The Timetable of Events


  • The 1986-88 University self-study recommended changes in the constitution.
  • A taskforce on the constitution was established in the winter of 1989.
  • The new constitution was approved in the fall of 1991 and implemented on July 1, 1992.
  • A taskforce was established to update the by-laws in the fall of 1993.
  • The new by-laws were implemented July 1, 1995.


The Constitution


  • Establishes the University Council – its membership and officers.
  • Establishes the commissions, advisory council – their organizations and charges.
  • Addresses the organization and membership, in general, of university committees.
  • Addresses meetings and procedures concerning the Council, commissions, the advisory council, and university committees.
  • Addresses amendments to the constitution.


The By-laws


  • Addresses policy and program review and approval procedures.
  • Establishes the composition of commissions and the advisory council.
  • Addresses the charges to the committees and their composition.
  • Addresses operational committees.


The University Council


The University Council is that body that advises the President of the University on matters of governance. The Council is the primary organization in the university governance system and all commissions, the advisory council, and university committees report through it to the President.


The Shared Governance System

The constitution and by-laws are based on a concept of shared governance:


  • It encompasses all major areas of the University.
  • It involves all major groups: undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, faculty, administrative and professional faculty and administrators.
  • It requires an informed and knowledgeable citizenry.
  • It involves comprehensive and open communication – electronic publication of minutes, interlocking membership between committees and commissions.


Policy Formation


  • Polices to be considered by University Council are formulated and approved by a host commission.
  • While being formulated, it is shared by the host commission with other commissions, the senates and student assemblies, as appropriate.
  • It is then considered by University Council.
  • When a proposed policy is brought to University Council, the senates and the student associations and the other commissions can request that it be referred to them for further study and consideration.