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Grand Rapids Community College's Academic Governing Council (AGC) is a collaborative initiative between faculty and academic administration to strengthen communication and increase involvement in academic issues and policies. By fostering and encouraging a broader input and a sense of accountability, AGC leadership effectively mediates issues that impact students, staff and faculty.

AGC recommendations are, upon approval by the Provost, implemented on a college-wide basis. The Provost, in conjunction with other college entities, will conduct implementation of these decisions as needed.

Article I
Officers of the Academic Governing Council

Section 1. The officers of the Academic Governing Council (AGC) will be included in an Executive Committee, drawn from the Academic Governing Council members comprised of six individuals. The committee membership shall include two department heads/program directors, two at-large representatives, and two administrators. The two administrative officers will be chosen by the Provost and their status will be reviewed every two years. Faculty officers will be elected using a secret ballot system (either electronically or at an AGC meeting).

  •      Department Head/Program Directors will vote for two of their peers to serve on the committee. The designated Department Head/Program Director representative can only complete this term if they retain the Department Head/Program Director role for the full term. A special election will be conducted to replace the DH/PD representative if they no longer serve in that capacity at the departmental level.
  •      At-large Faculty will vote for two at-large full-time faculty representatives of their peers to serve.
  •      No faculty member may vote or serve in more than one category. Elected officers shall serve two-year terms with no term limit imposition.

Section 2. Duties, responsibilities and authority of the Executive Committee shall include the following:

Preside at all meetings of the Academic Governing Council and at any special meetings called by the council.

  1.        Schedule meetings of the Academic Governing Council and prepare the agenda for those meetings.
  2.        Appoint, subject to Council approval, the Chairpersons of all standing and ad-hoc committees.
  3.        Appoint members of standing and ad-hoc committees, subject to the confirmation of the Council.
  4.        Serve as ex-officio members of any and all Council committees.
  5.        Serve as a liaison between the Provost and the Academic Governing Council.
  6.        The Executive Committee will also perform the duties of the Chairperson on a rotating basis to be  determined by the Committee. The individual serving as chair at a particular meeting will only be allowed to  vote in the case of a tie. All other members of the Executive Committee will be voting members of the  Academic Governing Council.
  7.       The Executive Committee will also be responsible for keeping all records (including minutes, committee  reports, and dissent forms) and for transmitting copies of approved minutes, reports, and forms to any  interested party upon request.
  8.       Faculty officers may be removed from office for dereliction of the duties outlined above. Removal of officers requires a majority vote of their peers who elected that officer to the Executive Committee.

Article II
Meetings of the Academic Governing Council

Section 1. Unless notified by the Chairperson, the Academic Governing Council shall meet in regular sessions once each month during the Fall and Winter semesters. The Executive Committee also reserves the right to call for strategy and planning sessions. These should be limited, unless otherwise approved by the entire body, to two meetings per academic year. The Chairperson will decide if the meeting will be held in person or virtually.

Section 2. The AGC membership shall be notified at least five working days in advance of any regular meeting or special session. Notification shall include, when possible, items to be discussed and matters requiring AGC action.

Section 3. A written petition of 60% of the AGC may call summer sessions. Summer meetings will be voluntary and members will be notified at least ten days in advance of any such meeting.

Section 4. A quorum for the AGC shall consist of forty percent of the Council in order for a vote to be taken. Under certain circumstances, the Executive Committee may call for an electronic vote to take place outside of a regularly scheduled meeting. In the event that an electronic vote occurs, a majority of the votes cast will determine the result.

Section 5. AGC meetings shall be open to the members of the Governing Council and invited guests.

Invited guests shall be allowed to speak from the floor at designated times during the proceedings and the Chair reserves the right to limit the time.

Section 6. Unless otherwise specified by these Bylaws, the method of voting shall be determined according to the Democratic Rules of Order (current edition), or chosen by the Executive Committee.All voting will allow for members to abstain from said matter.

Section 7. AGC allows for proxy voting. An absent member may delegate their vote to another member. Members should notify the Chairperson before the meeting of the proxy. All proxy voters must be identified at the beginning of every AGC meeting as a manner of public record. A member can carry a maximum of two (2) proxy votes at each meeting.

Article III

Section 1. Committee chairs shall be appointed as described in Article I, Section 2 of the Bylaws.

Section 2. Committee members shall be appointed as described in Article I, Section 2 of the Bylaws.

Section 3. Committees of continuing importance shall be designated as standing committees.

Section 4. Committees created for a specific purpose as of limited duration shall be designated as ad-hoc committees.

  1.        The Academic Governing Council as a whole, or the Executive Committee, shall establish committees.
  2.        All committees may, in addition to Academic Governing Council members, contain other faculty, staff, board  members, and/or students with special interest or expertise in the work of the committee.
  3.       Each ad hoc committee shall serve until its task is completed.

Section 5. Committees shall be responsible for gathering information and making recommendations to the Academic Governing Council. Standing Committee members are required to archive all minutes of committee meetings, recommendations, and supporting data gathered prior to a formal presentation or recommendation.

Article IV
Standing Committees

Section 1. Standing Committees of the Academic Governing Council shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1.         Sabbatical Committee (Faculty members and Administrators per Faculty Contract)
  2.         IIPD Committee (Faculty members only)
  3.         Excellence in Education (Faculty members only)
  4.         Deans’ Council (Administrators Only)
  5.         Distance Learning Faculty Advisory Board
  6.         Grade Appeal Hearing Committee (Faculty and Academic Administration)
  7.         Curriculum Approval Committee (Faculty and Academic Administration)
  8.         General Education Review Team (Faculty and Academic Administration)
  9.         Learning Environment Team

Each standing committee may be asked by the Chairperson to update the membership about committee activities and actions during the Academic Year.

Section 2. Membership of the above committees and any others subsequently created shall be determined in accordance with these Bylaws.

Article V
Membership and Elections

Section 1. Representatives shall be elected to serve on the Academic Governing Council in the following manner:

  1.        Academic Departments with faculty membership shall be represented by their respective Department Head  or Program Director. Every academic department consisting of more than five full-time faculty members  must  elect one additional At-Large full-time faculty representative to the Academic Governing Council.
  2.        In addition, there shall be two school-wide At-Large representatives. One (1) at-large representative shall be  nominated by the Executive Committee or by a petition of no less than fifteen full-time faculty members and  approved by majority vote of the faculty members of the School of Arts and Sciences, and one (1)  representative shall be nominated by the Executive Committee or by a petition of no less than fifteen full-  time faculty members and elected by a majority vote of the faculty members of the School of Workforce  Development. If a candidate fails to achieve a majority vote, a new nomination must be solicited from the  AGC.
  3.       Adjunct faculty representative candidates shall be nominated by the Executive Committee, or by a petition of  no less than fifteen adjunct faculty members, and approved in electronic elections by a majority of the  adjunct faculty from the respective schools who participate in the vote. The School of Workforce  Development shall be allowed one (1) adjunct representative, and the School of Arts and Sciences shall be  allowed one (1) adjunct representative. Votes on adjunct representation will take place prior to the first  meeting of the Academic Governing Council every Fall semester. Service on the Academic Governing Council  will cease with termination of employment.
  4.       Deans, Associate Deans, and the Registrar are voting members of AGC. 
  5.   5. The Provost may request to expand or reduce the number of non-voting members of the AGC. The Provost  shall submit a list of potential non-voting members on a yearly basis to the AGC for approval. Approval  requires the majority support of the AGC. The Provost will serve on the Academic Governing Council as an Ex-  Officio, non-voting member.
  6.       Department Heads/Program Directors will serve on the Academic Governing Council for the duration of their  time as Department Heads/Program Directors. At Large representatives will serve two-year terms with no  term limit imposition. At the end of the two-year term, the respective department will conduct an election,  with the assistance of the Executive Committee, to fill the seat.
  7.       The Executive Committee will supervise all elections for the Academic Governing Council, except the election  to the committee itself. Those elections will be conducted under the supervision of the Provost's office.
     Alternate representatives may be selected by each represented group to serve on the Council in the absence  of the representative.
  8.       All elected representatives must continue to be employed by the College in the area/department from which  they were elected to continue to be members of the Council.
  9.       Any member who holds two voting positions may only vote once.

Section 2. No At-Large representative shall be elected to the Council, and no Council member will be elected to the Executive Committee, without his/her consent. Department Heads/Program Directors and Deans are required by these Bylaws to participate in Council proceedings.

Section 3. New representatives shall take office at the beginning of the Fall Semester.

Article VI

Section 1. Attendance at all Academic Governing Council meetings is vital to ensure student success and the proper functioning of the college. Attendance will be recorded and be made public by the Executive Committee.

Article VII
Process for Decision Making

Section 1. Policies and proposals, unless deemed as fitting the criteria for a two-presentation vote, will be presented three times to the AGC membership. In such a case, a vote will occur on the third instance.

  1.       Criteria for a Two Presentation Vote. AGC Exec will use the following criteria to determine if a policy can be presented twice for a vote by the AGC members.
    1.       The changes in the policy are limited to language clarifications and do not alter the intent  or process of the policy.
    2.        There is a change in a state or federal law that precipitates the change to a policy.
    3.        The elimination of the policy is proposed due to obsolescence.
    4.        A new policy has been passed by the AGC membership that requires updating or  elimination of an older policy.

Section 2. All motions and decisions will follow the Democratic Rules of Order.

Section 3. Once the Academic Governing Council has reached a decision on an issue, the Executive Committee will submit a Decision Form to the Provost. The Provost will be responsible for responding in writing to the Executive Committee. The response must occur within ten working days after receipt of the Decision Form.

Section 4. At this point, the Provost has two options:

  1.       The Provost can concur with the decision and begin implementation of the decision. The Provost will also be able to request evaluation procedures and data feedback measures to ensure that the decision is having the desired effect.
  2.      The Provost retains the right to send the decision back to the Academic Governing Council for re-evaluation. The re-evaluation process will require the Council to send the issue back to committee, along with the Provost’s concerns and questions, to begin the process anew. The issue will then follow the normal procedures outlined in these Bylaws to reach the Decision stage again. At that point, a majority vote of the Academic Governing Council would be required to reach a decision. The Executive Committee will then submit the Decision Form to the Provost. If the Provost desires input on process and procedure, the Provost may resubmit the decision back to committee of origin for feedback. Once the committee and the Provost agree on the process and procedures for implementation, the Provost can concur with the overall policy and begin implementation of the decision without bringing the item back to the AGC for a full vote. Policy decisions must follow the cycle of Consensus outlined in these bylaws. The Provost will be responsible for responding in writing to the Executive Committee. The response must occur within ten working days after receipt of the Decision Form. At this point, the Provost has two options. 1) The Provost can concur with the decision and begin implementation of that decision. 2) The Provost can call for a Consensus Process until both the Council and the Provost reach an agreement. The Executive Committee on a case-by-case basis will craft the process used to reach consensus.

Article VIII

Section 1. A vacancy shall be considered to exist when the number of Council representatives is less than that prescribed in Article V, Section 1 of these Bylaws.

Section 2. The Executive Committee of the Academic Governing Council shall appoint any eligible person to fill a vacancy, subject to confirmation by a simple majority of the remaining Council members.

Section 3. Appointed Representatives shall serve only until the next regular election of Council Representatives, or until the return of the originally elected member.

Article IX

Section 1. The name of the organization shall be the Academic Governing Council of Grand Rapids Community College

Section 2. The following defines categories of membership:

  1.       Academic administrators shall include Academic Deans, Associate Deans, and the Provost.
  2.       Faculty members are those individuals working under the faculty contract.
  3.       Full-time and Adjunct faculty members are those faculty members as defined in the Faculty Association and  Board of Trustees Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Article X
Parliamentary Procedure and Meetings

Meetings of the Academic Governing Council shall be conducted in accordance with the Democratic Rules of Order. Each member of the Council will be provided with a copy of the Democratic Rules. All other questions regarding procedures and meetings should be addressed to the Executive Committee for resolution.

Article XI
Amendment of the Bylaws

Section 1. Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed by members of the Academic Governing Council, or by petition of no fewer than 25% percent of the combined membership of the faculty and academic administrators.

Section 2. A Representative at a regular meeting of the Council must introduce the proposed amendment, or the petition must be delivered to the Executive Committee.

Section 3. After introduction by a Council representative, or receipt by the Executive Committee, a proposed amendment shall be given a first reading at the next meeting of the Council.

Section 4. The Council at the next meeting following the first reading of the proposed amendment shall give consideration to the proposed amendment.

  1.       The proposed amendment may itself be amended at this time by a two-thirds majority vote of the members  present.
  2.       If a two-thirds majority of the Council approves the amendment, the Amendment will be considered binding.

Article XII

Section 1. The invalidation of any article or section herein shall have no effect on the applicability of the remaining parts of these Bylaws.

Approved: 05/10/2022 

Revision History:

  • 12.09.14: 

    • Article II, Section 7

    • Article IV, Section 7

    •  Article IV, Section 8 

    • Article VII, Section 1

    • Article VII, Section 2 

  • 01.29.16 - no notes

  • 05.10.2022: (see decision paper for review and approval details)

    • Article II, Section 1

    • Article II, Section 6

    • Article II, Section 7

    • Article IV, name and language updates

    • Article XI, Section 4

Next revision - Fall 2025