Local Senates Handbook

Academic Senate
Relations with Local Senates Committee

This Local Senates Handbook has been compiled by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges’ Relations With Local Senates Committee to be a resource for new and experienced academic senate presidents, providing them with information and context to support them being effective faculty leaders.


This handbook is organized into five parts:

  • Part I: The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges: A Brief History
    This section provides a short history of academic senates in the California Community College System with links to important historical documents that provide the context for how senates operate today.
  • Part II: Roles and Responsibilities of the Academic Senate
    This section provides an explanation of the legal framework that senates function within. This includes sections on California Education Code and Title 5 that relate to the academic and professional responsibilities of the senate; information on local board policies, regulations, and delegation of decision making authority; the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges statement on collegial consultation; effective practices to foster effective relationships between the union and the senate; and the role of the academic senate regarding accreditation.
  • Part III. Duties as a Local Senate President
    This section breaks out some of the duties and responsibilities of academic senate presidents, including the general duties, reports and documents requiring senate sign-off, and committee appointments.
  • Part IV. Ensuring the Effectiveness of the Local Senate
    This section provides effective practices regarding the placement of the senate within the college’s governance structure, constitutions and bylaws, effective participatory governance, and strategies to institutionalize an effective senate.
  • Part V. Linking Local Senates to the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges
    This section contains information on how the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges operates and the services that it offers to assist local senates. This handbook has been prepared to be read cover-to-cover by new senate leaders or to be used as a specific problem solving reference handbook. The California Community College System is complex. Often in this handbook information seems to be repeated in different sections. This repetition was purposeful to both serve a user who is looking for the answer to a specific question and to allow for different nuanced approaches to the information pertaining to the different sections. The online version of the handbook available in the PDF format allows the reader to navigate between connected sections with the help of hyperlinks.