The CUNY Board of Trustees mandates that each College in the City University of New York have a Governance Plan and Governance Body with mixed constituencies. Such bodies will deal with policy matters for the college and for the University. Queensborough has its own Governance Plan. That plan creates the Academic Senate as the local governing body and it has its own Bylaws of the Academic Senate and there are also the Bylaws of the Faculty, both of which need to be consistent with the QCC Governance Plan. The Senate and faculty have authority to alter their bylaws. Only the CUNY BOT may alter the Governance Plan upon request from the College being formally submitted from at least two of the following constituencies: the President, the Faculty or the Students supported by formal referenda.
Senate Matters according to our Bylaws
Membership (Article I. Section 2)
Meetings (Article II)
Attendance/Quorum (Article II. Section 5)
Powers (Article III. Section 1)
Presidential Consultation (Article III. Section2)
Standing Committes of the Academic Senate (Article VII)
Standing Committees operations/jurisdiction (Article VII)
Nomination of Committee Service (Article VII. Section 4)
What is the Academic Senate?
The Academic Senate is the voice of the academic community of Queensborough Community College in all matters affecting the welfare of the institution. It is composed of faculty, higher education administrators, student, alumni, and administrative representatives.
The Academic Senate may establish such standing and special committees as it deems appropriate for the good of the College.
What does the Academic Senate do?
The Academic Senate deals with matters concerning the operation of the College including but not limited to the setting of educational objectives, formulation of policies on admission and retention, extracurricular programs, periodic review of academic departments, and such other areas affecting the welfare of the institution.
When does the Academic Senate meet?
Regular meetings of the Academic Senate shall be held on the second Tuesday of each month unless that date falls on a period of recess. Should the date set for a regular meeting be a holiday, the meeting shall be held on the Tuesday immediately following.
Why do I need to know about the Academic Senate and its Standing Committees?
The Academic Senate approves of College policies; determines the goals of the academic programs and approves of all curricular matters including new courses, certificate and degrees and all changes thereto; and generally oversees all aspects of the College.The Academic Senate Standing Committees function to perform many necessary activities of the College. All the committees conduct an oversight of the areas under their charge and forward recommendations for changes to the administration and at times proposals for consideration of the entire Senate, including policies that govern the College. Some committees perform absolutely necessary acts such as processing admissions applications and changes in academic status of students and curricular changes.
Faculty members who have concerns about any aspect of the College may bring them to the attention of the relevant committee for its consideration and possible recommendations for action and changes.
The most active area of concern for the Academic Senate is the academic program. The Academic Senate has reviewed and adopted academic matters including new degree programs and certificate programs and courses and revisions of same. The Academic Senate, as the BOT authorized governing body, has set out the hours and credits and pre and co requisites for courses and even set class seat limits.
Nearly all academic matters upon which the Senate deliberates and acts are brought to its agenda through the actions of the Committee on Curriculum.
A happy and most important function of the Academic Senate, with student members removed, is to vote upon and formally approve of the awarding of the degrees and certificates.
Setting College Policies
The Academic Senate has set College policies in advance of action on similar matters by the CUNY BOT or the CUNY-PSC collective bargaining process. Such matters have included access to the library resources, physical and digital for retirees and access to email. It has acted in advance of the CUNY as well on such matters as restrictions on smoking.
Influence Over College Affairs
The Academic Senate has had influence over College affairs in a number of ways that do not involve the setting of College Policy. Through interactions of the Steering Committee and the Standing Committees of the Senate with the administration of the College there has been input and influence upon the formation of college plans and programs.
It is set out by the CUNY BOT through the College Governance Plan that “Through its Steering and Standing Committees, the Academic Senate shall have the power to request and receive information appropriate to or necessary for the performance of its duties, from the President and members of the administration, from students and student organizations, and such other sources as may be appropriate”. Thus, it is that the Senate has requested and received information concerning the operations of the College and has made them more transparent.
Here is the briefest of descriptions of what just some of the 20 Committees of the Academic Senate do.
With the advent and growing dependency on information technologies the Committees on Computer Resources and eLearning were created and have grown in importance and have had direct input an influence on planning on the development and use of such resources.
There is a Committee on Budget Advisement that now sees the budget as it is drawn up and has input as to the plan for the allocation of the resources of the College.
Among other significant functions the Committee on Academic Development & Elective Programs creates and reviews the effectiveness of and revises the forms and process for the conducting of the student evaluations of faculty teaching.
The Committee on Continuing Education & Workforce Development can have an important oversight and support function for the programs under its charge.
The Committee on Cultural & Archival Resources has had considerable influence on how there can be integration of the Art Gallery and QCC Performing Arts Series (QPAC) with the academic programs and courses at the College.
The Committee on Environment, Quality of Life and Disability Issues reviews the physical conditions of the College and makes appropriate recommendations for the well being and safety of all.
Why should I consider becoming a member of the Academic Senate and a Standing Committee?
Serving on the Academic Senate and its Standing Committees provides a valuable service to the College and a rewarding experience for the faculty. You will learn how the College operates and make worthwhile contributions that improve the quality of the programs offered, and enhance the education and other services provided to the students and the community.
Service on the Academic Senate and on its Standing Committees is considered an important contribution to the College and is considered as part of the personnel review process for tenure and promotion.
How do I serve on the Academic Senate?
Each spring semester, faculty volunteer for the Academic Senate for a three-year term by returning a nomination petition for such to the Committee on Committees (COC). The COC then circulates the list of nominations to faculty for a vote. Positions are filled by those receiving the most votes. No more than five people from one academic department can serve on the Academic Senate. The Chairperson of each academic department serves as a member of the Academic Senate.
Review the Senator's Responsibilities page to learn more about serving as a Senator.
How do I serve on a Standing Committee?
Each spring semester, faculty volunteer for committee service for the following academic year by returning an application for such to the Committee on Committees (COC). From the list of applicants, the COC prepares a list of nominees and presents them to the Academic Senate which in turn votes on all members for all committees in April of each year. Faculty that are not included in the list of nominees are placed on a waiting list.
New faculty should consult with their department chairperson on their plans for College service. If they wish to serve on College committees, they should apply. If due to their rather short length of time at the College they are not nominated or elected to serve on Standing Committees, they should consider serving as designees of the Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee of the Academic Senate encourages your comments and suggestions concerning the Academic Senate structures and operations. Please do feel free to communicate them to us in the manner with which you are most comfortable.