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1.2.9 Committee Structure of the University

Last updated on:
Friday, September 1, 2017
Formerly Known As Policy Number: 

1.2.9(1)   Standing Committees

Standing Academic Council Committees and Standing Committees of the Senate formulate policy on all matters related to teaching and research, the central functions of the University. These committees are charged and appointed by the Senate of the Academic Council through the work of its Committee on Committees. The policies formulated by the Standing Academic Council Committees and Standing Committees of the Senate do not take effect until approved by the Senate of the Academic Council.

Standing Committees of the Senate:

Committee on Committees
Committee of Tellers
Planning and Policy Board
Steering Committee

Standing Academic Council Committees:

Committee on Academic Computing and Information Systems
Committee on Graduate Studies 
Committee on Libraries
Committee on Research
Committee for Review of Undergraduate Majors
Committee on Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid
Committee on Undergraduate Standards and Policy

1.2.9(2)  Planning and Policy Board

In Spring of 1992, the Senate established a new Planning and Policy Board composed of ten voting members. Seven members are appointed by the Committee on Committees to serve three year terms. The candidates are nominated by the Committee on Committees from among the entire Academic Council membership. The other three members are the current and two past Chairs of the Senate. Among the Planning and Policy Board’s charged duties is to articulate the academic vision and mission for the University and to formulate academic policy issues for consideration by the faculty.

1.2.9(3)  University Committees

University Committees, which deal largely with matters related to activities that support the teaching and scholarly work of the University, report to the President. These five committees formulate recommendations for policy, but such recommendations do not take effect until approved by the President. The President writes the charges to University Committees and appoints both their members and the chairs. Faculty and student members of these committees are appointed by the President on nomination of the Committee on Committees (for Academic Council members) or of the ASSU Senate Committee on Nominations (for student members). From time to time University Committees deal with matters of particular interest to the Senate of the Academic Council. On such occasions, the Senate may request a report, and the President may invite that University Committee to present the report to the Senate. Such reports are not subject to Senate action.

University Committees:

Committee on Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation
Committee on Faculty and Staff Human Resources
Committee on Environmental Health and Safety
Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing
Panel on Outdoor Art

1.2.9(4)  Administrative Panels

Administrative Panels deal with matters of a technical nature, generally related to ensuring compliance with external regulations and internal policy regarding hazardous agents and human or laboratory subjects used in the course of University teaching or research activities. These panels review and approve proposed procedures such as those involving agents or laboratory subjects, draft relevant new policies, and frequently oversee the implementation of such policy. The President appoints the members of these panels which report to him through the Dean of Research. The composition of these panels, mandated by external regulatory agencies, includes faculty, staff, students and, in some cases, unaffiliated members who have expertise in the relevant areas.

Administrative Panels:

Administrative Panel on Biosafety
Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Medical Research
Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Non-medical Research
Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care
Administrative Panel on Radiological Safety 
Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Panel

Committee rosters for the Senate, the Advisory Board, and all Academic Council and Senate committees as well as University Committees and Administrative Panels are available each year from the Office of the Academic Secretary to the University and on-line at

1.2.9(5)  Ad Hoc Committees

From time to time, the President appoints commissions, task forces, or committees, which are bodies designated to respond to specific instructions and requests from the administration. They are generally assumed to be temporary bodies.

1.2.9(6)  School and Department Level Committees

There are many other advisory and policy-making committees at the school, department, division and program levels, but these do not fall within the province of the Senate of the Academic Council. As a general proposition, faculty members on these committees serve at the will of the dean or chair.

Committees at all levels are sufficiently numerous, and the demands on the time of persons serving on them sufficiently heavy, that the Committee on Committees recommends that any individual’s concurrent service should be limited to one University-wide committee, one School-wide committee, and one departmental committee.

1.2.9(7)  Board on Judicial Affairs

The Student Judicial Charter of 1997 sets forth the core principles, requirements, and administrative mechanics of the student judicial process. The committee in this category is the Board on Judicial Affairs.

1.2.9(8)  Faculty Membership on Board of Trustees Committees 

On nomination by the President of the University, the Board of Trustees customarily appoints Academic Council members and students to serve on the following Board committees:

Committee on Academic Policy, Planning and Management
Committee on Alumni and External Affairs
Committee on Finance
Committee on Development
Committee on Land and Buildings
Committee on Trusteeship 


In making nominations, the President asks for the advice of the Senate Committee on Committees for faculty nominations and The Associated Students of Stanford University Committee on Nominations for student nominations. Student candidates are then interviewed and selected by the Trustee Chairs of the standing committees.