About Participatory Governance
Promote and participate in collaborative decision-making
Participatory, or shared, governance refers to the collaborative decision-making process that involves various stakeholders, including students, faculty, classified professionals, and administrators. It provides an opportunity for these individuals to have a voice in shaping policies, programs, and initiatives within Moreno Valley College.
Participatory governance is guided by the principles outlined in the California Education Code, Title 5 regulations, and our own local policies.
Participatory governance allows our diverse college community to create and provide recommendations that make their way upward through various overseeing committees and councils to the College President, who makes final decisions for the institution.
- Councils oversee standing committees in their respective areas and are tasked with collecting
and distributing information for the purpose of making recommendations and acting
on proposals that come through the governance process. The college has two councils:
Academic Senate and the College Council.
- The Academic Senate and its committees' voting members are limited to faculty, though input from other stakeholders is welcome. The Senate reviews all items that fall under the 10+1 purview before forwarding the recommendation to the President. Learn more about Senate responsibilities and the 10+1 guidelines.
- The College Council and its committees include members and participation from faculty, staff, administration, and students.
- Standing committees are a central and permanent part of the governance of the college. Each standing committee is tasked with an essential function in the college’s operation, and it is each committee’s responsibility to carry out the duties and tasks defined in their mission and bylaws.
- Workgroups are formed to work on recurrent events and to achieve specific goals.
- Task forces might be formed to work on accomplishing or overseeing specific short-term goals and tasks.
Constituent groups of MVC work within the participatory governance structure; however, their authority comes from agreements established outside of the governance committee structure itself including collective bargaining agreements, Title 5, California Education Code and Board Policy. These established agreements assign to the stakeholder groups purview over particular matters which are not part of participatory governance. As a part of their defined purview, the stakeholder groups may have defined subcommittees that support the work of the group as a whole.
Leadership for each of the constituent groups, in addition to representing and serving their stakeholders, has the responsibility of assigning members to serve on participatory college committees as representatives of the large stakeholder group. The appointment to participate on a governance committee emphasizes the responsibility that all members have to actively engage with committee content and goals by attending meetings regularly and reporting back to their stakeholder group. Additionally, representatives from stakeholder groups may also be appointed and assigned to work on joint task forces, work groups, or other groups formed to address institutional issues.
The Associated Students of Moreno Valley College (ASMVC) appoints student members to serve on participatory District and College committees, task forces, and advisory bodies. Moreno Valley College’s Associated Student Senate appoints members at the beginning of each academic year. Student appointments are for one year or as noted in the approved committee bylaws.
Faculty appointment to district and college governance bodies are made by the Moreno Valley Academic Senate (MVCAS) with college administration consulting collegially. Committees concerning the Faculty Association are appointed by the RCCD Faculty Association (CTA). Faculty appointments to standing committees and councils are for two-year terms of service unless otherwise noted in the committee/council bylaws. Additional terms are subject to Senate approval.
Each participatory governance committee with classified representation has a classified professional appointee from the California School Employees Association (CSEA). Classified appointments to participatory governance committees follow published terms of services noted in the committee bylaws. Terms for classified staff are subject to CSEA approval.
While Title 5 includes administrators as staff, it also requires that they be categorized separately from non-management staff for the purposes of participation in college governance. Administrators may either be appointed to committees by the President or serve as an ex officio/resource.
The Ralph M. Brown Act
The Ralph M. Brown Act is a set of laws that govern public meetings in California. Requirements outlined in the Brown Act must be followed by Academic Senate and its ongoing or regularly scheduled standing committees. Committees not under the Academic Senate and not created by the Board of Trustees (such as the College Council and its subcommittees) are not held to the Brown Act, but many of the principles should be followed as a best practice.
- Give notice of the meeting: The committee must give notice of the meeting and share the agenda at least 72 hours in advance. The agenda should include the items that will be discussed or voted on, along with the time, date, and location of the meeting. Be sure to include the documents for voting items on the agenda or the email. Notices of meeting times and location should be posted around the college.
- Allow public attendance: The committee must allow the public to attend the meeting and provide a reasonable opportunity for public comment.
- Keep accurate minutes: The committee must keep accurate minutes of the meeting, including a record of all actions taken and all votes.
- Conduct meetings in public: The committee must conduct all meetings in public, except in certain limited circumstances.
- First readings: A first reading at a meeting is usually required before action can be taken at a subsequent meeting.
- Prohibit secret ballots: The committee may not use secret ballots, except in certain limited circumstances.
- Online vs. in-person: Voting members must be present in person, with limited exceptions for remote voting.
Committee Documentation and Templates
- Creation of an agenda: Create an agenda ahead of time and distribute it to the college community at least 72 hours before the meeting. The agenda should include a list of items to be discussed, the order in which they will be discussed, and documents for any voting items.
- Leading of the meetings, including the taking of minutes by a recorder or secretary.
- Posting of agenda, minutes, and documentation to the committee or group's webpage: Once approved by the committee, these documents can be added to the website by emailing them to the webmaster.
- Reporting out: report and communicate updates and recommendations to overseeing and relevant bodies.
- Regular assessment of the group and its bylaws. Bylaws are to be reviewed periodically (as set in the group’s bylaws). College Council committees are asked to complete an annual Committee Self-Evaluation form that assesses the work the committee has completed and to set future goals.
- The following of Robert's Rules of Order, which is a set of rules for conducting meetings in an organized and fair manner. Here are some key principles to keep in mind and to follow:
- Call the meeting to order: Once everyone is present, call the meeting to order and follow the agenda.
- Ensure quorum: Before a meeting can officially begin and items can be voted on a quorum of its members must be present. Quorum is defined in the group's bylaws, but is typically set to one-half of voting members plus one.
- Recognize speakers: Allow committee members to speak one at a time and recognize them before they speak. This helps to avoid confusion and keeps the discussion organized.
- Keep the discussion on track: As the chairperson, it is your responsibility to keep the discussion on track and ensure that the committee stays focused on the agenda items.
- Encourage participation: All members should be encouraged to participate in the meeting and have their voices heard. The presiding officer should ensure that everyone has a chance to speak and that no one dominates the conversation.
- Make motions: Motions are proposals made by committee members. To make a motion, a member must be recognized by the chair and state the motion clearly.
- Second the motion: After a motion has been made, another committee member must second it before it can be discussed. This ensures that the motion has support from at least two members.
- Discuss the motion: Once a motion has been seconded, it can be discussed by the committee members. The chair should ensure that everyone has an opportunity to speak and that the discussion remains respectful.
- Vote on the motion: After the discussion, the committee should vote on the motion. The chair should ensure that the vote is conducted fairly and that all committee members have the opportunity to vote.
- Read the committee's bylaws to learn about the committee's scope, mission, and purpose.
- Show up to the meeting, be involved, listen, ask questions, and contribute.
- Read all documentation that is relevant to the meetings and committee to be prepared, informed, and to provide feedback.
- Commit to the purpose of the committee and vote as you feel is best.
- Report back and seek feedback from your department, discipline, and peers to update them on committee actions or informational items.
- Report committee action or items to any overseeing committee or councils that you serve on or report to.
- Ensure you are fulfilling your institutional service duties.