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SMC|Administration & College Governance|Academic Senate|Academic Senate Credo

Academic Senate Credo

Academic Senate Credo

To make clear the faculty’s role in making decisions at Santa Monica College, the Academic Senate affirms the following guiding principles:

1. Excellence: We embrace the college's vision: Changing lives through excellence in education. To us, this means that we strive to be the community college system's premier college.

2. Responsibilities and Rights: Under California law, the academic senate has specific rights and responsibilities in eleven areas:

    • Curriculum, including establishing prerequisites;
    • Degree and certificate requirements;
    • Grading policies;
    • Educational program development;
    • Standards or policies regarding student preparation and success;
    • College governance structures, as related to faculty roles;
    • Faculty roles and involvement in accreditation processes;
    • Policies for faculty professional development activities;
    • Processes for program review;
    • Processes for institutional planning and budget development; and
    • Other academic and professional matters as mutually agreed upon.

For the college to prosper, the college must rely on the expertise of faculty. Legislators valued this expertise to such an extent that faculty participation in governance is explicitly expressed in law.

3. Shared governance: For the legally mandated participation of faculty to be effective, it must support this principle: that the best decisions come from a spectrum of opinion and broad and diverse participation. We have an obligation to speak out for those who are vulnerable. In this challenging time, each faculty member has a special responsibility to help make the best decisions for the college.

4. Communication: In deliberations, we pledge to communicate directly and candidly. When the academic senate advocates a position, the campus community will know why and how we reached the decision.

5. Trust and Mutual Respect: We will seek to define through actions what mutual respect and collegiality mean. Collegiality does not end with congeniality. Mutual respect implies trust and risk-taking. We will offer first steps, and we call on other campus groups to take risks to foster trust on this campus.

(Approved Sept. 30, 2003)