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Colgate Governance System

The Colgate Governance System was adopted by the Colgate faculty on April 16, 1979, and began operation in the fall of 1979. The major components of the system are an Academic Affairs Board and a Student Affairs Board, on which faculty, students, and administrators sit; a Conference Board, which may be called into existence by the president when the occasion warrants; liaison committees in six defined areas; and in extraordinary circumstances, special task forces appointed by the president of the university.

Constitution of the Colgate Governance System

Preamble The Colgate Governance System is the mechanism by which the campus community deals with matters of significance. It functions within the Bylaws of the Colgate University Board of Trustees and does not preempt the prerogatives of the Trustees, the president of the university, or the Faculty.

I. Academic Affairs Board

The board’s responsibilities include long-range academic planning, the curriculum, the definition of academic integrity, academic advising, registration, academic calendar, graduation requirements, the granting of credits, and other matters directly related to the academic functions of the university. Policies regarding academic integrity are the joint responsibility of the Academic Affairs Board and the Student Affairs Board.

The Academic Affairs Board has two functions: (1) Legislative. The board proposes legislation to the faculty, which has the power to approve, reject, or amend such proposals. Amendments by the faculty deemed substantive by the chair are referred back to the Academic Affairs Board. The board may accept the faculty amendment(s) to the original legislation. The legislation becomes policy upon majority approval by the Faculty. Alternatively, the Board may ask the faculty to reconsider, suggesting any revisions the board wishes, which would require another majority faculty vote on the amendment(s) and main motion before the legislation became policy. All legislative action taken by the board is reported to the faculty for action at its next regularly scheduled meeting. (2) Advisory. The board also acts in an advisory capacity to the provost and dean of the faculty on academic matters.

A faculty member, chosen by the elected faculty members of the board, reports to the faculty on a regular basis and conveys sense-of-the-faculty resolutions and agenda items to the Academic Affairs Board. A student, chosen by the student members of the board, reports to the Student Senate on a regular basis and conveys sense-of-the-Senate resolutions and suggested agenda items to the board.

The membership of the Academic Affairs Board is as follows:*
  • Dean of the Faculty (Chair)
  • 5 faculty (one each for the Divisions of Arts & Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences, Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics, and University Studies; elected by the faculty for three-year terms which are renewable once.)
  • 5 Division Directors (1/2 vote each)
  • University Librarian (1/2 vote)
  • 4 Students
  • President of the Student Government Association (1/2 vote)**
  • Associate Dean of the Faculty (ex officio, non-voting)
  • Dean of the College (ex officio, non-voting)
  • Registrar (ex officio, non-voting)
  • University President (​ex officio)
A majority by one full vote is needed for any motion to succeed. The chair is entitled to vote on all matters. No proxy votes may be cast. If the president exercises the right to vote, it is in place of the dean of the faculty. 

The five faculty members are elected by the faculty, in such a way that divisional representation is maintained, for three-year terms, which are renewable once. The five faculty members are chosen in such a way that at least four members will have been granted tenure by the time their terms begin. Of the student representatives, three are elected at-large by the Student Senate for one-year terms, which may be renewed as long as the student remains matriculated. The fourth student is the chair of the Student Government Association (SGA) Academic Affairs Committee. The board may appoint non-voting consultants, as it deems appropriate.

The Academic Affairs Board has the power to establish, reconstitute, and abolish standing committees. At least one member of each standing committee is drawn from the membership of the Academic Affairs Board. The need for each standing committee must be reviewed every three years. All standing committees created by the board consist of faculty members elected by the faculty, students elected by the Student Senate, and other members as deemed appropriate by the board.

The board has three standing committees:

A. The Committee on Academic Advising The Committee on Academic Advising is responsible for all aspects of Colgate’s programs for academic advising. The committee will (a) respond to questions and requests proposed to it by the board; (b) review proposed changes in policies and programs affecting academic advising; (c) review existing academic advising policies and programs and make recommendations to the board as seems desirable to the committee. The committee will meet at least once each semester.

The membership of the Committee on Academic Advising will consist of:
  • Chair of Academic Advising, a faculty member appointed to a three-year renewable term by the dean of the faculty
  • 4 Faculty members, representing the academic divisions of the Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Social Sciences, and University Studies, elected to staggered, three-year terms by the faculty
  • 2 Students elected by the Student Senate
  • The Chair of First Year Seminar Program
  • A representative of the Academic Affairs Board
  • An administrative dean (ex officio)
  • Registrar (ex officio)
Examples of individuals that might act as consultants to the committee (as specific circumstances require) may include the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Studies, a representative of the Health Sciences Advisory Committee, a representative of the Department of Educational Studies certification programs, the Director of Career Services, and the Chair of the Committee on Standards and Academic Standing.

C. The Committee on Athletics The committee’s responsibilities include physical education, intercollegiate athletics, club sports, intramural athletics, and recreational activities. The Committee (1) develops policy legislation for consideration by the Academic Affairs Board and (2) acts as an advisory body to the Director of the Division of Physical Education and Athletics. The Committee reports its activities on a regular basis to the Academic Affairs Board, faculty, and Student Senate.

The membership of the Committee on Athletics is as follows:
  • Director of the Division of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics
  • 5 Faculty (one each from the Division of Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences & Mathematics, Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics, Social Sciences, and University Studies; elected by the faculty for three-year terms, which are renewable)
  • 1 Elected Faculty Member of the Academic Affairs Board (elected by members of the Academic Affairs Board for a one-year term, which is renewable)
  • 3 Students (2 students elected by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for one-year terms, which are renewable; and 1 student elected by the Student Senate for a one-year term)
  • Director of Student Athlete Academic Services
  • Patriot League Policy Member Representative
  • Colgate Faculty Athletic Representative to the NCAA
  • Head Coach (appointed by the Committee on Athletics)
  • Dean of the Faculty (or designate)
  • Title IX Deputy
  • University President (ex officio)
The Chair of the Committee on Athletics is elected annually by the membership of the committee.

D. The Curriculum Committee This committee deals with questions and problems of all parts of Colgate’s curriculum. The committee will (a) respond to questions and requests proposed to it by the board, (b) review proposed changes in policies affecting the curriculum and make recommendations to the board, (c) review existing curricular policies and make recommendations to the board as seems desirable to the committee.

The membership of the Curriculum Committee is as follows:
  • 4 Faculty (one each from the divisions of the Arts and Humanities, Natural Science and Mathematics, Social Science and University Studies)
  • 1 Student representative from the Academic Affairs Board
  • 1 Student (elected by the Student Senate)
  • Associate Dean of Faculty (ex officio, non-voting)
  • Registrar (​ex officio, ​non-voting)
The Chair of the Curriculum Committee is a faculty member elected by the
Curriculum Committee.

II. Student Affairs Board

The board’s responsibilities include student services and activities, residences, student conduct and procedures for discipline, and other matters directly related to the extracurricular life of students of the university.

The Student Affairs Board has two functions: (1) Legislative The Student Affairs Board enacts appropriate legislative policies in the area of student affairs with two exceptions: major policy decisions or departures as defined by the president of the university are referred to the Conference Board; Matters pertaining to academic integrity are referred to the Academic Affairs Board. (2) Advisory The board acts as an advisory group for the dean of the college and the dean’s staff, including the areas of residential life, fraternities and sororities, and student activities. In its advisory role, the board acts to review proposed policy changes in its area of responsibility.

The vice president of the Student Government Association reports issues under consideration and decisions by the Student Affairs Board to the Student Senate. Sense-of-the-Senate resolutions and suggested agenda items are conveyed to the Student Affairs Board by the same officer. A faculty member, chosen by the elected faculty members of the board, reports to the faculty on a regular basis and conveys sense-of-the faculty resolutions and suggested agenda items to the Student Affairs Board. Other agenda items relating to administrative policy changes may be brought to the board by the dean of the college, or the chair.

Legislation passed by the Student Affairs Board is reported to the Student Senate by the vice president of the Student Government Association. The Student Senate may, if it wishes, express disagreement and request the board to reconsider the legislation, pass it in amended form, or reject it. In either of the first two cases, the action of the board will become official university policy immediately unless remanded to the Conference Board by the president.

The membership of the Student Affairs Board is as follows:
  • Dean of the College
  • President or Vice President of the Student Government Association 
  • 4 students
  • 3 faculty (elected at-large by the Faculty for three-year terms, renewable once)
  • 1 faculty (elected annually by the University Student conduct Board from its membership)
  • University President (​ex officio)
The four students are elected at-large by the Student Senate for one-year terms, which may be renewed as long as a student remains matriculated. The disciplinary officer and the Director of the Office of Residential Programs serve as non-voting consultants. The dean of the college annually appoints two additional staff members to serve as non-voting consultants. The board may appoint other non-voting consultants, as it deems appropriate.

The chair is elected yearly by the membership of the board and is entitled to vote on all matters. No proxy votes may be cast. If the president exercises the right to vote, it is in place of the dean of the college.

The Student Affairs Board has the power to establish, reconstitute, and abolish standing committees. At least one member of each standing committee is drawn from the membership of the Student Affairs Board. The need for each standing committee must be reviewed every three years. All standing committees created by the board consist of faculty members elected by the faculty, students elected by the student senate, and other members as deemed appropriate by the board.

III. Conference Board

The Conference Board is called into existence infrequently and only for extraordinary issues. The president may convene the Conference Board to consider unusually significant matters confronting the university. The board has the responsibility of advising the president on the matter in question.

Also, decisions made by the Student Affairs Board that are declared by the president to be major policy decisions, or departures affecting the overall nature of the university are remanded to the Conference Board. The Conference Board is empowered to make university policy on such issues, consistent with the bylaws of the trustees. Before enacting new policies, the Board should allow time for both the faculty and the Student Senate to discuss and pass sense-of-the-body resolutions, if desired by each body.

The membership of the Conference Board includes the president of the university (who chairs the Conference Board), all voting members of the Academic Affairs and Student Affairs Boards, and the Chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee. All members of the Conference Board have one full vote. The associate dean of the faculty serves as nonvoting secretary.

IV. Liaison Committees

The Liaison Committees have two main functions: (1) Liaison. The committees meet regularly with the responsible administrative officers to review and discuss matters that arise in each area and report directly to the faculty and Student Senate. (2) Advisory. These committees function as advisory bodies to the administrative officers involved. These committees may, on occasion, find it desirable to make proposals of a legislative and policy nature. Such proposals are referred to the appropriate board.

Membership on Liaison Committees is defined as below, but when issues emerge, the existing members of each committee may appoint additional members or consultants, as they deem appropriate. Information and issues are discussed as determined by the administrative officers and members of the committees. It is the responsibility of the members of the committees to be informed about the issues in their area with the cooperation of the administrative officers. The committees report their activities on a regular basis to the Faculty and Student Senate.

A. University Property Committee This committee is concerned with plans for the use and renovation of existing facilities and other physical resources, and with the planning of new facilities. Its function includes (1) the broad consideration of the impact (including aesthetic features) of any project on the larger community – students, faculty, and staff; and (2) the sharing of information regarding such projects within the university community. Some projects, once underway, may involve building committees, which will provide this committee with brief periodic updates about the projects they oversee. The membership of the committee is as follows:
  • Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • 6 Faculty (elected for three-year terms; one from each of the following: Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences, University Studies Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics and at-large)
  • 2 Students (elected at-large by the Student Senate for one-year terms)
  • President of the Student Government Association (or designate)
  • Provost (or designate)
  • Dean of the College (or designate)
  • Director of Sustainability
  • Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

The committee meets regularly, and normally once per month. The Committee will report regularly and no less than once a year to the faculty. The chair is elected annually from the faculty members by the membership of the committee.

B. The Committee on Admission and Financial Aid This committee is concerned with the policies and implementation of policies governing the admission of students and the rewarding of scholarships and student aid. Legislative or policy proposals of the committee are referred to the Academic Affairs Board. The membership of the committee is as follows:
  • Dean of Admission
  • Associate Vice President for Budget and Financial Aid
  • 4 Faculty (elected at-large by the faculty for three-year terms)
  • 3 students (elected at-large by the Student Senate for one-year terms)
The chair is one of the faculty members, elected for a two-year term by members of the committee.

C. The Committee on Budget and Financial Planning This committee is concerned with long-range financial planning and projections, and the preparation of yearly budgets. It has the responsibility of advising the president on yearly budgets and matters related to financial planning and projections. The committee normally functions as an advisory committee on budget issues during the fall term and on financial planning issues during the spring term. The membership of the committee is as follows:
  • President of the university
  • Dean of the Faculty and Provost
  • Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • President or Vice President of the Student Government Association 
  • 3 faculty (elected at-large by the faculty for three-year terms)
  • 2 students (elected at-large by the Student Senate for one-year terms)
The committee is chaired by the president of the university or the provost, as determined by the president. Consultants to the committee are the Associate Vice President for Budget and Financial Aid, the Associate Provost, the Dean of the College, and the Vice President for Institutional Advancement. (June 2012)

D. The Committee on ALANA (African American, Latin American, Asian American, and Native American) Affairs The Committee on ALANA Affairs is concerned with the quality of the experience of African American, Latin American, Asian American, Native American, and other communities of color at Colgate. The membership of the Committee is as follows:
  • Dean of the College (or designate)
  • 4 faculty (elected at-large by the Faculty for three-year terms)
  • 4 students (elected at-large by the Student Senate for one-year terms)

The following individuals serve as consultants to the committee:
     Assistant Dean of Admission (or designate)
     Director of the Office of Undergraduate Studies (or designate)
     Director of ALANA Cultural Center (or designate)
     Director of Affirmative Action (or designate)
     Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (or designate)

The committee is chaired by the dean of the college unless the committee votes to elect one of its other members as chair.

E. The Committee on Information Technology This committee serves as a principle means of communication among faculty, students, administration, and staff on all matters relating to the use of information technology. It reviews college policies, plans, and priorities relating to computing, networking, and information technology resources, and when it deems appropriate, suggests revisions.

A faculty chair is appointed by the Dean of the Faculty/Provost from among the membership of the committee for a three-year term. Membership includes:

  • 4 Faculty members, one from each division (Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences, and PERA), elected by the faculty for three-year terms
  • Chief Information Technology Officer
  • University Librarian
  • Representative of the Core Curriculum 
  • 2 Students, (elected by the Student Senate) 
  • 3 Non-faculty employees
F. The Library Advisory Committee This committee serves as a principal means of communication among faculty, students, and administration on matters relating to the library. It functions to support library and teaching faculty relation-ships, advise the library staff on acquisitions policies and priorities, and provide ad-vice on other issues of interest to the teaching faculty and student body.

The membership of the Library Advisory Committee is as follows:
  • 5 faculty (elected from each division: Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences, University Studies and PERA)
  • University Librarian
  • Chief Information Officer
  • 2 students (elected by the student senate)
The chair will be selected from the faculty elected to serve on the committee.

G. The Committee on Standards and Academic Standing (CSAS) The committee meets regularly during the year. The full group with expanded faculty representation meets at the end of each semester in Academic Review to review petitions from students dismissed for academic reasons who ask to be reinstated on academic warning. The full group is also convened occasionally to consider policy questions related to matters of academic standing and to recommend changes to the appropriate body in the university governance system. A subset of the full group (the small group) meets weekly during the school year to hear petitions from students seeking exceptions to all academic deadlines, rules, and policies outside of the purview of the University Petitions Committee. See “Petitions Committee” elsewhere in this handbook. The membership of the committee is as follows:
  • Administrative Deans
  • Associate Dean of the Faculty
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Director of Academic Program Support
  • Four faculty members (appointed by the dean of the faculty for staggered two-year terms) representing the four academic divisions
  • Registrar
  • Director of Financial Aid
  • Director of Student-Athlete Academic Enhancement
The committee is chaired by the Associate Dean for Administrative Advising.

V. Task Forces

The Colgate Governance System has been developed to address issues that are of a recurring nature and/or which can be associated with a particular area of concern within the university. At times, however, significant issues arise that are all-university in nature or which encompass several areas of responsibility. In these cases, the president of the university may find it desirable to appoint ad hoc task forces, which report directly to the president. Such an action has official standing within the proposed governance system. Task forces are appointed only for a specific period of time and have two functions: (1) they serve as advisory groups to the president of the university, and (2) they make legislative proposals to the Academic and/or Student Affairs Boards if appropriate. The president appoints the chair and membership of the task forces.

VI. Amendments

Proposals for amending the governance system will be directed to either the Academic Affairs Board or Student Affairs Board, as appropriate. Proposals receiving a majority vote from either board will be referred to the faculty. Before acting on a proposed amendment, the faculty will allow at least two weeks for the Student Senate to consider and react to the proposed amendment. Ratification by the faculty requires a two-thirds vote by those present and voting at a regularly constituted faculty meeting.