Kamp, 072883 CAAGO, AGO 83-304

Docket Nº:AGO 83-304
Case Date:July 28, 1983
Court:California
 
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JOHN K. VAN DE KAMP Attorney General
CLAYTON P. ROCHE Deputy Attorney General
AGO 83-304
No. 83-304
California Attorney General Opinion
Office of the Attorney General State of California
July 28, 1983
         THE HONORABLE DAVID ROBERTI, MEMBER OF THE CALIFORNIA SENATE, has requested an opinion on the following question:          Are meetings of the academic senate or faculty council of a California community college subject to the open meeting requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act?          CONCLUSION          Meetings of the academic senate or faculty council of a California community college are subject to the open meeting requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act.          ANALYSIS          The Ralph M. Brown Act, Government Code section 54950 et seq., requires that "legislative bodies" of "local agencies" as defined in the act hold their meetings open to the public unless expressly excepted by the act, or unless impliedly excepted by some other confidentiality provision of the law such as the attorney-client privilege. (63 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 820, 821 (1980).) "Local agency" includes a school district, including a California community college district. (See Gov. Code, § 54951; Atty.Gen.Unpub.Opn. I.L. 76-222.) "Legislative body" for purposes of the act is not restricted to the actual governing board or body of a local agency. It includes as well (1) "any board or commission thereof, or other body on which officers of a local agency serve in their official capacity" (Gov. Code, § 54952); (2) boards, commissions or committees "which exercise any [delegated] authority of a legislative body" (Gov. Code, § 54952.2; (3) "planning commission, library boards, recreation commission, and other permanent boards or commissions of a local agency" (Gov. Code, § 54952.5); and (4) "any advisory commission, advisory committee or advisory body of a local agency, created by charter, ordinance, resolution, or by any similar formal action of a legislative body or member of a legislative body of a local agency" (Gov. Code, § 54952.3).          As will be evident from an examination of the functions of an academic senate or faculty council (hereinafter "academic senate"), the basic issue presented is whether an academic senate is an advisory commission, committee or body within the meaning of section 54952.3 of the Government Code. Stated otherwise, is a community college academic senate an advisory body of the community college district board, and has it been formed by "formal action" of that board as contemplated by the Ralph M. Brown Act?          California community colleges are established pursuant to division 7 of title 3 of the Education Code. (Ed. Code, § 71000 et seq.) At the state level, there is a Board of Governors of...

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