Overview of Governance at the Community College of Rhode Island
At the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), the internal governance system for the college includes the Faculty Senate, the Staff Assembly, and the President’s Council.
The Faculty Senate, founded in 2020, is comprised of members of the full-time faculty with seats available for members of the college’s part-time faculty. The Faculty Senate is the governance body that handles all matters and policies relating to instruction and academics.1 The Staff Assembly was founded in the fall of 2022 and consists of members of the college staff from across administrative divisions. The Faculty Senate Chair/Vice-Chair has an ex-officio seat. The Assembly’s work is focused on the non-academic business and administrative work of the college. Standing committees and special committees are part of both the Senate and the Assembly.
In the Faculty Senate, policy recommendations (in the form of bills) are developed at the committee level. The Senate committees, which also can include pertinent administrators, staff, service providers, and students, meet monthly. Once approved in committee, a policy is then voted upon by the full Senate. The policy is then presented to the President for review and approval. Additionally, the President and Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) sit on the Senate, meet with the Senate leadership, and attend Senate meetings.
In the Staff Assembly, policy recommendations are also developed at the committee level. Policies generated through Assembly committees are voted on by the full Assembly and, if approved, transmitted to the President’s Council for review and recommendation to the President. The President regularly meets with the Assembly leadership and attends Assembly meetings.
The President and members of the Senior Leadership Team have a strong connection to the Senate and Assembly, managing policy across all the college divisions to support a transparent and collaborative governance structure. Additionally, deans and directors, whose expertise is critical to a Senate or Assembly committee’s work, sit as ex-officio members. Student representation is also present in both the Senate and Assembly.
The Faculty Senate and the Staff Assembly both have adopted Constitutions and By-laws that govern each body. Where appropriate, these documents mirror the other. The provisions that govern each entity are accessible below.
The President’s Council, a standing advisory body to the President, consists of the officers of the college, deans, directors, Faculty Senate Chair, Staff Assembly Chair, and the presidents of the college’s collective bargaining units. The President’s Council meets regularly to adopt policies, review progress on the college’s strategic plan, and share critical college updates.
Amendments to this overview of governance may be made through legislative action of the Faculty Senate and Staff Assembly, in accordance with the respective Constitution and By-laws of each body. Such changes will be recommended to the President. Changes may also be made by the President in those areas corresponding to presidential responsibility and authority.