Constitution

Preamble

The Georgetown University Faculty Handbook makes the executive faculty or council of each school the ordinary educational policy-making body for that school in accordance with University policy. The final institutional authority is the Board of Directors, which entrusts the conduct of administration to the President, Vice-presidents, and Deans, and the conduct of teaching and research to the faculty. 

To extend this pattern of shared responsibility and joint effort, the Main Campus Executive Faculty, the Office of the Provost, and the Deans shall work together in determining, creating, and implementing academic policy for the Main Campus of the University. 

I. Scope and Functions of the Executive Faculty 

A. Scope of the Executive Faculty 

1. The Main Campus Executive Faculty, in collaboration with the Office of the Provost and the Deans, shall formulate Main Campus academic policies. Academic policies are those that concern such fundamental areas as curriculum, content and methods of instruction, and the conditions of faculty life in terms of teaching, research, and service. Main Campus policies are those that are not confined to one school or that affect the Main Campus as a whole. 

2. Nothing in the Constitution is to be construed as at variance with or as a constraint on the traditional academic freedoms enjoyed by individual members of the faculty. 

3. The Executive Faculty shall not exercise authority over matters properly dealt with solely by department, program, or school faculties, nor contravene any policy or course of action involving two or more schools that has been endorsed by the Deans and Executive Councils of all schools involved. 

4. Except when requested by the University Faculty Senate, the Executive Faculty shall not exercise authority over matters of general University interest that are properly subject to Senate consideration, nor perform functions assigned to the Senate by University Policies. 

5. Since the Executive Faculty, the Faculty Senate, and major standing committees or bodies advisory to the Provost have overlapping mandates, coordination of interests and agendas shall be established, along with regular consultation. 

B. Functions of the Executive Faculty 

1. Initiate Policy 

The Executive Faculty may initiate the process for the formulation or review of academic policies, either by developing its own proposals, which shall then be reviewed by the appropriate Main Campus advisory committees, or by asking the Provost to assign tasks to appropriate Main Campus advisory committees.  When the Provost asks advisory committees to consider policy matters, the Executive Faculty shall be informed in a timely fashion. 

2. Approve Policy Proposals 

All Main Campus academic policy proposals shall be submitted to the Executive Faculty for consideration. Such proposals must ordinarily be approved or the need for their approval waived by the Executive Faculty before implementation. On these matters, the power of final decision lodged in the Board of Directors or delegated to the President or Provost should be exercised adversely only in exceptional circumstances, and for reasons communicated in writing to the Executive Faculty. 

3. Advisory Function 

The Executive Faculty may make recommendations to the Provost on academic aspects of significant fiscal decisions, on the selection of senior academic administrators, and on matters of University policy that affect the academic mission of the Main Campus. 

II. Composition of the Executive Faculty 

A. Members 

The Executive Faculty shall be composed of the following individuals provided (i) they are full-time members of the faculty, tenure line or non-tenure line and (ii) their election is reported by the head of the electing unit when prompted by the Executive Faculty Chair each year.

1. One elected representative from each Main Campus unit[1] that issues a graduate or undergraduate degree (a non-minor certificate does not count as a degree for these purposes), and each School of Nursing and Health Studies unit that issues an undergraduate degree, provided it:

  • Has at least one faculty member, tenure line or full-time non-tenure line, who has a primary appointment in that unit
  • Has a chair or equivalent who reports to dean or higher (that is, not to a department chair or director who then reports to the dean)

2. One additional elected unit representative for each additional 25 faculty after the first (i.e., two representatives for 26 to 50 faculty, three for 51 to 75, and so on).

3. Five faculty members elected by the Main Campus members of the Faculty Senate. Faculty Senate appointees may, but need not be, members of the Senate.

4. The Provost, as an ex officio, nonvoting, member.

B. Alternates 

If any elected member is unable to attend a meeting of the Executive Faculty, he or she may designate in writing another eligible member from the same constituency to speak and vote in his or her stead at the meeting. 

C. Elections and Term of Office 

The members of the Executive Faculty shall ordinarily be elected in May. The term of office shall be two years beginning with the first day of the semester following the election. If an individual cannot serve a complete term, a replacement shall be elected in accordance with Section II A. 

D. Representation 

No person may represent more than one constituency. 

III. Quorum and Voting 

A. Quorum 

Quorum shall consist of forty percent of those eligible to vote. 

B. Voting 

A simple majority vote of all members present and voting shall be required to adopt all motions except resolutions of no-confidence, and amendments to this Constitution, which shall require a two-thirds vote of all members present and voting. A member is considered present when attending the meeting in person or by remote conferencing. No person shall have more than one vote. All votes and abstentions will be recorded.

IV. Officers 

A. Duties 

The Officers of the Executive Faculty shall be the Chair, First Vice-Chair, and Second Vice-Chair. They have the following duties: 

1. Chair 

The Chair shall: (a) preside over all meetings of the Executive Faculty and the Steering Committee; (b) represent the Executive Faculty to other members of the University Community; (c) serve as an ex officio, nonvoting, member of the Council of Deans; and (d) perform any other duties requested by the Executive Faculty.

2. First Vice-Chair 

The First Vice-Chair shall: (a) preside over meetings of the Executive Faculty and the Steering Committee in the absence of the Chair; (b) represent the Executive Faculty to other members of the University Community in the absence of the Chair; (c) chair key committees as appropriate; and (d) perform any other duties requested by the Executive Faculty or the Chair. 

3. Second-Vice Chair 

The Second-Vice Chair shall: (a) assume the duties of the Chair in the absence of both the Chair and the First Vice-Chair; (b) represent the Executive Faculty to other members of the University Community in the absence of the Chair; (c) chair key committees as appropriate; and (d) perform any other duties requested by the Executive Faculty or the Chair. 

4. Publicizing and Recording Meetings 

The officers shall be responsible for publicizing and recording meetings of the Executive Faculty in accordance with Section V of this Constitution. 

B. Election Procedure 

The election shall ordinarily take place at the April meeting of the Executive Faculty of every second year. Only members of the Executive Faculty are eligible to be nominated and to serve as officers. The vote shall be by secret ballot. Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of all members present and voting. 

C. Term of Office 

The officers shall serve a term of two years beginning on July 1 following the elections.  Should new officers not be elected before July 1, the existing officers will serve until successors are elected. An officer may be reelected to the same office but may not serve more than two full terms in succession. An officer who has already served two consecutive terms in the same office may only hold that office again after a full term has passed. 

D. Vacancy in Office 

In the event of a vacancy in the office of Chair, the First Vice-Chair shall become Acting Chair until the next meeting of the Executive Faculty at which time an election shall be held to fill the remainder of the term. In the event of a vacancy in the office of either the First or Second Vice-Chair, the Chair shall appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the term, subject to the timely approval of the Executive Faculty. 

E. Removal from Office 

Any officer, committee chair, or committee member may be removed from office by a vote of the Executive Faculty. A motion to remove any officer may only be considered if at least ten days prior notice has been provided to all members of the Executive Faculty. 

V. Meetings 

A. Regular Meetings 

The Executive Faculty normally meets monthly during the academic year and shall have at least one meeting each semester during the academic year.  

B. Special Meetings 

A special meeting may be called at any time by the Chair or by any ten members of the Executive Faculty who submit a signed notice to the Steering Committee. 

C. Open Meetings 

Meetings of the Executive Faculty shall be open to all members of the University Community. 

D. Agendas 

Any member of the Executive Faculty may have an item placed on the agenda if the Chair is notified in writing at least ten calendar days before the meeting. The agendas for all meetings shall be distributed to all members of the Main Campus Faculty at least seven calendar days before the meeting. 

E. Meeting Notification 

Formal notification of all meetings shall be provided to all members of the Main Campus Faculty at least seven calendar days before the meeting. 

F. Minutes of Meetings 

Minutes of all meetings of the Executive Faculty shall be taken and approved. The approved minutes will be made available to all members of the Main Campus Faculty and Academic Administrators. 

G. Meeting Procedures 

If any dispute arises over the conduct of a meeting of the Executive Faculty, the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the authoritative procedural guide. 

VI. Committees 

A. Steering Committee 

1. Composition 

The Steering Committee shall consist of the Chair of the Executive Faculty, the First and Second Vice-Chair, and at least six other members of the Executive Faculty. In addition, the Vice President of the Faculty Senate for the Main Campus shall be an ex officio, nonvoting, member of the Steering Committee. 

2. Purpose 

The purpose of the Steering Committee shall be to nominate committee appointments, plan the agendas for meetings of the Executive Faculty, screen policy proposals, and perform any other activities requested by the Executive Faculty. 

3. Screening Function 

The Steering Committee shall review all Main Campus academic policy proposals, decide which shall be waived and which shall be voted upon, and inform the Executive Faculty of its decisions in a timely fashion. Proposals waived by the Steering Committee are waived by the Executive Faculty unless placed on the agenda in accordance with Section V by a specified date. 

4. Selection and Term of Office 

The additional six or more members of the Steering Committee shall be appointed by the Chair and Vice-Chairs, subject to the approval of the Executive Faculty.

Appointments to the Steering Committee shall be for two years. In the event of a vacancy, the officers shall appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the term, subject to the timely approval of the Executive Faculty. 

5. The Provost 

The Provost shall have the right to address the Steering Committee on proper notification of the Chair. 

B. Other Committees 

The Chair may establish any standing or special committees as may be required, subject to the approval of the Steering Committee. All members of such committees shall be approved by the Executive Faculty. Members need not be on the Executive Faculty. 

VII. Resolution of Conflicts 

Any conflicts that might arise over the understanding or application of the foregoing sections shall be submitted to the President of the University for resolution. 

VIII. Amendments 

This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of all members of the Executive Faculty present and voting. Any member may propose an amendment. Such proposed amendment must be distributed to all members of the Executive Faculty at least fourteen calendar days before the vote. After a positive vote of the Executive Faculty, the amendment shall be distributed to all members of the Main Campus Faculty for a vote during the Fall or Spring semester. It shall be adopted unless one-third of the tenure-line faculty vote against the amendment within a specified time period, which in no case shall be less than fourteen calendar days. Amendments shall become official when submitted through the Provost to and approved by the President and Board of Directors. 

 History of the MCEF Constitution:

Approval by the Interim Executive Faculty: November 9, 1994

Approval by Main Campus Faculty: December 22, 1994

Approval by Board of Directors: May 1995

Approved with amendments by the Executive Faculty on 2/12/1999 
Approved by the Faculty on 3/15/1999 
Approved by the Board of Directors on 5/13/1999 

Subsequent amendments approved unanimously by the Executive Faculty on 1/25/2002
Approved by the Faculty on 4/17/2002 
Approved by the Board of Directors February on 2/12/2003

Subsequent amendments approved unanimously by the Executive Faculty on 9/27/2013
Approved by the Board of Directors on 4/8/2014

Subsequent amendments approved unanimously by Executive Faculty 3/29/2019

Approved by the MC Faculty on 5/10/2019

Approved by the Board of Directors 6/6/2019


[1] For faculty in a School without departments appointed by the Dean to degree granting administrative units in the School, their primary appointment for the purposes of this Constitution is the unit rather than the School.