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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 McDonnell, Vice President for Academic Affairs


Amanda Olson, faculty member elected annually by Council members



  • Brian O'Malley, associate dean, culinary, hospitality and horticulture
  • Nate Barry, dean, career and technical education

Faculty representatives:

  • Business - Deborah Gaspard (BSAD)
  • Information Technology - Jamie Bridgham (INFO)
  • Career and Technical Education - Laurie Mazur (ELEC)
  • Career and Technical Education - Al Cox (AUTT)
  • Academic Success - Sheryl Jouvenat (ESLX)
  • Health Careers - Dawn Goodsell (HIMS)
  • Humanities and the Arts - Kambiz Jamshidi (SPCH)
  • Humanities and the Arts - Anne Burton (ARTS)
  • Culinary and Horticulture - Tom Bruning (HLSM)
  • Math and Natural Sciences - Amanda Olson (MATH) (chair)
  • Social Sciences - Leigh Ann Opitz (GEOG)
  • Social Sciences - Andreea Shnayder (ECED)
  • Curriculum Design Studio - Cindy Catherwood
  • Adjunct faculty (general ed/transfer area) - Paula Caruso
  • Adjunct faculty (career program area) - Lori Hunke

Non-voting members:

  • Vice president for Academic Affairs - Tom McDonnell
  • Vice president of Student Affairs - Maria Vazquez (or designee)
  • Faculty ex-officio - Joy Schulz
  • Past chair of the Council - Tory Badura
  • 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