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Academic Council

Primary function:

The Academic Council provides an organizational structure where faculty can discuss issues related to teaching and learning and make recommendations to the vice president for academic affairs. The Council will promote and improve communications and mutual understanding between faculty and the administration, students and staff.  

Specific functions:

  • Solicit and advocate questions from the representative department. 
  • Considers issues and recommendations referred by the vice president for academic affairs.
  • Facilitate bilateral communications with college representatives on relevant matters consistent with the purpose of the Council. 
  • Study and process issues of importance to faculty by forming standing and ad hoc faculty committees.
  • Appoint members to represent the Council on other college committees.
  • Appoint non-members to serve on ad hoc committees.
  • Serve as the sounding board for proposed policies that affect teaching and learning.
  • Make recommendations to the vice president for academic affairs.
  • Report Council activities to faculty within the represented academic dean area.
  • Review the Council Charter annually and make changes necessary to conform to the purpose of the Council.
  • Perform other functions consistent with the purposes of the Council which are adopted by the Council.

Reports to:

Thomas J McDonnell, Vice President for Academic Affairs


Kevin Mortensen, faculty member elected annually by Council members

2023-24 Academic Council Membership:


  • Jordan Pirtle, Director of Secondary Partnerships and Gateway to College
  • Melissa Zimmer, Director of Curriculum & Instruction - Programs and Integrated Instruction

Faculty representatives:

  • Academic Success - Kevin Mortensen (ESLX) CHAIR
  • Business - Liliana Petersen (BSAD)
  • Career and Technical Education - John Banark (PRMA)
  • Career and Technical Education - Andrew Henrichs (CNST)
  • Culinary and Horticulture - James Davis (CHRM)
  • Health Careers - Grace Miller (EMSP)
  • Humanities and the Arts - Lilith Smith (ARTS)
  • Humanities and the Arts - Amy Rector (ENGL)
  • Information Technology - Sue Yi (INFO)
  • Math and Natural Sciences - Scott Brewer (MATH)
  • Social Sciences - Stewart Brewer (HIST)
  • Social Sciences - Michelle Miller (HMSV)
  • Adjunct Faculty (general ed/transfer area) - Laura Burke (PHOT)
  • Adjunct Faculty (career/program area) - Joe Koch (INFO)
  • Curriculum and Instruction - Cindy Catherwood

Non-voting members:

  • Vice President for Academic Affairs - Tom McDonnell
  • Vice President of Student Affairs - Maria Vazquez (or designee)
  • Faculty Ex-Officio - Zach Pechacek
  • Past Chair of the Council - Karina Clarke
  • Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs - Jolynn Emery (Council Secretary) 

Steering Committee comprised of Council chair, one full-time faculty member and one administrator.

Academic Council Meeting Minutes

Academic Council Charter