Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Learning Assessment Council By-Laws

Printable PDF of these by-laws


The LAC by-laws were revised in February 2017 and formally approved in June 2017.

I. Name

Learning Assessment Council (LAC)

II.    Object of the Organization

A. Mission and Values

The mission of the Learning Assessment Council is to guide and support a faculty-led assessment process both to continually improve teaching and learning and to help PCC meet accreditation standards.

Our college core outcomes charge us with creating opportunities for our students to become expressive, self-reflective, and culturally-sensitive citizens of a global community; capable of imaginative and critical thought and of making a living that can benefit the community and the environment. In seeking to assess our core outcomes, the Learning Assessment Council values and recognizes that:

  • For accreditation and improvement, we must assess learning at many levels
  • Assessment findings inform college planning and budget processes for improvement
  • Learning is complex, multi-dimensional, and ongoing
  • In some cases the assessments will be proxies for outcomes that may be difficult or impossible to measure
  • Methods chosen should be meaningful, useful, and respectful to faculty and students

B.   Goals and Objectives

In pursuit of these ends we will:

  • Monitor the national and international conversation around assessment and accountability in higher education and assist PCC faculty members in their awareness and understanding of, and participation in, this conversation
  • Maintain assessment as faculty work by:
    • offering training, facilitation services, and assessment coaching.
    • collaborating to maintain a peer review of the SAC assessment process.
    • engaging with the college administration and governance bodies to offer faculty perspectives on assessment and accountability issues, especially as these relate to accreditation.
    • leading the college into a culture of continuous improvement with emphasis on valuing evidence-based educational practice.

III.         Members and Support

 A. Membership shall include voting (faculty and non-faculty) and non-voting (managers who provide     administrative support and liaisons) individuals.

  •  Faculty:   Individuals who teach at least two credit courses in the school year.  Members who have      additional duties (e.g. librarians, TLC coordinators) will be considered faculty unless they are managers.
  •  Managers:   Individuals who provide administrative support as required by the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
  • Liaisons:  Individuals who are members of other PCC groups who have overlapping interests.

B.   Membership shall be broad and representative in composition, and membership shall include voting and non-voting members.

1.   Voting Members

  • 15-25 members. 
  • Voting members are at least 66.6% faculty
  • No fewer than four adjunct faculty
  • Strive for balance between Career Technical Education (CTE) and Lower Division Collegiate-Developmental Education (LDC-DE) faculty
  • Strive for balance of faculty/staff among campuses

2. Non-Voting Members

  •  Managers
  • Dean of Academic Affairs
  • Director of Institutional Effectiveness
  • Director of Curriculum
  • Liaisons (e.g. SPARC, Diversity, EAC, Student Support Services, TLC, Staff Development, Academic Support Coordinator)

C.   Terms of Voting Membership

1. Terms shall begin in Fall Quarter.

2. If a member resigns, leaving less than six months to be served, the position may be left vacant for the remainder of the year.

3. Membership in at least one standing subcommittee or task force committee for each quarter of the academic year.

4. Committee members should inform the chair of the LAC prior to absences; no proxies shall be allowed. For members serving a term, multiple absences to LAC or subcommittee meetings could result in replacement on the LAC.

5. If a voting member is consistently unable to attend meetings and/or participate on a subcommittee, the chair may move them to inactive status.  Inactive members may not participate in voting, but can be reinstated by the chair at any point once able to attend and participate.

IV.   LAC Meetings and Voting

A.  LAC Meetings

1.  Regular LAC meetings shall be held a minimum of one and a maximum of three times per quarter.

2.  Meetings shall be open to PCC faculty, staff, and students. Attendees wishing to address the LAC must contact the LAC chair in advance of the meeting. Attendees shall sign in at the beginning of the meeting.

3.  Meeting attendees shall adhere to the LAC Behavior Agreement. Created in 2011, this normative agreement outlines effective team behaviors.

4.  Agenda and meeting minutes will be posted to the LAC web page.

B.  Voting

1.  Fifty percent of the active voting members + 1 constitute a quorum.

2.  The LAC may continue business in the absence of a quorum unless a member calls for a quorum.

3.  Ideal decision making process is consensus building. In absence of consensus, at the discretion of the LAC chair, decisions will be made by simple majority vote of the quorum. LAC chair only votes to break a tie.

V.     Standing and Task Force Subcommittees

A.   Standing Subcommittee:

1.   Funding Subcommittee

a.  Members: LAC chair, LAC vice chair, Dean of Academic Affairs, other members of LAC as appointed by LAC chair

b. Duties:

  • Establish funding priorities for the year
  • Ensure that essential tasks of the committee (e.g. summer peer review, assessment coaching) are adequately funded
  • Ensure that participation on the LAC by part-time faculty members is adequately compensated
  • Fund other initiatives (e.g. conference attendance) as budget allows

B.  Task Force Subcommittees:

1.   The LAC chair will establish the tasks of the committee each year. 

2.   For each task being considered by the LAC, a task force will be formed by the LAC chair by appointing a Task Force Leader (or Leaders).

3.   Members of the committee will be asked to volunteer to serve on a task force that corresponds to their interest and abilities.

4.  Responsibilities of Leaders of Task Force Subcommittees:

  • Coordinate timely progress on the task
  • Report progress at the LAC meetings
  • Check in monthly with the LAC chair


VI. LAC Chair

A.  Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPASA) hires LAC chair.   Appointment is for one year and ideal term of service is two years. LAC chair must be a PCC faculty member (full time or adjunct).

B.  Year following term, LAC chair moves into vice-chair position to support new chair unless next vice-chair has been hired and is willing to take on duties.

C.  Duties:

1.    Chairs regular LAC meetings with recommendations provided to Dean of Academic Affairs.

2.    Facilitates the collection of assessment related data (e.g., SAC-created assessment reports, peer review).

3.     Monitors the work of the LAC Leaders and Task Force Leaders.

4.    Organizes assessment sessions for college in-service events and other main events (such as the   New Faculty Institute) throughout the year in consultation with LAC vice-chair.

5.     Responsible for the content and accuracy of the LAC website.

6.     Interfaces with Dean of Academic Affairs.

7.      Interfaces with SAC chairs.

8.     Acts as a liaison to Educational Advisory Council (EAC), Degrees and Certificates (DAC),    Curriculum Committee (CC), and other related committees as necessary.

10.   Assists the District with outside accrediting responsibilities, primarily the Northwest Commission for Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

11.   Gives feedback to SAC chairs on peer review of SAC Assessment Reports.

VII.   LAC Vice-Chair

 A.  Vice President of Academic Affairs hires the LAC vice-chair. Appointment is for one year prior to serving as LAC chair and year following term as chair. LAC vice-chair must be a PCC faculty member (full time or adjunct).

 B.  Ideally, LAC vice-chair has served the college as a LAC coach.

 C.  Duties:

1.  Assumes responsibilities for assessment coaching for SAC assessment projects: appoints the SAC coaches; holds regular meetings; provides support and suitable training

2.  Organizes assessment sessions for college in-service events and other main events (such as the New Faculty Institute) throughout year in consultation with LAC chair

3.  Vice-chair assumes all duties of the chair if the chair is unavailable

VIII.    Vice President of Academic Affairs

A.  Compensation for the Learning Assessment chair and vice-chair is determined in collaboration with the Vice President of Academic Affairs and may consist of course releases, time releases, or stipends.

B.  Duties of the Vice President of Academic Affairs:

1.  Publicly provide love and support, especially for the coaches, and fight tooth and nail for money to be sent our way.

IX.      Bylaws and Mission

A.    Bylaws are reviewed at least biannually by LAC Leaders.  If there is a need to alter bylaws,    input is gathered from the LAC members and then submitted for approval by Vice President of Academic Affairs.

B.     Mission is reviewed at least every three years by the LAC Leaders. If there is a need to alter mission, input is gathered from the LAC members and then submitted for approval by Vice President of Academic


Normative/Behavior Agreement


Normative Agreements are a set of rules or guidelines LAC members identify to shape how positive and productive interaction will occur to reach LAC outcomes.

As stated in the LAC Bylaws: “Members will conduct themselves in the manner defined by the normative/behavioral agreement.”

Members define what behaviors are appropriate and what are not along with how the facilitator/leader/chair/ member will deal with them.

Effective Behaviors in Working Together

1.   Be respectful to other members’ thoughts and ideas. Maintain attentiveness and actively listen.

•    Avoid negative nonverbal and verbal behavior.

•    Minimize texting, laptop use, and side conversations.

•    Do not dominate discussions.

•    Do not interrupt.

2.   Stay on the topics associated with the agenda.

3.   Use constructive feedback.

4.   Give attention to members who may not be engaged. Encourage their involvement.

5.   Share your ideas, questions, and concerns. Keep them relevant and don’t hold back.

6.   Be willing to compromise and follow the LAC decision-making process in the bylaws.

7.   Ask for clarification and be patient if there is confusion over a topic.

8.   Acknowledge and consider part-time faculty perspectives and “plight” when making decisions about commitment and policy.

9.   Check your individual “hidden agenda” at the door. Disclose which position is informing your point of view (representing other college groups or individuals, such as Diversity Council, SPARC, Union, part-time, full-time, CTE, DE, LDC, etc.).

10.  Arrive on time and be prepared for the meeting.