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Patricia Zuk


Jennifer Cole
(310) 287-4231


Tamara E. Jones


Ana Figuerora
(310) 287-4590




Academic Senate



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What is the Academic Senate?

The Academic Senate of West Los Angeles College (i.e. the Senate) is the voice of the faculty in all academic and professional matters. The Senate is charged with representing the faculty in governance responsibilities related to the California Education Code (i.e. Ed Code) and the California Code of Regulations Title 5

Academic and professional matters are commonly known as the “10 + 1” (Ten plus one):

  1. Curriculum including establishing prerequisites and places courses within disciplines
  2. Degree and certificate requirements
  3. Grading policies
  4. Educational program development
  5. Standards or policies regarding student preparation and success
  6. District and college governance structures, as related to faculty roles
  7. Faculty roles and involvement in accreditation processes, including self-study and annual reports
  8. Policies for faculty professional development activities
  9. Processes for program review
  10. Processes for institutional planning and budget development
  11. Other academic and professional matters as mutually agreed upon between the governing board and the academic senate

Title 5 – Section 53200 (b)

Academic Senates and the Law

Academic Senates (both statewide and local) are given their authority through several laws, including Ed Code, Title 5 and Assembly Bill (AB) 1725.

But what are these laws?

1. Ed Code

The California codes are 29 legal codes enacted by the California State Legislature. Together, they form the general statutory laws of California. The Education Code (i.e. Ed Code) was first adopted in 1943 to replace the School Code of 1929.

Ed Code is a collection of all the laws directly related to California K-12 (K-14) public schools. The sections of the Ed Code are created or changed by the Governor and State Legislature when they make laws. Local school boards and county offices of education are responsible for complying with these provisions. The Ed Code is permissive, which means that school districts are free to take any action not specifically prohibited. However, additional regulations affecting education are also contained in the California Code of Regulations - Titles 5 and 8.

With regards to academic senates, Ed Code Section 70902 (b) (7)  stipulates that “The governing board of each community college district shall… Establish procedures that are consistent with minimum standards established by the board of governors to ensure faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to express their opinions at the campus level, to ensure that these opinions are given every reasonable consideration, to ensure the right to participate effectively in district and college governance, and to ensure the right of academic senates to assume primary responsibility for making recommendations in the areas of curriculum and academic standards.”


2. Title 5

Title 5 is part of the California Code of Regulations (CCRs). The CCRs are comprised of 28 Titles that contain the regulations of approximately 200 regulatory agencies. The CCRs was first known as the California Administration Code (1941) and was changed to the CCRs in 1988. With the exception of Title 24 (CA Building Standards Code), the remaining 27 Titles of the CR are reviewed, approved and made available to the public by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). The regulations of the CCRs are filed with the California Secretary of State

Title 5 regulations of the CCRs are the procedures that implement the laws outlined in the Ed Code. Title 5 regulations are drafted by the CCCCO (California Community Colleges Chancellors Office) using the consultation process. They are approved by the California Community College (CCC) Board of Governors (BOG) and the Department of Finance (DOF). Finally, they are approved by the governor.

Title 5 – Division 6 (Sections 53200 – 53206) deals specifically with the academic senate of the community college.


3. AB1725

"It is the general purpose of this act to improve academic quality, and to that end the Legislature specifically intends to authorize more responsibility for faculty members in duties that are incidental to their primary professional duties." (AB 1725, section 4, (n).)

AB 1725 is the root of the way the academic senate operates today.

In 1963, Assembly Concurrent Resolution #48 provided for the establishment of academic senates for “the purpose of representing faculty in the formation of policy on academic and professional matters”. This resolution gave academic senates legal recognition and specific jurisdiction in these academic and professional matters.

In 1967, the California legislature created the Board of Governors (BOG) and the Chancellor’s Office for the California Community Colleges (now known as the CCCCO)

In 1968, Norbert Bischof and Ted Staniford wrote a constitution for the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges (ASCCC) that was eventually approved and ratified by local senates in 1969.

With the approval of collective bargaining as law in 1975/1976, the role of academic senates was called into question. However, Senate Bill (SB) 160 (Section 3450) stipulated that “nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to restrict, limit or prohibit the full exercise of the functions of any academic senate or faculty council”

In 1986, the Commission for the Review of the Master Plan for Higher Education issued a report focusing exclusively on the community col­leges. This document, The Challenge of Change: A Reassessment of the California Community College, led the way for legislation known as AB (Assembly Bill) 1725. 

Passed by the legislature in 1988, AB 1725 amended the governance of the Ed Code by giving many new responsibilities to both local academic senates and to the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC).

Some of these responsibilities include:

  • Shifting the power of governance from the legislature to local boards
  • Creating the areas of responsibilities known as the 10+1 (which amended Title 5, Section 53200)
  • Involving faculty directly in matters of hiring and participatory governance

For more information on these laws and regulations - check out the Academic Senate FAQs


The West LA Academic Senate

The WLAC Academic Senate has a formal constitution - WLAC AS Constitution

The structure of the WLAC Academic Senate includes local and district representation. At the local level, the WLAC Academic Senate has an Executive Committee including an Academic Senate President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary. These executive positions are elected by the faculty every two years. Six (6) academic senators-at large are elected every two years by the faculty. Two (2) adjunct senators are also elected, in addition to three (3) District Academic senators. Finally, each division within the college appoints a representative to the Senate. These division representatives receive and disseminate information between their division and the Academic Senate.

Through its work, the WLAC Academic Senate also makes recommendations to and participates in the LACCD Academic Senate.  

Academic Senate Meetings

The Academic Senate’s voice depends on the involvement of our faculty. We encourage and welcome all who are interested in Senate matters to contact the Senate with any ideas, feedback and suggestions so that we can improve the college and foster a strong connection between the faculty and the campus.  

The Academic Senate is a public governing body under the Brown Act, which governs the operation of open meetings.  During the fall and spring semesters, the WLAC Academic Senate meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month via Zoom link (Meeting ID: 966 5622 8445). Visitors are always welcome.


Meeting dates - 2021

  • February 9th & 23rd
  • March 9th $ 23rd
  • April 20th
  • May 4th & 18th


The Brown Act stipulates that agendas of all open meetings be posted 72 hours in advance of the meeting.  The Senate uses BoardDocs to publicly release its agenda and minutes. To access meeting agenda and minutes go to: Senate Meeting Agenda and Minutes, and select Local AS - WLAC from the drop down menu in the upper corner of the screen.

Senate Committees

The Academic Senate functions through its committees and taskforces. These committees and taskforces are part of the college’s shared governance process. There are currently 11 committees (including the Academic Senate itself). Each committee makes recommendations to the Academic Senate on matters pertaining to their committee.

The committees and taskforces of the Academic Senate are:

  • Academic Senate (AS)
  • Curriculum Committee (CC)
  • Distance Education Committee (DEC)
  • Educational Policies & Standards Committee (EPSC)
  • Elections Committee of the Academic Senate (ECAS)
  • Faculty Position Identification Prioritization (FPIP) Committee
  • Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) Committee
  • Student Success Committee (SSC)
  • Professional Learning (PL) Committee (a subcommittee of SSC)
  • Professional Growth (PG) Committee
  • Guided Pathways Taskforce

A description of each committee can be found in the Participatory Governance Handbook


Conference Forms Leave of Absence & Other Forms

Useful Links & Documents