The Catholic University of America

Archived June 2006

Faculty Handbook Part I
The Government of the University
The Organization of the University

Section 14: Academic Senate


Approved by:
History: Issued --
Revised --
Additional History
Responsible Official: Provost (202)319-5244


Academic Senate:

By provision of the Bylaws, the Academic Senate shares with the President the immediate responsibility for the academic governance of the University by establishing, maintaining, super­vising, and, in general, being responsible for academic policies. Its Constitution (Section 8), as approved by the Board of Trustees, has the force of the Bylaws.

Elections of delegates from the Faculties are held in all Schools during the month of April for terms that begin on the following September 1. Deans send notices to all members of their respective Faculties at least two weeks in advance of an election. Elections are by secret ballot. Absentee ballots are excluded. A simple majority of votes cast is re­quired for election. Schools may elect to follow either canonical (Code of Canon Law, Canons 160‑178) or parliamentary voting procedures. Should the office of a delegate be vacated before the expiration of a regular term, it is filled by the election of a delegate to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Student delegates are elected annually under the auspices of the Graduate Student Association and Undergraduate Student Governmentand customarily take office after the beginning of the Second Semester. They have all privileges except the right to vote upon the qualifications of candidates for faculty rank and tenure.

The Academic Senate may annually, by a two‑thirds vote, invite non­voting participation by such persons as it deems will contribute to its effectiveness. Thus, in addition to the representatives of the Faculties to the Board of Trustees, who are ex officio non‑voting members of the Academic Senate, meetings are at present attended by the Executive Vice President, the Dean of University College, the Director of Libraries and a representative of the Professional Library Staff.

Ordinarily, the Chairman of each standing committee of the Academic Senate is appointed from the membership, but other members may be appointed from any part of the University. Members serve for one year and may be reappointed. The standing committees are listed here in alphabetical order.

The Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure investigates and reports to the Academic Senate any policy that may affect academic freedom and/or tenure.

The Committee on Announcements and Related Publications reviews on behalf of the Academic Senate the publication of the Announcements of the several Schools and Student Handbook in order to insure the effective pre­sentation of University policies.

The Committee on Appointments and Promotions examines all applica­tions for appointment, promotion, and tenure on which the Academic Senate must pass and makes recommendations for their disposition.

The Committee on the Budget participates in an advisory capacity in the preparation of the University's annual operating budget and in the formulation and interpretation of the Administration's budgetary policies.

The Committee on Committees and Rules appoints the chairman and members of all special and standing committees and continuously evaluates and proposes changes in the rules of the Academic Senate. Its members are elected and include the Vice Chairman of the Academic Senate ex officio.

The Committee on Educational Policy considers and reports on any aca­demic matters referred to it, conducts studies and reports on legislation or administrative policies involving questions of educational policy and students.

The Committee on Faculty Economic Welfare makes recommendations to the Academic Senate concerning the economic welfare of faculty members.

The Committee on Faculty Manuals prepares manuals for approval by the Academic Senate.

The Committee on Grades hears appeals of failing grades upon petition when procedures in the cognizant School have been exhausted.

The Committee on Honorary Degrees recommends nominees for honorary degrees for consideration by the Academic Senate.

The Committee on Libraries advises the Academic Senate concerning the holdings, facilities, policies, and services of University libraries. It forms a part of the University Committee on Libraries.

The Committee on Student Participation in Academic Affairs develops and recommends means for student participation in academic decisions at all levels of the University.

The Committee on Undergraduate Studies considers and advises the Aca­demic Senate on matters relating to undergraduate programs.