution may be proposed by any member of the College Council. To be adopted, proposed amendments must (1) receive a 2/3 affirmative vote of the College Council members present, (2) be reviewed by all four constituent groups of the College and (3) be approved by at least three of the four constituent groups.