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Princeton University
Office of the Dean of the Faculty

Rules and Procedures of the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists of Princeton University and Other Provisions of Concern to These Personnel

Last printed Fall 1996; Revised October 2009


A. The Board of Trustees

The Charter specifies the name of the Corporation as THE TRUSTEES OF PRINCETON UNIVERSITY and 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 consisting of such number, not less than twenty-three nor more than forty, as shall from time to time be fixed by resolution of the board.

1. Membership

This section and the following section, regarding officers of the University, are taken from the bylaws of the trustees of Princeton University, which may be revised from time to time. A full current copy may be obtained from the secretary of the University.

The members of the board are classified as follows: (a) trustees ex officio: The governor of the State of New Jersey and the president of the University during their respective official terms. (b) charter trustees: Not more than such number as shall, when added to the numbers of trustees ex officio, term trustees, and alumni trustees, equal forty, who are elected by the board to serve for a term of ten years or until the June 30th following the trustee's seventieth birthday (whichever period shall be shorter) when the trustee shall become a trustee emeritus for five years. (c) term trustees: Not fewer than four and not more than eight in number, who shall be elected by the board, at least one but no more than two each year, to serve for terms of four years. (d) alumni trustees: Thirteen in number elected in accordance with rules established by the board, to serve for terms of four years, beginning on the July 1st following election (i) nine of whom are elected by the alumni of the University and (ii) four of whom are elected, one each year from among the members of the senior class at the time of election, by the members of the junior and senior classes and the two most recently graduated classes.

2. Meetings

In each academic year there are four stated meetings of the board: on the fourth Friday in October, the third Saturday in January, the third Saturday in April, and the Monday preceding the annual Commencement. Much of the business of the board is conducted through its standing committees, which meet more frequently.

3. Committees

The standing committees of the board are as follows: The Executive Committee, The Committee on Finance, The Committee on the Curriculum, The Committee on Grounds and Buildings, The Committee on Plans and Resources, The Committee on Student Life, The Committee on Health and Athletics, The Committee on Honorary Degrees. The board elects each year, subject to the provisions of the bylaws, trustees to serve as chairs and members of the standing committees. The Executive Committee has regular meetings at least six times a year, and the Committees on Finance, the Curriculum, Grounds and Buildings, and Plans and Resources at least four times a year; the other standing committees meet as necessary.

4. Statement of Policy 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 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, normally through standing or special committees, powers and responsibilities in University operations and decision making.

General review: In electing members of the faculty, the trustees are guided almost entirely by the recommendations of the president and the Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advance ments and exercise their responsibility through a continuing review of the quality of the president's leadership in the maintenance of a highly qualified faculty and by a periodic check of the integrity and efficiency of the procedures followed in the appointment and advancement of faculty members. 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 new students, criteria for admissions, and continuing relations with the leadership of schools 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 and student committees on admission, subject to the general review of the trustees. 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, together with occasional professional advice in matters of health and medical care. Requirements for physical space and services are formulated by the several departments in collaboration with the central administration and subject to general review by the trustees. Plant operations are entirely in the hands of administrative officers. The preparation of the annual budget proceeds through a complex process under the direction and supervision of the central administration, with detailed review by the trustees, largely through their Committee on Finance, in the light of available funds and previously established priorities.

Prior review: It is assumed that major changes in policy and any substantial new claims on funds will be brought to the trustees for review before final decisions or commitments are made. The trustees thus exercise a prior and general review 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 sizeable categories of potential students, and changes in relations with outside educational and social institutions and governmental agencies.

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 Trustee Committee on Finance directs the investment of University funds and supervises the management of the off-campus real estate of the Corporation.

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, the Faculty Advisory Committee on Architecture, 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 conditions 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 affairs in 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.

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.

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

a. That there be at least one faculty representative from each division of the University and at least one nontenured 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.That representatives of the student body, and at least one elected member of the staff, participate in consideration of candidates for president of the University.

c.That the members of the faculty, student body, and staff so consulted by the board of trustees 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 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.

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.

The Provost

The provost is the general deputy of the president in the supervision of the University, giving, under the president's oversight, particular attention to the overall academic development of the University and to coordination among its various academic activities, departments, and programs. When requested, the provost either accompanies the president or represents the president at meetings of other standing committees and of the board of trustees.

The provost meets with or sits with, when desirable, the following faculty committees: Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements, Advisory Committee on Policy, Committee on the Library (of which the provost is an ex officio member), 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 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 researchers, the professional specialists, and the professional librarians.

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's Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements and the Faculty's 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 sits with the Committee on Committees.

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, Continuing Education, Library, Schedule, and University Computing and of the University Research Board, and sits with the Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements.

The Dean of the College

The dean of the college has administrative oversight 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 undergraduate 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, Continuing Education, 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, and Undergraduate Life, and sits with the Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements.

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.

The Dean for Research

The Dean for Research is responsible for administrative and policy oversight of the organized research activities throughout the University and represents the University in research matters as they relate to external agencies and sponsors.  The Dean chairs two committees of the Faculty, the University Research Board and the Committee on the Appointments and Advancements for the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists.  The Dean oversees the Office of Research and Project Administration, Office of Technology Licensing, Laboratory Animal Resources, Corporate and Foundation Relations, the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, and certain multidisciplinary research centers.

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 (pursuant to the bylaws of the board of trustees).

b. When on full-time appointment, holders of visiting faculty appointments and professional researchers, professional specialists, and professional librarians are entitled to attend each meeting of the faculty but they are not entitled to vote, except that research appointees in the upper two research ranks who are assigned teaching duties and given the additional designation of "lecturer with the rank of professor" re entitled to vote during the period of such additional designation (pursuant to the bylaws of the board of trustees).

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 (pursuant to the bylaws of the board of trustees).

d. A member of the faculty may not substitute or appoint anyone to perform his/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.