School of Foreign Service
The School of Foreign Service community is chiefly dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning. This Constitution shall be interpreted and its provisions implemented in such a way to serve that dedication.
Individual achievements of the Faculty, Administration, and the Student Body, in other areas pertaining to the School’s programs and prestige, shall be encouraged and duly rewarded.
ARTICLE I: MEMBERSHIP OF THE SCHOOL COUNCIL
The School Council shall consist of the President of the University (ex officio); the Executive Vice President for the Main Campus (ex officio); the Dean; two Vice, Associate, or Assistant Deans, twelve members of the Faculty (at least eight from the School’s Tenure-Line Faculty and at least two from the Full-time Non-Tenure-Line Faculty); one faculty member appointed by the University Faculty Senate, and four students (two undergraduate and two graduate students). The Dean or the Dean’s appointed alternate is Chair of the School Council.
All Faculty members, other than the Senate appointee, shall be elected by the Full-time Faculty. Faculty members serve a two-year term. Initially, half the Faculty members will serve a one-year term. When vacancies occur, they will be filled by election. The Vice, Associate or Assistant Deans will be appointed by the Dean for a two-year period.
The student members of the School Council will be the President and Vice President of the undergraduate SFS Academic Council and the President and Vice President of the SFS Graduate Student Council, or their appointed alternates as communicated to the Dean by the aforementioned student members within a week of a School Council meeting.
All members of the School Council, except the President and the Provost, who are ex officio members, may vote. The tallies of votes (ayes, nays, and abstentions) shall be recorded in the minutes.
ARTICLE II: FUNCTIONS
The School Council is the ordinary educational policy-making body of the School of Foreign Service. It functions within the norms established by the President and Board of Directors of Georgetown University.
The School Council shall, among other functions: receive and review reports and guidelines or by-laws of its standing and ad hoc committees; make decision on committee reports submitted to it; study and recommend new procedures and programs for the future development of the School.
The School Council shall have the following standing committees:
- Curriculum Committee: to study and recommend revisions of the curriculum
- Committee on Standards and Student Academic Programs: to review individual student academic programs in light of degree requirements and academic regulations
- Committee on Admissions: to set guidelines and recommend procedures for the admission of all students to the School
- Committee on Resources: to examine School resources and help guide their allocation among academic activities, including approving the role of non-academic Programs, Centers, and Institutes
All committees shall prepare annual reports of their work.
Committees are appointed by the Dean, subject to the approval of the School Council.
Faculty and students will be on all committees, both standing and ad hoc.
Student members of standing and ad hoc committees shall be appointed by the Dean from among those students nominated by the undergraduate SFS Academic Council and the SFS Graduate Student Council, acting through their student members on the School Council.
Faculty members of standing and ad hoc committees shall be appointed by the Dean from among those Faculty nominated by the Faculty Council, acting through its Chair.
The Curriculum Committee shall be chaired by the Chair of the Faculty Council or the Chair’s designee. The Chair of the other standing committees, with the exception of the Admissions Committee, shall be elected by the members of the committee.
ARTICLE III: MEETINGS
Meetings of the School Council shall be held once each semester and as needed at the request of the Dean, the Chair of the Faculty Council, or 40 percent of other members. The Dean shall designate the time and place of such meetings.
If 40 percent of the membership of the School Council requests a meeting, it will be convened by the Dean within one week of the request. The Dean may convene special meetings of the School Council which may be held in executive session.
Members of the School Faculty not members of the School Council are privileged to attend meetings of the Council as non-voting participants.
Members of the Georgetown University community not members of the School Council may be invited by the Dean to attend Council meetings as non-voting participants.
The regular meetings of the School Council shall be open unless two-thirds of its members request a closed meeting.
All standing and ad hoc committees meet in executive session unless two-thirds of the members of the committee concerned requested an open meeting.
Written notice of all regular meetings of the School Council stating time, place, purpose, and agenda is to be posted and sent to all members a week before the day scheduled for the meeting.
All members of the School Council may present agenda to the Dean, who will include them in the agenda for the School Council. Items cannot be added to the agenda after it has been circulated unless they are approved by the Dean or are endorsed by a majority of the members of the School Council.
A majority of the members of the School Council, excluding the ex officio members, constitute the necessary quorum.
A secretary shall keep a record of all the proceedings of the School Council. Summary minutes of the proceedings shall be made available as soon after each meeting as feasible.
ARTICLE IV: SCHOOL FACULTIES
The Statute of the Faculty of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service defines the mission, functions, and membership of the School’s Faculty Council. Understood and interpreted in conjunction with this Constitution, the Statute sets forth the Faculty’s role and responsibilities.
The Faculty Council is composed of the Tenure-line Faculty of the School of Foreign Service. The Faculty, acting through the Faculty Council, plays a central role in determining its membership, developing the School’s curricula at all levels, and promoting scholarship. The Faculty Council is governed by the Statute of the Faculty of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. As set out in that Statute, the Faculty Council makes recommendations on hiring, tenure, and promotion of Tenure-line Faculty, and all academic policies of the School, including curriculum and academic policy.
Recommendations on hiring of Tenure-line Faculty must be approved by the Dean. All recommendations regarding tenure or promotion of Tenure-line Faculty are forwarded to the Dean, and subsequently to the Executive Vice President of the Main Campus and the President of the University as specified by the Faculty Handbook.
Proposed changes to the School’s curriculum or academic policies are to be considered by the Faculty Council and, if approved, then referred to the School Council. Recommendations of the Faculty Council regarding curriculum and other academic policies must be approved by the Dean and the School Council. If the School Council changes or fails to approve a recommendation of the Faculty Council, the Dean and the Faculty Council Chair shall consult on how to resolve the differences. Any proposed resolution will first be considered by the Faculty Council and once approved, sent to the School Council for reconsideration.
ARTICLE V: DEAN’S SEARCH COMMITTEE
In the event of a vacancy in the Office of the Dean, the School Council shall recommend to the President of Georgetown University the establishment and composition of a Search Committee.
ARTICLE VI: AMENDMENTS
Proposed amendments shall be submitted in written form to the Dean for inclusion in the agenda of the School Council. A two-thirds affirmative vote at two sequential meetings of the Council shall be necessary for approval. Amendments approved by the School Council shall be submitted to the President and Board of Directors of Georgetown University for final approval.
ARTICLE VII: RATIFICATION
This Constitution becomes effective after its approval by the President and Board of Directors of Georgetown University. Amendment(s) approval shall be forwarded through the Provost.
Last amended March 18, 2021