ACCREDITING COMMISSION FOR COMMUNITY AND JUNIOR COLLEGES,
WESTERN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
(Adopted, June 1998; Revised January 1999, January 2001, January 2002, June 2002;
Edited January 2004; Edited October 2007)
Section 1. Name. The name of this organization shall be the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It shall be referred to throughout these bylaws as the “Commission.”
Section 2. Purpose. The purposes of the Commission shall be the evaluation of member institutions to assure the educational community, the general public, and other organizations and agencies that an institution has clearly defined objectives appropriate to higher education; has established conditions under which their achievement can reasonably be expected; appears in fact to be accomplishing them substantially; is so organized, staffed, and supported that it can be expected to continue to do so; and demonstrates that it meets Commission standards. The Commission encourages and supports institutional development and improvement through self study and periodic evaluation by qualified peer professionals.
Section 1. Member Institutions. The member institutions of the Commission shall consist of all of the institutions accredited by the Commission. In the event an institution loses its accreditation for any reason, its membership status shall cease immediately.
Section 2. Scope. The Commission accredits associate degree granting institutions in California, Hawaii, the Territories of Guam and American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Section 1. Membership. The Commission consists of nineteen members, all of whom are appointed by the Commissioner Selection Committee. One Commission member shall be selected from among the nominees who represent community college interests provided by the California Community Colleges Chancellor. One Commission member shall be selected from among the nominees who represent community college interests provided by the University of Hawaii Community College Chancellors. In addition, one Commission member shall be selected from among the nominees provided by each of the other Commissions to represent the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities and the Accrediting Commission for Schools in accordance with the WASC Constitution. At least five of the Commission members shall be faculty, at least five members shall represent the public interest [as defined in USDOE §602.3], at least three members shall be administrators, at least one member shall represent independent institutions, and at least one member shall represent institutions in the Western Pacific.
Section 2. Appointments. Commissioners are appointed for staggered three-year terms in accordance with the WASC Constitution, Article III, Section 3b. Appointments are limited to two three-year terms unless the person is elected an officer for a term which extends beyond a sixth year, in which case an additional three-year term may be served. Regular appointments are effective on July 1 of the first year and end on June 30 of the last year of a Commissioner term.
A Commissioner appointed to a membership category defined by position or status is expected to maintain that status for the entire term. If the Commissioner's position or status changes during a term so that the Commissioner no longer meets the requirement for the category to which appointed, the Commissioner shall notify the Commission's chairperson or President in a timely manner. A Commissioner whose status has so changed is considered to have completed the term on the date that the new status is actually assumed.
Section 3. Appointment Procedure. Anticipated vacancies will be announced at the winter meeting for Commission terms due to expire at the end of the following June. Notice of Commission vacancies will be sent to the chief executive officers, accreditation liaison officers, and academic senate presidents of all member institutions, districts and systems; major organizations; and individuals known to have expressed interest. The notice will include the positions open for appointment, the Commissioners eligible for reappointment, and the deadline for receipt of applications. Institutional and organizational representatives may submit nominations. Individuals may also submit applications. Applications are considered to be in effect for one year.
All applicants and nominees, including Commissioners seeking reappointment, are asked to submit the following:
Section 4. Commissioner Selection Committee. The Commissioner Selection Committee shall consist of seven members including at least two administrators, two faculty members, and two representatives of the public. The Commission Chair shall appoint three Commissioner Selection Committee members, two from the Commission and one from the private institutions it accredits, and will designate one to be the chair. The Pacific Postsecondary Education Council shall appoint one member. The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, the California Chief Executive Officers, the California Community College Trustees, and the Hawaii Community College Academic Senate Chairs shall appoint whatever additional faculty, administrators, and representatives of the public are required to complete the composition of the Commissioner Selection Committee. The Committee shall be constituted in the spring of each year. The President serves as the nonvoting secretary to the committee.
The Commissioner Selection Committee meets annually to consider nominees and applicants and to make appointments to the Commission. In order to carry out its responsibilities the committee conducts the following activities.
Vacancies occurring after the meeting of the Commissioner Selection Committee and before the winter Commission meeting may be filled by the Commissioner Selection Committee by reviewing the pool of applicants and nominations from the most recent selection process if the committee determines that the pool is adequately representative of the region. In the event that the pool is deemed deficient, the vacancy(s) will be announced according to the process described above.
Section 5. Officers. Commission officers shall consist of the chairperson, the vice chairperson, and the chairperson of the Budget and Personnel Committee.
The position of Commission chair is filled by the succession of the vice chair. The Commission vice chairperson is elected by the Commission and succeeds to the office of chairperson when that office becomes vacant. He or she then serves a two-year term as chairperson. No member of the Commission may serve as its chairperson for longer than three consecutive years. Thus, the vice chairperson may succeed to no more than twelve months of an unexpired term, followed by his or her two-year term. When a vacancy occurs in the vice chair position, an election to fill that office must occur within 45 days of the position becoming vacant.
Nominations for vice chairperson are normally solicited from the Commissioners at the winter meeting prior to the end of the chairperson’s term. Nominees for the position shall represent a different membership category from that of the incoming chairperson. Four weeks prior to the scheduled vote, each nominee must submit a 200-word statement explaining why he or she is seeking the office. The statement is distributed to the full Commission prior to the vote. Voting is conducted by mail through a secret ballot. The results are mailed to Commission members within one week of tabulation and are formally announced at the next Commission meeting. Vacancies occurring outside normal term conclusions are filled through a similar process.
Commission officers are expected to serve in several ex-officio capacities. The Commission chairperson serves as an ex-officio, voting member of the Budget and Personnel Committee and of the Policy Committee, and as chair of the Executive Committee. The Commission chairperson also serves on the WASC Board. The Commission vice chairperson serves as an ex-officio, voting member and chair of the Committee on Substantive Change.
Section 6. Removal of a Commission Member. Commissioners may be removed by two-thirds vote of the Commission for failure to exercise their responsibilities in accordance with the Commission policy on Professional and Ethical Responsibilities of Commission Members or for conduct which is detrimental to the purposes of the Commission.
Section 1. The Time and Place. The Commission shall meet in regular session twice each year to consider the accredited status of institutions evaluated since the previous meeting and to address such policy and organizational business as shall come before it. Written notice of the time and place of meetings, and a preliminary agenda shall be mailed to the chief executive officer of each member institution, normally 45 days prior to the date of each meeting. At its discretion, the Commission may schedule such additional meetings as it deems necessary.
Section 2. The Agenda. Consideration of the accredited status of institutions will occur in executive session as will all personnel matters. Policy and organizational matters will be considered in public session. Observers are provided the opportunity to address the Commission in accordance with Commission policy.
Section 3. Minutes. The Commission shall maintain minutes of all of its meetings. The Commission shall designate those subjects which are to be discussed in executive and public session.
Section 4. Commission Actions. At the call of the Commission Chair, and subject to prior consent setting forth such action by two-thirds of the Commission then in office, executed in writing, FAX, e-mail, telephone, or other electronic means, actions required or permitted to be taken at a meeting of the Commission may be taken without a meeting. Such consent, the reasons therefore, and the substance of the Commission action is filed with the minutes of proceedings of the Commission.
The Executive Committee of the Commission shall be comprised of the Commission chair, the vice chair, and the chair of the Budget and Personnel Committee. The committee shall serve as council to the President between Commission meetings.
The Commission shall be served by such standing and ad hoc committees as it creates. Ad hoc committees may be created at the discretion of the Commission chair, but their creation, functions, and authority must be ratified by a simple majority of the Commission membership at the first Commission meeting following the creation of the ad hoc committee.
Standing committees shall be authorized by a simple majority of the Commission and may be dissolved by the same margin of the Commission. The Commission may charge a standing committee with authority to act on its behalf. No Standing Committee membership may be comprised of a majority of the Commission. Members and chairs of standing committees are appointed by the Commission chairperson and serve two-year terms. Current standing committees of the Commission are the Budget and Personnel Committee, the Committee on Substantive Change, the Policy Committee, and the Evaluation and Planning Committee. The Commissioner Selection Committee is constituted at regular intervals as described in Article III, Section 4, above.
The Commission shall govern itself by Robert’s Rules of Order except in the case where it has adopted standing rules. All standing rules of the Commission take precedence over Robert’s Rules of Order, but they may be suspended temporarily by the provisions of Robert’s Rules of Order.
These bylaws may be amended by a simple majority vote of the Commission after the proposed amendments have been circulated among the Commission members at least two weeks before the meeting at which the vote is taken. In those instances where time is of the essence, the Commission may employ telephone, mail, or electronic ballot processes.
 A representative of the public means a person who is not (1) An employee, member of the governing board, owner, or shareholder of, or consultant to, an institution or program that either is accredited or pre-accredited by the agency or has applied for accreditation or pre-accreditation; (2) A member of any trade association or membership organization related to, affiliated with, or associated with the agency; or (3) A spouse, parent, child, or sibling of an individual identified in (1) or (2) of this definition.
Source: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges.