Classified Senate

Shared Governance

 

Shared Governance Statement

 

Mission

The Napa Valley College Classified Senate is a permanent organization originally sanctioned by the Governing Board in 2001 with the established purpose of providing a body of representation for the district’s classified staff in the shared governance process. Within this capacity it is the mission of the Senate to work in cooperation with faculty and administrators to provide students with the support needed to achieve an excellent educational experience by promoting excellence in all aspects of support services provided to the college community.

 Purpose

In affirmation of Napa Valley College District’s commitment to shared governance as a fundamental policy of the college “to ensure faculty, staff, and students the right to participate effectively in district and college governance, and the opportunity to express their opinions . . . and to ensure that these opinions are given every reasonable consideration” (AB 1725); and

 In recognition of the expertise, commitment, and essential role of the classified staff in the effective functioning of the college;

 The Classified Senate is charged with the responsibility to work as an independent body within the college that provides an organized voice for interpreting and expressing the viewpoint of the classified staff in the analysis of policies, procedures and practices as they relate to non-bargaining issues.

 

Role  

Act as the body authorized by the collective bargaining unit with the delegated responsibility to coordinate classified staff committee appointments following mutually agreed upon guidelines specifically to ensure adequate classified representation and participation in the structured ad-hoc, governance and standing committees as a channel to voice the classified perspective as policies, procedures and practices are developed, revised or implemented.

 

To promote and facilitate an exchange of ideas and understanding between the classified staff and the other campus constituencies (administration, faculty and students) that will contribute to maintaining a foundation of mutual interaction, support and cooperation upon which the successful advancement of the college mission is dependent.

 

Philosophy

 With collaboration between and among the key constituencies within the college, the formation and improvement of the college committees and councils requires that we operate under the following governing principles toward a shared set of goals:

 

A.     A Foundation of Trust” entails a number of factors including truth-telling, candid communications, genuine listening, accountability, and consistency.  In a climate of trust, we can depend on one another to work toward the mission and goals of the college.  We also have the right to expect the best from one another and to hold one another to the highest standards of ethical professionalism.

 

B.     Joint Effort” requires a sense of ownership and acceptance of responsibility to participate in matters affecting the direction of the college.  Ideally this principle facilitates as much participation as is reasonable and appropriate, given the scope and significance of the matter at hand, and is based on the key assumptions that:

 

      1.   Contribution from all constituencies is essential to the democratic process in the governance of the college, with recognition of differences in levels of authority, responsibility, expertise and perspective.

 

      2.   Issues and proposals can be initiated at any level of the college.

 

C.     Transparency” is demonstrated with effective communication of the content and rationale of the decision making process.  If shared governance is valued in the college, then an informed and engaged community of discourse is necessary.  Decision making must entail genuine opportunities both to persuade and to be persuaded.  When effective communication conveys decisions that have been reached and identifies the reasons for which these decisions have been made, both the decisions themselves and the processes involved should be open to assessment, review and judgment.

 

In addition, we affirm that the aims or goals of this collaborative process of shared governance must be:

 

      *    To advance the mission, vision, and strategic goals of the college

      *    To promote a healthy sense of community

      *    To recognize the domains of authority and responsibility of various entities and individuals

      *    To strive for continuous improvement and a culture of active participation