Resolutions Considerations

ASCCC Area C Representative, ASCCC Resolutions Committee Chair
ASCCC President

As the primary instrument for faculty across the state to guide the work of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC), resolutions are critical and foundational. Academic senate leaders from throughout the state should be familiar with the full cycle of the process as well as some guiding principles when writing resolutions. Basic guidance on resolutions and recently updated tracking information are available on the ASCCC website, but some considerations regarding the bigger picture surrounding resolutions are not necessarily addressed in the current Resolutions Handbook. [1]

Resolutions Process: Main Components

Resolutions begin with an idea that is of statewide interest. The ASCCC Executive Committee and the organization’s other committees submit resolutions that are introduced at area meetings. Additional resolutions and amendments may be introduced by interested faculty members or local senates at area meetings and, if supported by the area, are forwarded to the ASCCC Executive Committee to be included in the resolutions introduced at each upcoming plenary session. During the plenary session, faculty attendees may submit resolutions and amendments by the daily due times. Resolutions and amendments submitted at the plenary session require seconds by four registered delegates. However, finding willing seconders at the plenary is generally not difficult.

Debate and voting on proposed resolutions and amendments occurs on the final day of each plenary session. Final versions of adopted resolutions that include any approved amendment modifications are compiled and distributed to all colleges within a few days of the end of the plenary session.  

With guidance from the delegates in the form of the final, perfected resolutions, the work begins to address the resolved statements. Resolved statements are first assigned to the ASCCC Executive Committee or other committees and, as the will of the faculty, become high priorities for each committee to address. Ways to address resolutions vary as widely as do the resolutions themselves, including Rostrum articles, developing formal papers, forming task forces, collaborating with the Chancellor’s Office and system partners, providing webinars and other professional development opportunities, and more.

Updated Resolutions Tracking

Recently, the ASCCC website has been updated to provide status information on each resolution, which provides more transparency on progress in addressing resolutions. The adopted resolutions webpage is a great resource to search for resolutions with the current status displayed in the final column. One may limit the search to topics or committees by using the check boxes on the left-hand side of the webpage.

In addition, each committee webpage—under the “Communities” tab on the main ASCCC webpage—features a “Resolutions” label toward the bottom of the page. Clicking that label will display the resolutions assigned to that particular committee, again with the status displayed in the final column.

Statewide Issue or Concern

Resolutions should address issues or concerns that are statewide in nature. Many issues and concerns arise at local colleges and districts. Some may even be caused by directives from the legislature or the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. The same issues or concerns may not necessarily arise at all of the colleges in the system. Area meetings and the first day of a plenary session are good venues for receiving feedback on possible resolution ideas to see if other colleges have related experiences. Searching adopted resolutions on the ASCCC website for resolutions on similar topics can help to determine whether a topic is statewide in nature; it can also help resolution writers to avoid duplicating existing resolutions.


Resolutions must address issues within the purview of the ASCCC and may only direct the ASCCC to act. Academic and professional matters detailed in Title 5 §53200, colloquially referred to as the “10+1,” largely describe the purview of the ASCCC. Faculty should carefully consider the nature of the issue or concern and its relation to academic and professional matters when drafting resolutions.

Focus on Intent

Making very specific requests with carefully crafted language may not aways align with the resolutions process. Addressing intricate resolved statements often involves multiple steps and working with many constituents, which may not be apparent in all cases.

For example, a resolution may request the creation of specific language in Title 5 related to curriculum. Curriculum clearly falls within the umbrella of academic and professional matters and is thus within the purview of the ASCCC if the particular request is of statewide interest. However, Title 5 is rather intricate, and what may seem like minor changes in one section could have profound, and sometimes unexpected or unintended, consequences in another section or sections.

Title 5 changes to curriculum-related topics are vetted through the California Community Colleges Curriculum Committee (5C), which is a committee of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CO). Membership of 5C includes CO personnel, chief instructional officers, chief student services officers, a classified curriculum specialist, a student, and, of course, faculty appointed by the ASCCC. After much discussion and often legal advice from the CO, recommendations from 5C are often further vetted by each constituent group. All proposed Title 5 updates go through both 45-day and then 15-day comment periods before final consideration by the Board of Governors, which makes the final decision to adopt or not. At any of these steps, updates and changes to the originally proposed language may occur.

This example demonstrates why some actions requested by resolutions may not be within the power of the ASCCC to implement on its own and in some cases ultimately may not be possible to fulfill at all, although the ASCCC will always attempt to follow the direction of the resolution. For this reason, resolved clauses should focus on the intent or goal of the resolution rather attempting to direct specific, narrow language or actions.

Integrated Planning

Colleges have mission statements and develop educational master plans that align with their missions. Colleges may also have strategic plans and other plans that align with the educational master plan and have annual work plans that focus the work on shorter time frames. Program review often involves relating work being done at the program level to strategic directions or metrics from these plans. All of the work at a college aligns with the mission statement, and all the plans likewise align with the mission and each other, which is often referred to as integrated planning.

The ASCCC is a different type of organization, and such a traditional integrated planning model does not quite fit. However, the ASCCC has a mission statement and does engage in institutional self-reflection and strategic planning, with the most recently developed 2023-2026 strategic plan directions [2] adopted during the 2023 Spring Plenary Session with Resolution 1.02 S23.[3]  In addition to fitting within the academic and professional matters purview of academic senates, resolutions should align with the ASCCC mission statement. Resolutions that also align with the strategic plan directions will help the organization make progress on those directions, the ASCCC analog of integrated planning.  

The wide variety of resolutions in recent years that cover various and sundry topics potentially says a great deal about the current state of the community college system. Addressing this multi-dimensional array of resolution topics and requests potentially divides the work of the ASCCC, taking its Executive Committee members, committees, and other resources in many directions. Resolutions that are aligned with the mission and strategic plan directions will more holistically focus the work of the ASCCC, providing opportunity to make significant progress on strategic plans and goals adopted through the resolutions process.


As an organization, the ASCCC manages the workload of a large team of volunteers, from Executive Committee members working with some amount of reassigned time to committee and task force volunteers and faculty experts who fully volunteer their time, energy, perspectives, and knowledge.

As noted in the Resolutions Handbook, resolutions requiring substantial resources will only be carried out if the resources are available. The ASCCC addresses resolutions with the intent of focusing on the issues raised or taking the actions directed, yet instances arise when resolutions may not be acted upon or may not be acted upon in the exact way called for in the resolution. These determinations are made individually dependent on available time, talent, and finances. In other cases, a resolution may no longer be relevant, as with those setting support or oppose positions for specific bills that have been amended to no longer be consistent with the will of the delegates. In these cases, the resolution is rendered moot or infeasible.

Resolutions are the foundational instrument through which faculty statewide provide guidance to the ASCCC Executive Committee and direct its work throughout the state. The Executive Committee urges all faculty to be involved, ask questions, and actively debate. The roughly 1.9 million students in the California Community Colleges system deserve the best effort and involvement from all faculty who serve them.

1. The ASCCC Resolutions Handbook
2. The ASCCC Mission Statement and Strategic Plan Directions are available for review on the ASCCC website.
3. Full text of all ASCCC resolutions.