Constitution of the Boston University Council
Article I – Name
The name of the organization shall be the Boston University Council.
Article II – Purpose
The Council is responsible for developing, reviewing, and recommending action on such academic matters of the University as may be referred to it by the President, the University Provost, or the Chair of the Faculty Council.
Article III – Membership
The membership of the Council shall consist of the officers of the Faculty Council; the immediate past Chair of the Faculty Council; Faculty Council representatives holding unmodified, clinical, research, or of the practice professorial titles, or master or senior lecturer rank; Chairs of the Faculty Council standing committees holding unmodified, clinical, research, or of the practice professorial titles, or master or senior lecturer rank; the President; the University Provost; the Medical Campus Provost; the Deans of the Schools and Colleges; the University Librarian; the Dean of the Chapel; and those whose titles include Associate Provost and who engage with issues directly related to faculty or students.
Article IV – Meetings of the Council
Regular meetings of the Council shall be held at least twice each semester. Special meetings may be called by the President or the Executive Committee. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business.
The President shall preside at Council meetings. In the President’s absence, the Chair of the Faculty Council and the University Provost shall alternate as presiding officer.
An agenda for each meeting of the Council shall be prepared jointly by the President and the Chair of the Faculty Council, or their designees.
The President may invite one or more members of the administration and/or the faculty to attend a meeting of the Council and to report to and/or advise the Council regarding a matter under its consideration.
Article V – Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall act for the Council when it is not in session and engage in such additional functions on behalf of the Council as may be requested by the President and University Provost. The Committee shall report to the Council at each meeting on all actions taken by it since the last Council meeting. The actions of the Committee are subject to review and modification or rescission by the Council.
Article VI – Membership on the Executive Committee
The members of the Executive Committee shall be the President; the University Provost; the Medical Campus Provost; the Chair of the Faculty Council, the Chair-Elect of the Faculty Council (or immediate past Chair, in alternating years), the Secretary-Treasurer of the Faculty Council; and the co-chairs of each of the committees of the University Council.
Article VII – Meetings of the Executive Committee
Meetings of the Executive Committee may be called at any time by the President. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business. The President shall preside at Committee meetings. In the President’s absence, the Chair of the Faculty Council and the University Provost shall alternate as presiding officer.
Article VIII – Other Committees and Sub-committees
The University Council shall have the following standing committees:
Undergraduate Academic Programs and Policies
Graduate Academic Programs and Policies
Research and Scholarly Activity
Student Life and Policies
The Committee on Undergraduate Academic Programs and Policies shall include a standing sub-committee called the General Education Committee (GEC). The GEC shall have the responsibility for considering and approving program elements of the University-wide General Education Program.
Each committee and sub-committee shall have a charter that is subject to the review and approval of the Council. The University Council may establish other committees and sub-committees and determine their charters, membership, and terms of existence. The University Provost and Chair of the Faculty Council shall jointly appoint one faculty member and one administrative officer from among the membership of the Council as co-chairs of each of the committees and sub-committees of the Council, and other committee and sub-committee members from the faculty and administrative officers of the University.
Article IX – Procedures
The President, University Provost, or Chair of the Faculty Council shall charge the appropriate committees and sub-committees with the development or review of policies relating to academic matters of the University under that committee’s or sub-committee’s purview. The co-chairs of the committee or sub-committee shall bring recommendations of the committee or sub-committee to the Faculty Council and the Council of Deans for review and comment prior to consideration by the full Council. Ordinarily, the Council will not act upon a proposal during the meeting at which it is first presented, provided, however, that the Council in its discretion may waive this requirement. Final recommendations of the University Council shall be transmitted to the President, who shall inform the University Council and Faculty Council of his/her decision on the matter.
Article X – By-Laws
The Council may establish by-laws consistent with the provisions of this Constitution. By-laws may be adopted, amended, or repealed at any meeting of the Council by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting, provided that the full text of the proposal has been submitted in writing to each member of the Council at least ten days before the meeting.
Article XI – Amendments
This Constitution may be amended at any meeting of the Council by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting, provided that the full text of the proposed amendment has been submitted in writing to each member of the Council at least one month before the meeting. The amendment shall take effect when approved by the Board of Trustees.
Approved by the Board of Trustees April 15, 2016. Article III amended in April 2020.