Mandate

Adopted April 8, 1999, by the 1998-99 ad hoc Community Policy Committee (Revised May 6, 1999; and November 20, 1999)

Approved December 13, 1999 by the 1999-2000 Interim Smith College Council on Community Policy. Revised March 10, 2006.

The Smith College Council on Community Policy is a broadly representative, deliberative group that meets to consider matters that concern the campus community. In its deliberations, and working in concert with others on campus as appropriate, the "College Council" addresses issues of common concern. Its mission concerns the well-being of the community -- its capacity for collegiality and the pursuit of the commonweal while providing an excellent education to women. In its role of overseeing community issues, the council will:

  • Evaluate college community policies in response to specific questions raised by members of the community
  • Make recommendations to the President for changes in college community policies
  • Identify ways to educate the community and provide guidance for dealing with community issues
  • Address issues of campus climate, diversity, and the composition of the community
  • Serve as a sounding board for students, faculty, and staff who are concerned about matters affecting the college community
  • Promote the use of consensus-building as a mechanism for reviewing and resolving issues
  • Act as an advisory group to the President and other campus offices and committees
  • Communicate its findings and recommendations on a regular basis to the wider community

The council will normally meet once a month during the academic year; and these meetings are open to all members of the Smith community. A quorum for official business of the council will normally be 16 members. The council may also hold open forums for the entire campus when warranted. Members of the Smith community may forward community policy issues to the council for its consideration.

Composition, Selection Process, and Guidelines for the Smith College Council on Community Policy

1. Name -- Smith College Council on Community Policy ("College Council").

2. Chair -- The College Council will be chaired/convened by a member of the council. The chair will be elected annually by the council. An associate chair should also be elected annually. If possible, administrative support to the College Council (note-taking, mailing list, council communication, etc.) will be provided by the college.

3. Composition -- Council members hold seats either by virtue of their office or by appointment, as follows. (See Section 4 for selection criteria.)

  • The President or the Provost (non-voting).
  • Six administrators.
  • Six faculty members.
  • Six students.
  • Six staff members.
  • One representative of Smith College alumnae.
  • Two representatives from the City of Northampton.

4. Method of selection and guidance for appointments -- The selection of members for the College Council should be consistent with the overall mission of the council to be broadly representative and reflective of the composition of the Smith College community. The council's selection and appointments subcommittee (see Subsection 6(C) below) will consult with each of the groups responsible for appointing members of the College Council to promote broad representation. Appointments should be made no later than August 15 for the following academic year's council. Two- to three-year terms are preferable; terms can be renewed or extended as appropriate (particularly in the case of such representatives as the appointees of the Mayor of Northampton); and terms should be staggered.

  • The President or the Provost will hold a non-voting seat on the council.
  • Six administrators:
    Dean of the College.
    Executive Director of Public Affairs.
    Director of Institutional Diversity.
    Director of College Relations.
    Two other administrators, appointed by the Office of the President.
  • Six faculty members:
    Five faculty, including at least one from each division and at least two untenured, nominated by the Faculty Council.
    One faculty member or administrator from the Smith School for Social Work, appointed by the Dean of the School for Social Work.
  • Six students:
    Two from the Student Government Association Cabinet.
    Two appointed by the Student Government Association Elections and Appointments Committee.
    One appointed by the Ada Comstock Scholars class cabinet.
    One from the Unity organizations steering committee.
  • Six staff members, appointed by the Staff Council Steering Committee:
    Two (preferably) from the Staff Council Steering Committee.
    Four other staff members.
  • One representative of Smith College alumnae, appointed by the Executive Director of the Smith College Alumnae Association (this position can be renewed or extended as appropriate).
  • Two representatives of the City of Northampton, appointed by the Mayor of Northampton.

5. Reserved meeting time -- the first or second Friday every month at noon (or another convenient day of the week), with (normally) six meetings per year (September, October, November, December, February, March, April).

6. Committees of the College Council -- normally, each committee would include at least 4-6 council members, preferably representing the major constituencies of the community (faculty, students, staff); in addition, interested members of the college community may participate on the council's committees (by invitation or as volunteers).

A. Steering Committee

  1. to receive agenda items and issues of concern from the members of the council and the community;
  2. to construct meeting agendas;
  3. to oversee the functioning and development of the council;

4. and particularly to encourage the use of a consensus-building process in the conduct of the meetings of the council, reserving formal voting procedures for instances when necessary.

B. Diversity Committee

  1. to work with and advise the President, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and other individuals and offices concerning the promotion of diversity and the development of a welcoming and inclusive campus climate;
  2. to assume the leadership of the Campus Climate Working Group -- maintaining the practice of frequent, open meetings with the community and coordinating the scheduling of these meetings with the Office of the President, plus continuing to receive administrative support from the Office of the President with logistics, note-taking at meetings, etc;
  3. to develop effective means of communication about these issues with all segments of the community (with the assistance of the communications committee, see below).

C. Selection and Appointments Committee

  1. to be responsible for overseeing the appointment and selection process for membership on the College Council;
  2. to provide guidance to the selection bodies, especially on ensuring broad and diverse representation on the council, over time, of the various constituencies in the community.

D. Communications Committee

  1. to be responsible for communicating with the Smith College community about the business of the College Council;
  2. to produce a newsletter and/or a web page devoted to community issues and the enhancement of the Smith College campus climate.

E. Other Committees

Established as the need arises to deal with specific issues.