Skip over navigation
Princeton University
Office of the Dean of the Faculty

Rules and Procedures of the Professional Library Staff of Princeton University and Other Provisions of Concern to These Staffs

Last printed Fall 1986; Last updated June 2004

I. GOVERNANCE OF THE UNIVERSITY

A. The Board of Trustees

The Corporation now known as The Trustees of Princeton University had its origin in a Charter, granted under King George the Second on October 22, 1746. The Charter, which has been amended several times, now states: "The purposes of the corporation are the conduct of a university not for profit, including colleges and schools affiliated therewith, in various branches within or without the State of New Jersey, both graduate and undergraduate; the promotion, advancement, evaluation and dissemination of learning by instruction, study and research in the humanities, religion, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering and applied sciences; the awarding of certificates, diplomas and degrees; and engagement and participation in projects of instruction, study and research for the benefit of national, state, and local governments and for the general public welfare."

All the powers of the Corporation are vested in the Board of Trustees. A copy of the Board of Trustees Bylaws, which explains in detail the responsibilities of the Board, its organization, and the duties and responsibilities of academic and corporate officers, may be obtained from the Office of the Vice President and Secretary of the University.

1. Membership

The Bylaws specify that the Board shall be composed of not less than twenty-three nor more than forty Trustees, of whom the Governor of the State of New Jersey and the President of the University are Trustees ex officio during their respective terms of office.

2. Meetings

The Board meets four times a year. Much of the business of the Board is conducted through its committees, which meet more frequently. The standing committees of the Board include an Executive Committee, which has, with few exceptions, all the powers and duties of the Board between meetings of the Board. Other standing committees have responsibilities pertaining to finance, to academic matters, to campus real estate, to university resources, to student life, health and athletics.

3. Statement of Policy on Delegation of Authority
(Adopted by the Board of Trustees, 24 October 1969; amended April, 1992)

Resolution on Delegation of Authority

In order to clarify the actual practice and procedures followed in the governance of the University, the Board of Trustees declares its intent, in matters of policy as well as of operations, to continue to delegate broad authority to the President and, through the President, to the Officers of the Administration, the Faculty, and the Students as more specifically set forth below. While the Trustees may and do delegate authority in wide areas, they cannot either delegate it irrevocably or consign to any other parties their final responsibilities under the law and the terms of the Princeton Charter.

Policy initiative in almost all areas usually rests with the President and various members of the resident University community. Beyond this there have evolved, generally speaking, three modes by which Trustees share or delegate powers and responsibilities in University operations and decision-making, normally acting through Board committees.

a. Oversight and general review:

In areas relating most directly to the academic mission of the University, the Trustees have made the broadest delegations of authority to the President, other Administrative Officers, and to the Faculty. In these areas, the Trustees exercise their responsibilities primarily through appropriate review of the integrity and effectiveness of the procedures of the University. In electing members of the Faculty, the Trustees are guided almost entirely by the recommendations of the President and Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements. In matters of curriculum, the creation and abolition of courses, the establishment of requirements for degrees, the prescription of academic procedures, and in most matters within the purview of the University Research Board, the Trustees have delegated their authority to the President and Faculty, to be exercised through the appropriate bodies and officers of the University. Procedures for recruiting undergraduate students, including criteria for admission, are the responsibility of the President, the Dean of the College, and the Dean of Admission, acting pursuant to policies determined with the advice of Faculty committees on admission, subject to the general review of the Trustees. Similar oversight is also exercised by the Trustees over recruiting and admission of graduate students, which is the primary responsibility of the Graduate School, acting with the advice of academic departments. Oversight of student life and discipline, including the formulation of rules of conduct and dormitory regulations, has been delegated to the President and Faculty to be exercised through various Faculty and student groups in accordance with duly constituted procedures.

The functioning of the Library is supervised by the Librarian under the direction of the central administration, with the advice of Faculty and student committees, the Trustees' concern being directed to the overall quality of the Library and the effectiveness of its operations. Likewise, in the areas of health and athletics the Trustees exercise general oversight. Requirements for physical space and services are formulated by the Administration with the advice of departments and subject to general review by the Trustees. The Administration has responsibility for on-going plant operations about which it reports regularly to the Board.

b. Prior review and approval:

It is assumed that major changes in policy and any substantial new claims on funds will be brought to the Trustees for review and approval before final decisions or commitments are made. The preparation of the annual budget proceeds through a complex process under the direction and supervision of the President and other members of the Administration. Trustees review the development of the budget at various stages in the process, leading to their final approval. The Trustees exercise a prior review and approval in such matters as the allocation of a significant proportion of the University's resources, the setting of priorities for development, changes in instructional method of broad bearing for the institution, the determination of tuition and fees, steps to be taken to improve the social and living conditions of students, plans calling for new construction, the establishment or abolition of departments or schools, changes in admissions policies affecting sizable categories of potential students, and changes in relations with outside educational and social institutions and governmental agencies.

c. Authority directly exercised:

In matters concerning financial health and physical properties, the Trustees participate directly in the formulation of policy and the conduct of the business of the University. The Princeton University Investment Company oversees the investment of University funds and supervises the management of the real estate of the Corporation, not related to campus needs, under the general control of the Board and the Committee on Finance. Through the Committee on University Resources, the Trustees establish fund-raising policies, approve major development programs, help to identify important sources of potential financial support, and raise funds. Through the Committee on Grounds and Buildings, and with the advice of the President and other resident members of the University with relevant interests and competence, the Trustees actively supervise long-range physical planning, the determination of architectural styling and landscaping, and the general condition of the University's physical plant.

In addition to what has been indicated above, it is understood more generally that the Board may contribute advice and criticism to the shaping of academic programs and the conduct of the affairs of the University. If the Board is to assess general policies wisely, it must be fully and currently informed and be alert and sensitive to particular conditions and requirements. Members of the Board often have experience and competence that can be helpful to the University in its dealing with specific problems, and their advice is most valuable in the early consideration of new policies.

In the normal course, it is the stated intent of the Trustees to continue the general arrangements described above. Modifications of these arrangements may from time to time be adopted in order to improve the University's pursuit of its essential missions and to give the Trustees the benefit of wider points of view in the exercise of the power and authority vested in the Board by the law and the Charter of the University.

4. Recommendations of the Faculty on the Selection of the President

a. There should be at least one Faculty representative from each Division of the University and at least one non-tenured member of the Faculty on a committee elected to advise the Board of Trustees in any future search for a President of the University.

b. Representatives of the student body, and at least one elected member of the staff, should participate in consideration of candidates for President of the University.

c. The members of the Faculty, student body, and staff so consulted by the Board of Trustees should be elected by a procedure which will insure, insofar as that is possible, that they represent such diversity of opinion as may exist within the student body and the Faculty.

B. The Academic Officers of the University

The Charter as amended designates the President of the University as the chief executive and academic officer of the Corporation. A current list of the academic and corporate officers of the University is contained in the Bylaws and appended resolutions, as well as the current University Register. The academic officers include the Provost, the Dean of the Faculty, the Dean of the Graduate School, the Dean of the College and such other academic officers as the Board may elect. The corporate officers include the President, the Senior Vice President for Administration, the Treasurer, the Vice President and Secretary, and such other corporate officers as the Board may elect. The academic and corporate officers are elected by the Board on the nomination of the President, continue in office at the pleasure of the Board during terms of five years from the date of taking office, are eligible for re-election, and receive such compensation as the board may direct. Officers of the University serve, ex officio, and without vote, on committees of the Board as elected by the Board pursuant to the provisions of the Bylaws. The duties and responsibilities of the President and some of the academic officers are described below.

1. The President

The President is charged with the general supervision of the interests of the University and has special oversight of the various departments of instruction. The President presides at all academic functions, whenever present, and represents the University before the public.

In the absence or disability of the President, the Board or its Executive Committee may appoint an Acting President, to have the powers and duties of the President. If no such appointment is made, the Provost has the powers and duties of the President.

The President is a member of all standing committees of the Board of Trustees and is chair of the Committee on Honorary Degrees.

The President is ex officio chair of the Faculty Committee on Committees, the Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements, and the Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy, and by custom, has the right of sitting with any Faculty Committee.

The President is an ex officio member of the Council of the Princeton University Community, its Executive Committee, and its Committee on Governance, and is the presiding officer at meetings of the Council and of the Executive Committee.

2. The Provost

The Provost is the general deputy of the President in the supervision of the University. As the chief academic and chief budgetary officer of the University, under the President, the Provost is responsible for long-range planning and for the coordination of the administrative and support functions of the University with its academic purposes. When requested, the Provost either accompanies the President or represents the President at meetings of Trustee Committees and of the Board.

The Provost chairs the Academic Planning Group and meets with the Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements, the Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy, and as necessary with the Faculty Committee on the Library and Computing, the Faculty Committee on University Computing, and the University Research Board.

The Provost is an ex officio member of the Council of the Princeton University Community and presides at its meetings in the absence of the President. The Provost normally meets with the Executive Committee of the Council and is its presiding officer in the absence of the President, and the Provost is chair ex officio of the Council's Committee on Priorities.

The Provost has administrative oversight of the Office of the Vice President for Computing and Information Technology, the University Library, the Office of the Registrar, the Art Museum, and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

3. The Dean of the Faculty

The Dean of the Faculty has administrative oversight of the departments and programs of instruction and of all such matters as pertain to the effectiveness and well-being of the Faculty, the Professional Research Staff, the Professional Technical Staff, and the Professional Library Staff. He or she may be authorized by and in the name of the President to make appointments to these Professional Staffs.

The Dean of the Faculty is an ex officio member of the Council of the Princeton University Community's Committee on Rights and Rules and Priorities Committee, and serves as secretary of the Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements and the Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy. The Dean of the Faculty is an ex officio member of the Faculty Committees on the Course of Study, the Graduate School, the Library, and University Computing, and meets with the Committee on Committees, and as needed, with the University Research Board.

4. The Dean of the Graduate School

The Dean of the Graduate School has administrative oversight of graduate studies, of the curriculum of the Graduate School, of graduate student affairs, and of the Graduate College.

The Dean of the Graduate School is ex officio chair of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School.

The Dean of the Graduate School is an ex officio member of the Faculty Committees on Public Lectures, Library, Schedule, and University Computing, and of the University Research Board, and meets with the Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements, and as needed, with the Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy.

5. The Dean of the College

The Dean of the College has administrative oversight of undergraduate studies, of admission to the undergraduate College, of the curriculum of the College, and of the services and agencies designed to promote the academic development of undergraduates. The Dean of the College is also charged with the application and enforcement of the rules and standards relating to under graduate scholarship, standing, and attendance in the University.

The Dean of the College is ex officio chair of the Faculty Committees on the Course of Study, Examinations and Standing, and Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid. The Dean of the College is an ex officio member of the Council of the Princeton University Community, the Faculty Committees on Discipline, Public Lectures, Schedule, Undergraduate Life, University Computing, and meets with the Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements and, as necessary, with the Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy.

6. The Chair of the University Research Board

The Chair of the University Research Board, whose rank is equivalent to that of Dean has administrative oversight of organized research activities throughout the University, is responsible for dealing with questions of policy in the acceptance and administration of research grants and contracts, and has general supervision over the application of duly established policy in this area.

7. The Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science

The Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science has Administrative oversight of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

8. The Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

The dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs has administrative oversight of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

9. The Dean of the School of Architecture

The dean of the School of Architecture has administrative oversight of the School of Architecture.

C. Excerpts from the "Rules and Procedures of the Faculty"

1. Membership

a. The Faculty consists of the President, the Academic Officers, the Professors, the Associate Professors, the Assistant Professors, and when on full-time appointment as such, the Lecturers and the Instructors. All members of the Faculty are entitled to vote at meetings of the Faculty and in any circumstances where votes of the Faculty are taken.

b. When on full-time appointment, holders of visiting appointments and members of the Professional Library, Research and Technical Staffs are entitled to attend each meeting of the Faculty but they are not entitled to vote, except that members of the Professional Staffs who are assigned teaching duties and given the additional designation of "Lecturer with the rank of Professor" or "Lecturer with the rank of Associate Professor" are entitled to vote during the period of such additional designation.

c. Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors beyond their first term appointments, and members of the University Staff designated as holding rank equivalent to that of members of the Faculty, shall be elected by the Board upon the recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee. Assistant Professors in their first term appointment, Lecturers, Instructors, holders of visiting faculty appointments, and members of the Professional Library, Research and Technical Staffs are appointed by the Dean of the Faculty on behalf of the President, subject to review by the Academic Affairs Committee and by the Board.

d. A member of the Faculty may not substitute or appoint anyone to perform his or her teaching duties who is not a member of the Faculty, unless prior approval is obtained from the Chair of the department or from the Dean of the Faculty.

2. The Committee on the Library and Computing

The Committee on the Library and Computing consists of ten elected Faculty members, with at least two from each division of the University; two members appointed by the President, one of whom may be a member of the Professional Research Staff; and the Provost, Librarian, Dean of the Faculty, Dean of the Graduate School, Dean of the College, and Vice President for Computing and Information Technology, ex officio. The Provost serves as chair. Appointment and elected members shall serve for three year terms, but no such member may serve more then two consecutive terms. Each year sufficient appointments shall be made to assure that the membership requirements listed above are met.

The Committee advises the President on the operation and development of the Library, particularly in relation to educational policy, and on all matters involving University computing and related information services. The Committee works closely with the Librarian and the Vice President for Computing and Information Technology on planning and resource allocation for both educational and research purposes, and reviews policies governing the use of library and computing facilities. The Committee shall normally consult widely with departmental representatives whenever significant changes in library or computing services or policies are being considered.

The chair of the Committee presents a report to the Faculty at least once a year on all such matters as in the judgment of the Committee may seem to require a Faculty action or regarding which the Faculty should be informed.