University Council

Governance Structure

Statute of University Governance Structure

[This Statute was approved by University Council (formerly known as the College Council) on October 27, 1971, and accepted by the President and approved with certain recommendations by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees on November 22, 1971. Additional amendments were adopted by the University Council on May 9, 1973, approved by the President on June 29, 1973; by the University Council on September 22, 1980, including a change in name to “University Council,”approved by the President on September 25, 1980, and by the Board of Trustees on September 26, 1980; by the University Council on May 14, 1981, approved by the President on June 3, 1981; by the University Council on May 16, 1984, approved by the President on June 5, 1984, and by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees on September 21, 1984; and by the University Council on May 5, 1985, approved by the President on September 5, 1985; by the University Council on May 9, 1990, approved by the President and adopted by the Board of Trustees on May 11, 1990.; and by the University Council on May 13, 1997, approved by the President in June, 1997, by the University Council on May 13, 1999, and approved by the President June 9, 1999.]

I. The University Council

The University Council is the principal body for corporate participation of the various constituencies of the university in policy formulation.

A. Powers

1. Meetings

The University Council, its executive committee and all standing committees of the University Council shall have a calendar of meetings set for the entire academic year. The calendar shall be set before September. The calendar may be adjusted if no business arises. All meetings of the University Council shall be open and announced, with prior publication of agenda and minutes of the previous meeting. Except as otherwise indicated in this statute, the council shall conduct its business according to Robert’s Rules of Order Revised and procedural guidelines laid down by the executive committee. Any member of the university community may petition the executive committee for an opportunity to be heard by the University Council and shall receive such consideration as council time and university priorities permit. A quorum shall consist of fifty (50%) plus one (1) of the members of the University Council.

2. Mandates

The council may mandate matters of policy formulation for study to the standing committees, the Faculty Senate, the Haub School of Business, or the College of Arts and Sciences. The University Council shall set a time limit within which such mandates must be reported back to council. The council may prioritize mandates for consideration and it may alter the initially specified time for study. If the recipient of a mandate from council fails to report within the time specified, and the council has not extended the deadline, the original recipient shall lose the opportunity to offer judgment on the mandate and the mandate will automatically proceed to council for consideration.

3. Actions

All policy studies shall be presented to the council by the chair of the committee involved or by an appropriate delegate. Chairs of committees shall make brief progress reports to the council at its request.

Upon presentation of such a study, other than one afforded special treatment, the council, by majority vote of those present and voting, may amend, accept, reject or return to committee. Accepted proposals shall be sent to the President for his approval or rejection.

Reports of the Faculty Senate shall, at the request of the senate, be accorded special treatment. Such proposals may be accepted or rejected by a simple majority vote in council, or may be amended by a two-thirds vote of those present.
Any specific proposal may be declared of major importance by a majority of those present and voting, in which case passage shall require a majority of the full membership.

The council may also create special committees to study specific matters. Reports of special committees shall be treated in the same manner as reports of standing committees.

The administration of the university shall be responsible for the detailed implementation of approved policies, but the council reserves the right to review such implementation and define its limits.

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B. Membership
The University Council shall consist of twenty-three (23) representatives from faculty, students, staff, and administrators. Selection of the membership of the University Council shall be completed by September 15 of each new academic year. Since the University Council is intended to be a continuously functioning body, the terms of incumbent members shall not lapse until the new membership of the University Council is duly constituted.

1. Composition

The University Council shall be composed of the following membership, selected according to the procedures below:
a. The senior academic officer, who shall act as chair. The chair shall vote only to break a tie.
b. The Deans of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Haub School of Business.
c. One (1) presidential appointment from among the administration.
d. Twelve (12) tenure-track faculty members distributed as follows:
i. The five (5) members of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, ex officio;
ii. Two (2) representatives elected by and from the College of Arts and Sciences;
iii. Two (2) representatives elected by and from the Haub School of Business;
iv. Three (3) representatives elected at large by and from the faculty of the university;
e. Five (5) students, distributed as follows:
i. Four (4) undergraduate students (with at least two (2) being full-time day students, and one from the University College). The Student Association President shall be a member of the University Council, ex-officio. Students shall be appointed by submitting their names to the Student Association.
ii. One (1) graduate student, alternating college by year.
The University College student and graduate student will be appointed by their respective deans.
f. Two (2) representatives of the Administrative/Staff Council selected according to the procedures specified by the Administrative/Staff Council. These representatives will vote exclusively on matters directly affecting their respective constituencies, as determined by the executive committee of the University Council.

2. Terms of Office of Elected Representatives

Elected representatives on the University Council shall serve two-year terms. Elected representatives are eligible to serve only two (2) consecutive elected terms on the University Council.

3. Vacancy
In case of a vacancy among the members of the University Council, the chair shall arrange to have a replacement named as soon as possible.

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C. Executive Committee of the University Council

1. Membership

The University Council shall have an executive committee composed as follows: the senior academic officer as non-voting chair; one (1) administrator; one (1) student; three (3) faculty. All executive committee members, except the senior academic officer, shall be elected for a term of one (1) year by and from the University Council membership.

2. Duties

The executive committee shall select membership of special committees, set meeting times, approve agenda for University Council meetings, and advise the chair on any matters pertaining to the work of the council and its standing committees.
The executive committee shall review all proposed mandates for consideration by the governance process. It shall require that proposed mandates must possess complete documentation and a detailed rationale before the request for a mandate will be passed to the University Council for approval. The executive committee shall have the authority to:
a. recommend that the council approve the mandate and route it to the appropriate body for consideration;
b. reject the proposed mandate; or
c. return the proposed mandate to its source for further development of its rationale.
In the event that the executive committee rejects a mandate, it must report its action to the University Council. The council shall have the authority to overturn the executive committee’s rejection. The executive committee shall dispose of a mandate within one (1) meeting of its receipt.
The chair shall forward to the executive committee the draft agenda of the University Council meeting and any necessary documentation at least five (5) days prior to its meeting.

3. Procedures for Mandates

Policy recommendations from the Faculty Senate, the standing committees of the University Council, the College of Arts and Sciences or the Haub School of Business may come to the University Council only from mandates passed to the respective bodies by the council itself. The executive committee shall determine the jurisdiction of all mandates, and it shall formally and provisionally identify those mandates that it considers primarily within the jurisdiction of either of the full-time colleges. When reports on mandates that have been identified as primarily within the jurisdiction of a college are returned to the University Council, the council may reject the report only by a two-thirds vote of those present, unless a majority votes that the report, as developed, has sufficiently broad implications that it is no longer primarily a college matter.

The Executive Committee of the University Council, subject to veto by the University Council itself, shall have the authority to decide disputes over jurisdiction which might arise among the College of Arts and Sciences, the Haub School of Business and the Faculty Senate.

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D. Voting

All members of the University Council shall inform themselves as fully as possible of the various opinions within their constituency concerning matters before the council. They shall vote, however, according to their own informed convictions rather than according to a purely representative concept. Any four (4) members of the council may request a roll call vote which shall be recorded in the minutes.

E. Resolutions

The University Council may pass resolutions expressing the advisory opinion of the council on matters of university policy beyond its normal statutory power by a majority of those present and voting, except that resolutions declared to be of major importance require a majority of the full membership.

F. Procedures for Approved Policies

In cases where the council has approved a policy report and submitted it to the president, the President is expected to act within ninety (90) calendar days of the report’s passage in the council and to report such action to the chair of the council. Failure of the president to act within the specified period shall be considered a rejection of the policy report. If the president chooses not to accept a University Council recommendation, he must explain, in person or in writing, the reasons for, or constraints upon, his choice. If the president rejects a policy proposal, the council may, by a two-thirds vote, resubmit the matter to the president as a special action proposal, provided that this action is taken no later than ninety (90) calendar days or the second regularly scheduled meeting, whichever is later, following notification of the president’s rejection of the proposal. If the president rejects a special action proposal, the council may, by a two-thirds vote, request that the president submit the proposal, together with its voting history, to the Board of Trustees of the university. Such action must be taken no later than ninety (90) calendar days or by the second regularly scheduled meeting, whichever is later, following notification of the president’s rejection of the special action proposal.

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II. The Standing Committees

The standing committees shall function as instruments of continuing evaluation in their respective areas of competence and responsibility. In order to ensure this continuing evaluation, each standing committee shall meet at least twice each semester. All meetings shall be open and announced, with prior publication of agenda and minutes of the previous meeting. Anyone wishing to reserve time to address the committee should give at least two (2) days’ notice to the committee chair, but failure to give such notice shall not prevent one from speaking to the committee if there is sufficient time.
Standing committees shall report to the University Council on all studies mandated to them and on any other matters of policy formulation.

A. Membership of Standing Committees

1. Membership on standing committees shall be no less than nine (9) and no more than fifteen (15).
2. Membership on standing committees shall be two-year terms for faculty, with approximately one-half of the faculty terms expiring each year. Student representatives may serve one-year terms in accordance with the constitutions of the respective student organizations.
3. Faculty membership on the standing committees shall not be drawn from the membership of the University Council or the Faculty Senate Executive Council, or the Executive Committees of the College Councils of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Haub School of Business.
4. Membership of all standing committees shall be constituted as of September 30th for that academic year, except that student members may be replaced according to the rules of the respective student bodies.

B. Standing Committees

1. Standing Committee on Student Affairs, Full-time Undergraduate—This committee shall concern itself with the formulation of general policy of distinctive interest to full-time undergraduate students, including student life, the learning environment and student regulations. Two-thirds of the committee shall be students chosen in a manner to be specified by the organized student body of full-time undergraduates. Student representatives on this committee shall be apportioned between the resident and commuter students according to their respective proportions of the full-time undergraduate population. One-third of this committee shall be faculty elected at large by and from the faculty of the university. The Vice President for Student Life shall serve, ex officio, as a member of the committee.

2. Standing Committee on Student Affairs, Part-time Undergraduate and Graduate—This committee shall concern itself with the formulation of general policy of distinctive interest to part-time undergraduate and graduate students, including student life, the learning environment and student regulations. Two-thirds of this committee shall be students chosen from among the University College, continuing education and graduate student populations in a manner to be specified by the respective student bodies. Student representatives shall be apportioned between the respective constituencies according to their proportions of the total part-time and graduate student population. One-third of this committee shall be faculty elected at large by and from the faculty of the university. The Vice President for Student Life and the Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies shall serve, ex officio, as members of this committee.

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III. Amendments Process

The process of amending this Statute on University Governance consists of three (3) steps: proposal, adoption, and ratification.

A. Proposal—An amendment may be proposed by any five (5) members of the University Council. Once an amendment has been proposed in writing, the executive committee shall place it on the agenda of the last regularly scheduled council meeting in the spring semester and publicize it throughout the university community.
B. Adoption—Since an amendment is an important question, its adoption requires a majority of all members of the University Council.
C. Ratification—The amendment is ratified when it has been approved by the President and the Board of Trustees.

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