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UC Staff

About the Senate

The Systemwide Academic Senate and the ten Divisional Senates provide the organizational framework that enables the faculty to exercise its right to participate in the University's governance. The faculty voice is formed through a deliberative process that includes the Standing Committees of the Senate, the Academic Council, the Assembly of the Academic Senate, and their Divisional counterparts. Consultation with the senior administration occurs in a parallel structure: at the systemwide level between the Academic Council Chair and the President; and on the campus level between the Divisional Senate Chairs and the Chancellors.

With some exceptions and as defined by the Standing Order of the Regents 105.1, Senate membership is granted to individuals who have a ladder-rank or other selected academic appointment at the University. The Code of the Academic Senate comprises the Manual of the Academic Senate and the manuals of its Divisions. Each manual is divided into two sections – the (1) Bylaws that set forth the membership, authority and organization of the Senate, and the (2) Regulations that codify the requirements for admission, degrees, and courses and curricula.

In accordance with the tenets of shared governance, the Senate's responsibilities include authorizing, approving, and supervising all courses and determining the conditions for admissions, certificates, and degrees. In other areas of University life, the Senate exercises an active advisory role. It has specific authority from the Regents to advise the President and Chancellors on budget matters and on the administration of the libraries. Campus and systemwide officials regularly seek advice and review from the Senate on a wide variety of issues affecting faculty welfare and the academic environment. The Senate participates in searches for deans, chancellors and the president.

The Senate has influence over career advancement and the quality of UC's faculty through its recommendations to the chancellors, deans, and chairs on appointments and promotions. In addition, it protects the professional environment for faculty members with committees devoted to preserving academic freedom and assuring due process in personnel matters.