Guidelines for Faculty Senate Resolutions

Regarding Issues Outside the University

In general, the Faculty Senate’s role is to participate in the conduct of University affairs:

The Faculty Senate of Georgetown University has been established for the purpose of ensuring full faculty participation in matters of general University interest by sharing responsibility with the University Board of Directors and Administration in the conduct of University affairs.

Faculty Senate Constitution

From time to time, the Faculty Senate may be asked to take a position on issues of concern to the national and international academic community that are beyond the ability of the University to resolve on its own.  While the Faculty Senate does not have the time or expertise to address many such issues, the Senate will consider requests for a resolution from the Faculty Senate concerning such issues that meet certain criteria.  These guidelines are designed to make the criteria for consideration clearer, and spell out the procedure for requesting and approving the resolution. 

Criteria for consideration:

The Faculty Senate will consider requests for a Senate Resolution Regarding Issues Outside the University (“Outside Resolutions”) if the following conditions are met:

  • The issue concerns higher education,
  • There is a direct nexus between the issue and Georgetown faculty, as when, for example:
    • the issue directly impacts one or more GU faculty, students or staff; or
    • the issue directly impacts a large number of faculty, students or staff at schools that are linked to Georgetown
  •  The Senate is provided sufficient information to take a well-informed position, and 
  • A resolution from the Senate will make a positive contribution to the issue.
  • The resolution was presented by the Steering Committee following the procedure described below.

The Faculty Senate will also consider a request for an Outside Resolution if it is moved and seconded by members of the Senate in accord with Senate rules.

Requirement for approval:

An Outside Resolution requires a two-thirds majority of those voting for approval by the Senate.

The procedure to request an Outside Resolution from the Faculty Senate is as follows:
  • Send the request to the Faculty Senate President, who will bring it to the attention of the Senate Steering Committee for review.
  • The Steering Committee will determine if the request meets the criteria above, and if it does will vote on the request. If the vote is positive, the Steering Committee will draft the Outside Resolution and send it forward to the full Senate for review.
    • any Outside Resolution will be worded as a resolution of the Faculty Senate
    • the resolution will be distributed prior to the Senate meeting, and all faculty will be informed that it will be on the agenda. The Steering Committee will determine the level of confidentiality needed and the extent of distribution.
  • As these requests are usually time sensitive, the review may be streamlined, with on-line synchronous discussion and voting.

Approved February 23, 2023