The Catholic University of America

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

Section 4: Academic Senate

 

Approved by: Board of Trustees
History: Issued --
  Revised --June 2006
  Additional History
Responsible Official: Provost tel. 202-319-5244
 
   
 


Academic Senate
The Academic Senate shares with the President "the immediate responsibility for academic governing of the university by establishing, maintaining, supervising, and in general being responsible for the academic policies of the University" (Bylaws II, 6). Its Constitution, as approved by the Board of Trustees, is "in full force and effect binding to the same extent" as the Bylaws. The Constitution which is given below in Part B, Current Governing Documents, determines the membership of officers of administration, deans, faculty delegates, students, and others.

Elections of delegates from the Faculties, in proportion to the number of regular faculty members, are held in the individual schools during the month of March for three?year terms beginning the following September 1. Deans send notices of the election at least two weeks in advance. Elections are by secret ballot, absentee ballots are excluded, and a simple majority is required. In the event of a vacancy before the expiration of a regular term, a delegate is elected for the remainder of the term.

The Associate Provost, University Libraries and one professional member of the Library Staff elected by the Staff are members of the Senate. Student delegates are elected annually under the auspices of the Graduate Student Association and the Undergraduate Student Government. Both representatives of the Libraries and student representatives have full voting rights, except in passing on the qualifications of faculty members proposed for rank or tenure. The Registrar is a non-voting member of the Senate.

The three faculty representatives elected as non?voting members of the Board of Trustees also serve as members of the Academic Senate, without vote but with the right to propose and second motions. In addition, the Senate may annually, by two-­thirds vote, invite non?voting participation by other persons.

a. Committees of the Academic Senate

Ordinarily, the Chair 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 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 Budget and Planning 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 chair and members of all other standing committees, except the Committee on Budget and Planning and, unless the appointment is made by the Academic Senate itself, all special committees. It also serves as a nominating committee to submit names of candidates for election as officers of the Senate. The committee continuously evaluates and proposes changes in the rules of the Senate. Its members are elected directly by the Academic Senate and include the Vice Chair of the 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 the Faculty Handbook prepares revisions of the Handbook for approval by the Academic Senate.

The Committee on Failing 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.

b. The Graduate Board

The Academic Senate has delegated to the Graduate Board general supervision over specific matters relating to graduate study, for example, standards of admission, programs of study, and requirements for degrees. The Graduate Board reports to the Academic Senate its recommendations on these matters.

The Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies is the Chair of the Graduate Board ex officio. Members are appointed by the Academic Senate upon the joint recommendation of the Chair of the Graduate Board and the Dean of the School from which the appointment is made. Each School is represented on the Graduate Board by a number of members equal to the number of its faculty delegates in the Academic Senate. Deans are eligible for membership on the Graduate Board. The terms of office coincide with those of the delegates to the Academic Senate.

c. The Undergraduate Board

The Academic Senate has delegated to the Undergraduate Board general supervision over specific matters relating to undergraduate study, parallel to the responsibilities of the Graduate Board (above). The Undergraduate Board reports its recommendations to the Academic Senate. The Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies is the Chair of the Undergraduate Board ex officio. Members are appointed by the Academic Senate upon the joint recommendation of the Chair of the Undergraduate Board and the Dean of the School from which the appointment is made. Each School is represented on the Undergraduate Board by a number of members equal to the number of its faculty delegates in the Academic Senate. Deans are eligible for membership on the Board. The terms of office coincide with those of the delegates to the Academic Senate.

Faculty Handbook of The Catholic University of America, 2006 Edition