Procedure to Modify Instructional Departments at Los Angeles Mission College

(moving a discipline or a group of related disciplines from one department to another)


I. Introduction

This document spells out the procedure and the guidelines governing the  modification of  instructional departments at Los Angeles Mission College when one discipline, or a group of related disciplines, move from one department to another.

This procedure is established by mutual agreement between the Academic Senate, the AFT and the College Administration as provided in Article 17 A.2. of the agreement between the Los Angeles Community College District (“the District”) and the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild, AFT Local 1521 (“the Guild”), July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2005, (“the AFT Contract”).

This local agreement is not meant to supercede or take precedence over the AFT Contract.  Any conflict between these procedures and guidelines and the AFT Contract is unintended and shall be resolved in favor of the language and intent of the AFT Contract.


Article 17 A. 1. of the AFT Contract provides that

“A department or a division (hereinafter referred to as a department) is an instructional unit or service unit composed of faculty members assigned to one or more disciplines or service areas, who share common academic or professional interests, concerns or objectives.” (page 51)


The contract further states that (Article 17 A. 2. )

“…departments shall be established and may be modified by the President or his/her designee in consultation with the President of the Academic Senate and the AFT Chapter President.”

and that


“…faculty can petition for the establishment of a new department or modification of existing departments.  Any modification to the existing departmental structure of a college that results in one or more disciplines moving from one department to another shall be implemented at the beginning of an academic year and, whenever practicable, at a time that coincides with the expiration of the terms of the Department Chairs involved.”

II. Guidelines

The general principle underlying the departmental structure is that departments should be organized in such a manner as to best advance the interests of the students, faculty, the discipline, the departments and the college.  The following guidelines will assure that departments are organized/modified following these guidelines:

1.             Service to the students and the college:

            The departmental modification will:

            (a)        Provide for more efficient scheduling of classes and room utilization,

(b)            Bring together faculty that share common academic standards and interests,

(c)            Maximize departmental resources that mirror the needs of the disciplines in the department,

(d)            Impact positively on curriculum maintenance and development, program review and professional development,

(e)            Provide for better representation of the concerns of the discipline(s) within the college, on college committees, on task forces, and in shared governance.


2.            Discipline Relatedness

The departmental modification will group disciplines that relate to each other in the same department.

             Discipline relatedness may be demonstrated by one or several of the following:

(a)    Similar or related topics covered in the course content of disciplines currently existing in a department and the discipline requesting to be moved to a specific department.

            Evidence of such may be provided by:

·        Analysis of course outlines,

·        Team teaching approach between the discipline requesting the move and the disciplines that exist in the department to which the move is requested.

·        One or several faculty members is(are)qualified to teach in one or several of the currently existing disciplines in the department and the discipline considered to be moved to the department

(b)   Prerequisites, corequisites and advisories connecting the discipline requesting to move in a department and the disciplines already existing in the department.

(c)    New trends in the discipline that justify that the discipline is better served if moved to the department to which the move is requested.

(d)   Courses offered in the discipline that is requesting the move and courses offered by the disciplines currently existing in the department to which the move is requested  are required and/or  recommended as part of one or several of the same  Educational Programs offered by the college.


III. Procedure

Faculty representing one specific discipline or a group of related disciplines who wish to move from one department to another may request this move by filing a formal petition.The request must :

1.      Carry the majority vote of the full-time faculty members requesting to move from one department to another

2.      Carry the majority vote of the full-time faculty in the department to which the move is requested.

3.      Must include the reasons for the proposed change (see guidelines 1. and 2. above))


Following the filing of the petition with the Faculty Senate President, the petition is presented to the Faculty Senate for consideration and is voted upon.

If the Faculty Senate approves the request, a Department Organization Committee (DOC) composed of the President of the Academic Senate, the AFT Chapter President and College President or his/her designee, shall review the petition.  The committee shall determine that the petition carries the appropriate votes (signatures) and that the request of the move is appropriate and reasonable in view of the guidelines given in 1. and 2. above.

The DOC shall vote for or against the move by majority vote.  

Within 5 working days after voting, the DOC shall communicate in writing its decision to all faculty in the two departments affected by the move.

Except under extenuating circumstances, only one petition each year may be filed by faculty members in a department.