Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the role of the Academic Senate at Cal State LA?
The Academic Senate is the official representative body of the faculty of the University and speaks on behalf of the faculty on matters within its purview. The purpose of this body is to recommend policy on curricular, promotion, retention and tenure matters, and other matters that affect faculty.
- What is the role of the statewide CSU Academic Senate?
On a CSU system level, it is the purpose of the Academic Senate of The California State University to promote academic excellence in The California State University; to serve as the official voice of the faculties of The California State University in matters of system wide concern; to be the formal policy-recommending body on system wide academic, professional and academic personnel matters; to ensure the joint responsibility of the Academic Senate and the Trustees in criteria and standards to be used for the appointment, promotion, evaluation, and tenure of academic employees; to be the primary consultative body on the academic implications of system wide fiscal decisions; and to assume such other authority and other responsibilities and to perform such functions as may be delegated to it by the Chancellor or the Trustees of The California State University. For more information go to http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/
- How is the agenda of the Senate determined?
The Executive Committee of the Senate constructs the regular agendas of the Senate. Motions to modify the Senate agenda (e.g., to add or reprioritize an agenda item) may be made from the Senate floor by Senators during the regular Senate sessions when the motion to approve the agenda is on the floor. Alternatively, members of the faculty may submit agenda items for consideration by the Executive Committee at any time in writing.
- How can I serve as a Senator in the Academic Senate?
While some Senators are appointed by virtue of their current or past University position (e.g. College Deans, past Senate Chairs, etc.), the majority of Senators are faculty who are elected as university at-large or college representatives. During the spring semester, Colleges solicit nominees for elections. Each college elects the proportion of 35 elected members in a way that represents the college's proportion of the total faculty. No college ever has fewer than two elected members. All tenured/tenure track members of the faculty are eligible for election to the Senate, whose membership also includes five student voting members and one emeritus faculty voting member.
- How can I serve on a Senate subcommittee?
University-wide standing committee and sub-committee positions are filled through a nomination process (including self-nomination) involving college elections, the University's Nominations Committee and/or Senate elections. You are strongly encouraged to self-nominate for committee service. To express your interest in committee service, please submit the following form:
Information regarding college committees is available in the administrative office of each college.
- What is the term of service for Senators?
Elected members typically serve for three years. Terms of one year or two years may be assigned, by lot, to Senators when necessary to allow one third of the membership to be elected each year.
- May I attend Senate meetings - when are they held?
Yes! Please do! The regular Academic Senate meetings are open to all interested members of the faculty, student body, and staff. The meetings are held during the Fall and Spring semesters on Tuesdays from 1:40-2:55. Please see the calendar for the schedule and location.
- Who are my representatives in the Senate?
For a complete listing of Senators and their email addresses, go to: Academic Senate Membership
- What is the formal process for policymaking at CSULA?
New policies and modifications to existing policies are generated in the standing committees of the Academic Senate (Educational Policy, Faculty Policy, Fiscal Policy, and Student Policy Committees) and some of the subcommittees of the Educational Policy Committee. The impetus for new policies or policy modifications may be in the committees themselves, or from a directive from the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate.
Proposed policies and policy modifications are forwarded from the standing committees to the Executive Committee, who then places those items on the Senate agenda as first reading items. As a first reading item, Senators may ask questions about a policy. The policy then becomes a second reading item at the next meeting of the Senate. As a second reading item, the policy is open for debate and amendment. The Senate votes on the approval of the (amended) policy once debate is concluded and no further amendments are proposed. If approved, the new policy or policy modification is forwarded to the President. The policy goes into effect if and when the President approves it, and the policy is then added to the Faculty Handbook.