AP2510 Participation in Local Decision-Making

Education Code Section 70902(b)(7); Title 5, Sections 53200 et seq; 51023.5; 51023.7 Accreditation Standard 10B, IV.A.2, IV.A.5

Gavilan College takes pride in its successful structure and institutional culture of participatory governance. The process of participatory governance guides and informs the college’s decision-making activities, short and long-range planning, and problem solving tasks. With the exception of collective bargaining, personnel matters and legal issues, all aspects of the College conform to the participatory process.

Participatory governance is best described as a process of consultation, a framework of required interactions that ensures that all decisions are well informed by input from the four segments of the college community: management, faculty, Professional Support Staff and students. In this regard, the participatory process is grounded in Assembly Bill 1725 and in the policies of the Gavilan Joint Community College District Board of Trustees.

Gavilan College has taken an additional step, however, by endeavoring to govern its affairs by consensus. Even though the determinations reached through the process are advisory to the President of the College, who serves as the institution’s chief executive officer, the majority of institutional decisions are reached through consensus. This effort ensures a healthy give-and- take in debating ideas, as well as an operative system of checks-and-balances in the review of important matters. It also promotes trust and broadens the sense of  “ownership” of the decisions reached, thereby reinforcing the structure of governance.



The President’s Council serves as the college’s central, participatory council, functioning as the institution’s primary shared governance body. The structure and nature of the President’s Council facilitate its interaction with all institutional constituencies. As the college’s central decision-making body, the Council’s planning role is enhanced by its familiarity with all functions of the college, ensuring both a knowledgeable and an integrated perspective.
Specialized projects are referred by the Council to other governance organizations for review, such as the Faculty Senate and Educational Leadership Team for instructional matters, the Professional Support Staff for inquiries to staffing issues and the Associated Students for student issues. These bodies report back to the Council with recommendations. For most issues, the determination of the President’s Council is final. The President of the College is charged with representing Council determinations to the Board of Trustees.

The President’s Council endeavors to integrate all aspects of communication, decision-making and planning tasks rather than permit the institution to become isolated or its activities to become fragmented due to the centrifugal impulses of this large and complete collegiate environment. The President’s Council establishes ad hoc committees to assist with specialized projects of the college.


President (Chair), Vice President Instructional Services Vice President, Student Services Vice President, Administrative Services Faculty Senate Representatives (2), Educational Leadership Team Representative (1), Confidential/Supervisory Representative (1), Professional Support Staff Representatives (2), Associated Student Body Representatives (2)

Associated Students

The Associated Student Body (ASB) will represent all students of Gavilan College with the right to participate effectively in shared governance.

To be provided the opportunity to participate in the policies, procedures and processes at Gavilan College, that has a “significant effect on students.”

The ASB believes that the highest intellectual, social and moral life is achieved by the ordered pursuit of learning, ethics and involvement at Gavilan College.

The ASB will provide an open communication between students, the community and Gavilan College and represent all student’s interests, goals and information.

The ASB will finance and sponsor a variety of cultural activities and events that benefit the students, the community and Gavilan College.

The ASB will work closely with college faculty to develop educational programs on an ongoing basis that affect students’ educational needs.

To assure that the ASB recommendations are given “every reasonable consideration” within Gavilan College.

Educational Leadership Team

Meet regularly as a management group to address educational matters and to provide a leadership role in the collaborative review, interpretation, and implementation of policies and procedures as they relate to the mission and goals of the institution.

Provide an effective coordination of instructional and student services programs and activities. Represent the interest and concerns of instruction and student services.

Faculty Senate

To serve as the representative of the faculty in making recommendations to the administration of the College and to the Board of Trustees about academic and professional matters.

To work for the general welfare of Gavilan College, its students, staff and faculty.

To foster a sense of responsibility among faculty for maintaining a superior level of instruction and professional activity.

To address academic and professional issues including:

Curriculum, including establishing prerequisites and placing courses within disciplines.

Degree and certificate requirements.

Grading policies.

Educational program development.

Standards or policies regarding student preparation and success.

District and college governance structures, as related to faculty roles.

Faculty roles and involvement in accreditation processes, including self-study and annual reports.

Policies for faculty professional development activities.

Processes for program review.

Processes for institutional planning and budget development.

Other academic and professional matters as mutually agreed upon between the governing board and the Faculty Senate.

Professional Support Staff

The Professional Support Staff representatives shall represent all professional support staff of Gavilan College within the participatory governance structure and decision making process of the College. The purpose includes, but is not limited to the following:

To represent the issues and concerns of the support staff in all aspects of governance and decision-making on matters that are not related to collective bargaining and contract negotiations.

To support the professionalism of the support staff.

To encourage individual leadership, contribution, and development among the members of the support staff.

To assure that informed support staff is available for decision-making within the democratic processes of Gavilan College.

To provide a centralized method of communicating between the support staff and other areas of the College.

To collect and disseminate information of interest to the support staff.

To represent the interest of the support staff in all matters before any policy-making committee or governing body of the College.

Amended: November 14, 2006 Approved by the Board of Trustees: June 12, 2001