Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Preamble

The Georgetown University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (“Graduate School”) has three missions:

  1. To set standards, regulate, and award degrees beyond the baccalaureate, excluding professional degrees in Law and Medicine, the degrees of Master of Laws, and the Doctorate of Juridical Science.
  2. To promote Ph.D. and postdoctoral research and training across the university.
  3. To create, foster, and administer interdisciplinary graduate programs that typically focus on important and urgent social problems, and may include either joint appointments with the College and other Schools of Georgetown University or full tenure-line appointments in the programs themselves and thus, in the Graduate School.

To accomplish these three missions, the President and the Board of Directors of Georgetown University authorize the creation of three interacting branches of governance for the Graduate School.  The first branch is the Office of the Dean (described in § I).  The other two branches are the Executive Committee of Graduate Studies (§ II) and the Executive Council of the Graduate School (§ III).

Governance

I. The Office of the Dean

The President shall appoint the Dean of the Graduate School with the concurrence of the Board of Directors, and after consultation with the Provost, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, the President of the Faculty Senate, the Chairs of both the Medical Center Caucus of the Faculty Senate and the Main Campus Executive Faculty, and the Decanal Search Committee.

The Dean is the administrative head of the Graduate School with responsibilities and powers as follows:

  1. General Responsibilities and Powers:
    1. The Dean shall be responsible to the President for the proper conduct and administration of the Graduate School. In particular, the Dean shall have the obligation of carrying out all relevant university policies.  Moreover, the Dean will carry out the policies adopted by the Executive Committee of Graduate Studies (II) and the Executive Council of the Graduate School (§III).
    2. The Dean shall submit to relevant officers of the University recommendations and suggestions on matters of concern to the Graduate School.
    3. The Dean shall be responsible for preparing and administering the annual budget for the Graduate School.
    4. The Dean will work to develop and improve the Graduate School.
    5. The Dean shall hold membership on university committees directly concerned with policies or issues involving the Graduate School. The only exceptions are committees charged with reviewing the Graduate School and the search committee for the Graduate School deanship.
    6. The Dean shall chair the Executive Committee of Graduate Studies and the Executive Council of the Graduate School.
    7. The Dean shall have the authority and responsibility to appoint such ad hoc committees as may be necessary for the furtherance of the objectives of the Graduate School. The Executive Committee of Graduate Studies, the Executive Council of the Graduate School, the Provost, and the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences shall be informed of such committees and their charges, as appropriate.
    8. The Dean shall represent the university in the various associations that are concerned with graduate education and research, and on such other occasions as may be designated by the President, or requested by the Provost or the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences.
    9. The Dean shall promote the submission of proposals for training grants, and externally funded fellowships and traineeships for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
    10. The Dean shall supervise the preparation of materials for the Graduate School Bulletin, the Graduate School website, and all other official publications and representations of the Graduate School. The Dean shall approve the final versions.
    11. The Dean shall advocate for the continued hiring of faculty dedicated to graduate education and research.
    12. The Dean shall sit on the Research Executive Committee of the Office of the Provost with full voting privileges.
    13. The Dean shall evaluate, favorably or unfavorably, all requests made to the University Committee on Rank and Tenure for promotion and/or tenure of Main Campus faculty members.
  2. Responsibilities and Powers on Graduate Programs:
    1. In accordance with the policies of the university, and after considering the recommendations by the Deans of the College or the other Schools, departmental chairs, and directors of graduate studies, the Dean shall have final responsibility for the selection and admission of graduate students. Furthermore, the Dean will have responsibility for the awarding of graduate fellowships, assistantships, and scholarships.  The Dean will also take appropriate action in cases of unsatisfactory student progress.  And the Dean will present candidates for degrees. The Dean may delegate this latter responsibility to the dean of another school as appropriate.
    2. The Dean shall plan and supervise studies of particular problems of graduate education and research. In addition, the Dean shall regularly report pertinent statistics.  They will include enrollments, matriculates’ GPAs and GRE scores, the results of reputational surveys, or other matters as requested.  The outcome of these studies and statistics shall be reported to the Provost, the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, the Executive Committee of Graduate Studies, and the pertinent graduate programs.
    3. The Dean shall have the authority to call meetings of the tenure-line faculty from the Main Campus, the Basic Sciences at the Medical Center, and the School of Nursing and Health Studies. These meetings will discuss issues pertinent to the furtherance of graduate education at Georgetown University.
    4. The Dean shall periodically report to the faculty on the state of both the Graduate School and the graduate education at Georgetown University.
    5. The Dean shall be responsible for periodic evaluations of graduate programs. The outcomes of these evaluations will be the basis for allocation of resources from the Graduate School.  Moreover, these outcomes may be used for the potential termination of poorly performing programs but only with approval of the Executive Committee of Graduate Studies (II).  The Dean may suspend admissions to a poorly performing program while working to address its problems.
    6. The main efforts for recruitment of high-quality graduate students shall remain in the departments and programs. However, the Dean shall assist other deans, departmental chairs, and program directors in the recruitment of students.  The Dean shall also assist in the preparation of training grants, and fellowship and traineeship proposals.
    7. The Dean shall appoint ad-hoc appeals committees, as required, to consider charges of academic dishonesty, appeals from students whose degree candidacy has been terminated, and allegations of unprofessional conduct. The decisions of these committees are final.
    8. The Dean shall meet with the Graduate Student Organization or its designated representatives bimonthly during the academic year to discuss students’ concerns.
    9. The Dean shall have the authority to create policies governing the training of postdoctoral fellows.
  3. Responsibilities and Powers on Educational Programs and Research Groups Directly Administered by the Graduate School:
    1. The Dean shall be responsible for facilitating and developing interdisciplinary educational programs and research groups that create intellectual synergy across the University. Thus, the Dean will develop new entities that straddle the boundaries between the College, Schools, and Departments.  The Graduate School itself shall often directly administer these entities.
    2. The Dean shall appoint the director of an educational program or research group directly administered by the Graduate School based on recommendations of the participating faculty. Furthermore, the Dean shall outline expectations and orient the individual into the director’s role.
    3. In consultation with the faculty of an educational program or research group directly administered by the Graduate School, the Dean may recommend to the Provost the hiring of a new faculty member. When the Provost has approved the position-vacancy listing, the director of the educational program or research group shall constitute a search committee whose chair and members requires the approval of the Dean.  It will typically comprise at least three tenure-line faculty members of the educational program or research group, with the chair having tenure.  The search committee may also include additional faculty members from other units at the university.  After the faculty members of the educational program or research group conclude the search, the director presents the outcome to the Dean, who may approve it.  If approved, the director proceeds with contract negotiations with decanal oversight.  If the process is successful, the Dean presents the candidate to the Provost for hiring.
    4. In consultation with both the dean of another school and the faculty of an educational program directly administered by the Graduate School, the Dean may recommend to the Provost or to the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences the establishment of a lateral shared joint appointment.
    5. When a faculty member of an educational program directly administered by the Graduate School applies for tenure and/or promotion, the faculty of the program will propose a committee and committee chair to oversee the review of the application. The Dean must approve these proposals.  The committee must consist of at least five tenure-line individuals.  Typically, they will be from the program itself.  However, the committee may include faculty members from other units at the university.  Faculty serving on a tenure or promotion committee must hold at least the rank that the individual wishes to attain.
    6. The Dean will perform annual merit reviews and make salary recommendations for faculty members whose appointments are entirely in the Graduate School. These reviews and salary recommendations will be performed with inputs from the directors of each program.  A faculty merit-review committee from within each unit will make corresponding recommendations to its director.
    7. The Dean shall plan and supervise studies of particular problems of the educational programs and research groups directly administered by the Graduate School. The outcome of these studies shall be reported to relevant parties.  They include the Provost, the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, the Executive Council of the Graduate School, and the pertinent educational programs and research groups.
    8. The Dean shall have the authority to call a meeting of the tenure-line faculty of the educational programs and research groups directly administered by the Graduate School. These meetings will discuss issues pertinent to the furtherance of these programs and groups.
    9. The Dean shall periodically report to the faculty of these programs and groups on the state of the Graduate School.
    10. In consultation with the Executive Council of the Graduate School, the Dean shall periodically evaluate the educational programs and research groups directly administered by the Graduate School. The outcome of these evaluations will determine if these programs and groups must implement changes.  The outcome may also lead to potential termination of poorly performing units.
  4. The Vice Dean and Associate Deans
    1. The Dean shall appoint a Vice Dean. Among other responsibilities, the Vice Dean will serve as the Graduate School representative and decision maker for all matters concerning the Graduate School when the Dean is absent.
    2. The Dean may also appoint Associate and Assistant Deans as appropriate.

II. Executive Committee of Graduate Studies

  1. The Executive Committee of Graduate Studies (“Executive Committee”) is the principal policy making body for graduate degree programs, excluding programs leading to professional degrees in Law and Medicine, the degrees of Master of Laws, and the Doctorate of Juridical Science.
  1. Responsibilities
    1. Oversees the academic quality of graduate programs. In particular, the Executive Committee:
      1. Establishes guidelines for the external and internal reviews of existing graduate programs. The Dean shall be responsible for implementing these reviews at regular intervals (§ I.B.5).  The outcomes of these reviews may be used for the potential termination of poorly performing programs but only with approval of the Executive Committee.  If the review of a department or program reveals serious problems, the Executive Committee shall conduct its own review, following its established guidelines.  The Dean, the Provost, the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, or the Executive Committee may determine that a particular program should be reviewed at some time other than on the occasion of a scheduled periodic review.  Thus, the Executive Committee shall examine the program. If necessary, the Executive Committee can call for an ad-hoc external review (i.e., one before to the next regularly scheduled review).
      2. Reviews proposals for new programs or significant alterations of existing programs, and either accepts or rejects the proposals. The Executive Committee shall establish guidelines for the review of proposals.
    2. Approves any major modifications to the Graduate Bulletin, which sets the rules and regulations governing graduate programs.  The Dean may make minor modifications, such as clarifications of the text, without the approval of the Executive Committee.
    3. Meets with the University Librarian and the Medical Center Librarian, to discuss programs, initiatives, or concerns relevant to graduate programs or to research at the university.
  2. Membership
    1. Ex Officio, with full privileges: The Dean (Chair), Provost, and Executive Vice President for Health Sciences;
    2. Ex Officio, without privileges: the Deans of the College, the Walsh School of Foreign Service, the McCourt School of Public Policy, the McDonough School of Business, and the School of Nursing and Health Studies;
    3. Ex Officio, without privileges: the Vice Dean and the Associate Deans of the Graduate School;
    4. Ex Officio, with full privileges: The Dean of the School for Continuing Studies;
    5. Twenty tenured faculty members with a term of office of two years, renewable for one term. These twenty individuals shall be appointed by their relevant governing bodies and be distributed as follows:
      1. Seven representatives, one each from the Graduate School, the College, the Walsh School of Foreign Service, the McCourt School of Public Policy, the McDonough School of Business, the School of Nursing and Health Studies, and the Biomedical Graduate Education Office of the Medical Center;
      2. Five representatives from Ph.D. programs, one each in the Graduate School, the Medical Center, the Natural Sciences, the Social Sciences, and the Humanities, with the latter three being from the Main Campus;
      3. Six representatives that shall be allocated in proportion to the number of graduate students enrolled in each of the seven schools in § II.B.5.a (with roundings minimizing the total magnitude of error). Every two years, prior to the appointment of the committee for the following two years term, the allocation of membership will be revised to reflect the then-extant distribution of graduate enrollments;
      4. Two representatives, one each from the Faculty Senate and the Main Campus Executive Faculty. The representative from the Faculty Senate shall be from the Medical Center.
    6. Two representatives of the Graduate Student Organization, one each from a Ph.D. and a Master’s program, to have full privileges and a term of office of one year, renewable for one term.
    7. In the event that a member of the Executive Committee cannot attend a meeting, the member may designate a replacement who shall have the same privileges as the original member. The replacement must represent the relevant cohort as defined in §§II.B.1-6.
    8. Replacements for members unable to serve their full terms shall be appointed by the relevant governing bodies. The terms of appointment for the replacement members shall be those of the members whom they are replacing.
  3.  Meetings
    1. The Dean shall call at least one meeting of the Executive Committee each month of the academic year.
    2. The Dean shall normally set the meeting agenda. Any member of the Executive Committee may place an item on the agenda to be considered no later than the meeting following placement of the agenda item.
    3. Special meetings may be called at the request of one of the following: the President, the Provost, the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, the Dean, or any three members of the Executive Committee.
    4. Ten members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.
    5. A simple majority of all voting members present shall be required to adopt all motions except amendments to this constitution.
    6. All meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
    7. Minutes shall be approved at the next meeting of the Executive Committee. They should be available to the faculty of the Main Campus, the Basic Sciences at the Medical Center, the School of Nursing and Health Studies, and the deans responsible for graduate programs.
  4. Subcommittees

    The Dean may create ad-hoc subcommittees of the Executive Committee to develop and formulate recommendations on issues of concern to the graduate programs.

III. Executive Council of the Graduate School

The Executive Council of the Graduate School (“Executive Council”) is the educational policy-making body for the graduate programs directly administered by the Graduate School.  The Executive Council functions within the norms established by the President and Board of Directors of Georgetown University.

  1. Responsibilities
    1. The Executive Council shall advise on educational policies for all graduate programs directly administered by the Graduate School. These policies shall be subject to approval by the Board of Directors of the University when necessary or required by the University bylaws.
    2. The Executive Council shall have the right to inquire regularly into the manner in which the Graduate School is implementing the policies.
    3. Graduate degree programs approved by the Executive Council go to the Executive Committee for review and approval.
  2.  Membership
    1. Ex Officio, with full privileges: The Dean (Chair), Provost, and Executive Vice President for Health Sciences;
    2. Ex Officio, without full privileges: The Vice Dean and Associate Deans;
    3. Tenured faculty with a term of office of two years, renewable for one term. These individuals shall be appointed by their relevant governing bodies and distributed as follows:
      1. One tenured representative from each of the educational programs directly administered by the Graduate School;
      2. One representative from the Executive Committee;
      3. One representative from the Faculty Senate.
    4. One student representative from one of the educational programs directly administered by the Graduate School.
    5. Such other members as shall be recommended by the Dean and approved by a majority vote of the Executive Council.
    6. In the event that a member of the Executive Council cannot attend a meeting, the member may designate a replacement who shall have the same privileges as the original member. The replacement must represent the relevant cohort as defined in §§ III.B.1-5.
    7. Replacements for members unable to serve their full terms shall be appointed by the relevant educational program. The terms of appointment for the replacement members shall be those of the members whom they are replacing.
  3.  Meetings
    1. The Dean shall call at least two meetings of the Executive Council each semester of the academic year.
    2. The meeting agenda shall normally be set by the Dean. Any member of the Executive Council may place an item on the agenda to be considered no later than the meeting following placement of the agenda item.
    3. Special meetings may be called at the request of one of the following: the President, the Provost, the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, the Dean, or any three members of the Executive Council.
    4. A majority of the members of the Council, excluding the ex officio members, constitute the necessary quorum.
    5. A simple majority of all members present shall be required to adopt all motions except amendments to this constitution.
    6. All meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
    7. Minutes shall be approved at the next meeting of the Executive Council and be made available to the faculty of the educational programs directly administered by the Graduate School.
  4. Committees

    The Dean may create standing and ad-hoc subcommittees of the Executive Council.  Their purposes shall be to develop and formulate recommendations on issues of concern to the educational programs directly administered by the Graduate School.

Amendments

A proposed amendment to this constitution shall be received by either the Executive Committee (if pertaining to §§ I.A, I.B, I.D, or II) or the Executive Council (if pertaining to §§ I.A, I.C, I.D, or III). If passed by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee, the amendments shall be voted on by the tenured faculty of the Main Campus, the Basic Sciences at the Medical Center, and the School of Nursing and Health Studies.  In turn, if passed by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Council, the amendments shall be voted on by the tenured faculty of the educational programs (if pertaining to §§ I.A, I.C, I.D, or III) and research groups (if pertaining to §§ I.A, I.C, or 1.D) directly administered by the Graduate School.  In this case, the eligible faculty shall have either a full appointment or a lateral shared joint appointment in the Graduate School.  The faculty votes will be by electronic secret ballot. Finally, if the amendments are approved by two-thirds of the appropriate faculty members voting, the amendments shall be forwarded, through the Provost and the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, to the President and the Board of Directors for final decision.


March 21, 1985 New Constitution approved by the Board of Directors, Georgetown University

May 13, 1999 Amendment to the Constitution approved by the Board of Directors

February 11, 2016 Amended Constitution approved by the Board of Directors

February 6, 2020 Amended Constitution approved by the Board of Directors