President’s Advisory Cabinet Guidelines

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Definition of Shared Governance

At Cypress College, the shared governance process is a system whereby all affected constituent representatives have the opportunity to give input into decision making, directly or through representation, and have that input seriously considered. The rationale for the final decision shall be communicated to all.

The shared governance policy should be one that functions within (1) the mandates of AB 1725, the California Education Code, and Title 5 Regulations, (2) the Collective Bargaining Agreements, (3) the policies of the Board of Governors, and (4) the policies and procedures of the NOCCCD Board of Trustees.


The purpose of the President’s Advisory Cabinet (PAC) is to serve as the primary recommending body to the College President on the establishment of campus policies and procedures and general college issues within the scope of PAC and its shared governance committees. In addition, PAC will

  • serve as the shared governance body for the representative constituent groups of the campus, e.g., faculty, students, administration, and classified
  • handle problems, concerns, issues, etc., not assigned to any committee and/or individual on campus and appeals
  • initiate and consider proposed new policies
  • act as the final advisory, recommending, and planning body for the President of the college


Shared governance at Cypress College is embodied in PAC, which includes representatives from the college’s main constituent groups and the President’s staff. The Academic Senate represents the faculty on academic and professional matters as defined in Title 5 of the California Education Code on Strengthening Academic Senates. The United Faculty and Adjunct Faculty United represent the faculty on wages, hours, working conditions, and on contractual matters. The California School Employees Association

(CSEA) represents the classified staff on wages, hours, working conditions and contractual matters. The District Management Association (DMA) represents Cypress College managers and their views regarding affected areas in deliberating and formulating decisions. Students are represented by the Associated Students and have rights as defined in Title 5.

PAC cannot impact topics or concerns given to other groups by law, regulation or Board policies. Regardless of these constituent organizational characterizations, it is expected and essential that all committee members will endeavor to fully participate and contribute in every aspect of the committee’s business for the betterment of Cypress College and success of its students. The shared governance process allows for recommendations to the College President on policies, regulations, and significant issues of the college.


The President’s Advisory Cabinet was first established in 1966 after the opening of the college. PAC began with administrative personnel only. It was reorganized in 1972 to include representatives from faculty, classified staff and students. Further reorganization took place in 1974-75 and again in 1977-78 to reflect changes in organizational representation. In 1989-90 the name changed from President’s Cabinet to President’s Planning and Advisory Cabinet (PPAC) because of long-range planning and responsibilities. In May 1991, the name was changed back to President’s Advisory Cabinet, when a separate planning committee was established.

Composition of PAC Membership

The permanent members of PAC are the following:

  • College President
  • Vice President of Instruction
  • Vice President of Student Services
  • Vice President of Administrative Services Director, Institutional Research and Planning Director, Campus Communications
  • District Management Association Representative Academic Senate President
  • Academic Senate Past-President, or President-Elect or designee
  • United Faculty Representative Adjunct Faculty Representative Two CSEA Representatives
  • Confidential Representative (non-voting recording secretary) Associated Students (AS) President
  • AS Representative

Each constituent member retains all rights granted by State Law, the Education Code, and Board policies and procedures. These constituent groups cannot give away such rights to PAC. The shared governance process at Cypress College brings together all these constituent groups in order to facilitate the development of college-wide policy recommendations and the resolution of significant college issues.


PAC functions to convey to the President the views of the campus community on matters relevant to the orderly functioning of the College; to share in decision-making by determining which college committees or task forces are needed or should be activated; and to disseminate and interpret policy, regulations and procedures to the various segments of the college community. Access to PAC is available to all constituencies. All actions of PAC will be communicated to its constituencies in the form of full minutes. These minutes will reflect full discussion, including the intent of PAC.

PAC may elect to have the following committees:

  1. Shared governance committees are college-wide committees with representation from all constituencies. These committees make recommendations to PAC on a regular basis. The chairs of these committees may serve as non-voting resource members of PAC on an as-needed basis. Recommendations of shared governance committees shall be presented to PAC and approved prior to campus implementation. Minutes of shared governance committees shall be forwarded to each PAC representative and posted to the campus server.

Cypress College Standing Shared Governance Committees:

  • Accreditation Steering
    • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    • Planning and Budget

Direction Committees of the Strategic Planning Process (subcommittees of the Planning and Budget Committee)

  • President’s Advisory Cabinet
    • Professional Development
    • Safety Committee

Other standing committees that are part of the shared governance process but

do not have representatives from all constituencies include the following:

  • Academic Senate
    • Campus Technology
    • Curriculum
    • Program Review
    • Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
    • Student Equity and Achievement (SEA)
    • Guided Pathways
    • Sustainability

Recommendations regarding academic and professional matters from the six committees listed above may go directly to the Board of Trustees rather than through PAC.

  • Ad hoc committees may be created as needed to deal with college-wide issues. Recommendations will be submitted to PAC for approval prior to implementation.

3 Task forces may be created as needed to deal with specific (single item) issues relevant to campus or District affairs. Recommendations will be submitted to PAC for approval prior to implementation.

4. Committee membership: Internal composition and function statement of each shared governance committee, ad hoc committee, and task force is determined by that committee and recommended to and approved by PAC. The composition and a description of the function of each standing committee are maintained by the President’s Office. Representation on each shared governance committee is updated annually (also see J:/Shared Governance Committees).


PAC is a part of the organizational structure of the college to augment and improve communication channels among all elements of the college. To expedite agenda planning, these steps should be followed:

  1. Except in unusual circumstances, agenda items to be considered by PAC should be submitted to the President’s Office seven calendar days before PAC meets. Proposals are generally reviewed at the meeting and returned for action by the President at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
  • Upon receipt of agenda items, the President will render his/her judgment as to

whether the problem, concern, issues, etc., can be resolved by standing committees and/or individuals on campus (see purposes 3 and 4).

  • PAC conducts research about problems, concerns, issues, etc., with the assistance of the source of origin and other campus-interest groups.
  • The representative from each constituency on the campus is responsible for keeping his/her group informed and to obtain input for discussion at PAC meetings.
  • After consideration of all facts, PAC formulates or endorses a suggested proposal that is forwarded to the President.
  • The President, upon receipt of a proposal, will render judgment on the proposal:
  1. Endorse the proposal as recommended;
    1. Make changes in the proposal before adoption, with explanation to PAC; or
    2. Reject the proposal, submitting needs for further study
  • When necessary, policies that receive PAC approval will be submitted to the Chancellor and through him/her to the Board for consideration and action. Decisions that do not require Board approval are implemented upon PAC’s approval by the appropriate administrator or group.

PAC Meetings – dates shall be published in the Campus Calendar. At its last regularly scheduled meeting of the academic year, PAC will set the time and date of its meetings for the next year.

A quorum – consists of 7 out of 13 voting members of PAC who are in attendance at five minutes past the meeting’s scheduled starting time.

Substitutes – a PAC member may identify a substitute who will attend meetings when the member is unavailable.

Agenda – PAC will ordinarily generate its agenda from items submitted by the members of PAC. Others who desire to have items placed on a meeting’s agenda should first contact their PAC representative; or, if necessary, they can contact the College President, who chairs PAC.

Minutes – PAC minutes are taken by a non-voting Confidential recording secretary. Minutes of PAC will be e-mailed to PAC members and posted to the college server. It is the responsibility of the Chair to prepare and distribute the agenda, conduct meetings of PAC and report on the status of action items.

Operating Guidelines

PAC will use consensus as its voting method. PAC will operate under guidelines established by Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised. When there is dissension, PAC members will make all attempts to talk about concerns and disagreements until consensus is achieved. PAC members are expected to maintain confidentiality, particularly with personnel issues. For purposes of clarification, if a member would like what he or she is discussing to be held in confidence, such member shall be expected to label it as such and not assume that it is understood to be confidential.

At the PAC meeting held April 19, 2001, a consensus was reached that the following be added to PAC’s Operating Guidelines:

  • As with interest-based bargaining, consensus shall mean that everybody should be “thumbs up.”
  • In the absence of consensus, the following procedure shall be followed:
    • Consensus may also mean “thumbs sideways,” provided all PAC members agree to move forward with the issue despite the lack of full consensus.
    • Absent time constraints, discussion should continue until full consensus is achieved.
    • Everyone must work out their differences to reach consensus.
    • Everyone should be candid and comfortable in expressing an opinion.
    • Everyone should be willing to comment on the negative, and there should be an atmosphere where it is okay to say, “The emperor has no clothes.”
    • Everyone should feel free to ask questions if something is unclear and keep asking until the issue is understood.
    • Everyone must go out united (no “bowling balls”) and must use PAC as a place to talk about concerns and disagreements.
    • When consensus is achieved, members should go out and say, “We have done it,” and maintain the integrity of the decision of the group.
  • Discussions on major or controversial issues shall be documented to capture key

points in the argument and what the intent is in making the decision.

  • Where time is not an issue, enough lead time shall be allotted for getting information to and comments from the different constituent groups so that constituent representatives on PAC are not forced to make a decision on the spot.
  • Everyone’s comments/ideas shall be solicited.
  • Discussions shall be recapped at the end so that they are accurately reflected in the minutes.

Recommendations/Decision Making

Recommendations from committees that participate in shared governance, ad hoc committees, and task forces shall be presented to PAC for action. The chair of each committee shall inform its members when such recommendations are being submitted to PAC. PAC may accept a recommendation from a committee that participates in shared governance and pass it on to the College President, or it may reject a recommendation and send it back to the committee making the recommendation. PAC normally may not change a recommendation from a committee participating in shared governance before passing it on to the College President.

The College President will normally accept the recommendations of the shared governance process, and only for compelling reasons will the recommendations not be accepted. For example, in instances where the President elects to provide for mutual agreement with the Academic Senate, and agreement has not been reached, existing policy shall remain in effect unless continuing with such policy exposes the college to legal liability or causes substantial hardship. In cases where there is no existing policy, or in cases where the exposure to legal liability or substantial fiscal hardship requires existing policy to be changed, the President may act after a good faith effort to reach agreement and only for compelling legal, fiscal, or organizational reasons. If the College President does not accept the recommendations of the shared governance process, the reasons for not accepting the recommendation(s) will be communicated in writing to the members of PAC and to the originating committee, detailing the rationale for the decision.