Community Advisory Board

Sociology and Criminology and Justice Studies Community Advisory Board Bylaws


The Bachelors’ in Sociology and Criminology and Justice Studies (CJS), as well as the Master’s Program in Sociology at Cal Poly Humboldt, are formally linked to the community through the Sociology and CJS Community Advisory Board. The board is critical in maintaining communication between the Department of Sociology and the community and promoting collaboration. Board meetings provide a forum in which Sociology faculty, students and community members exchange resources and needs information and develop partnerships. Community board members do not have voting authority regarding the Sociology or CJS curriculum or administration; however, recommendations from the board inform decisions made by the Department of Sociology.


Board members include the Department Chair, the Coordinator of the Graduate Program, the Coordinator of the Criminology and Justice Studies Program,  three student representatives (one from each program) and 10 to 15 members of the community.

Board members might include staff from organizations such as The Humboldt Area Foundation, County Administrative Office, Probation, Health Departments and Hospitals, Mental Health, Social Services, Parole, Law Enforcement Chiefs Association of Humboldt, Head Start, Parks and Recreation, Minister’s Association, Student Affairs, Alumni Association, Conservation Corp, Juvenile Justice Commission, Human Rights Commission, Housing and Urban Development, United Indian Health Services and Departments of Education.

Invitations to Serve and Terms of Service

A Nominations Committee consisting of the Board Chairperson, the Coordinator of the Graduate Program, the Coordinator of the Criminology and Justice Studies Program, and a member at large serving as Nominations Chairperson is responsible for maintaining a diverse board membership. The Nominations Committee will bring forward and the full board will vote to approve all invitations to serve. Board service invitations will take into account the current board representation regarding the following criteria:

  • community organization fields such as the environment, law, health and child advocacy;
  • community organization types such as for-profit, non-profit, educational, and governmental;
  • Humboldt and Sociology alumni status; and
  • ethnicity and gender.

Community members are invited to serve on the board for staggered 3-year renewable terms and ideally hold organizational positions that allow for the facilitation of placements. Student board members are nominated by the sociology faculty to serve 1-year terms. Board members who relocate or need to resign for other reasons should notify the Board Chairperson and Graduate Coordinator in writing. Email notification is acceptable.

Governance and Administration

The Board Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Nominations Chairperson are selected to serve two-year renewable terms by consensus or a simple majority vote of the board. The Vice Chairperson will fulfill the Chairperson's responsibilities in their absence. The Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Nominations Chairperson and the Graduate Coordinator serve as a board Executive Committee. Administrative support is provided by the Department of Sociology administrative support assistant.

The board will use a consensus model in making recommendations, confirming action items, or creating position statements and the like. If the board cannot reach consensus, the chair may call for a vote. Voting requires the presence of a simple majority of attending members. Discussion and voting may also be carried out via email.

The faculty Coordinator of the Graduate Program serves as the board administrator. The Coordinator works with the Advisory Board Chairperson to establish agendas and publicize meeting dates. The board physically meets three times each year: one meeting is held in early September to introduce new and returning students to the advisory board; in December to prepare for spring projects and placements; and one meeting is held in May to prepare for fall projects and placements. These meetings also serve as a forum for the presentation of graduate student field placement work.


Between meetings, board members communicate with each other and the Department of Sociology faculty through one-to-one meetings, phone communication and email. Board minutes are sent out via email and should help members to stay involved even if they miss a meeting.

Discussed and approved by straw vote at December 3, 2013 Board Meeting


  • September: Introduce new and returning students
  • December: Prepare for Spring projects and placements - MA presentations
  • May: Prepare for Fall projects and placements – MA presentations

The Sociology and Criminology and Justice Studies Community Advisory Board actively seeks new members and new opportunities for students.  If you think you are a good fit for the board or have any questions about becoming a possible member please email Karen August.