SP 2-50a – Shared Governance

Colorado Community College System / System Procedure

SP 2-50a

APPROVED: February 14, 2024
EFFECTIVE: February 14, 2024

REFERENCE(S): Board Policy (BP) 2-50, Shared Governance; Board Policy (BP) 2-30, State Faculty Advisory Council and Faculty Shared Governance; Board Policy (BP) 4-25, State Student Advisory Council


/ Joseph A. Garcia /
Joseph A. Garcia, Chancellor


This procedure applies to Shared Governance within the Colorado Community College System, including its Colleges (CCCS or System).


Shared governance is a joint responsibility between the Board, Chancellor, College Presidents, faculty, instructors, System and College staff, and students. Board policy allows for implementation of shared governance in CCCS institutions to foster accountability, collaboration, equity, inclusion, and partnership within legal and policy compliance.


The Chancellor delegates responsibility to the College Presidents to implement a shared governance structure at their respective institutions that aligns with the principles outlined within this procedure.

The Chancellor acknowledges the distinct organizational structure and cultural nuances inherent to each institution; therefore, this procedure prescribes a flexible approach for the adoption of a shared governance framework at each institution. To that end, the Chancellor directs each President, in consultation with internal stakeholders, to tailor a shared governance framework to align with the specific needs, values, and goals of the institution.


Within each college’s shared governance framework, the following principles will be considered:

Equitable Distribution of Responsibility:
Participation within the College shall be fair and reflective of the expertise and duties of each stakeholder group. Shared governance seeks to avoid centralization of all recommendations and decisions and promotes a culture of openness and collaboration. This principle will keep in mind the authority bestowed upon the College Presidents to ensure operational decision-making remains intact.

Shared governance embraces diversity of thought, background, and experience. It recognizes the value of including perspectives from all stakeholders, ensuring that decisions are informed by a comprehensive understanding of the College’s and community’s needs and aspirations.

To ensure transparent communication, which fosters trust within the institutional entity, pertinent information related to the decision-making process, outcomes, and the rationale behind decisions shall be communicated or made available to relevant internal stakeholders.

Accountability fosters collaboration between and within each stakeholder group identified by the Board, Chancellor, College Presidents, and their leadership teams; it requires shared responsibility for the collective success of that constituency group, but also is responsible for maintaining alignment with the Board’s, Chancellor’s, and College’s strategic objectives, mission, values, and goals. This approach encourages active participation and cooperation, urging stakeholders to engage in constructive dialogue and contribute to the formulation of effective suggestions. In instances where decision-making authority is delegated, stakeholders are held accountable for transparently communicating their decision to the broader college community, in partnership with College leadership. By upholding accountability as a guiding principle, shared governance not only establishes a framework for inclusive decision-making but also reinforces a culture of integrity and commitment to the institution’s and System’s broader purpose.

Shared Governance Exceptions:
Certain decisions may fall outside the scope of Shared Governance due to factors such as confidentiality requirements dictated by law, regulations, policies, or rules. Additionally, decisions that fall under the direct authority of the College President, as outlined in Board Policies and System Procedures, are excluded from the expectations of the shared governance framework.

This approach recognizes the need for discretion and the acknowledgment that some decisions may need to be made confidentially or swiftly by individuals with specific authority because of legal, policy, or executive reasons.

Continuous Improvement:
Shared governance is an evolving process that encourages continuous improvement. Regular assessments of the collaborative decision-making model are expected to be conducted, and adjustments made based on feedback from various internal stakeholders and changing organizational needs.


College Presidents, in consultation with internal stakeholders, are responsible for implementing a shared governance framework that clearly indicates:

Primary Roles and Responsibilities:
The establishment of clear expectations regarding roles and responsibilities is paramount to ensuring efficient and transparent governance. The college environment inherently involves various stakeholders, including faculty, instructors, staff, and students. Recognizing the importance of effective shared governance, colleges must empower diverse voices to foster a sense of value and support among their internal stakeholders and ensure that consideration is in proportion to the impact on that respective stakeholder group. This empowerment may manifest in different ways, such as designated decision-making authority to specific roles while assigning others the responsibility of providing advisory input and constructive feedback. By delineating these roles, colleges can cultivate an environment that not only acknowledges the diversity of perspectives but also optimizes the collective efforts of stakeholders toward the institution’s overall success and development.

Academic Shared Governance:
Specific attention will be dedicated to faculty shared governance that aligns with the Board’s and College’s strategic plans, and generally accepted standards within the academic community. Academic topic areas that are subject to academic shared governance include, but are not limited to, currency and sufficiency of curriculum and instruction, setting academic requirements, classroom learning environments, grading, program reviews, outcome assessment, faculty and instructor qualifications, sabbatical programs, adequacy of resources for instructional support, and changes with policies and procedures that impact their status and tenure with the college.

At each College, a faculty leadership group, such as faculty senate or council, will be given an opportunity to provide input to the designated decision-maker or will be granted decision-making authority, as it pertains to academic shared governance. Recognizing the need for colleges to remain agile in academic decision-making, at times these processes will be initiated by the President with subsequent faculty input, while at other times, faculty will make recommendations, subject to the endorsement of the President. At the System level, the State Faculty Advisory Committee (SFAC) will be involved in, and advisory to, decision-making that impacts policies, procedures, and college, system, and consortial changes that impact faculty.

Committees, Councils, and/or Task Groups:
To proactively address issues related to specific categories of employees or students within the College, an effective organizational structure can be established through the creation of committees, councils, and/or task groups. These entities will serve as dedicated forums for open discussion, collaboration, and problem-solving. Committees can be formed based on areas such as faculty; instructors; administrative, professional, and technical (APT); classified; and students. Presidents have discretion and authority to determine the existence of necessary groups based on the needs and opportunities in their respective institutions. Groups may be established to facilitate broader communication and coordination between different committees, ensuring a comprehensive approach to institutional concerns. Task groups can be initiated to address specific, time-sensitive issues that may arise. These groups, comprised of diverse representation, can propose innovative solutions and make recommendations to College leadership.

The discretion and authority of the College President plays a pivotal role in determining the composition and focus of these groups, allowing for flexibility and adaptability to the evolving needs of the College community. Through this structured approach, the College can foster a culture of inclusivity, responsiveness, and collaborative decision-making, and ultimately enhances the overall effectiveness of its governance.

Communication Channels:
Colleges and the System Office will develop transparent communication channels to facilitate the flow of information among stakeholders. Regular updates, to include justification of proposals to constituents, reports, and open forums should be used to keep the community informed about ongoing decision-making processes.

Governance Structure:
College shared governance plans or mechanisms must be implemented in compliance with Board Policies and System Procedures.

This procedure is not subject to SP 3-50a, Employee Grievances, as shared governance is a joint responsibility between the Board, Chancellor, College Presidents, faculty, instructors, System and College staff, and students. It is expected that all internal stakeholders will collaboratively engage in a collegial manner to enhance the overall well-being of the College and System. Concerns with the implementation of the procedure should be directed to the Chancellor only after all appropriate stakeholders have tried to resolve differences at the College or unit level.


CCCS reserves the right to change any provision or requirement of this procedure at any time and the change shall become effective immediately.