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Welcome to the webpages of the Senate of the Academic Council and the Office of the Academic Secretary. The elected Senate is the centerpiece of academic governance at Stanford and the main instrument for faculty participation in setting policy and making decisions on academic affairs. The work of the Senate and its committees—the Steering Committee, the Committee on Committees, and the Planning and Policy Board-is supported by the Academic Secretary's Office.

Senate Resources

Archives
Senate 55 Roster
Senate Committees Roster
ASSU Student Reps.
Academic Council Committee Rosters
Senate and Committee Handbook (including the Senate Charter and Rules)
Faculty Handbook
Parliamentary Procedures 
Senate Introductory Session Presentation 

(some links require SUNet login)

For Senate record requests, please contact us


Faculty Governance 

Stanford has a long and distinguished history of active faculty governance. Prior to 1968, Stanford faculty exercised its authority via an Executive Committee of the Academic Council as articulated in the Articles of Organization of the Faculty (1904), later revised as the Articles of Organization of the Academic Council in 1977. Ten faculty members were elected to this committee from the Academic Council. As the faculty continued to grow, the Academic Council became too large to effectively discharge its responsibilities. The Senate was created in response.

For more information, see An Overview of University Governance.


The Senate 

Responsibilities

The Faculty Senate is the legislative body of the Academic Council and has responsibility for academic and research policy as well as the authority to grant degrees. In addition to formulating policy, the Senate reviews, via its committees,  several types of curriculum matters: proposals or reviews of degree granting programs, and, periodically, broad curriculum reforms resulting from ad hoc university level review committees which examine university wide curriculum issues such as general education requirements, writing requirements and other similar programs for all undergraduates. The Senate also reviews interdisciplinary degree granting programs (IDPs) as well as proposals for new degree granting programs, including honors and joint degree programs (JDPs) and name changes of departments and programs.  

Committee Matrix

The Senate discharges its academic and research policy and oversight responsibilities via seven standing Committees of the Academic Council. These committees are charged by the Senate. There are three Senate committees, the Committee on Committees, the Steering Committee, and the Planning and Policy Board.

Membership

The Senate is composed of 56 voting members serving staggered 2 year terms and 15 ex officio members. Standing guest seats are reserved for the student representatives, the Registrar,  the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, the Vice Provost of Faculty Development and Diversity and the Emeriti Council representative. The Chair, Vice Chair and Steering Committee members are elected from within the Senate body. 

Elections

Members of the Academic Council are eligible to serve on the Senate and are placed in units based on school and discipline. Senators are elected annually by the Hare System of Proportional Representation; all Academic Council faculty may vote for faculty within their unit. Elected Senators serve as free agents, not as representatives of a particular program, unit or school. The number of seats per unit is allocated relative to the size of the school and disciplines within that unit. 

The Steering Committee is elected by the incoming Senate from a slate of Senators nominated by the Committee on Committees. One of the new StC's first tasks is to appoint members of the incoming Senate to serve on the Committee on Committees. 

Full Professors in the Academic Council are also elected to the Advisory Board, which handles the promotion and tenure of Academic Council faculty. 

University Governance

You can find more information on university governance and administration, including the offices of the President and Provost, at www.stanford.edu/about/administration/

Memorial Resolutions

The Office of the Academic Secretary coordinates memorial resolutions for deceased Academic Council Faculty. A faculty committee  drafts both a resolution and a statement, which is presented at a Senate meeting. The resolution is published in the Senate minutes and archived with the Stanford University Archives. To examine the memorial resolutions, please go to Stanford University Faculty Senate Records: Memorial Resolutions.
For questions about the memorial resolution process, please email chaydez@stanford.edu

Feedback

The Senate and Academic Secretary's Office welcome feedback on Senate meetings. If you have a suggestion for an agenda item or any other comments, please send them to Adrienne Emory, Associate Academic Secretary, at aemory@stanford.edu