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Princeton University
Office of the Dean of the Faculty

Rules and Procedures of the Faculty of Princeton University and Other Provisions of Concern to the Faculty

Last printed June 1994; Last updated May 2006


A. Procedures for Setting Policy

The following are to be established policies in the making of decisions with regard to the graduate courses of study, and departmental Chairs shall be responsible for so informing the graduate students of their departments at the beginning of each academic year. However, any of these policies may be modified by agreement of the faculty and graduate students of a department, these modifications to remain in effect until changed by similar procedure.

1. Each department shall establish a departmental committee of graduate students, to act as a liaison between the faculty and the graduate student body of the department. Each committee should normally meet with the committee of the departmental faculty concerned with graduate studies, if one exists. The committee of graduate students shall have the right to initiate discussion of any proposals relating to the departmental graduate program, shall encourage students to participate in departmental affairs of special interest and relevance to them, and shall have the following additional rights:

a. The right to attach comments to all proposals forwarded to the Committee on the Graduate School by departmental faculty.

b. The right in certain circumstances to secure a departmental faculty's reconsideration of action taken on proposals regarding the graduate curriculum. Departments should seriously consider a second vote on any measures regarding the department's graduate program when it is requested by the student committee. In any particular academic year departmental faculties should commit themselves to a second vote on such measures if a second vote is requested within one month by the student departmental committee in a petition endorsed by two thirds of the department's graduate students. If the action being reconsidered is on a proposal that the departmental faculty has rejected, a majority vote of the departmental faculty should reverse the previous decision. If the action being reconsidered is on a proposal that has been adopted by the departmental faculty, a two-thirds vote of the departmental faculty should be required to affirm the previous decision. Departmental faculties should not be bound to reconsider the same action more than once in the same academic year.

2. Student departmental committees shall be provided with a reasonable amount of secretarial assistance in preparing proposals, communicating with departmental majors, and conducting elections.

3. Each departmental chair shall be responsible for:

a. Referring all proposals for major changes in the department's graduate program to the departmental graduate student committee before action on such proposals by the faculty of her or his department.

b. Inviting student committee members to discuss proposals for major change! in the graduate course of study with the faculty of the department at or before any meetings in which the departmental faculty proposes to take action on such proposals.

c. Scheduling at least two meetings each academic year with the graduate student committee of her or his department, one early in the fall term to work out plans for later consultation, and one in late spring to review the department's graduate offerings so that the Chair may take student view into account in preparing requests for new staff.