Brookdale Governance


Brookdale values communication and inclusion.

In Governance, all members of the Brookdale community can influence the College’s future through ongoing dialogue and formal recommendations. Below, you will find information about our shared system, its work, organization, participants, and history.


I. Definition of Governance

“Brookdale Community College defines participatory governance as a comprehensive system of decision-making in which collegewide regulations, practices, and procedures will be recommended to the president of the College. Participatory governance requires that the constituencies engage in collegial discussion and base their actions on good faith, mutual respect, and the willingness to participate in the process through the governance structure” (Article 1.1).


II. Work of Governance

“Constituents affected by collegewide regulations, practices, and procedures have the right and responsibility to participate in developing, reviewing, and recommending them. Those who develop, review, and recommend collegewide regulations, practices, and procedures are accountable for their recommendations. Recommendations shall be consistent with the College mission and supported by data and/or relevant information” (Article 1.3).

Link to video: “Reasons to Get Involved with Governance” (2015)


III. Committees and Organizational Structure

A. Steering

“The Steering Committee is the organizational and management body of Governance and the College forums . . . When an issue is forwarded to the Steering Committee from any source, the Committee will route it, in a timely manner, to the appropriate party or parties for further consideration” (Article 4).


B. Standing and Collegewide Committees

“Committees are charged with work by the Steering Committee. They work on those charges in committee [meetings], hone proposals through input from the forums, and bring forth recommendations . . . for [a] vote” (Article 5).

Standing Committees recommend collegewide regulations, practices, and procedures. They typically meet several times a month during the regular 15-week semester.)

Collegewide Committees are faculty-led bodies that address curricular issues. They typically meet once a month during the regular 15-week semester. Collegewide committees facilitate communication between groups, coordinate activities, develop strategies for dealing with certain specific situations, and carry out regulations.

IV. Participants in Governance

Participatory governance provides a forum for open discussion between all constituencies: employees and students, both full-time and part-time. Ideally, through our shared system, all members of Brookdale will have a voice in influencing what happens at our College. All Brookdale students and employees are encouraged to share their concerns at collegewide forums, in open committee meetings, or with Steering. Collegewide forums provide an informal space for timely issues to be discussed; they also provide a formal space for committees to initiate discussion and seek feedback on proposed recommendations. Official membership and voting privileges on committees are designated according to constituency to allow a representative balance of voices. To learn more about Governance and its elected leaders (Steering members and committee chairs) for the current academic year, please refer to the BrookdaleShare intranet.


V. History

At Brookdale, participatory governance began in the 1970s and functioned continuously until 1989, when it was succeeded by a representative senate, which lasted several years. In a 1994 issue of Podium, professors Anthony Snyder (History) and Ronald Sopenoff (Sociology), both of whom were involved in the creation of a senate intended to represent the voices of faculty, confessed their concern that a “representative style of governance would perpetuate conflicts between faculty and administration and that a participatory model could best overcome this.” Thus, our current system of governance at Brookdale was born. In this participatory system “each constituency was to have a relevant and meaningful place in the process of governance where appropriate and truly important issues, rather than marginal or trivial ones, will be brought before the various segments of the system” (1994).

In 2013, Dr. David Stout (then a faculty member in Psychology) reflected on the history of Governance at Brookdale in the September Governance Gazette: “Core principles of [our original] participatory governance system included the right and responsibility of parties affected by Brookdale’s policies to shape these policies; inclusion of all who wish to participate in the development, recommendation, and review of these policies and regulations; open and honest communication; and accountability for recommendations. However, Brookdale has encountered an incredible amount of change since [the founding of Governance]” (2013). Dr. Stout, acting as the chair of Governance, then posed these questions: “Has Governance adapted to [institutional] changes? Are the principles of participatory governance still relevant? Are participants encouraged to express their thoughts in an open, honest, and collegial environment? Are all interested parties truly able to participate, regardless of their job function or location? Are the current structures effective? Are the outcomes meaningful?” (2013).

These questions remain relevant today. While good-faith disagreements that take a civil and collaborative approach to argumentation and conflict resolution seem increasingly rare in national and local politics, we, as Brookdalians who participate in Governance, have the power to share our viewpoints and listen to the views of others as we collegially work to establish common ground and effect positive change at the College. And, most significantly, through our system of Governance, we have an opportunity to participate in the democratic process at Brookdale, in which important decisions are made only after informed stakeholders present their arguments in the public square. Thus, robust engagement in Governance by all constituencies will ensure that the best proposals related to our College’s regulations, practices, and procedures will be recommended to the chief executive of the College (Kelsey Maki, 2022).

Link to video: “A Brief History of Governance at Brookdale” (2022)

Link to article: “On Governance” published in Podium (1994)


Chairs of Governance at Brookdale

1991-92: George Abel

1992-93: Maris Lown

1993-94: Carl Calendar

1994-95: Richard Pfeffer

1995-96: Joel Morgovsky

1996-97: Steven Cooper

1997-98: Stephen Curto

1998-99: Darrlyn White and Jess LeVine

1999-00: Jess LeVine

2000-01: Arnold Gelfman

2001-02: Virginia Lee

2002-03: Jack Ryan

2003-04: Nancy Noé

2004-05: Ann Tickner-Jankowski

2005-06: David Stout

2006-07: Kathy Vasile

2007-08: Maria Fernandez

2008-09: Avis McMillon

2009-10: Phyllis Shafer

2010-11: Marianne Drake

2011-12: Gail Harrigan

2012-13: Amy Gingold

2013-14: David Stout and Debbie Almeida

2014-15: Dara Evans

2015-16: Howard Miller

2016-17: Bill De Voe

2017-18: Brent Costleigh

2018-19: Joan Scocco and Ave Latte

2019-20: Ave Latte

2020-21: Bill De Voe

2021-22: Helen Heinmets

2022-23: Kelsey Maki