Responsibility for the operation of the College is imposed by law upon the Board of Trustees. The Board must assign the functions to a range of administrative officers, faculty, and other individuals or groups. At Carleton, much of the policy regarding the life of the College falls naturally into two categories: educational policy, which is established by the faculty, and a number of other matters of campus governance, on which policy is formulated by the College Council or its designated committees.

Certain aspects of College life may require the creation of college committees. In particular, there is a Budget Committee, which formulates recommendations regarding annual budgets and longer-term financial plans, and an Advisory Committee on Student Life, which is dedicated to addressing issues and policies concerning student life in its advisory capacity to the Vice President and Dean of Students.

While the Board of Trustees cannot lawfully abrogate the duty to review, ratify, or reject decisions made in the performance of those functions which are delegated to campus committees, administrative officers, faculty, or the College Council, it recognizes that the orderly running of the College depends on a high degree of decentralization of responsibility for formulation and administration of policy.

College Committees

Function: In general, Committees are created by action of the College Council or senior administrative officers to examine special areas or programs or to help administer policy. The Committees are responsible for making reports to the appropriate administrative officer. All College Committees serve only for the year in which they are established; although many are routinely re-established each year, this provides an opportunity for Council and senior administrative officers to review the necessity for the existence of any given committee.

Membership: College Committees are made up of students, faculty, and staff primarily selected for their competence, concern, and effectiveness in the exercise of each committee’s responsibility. The Faculty Affairs Committee oversees election and appointment of faculty to college committees, and the CSA Senate oversees election and appointment of students. Staff are elected or appointed to committees through Staff At Carleton (SAC), The Forum, or the President of the College. Staff and some faculty leadership positions also serve on various committees in an ex officio capacity.

Amendment to the College Governance System

Changes in the nature or operation of the governance system may be proposed by the College Council or by the faculty meeting, the CSA Senate, the President of the College or the Board of Trustees. If not of a fundamental character, they may be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the College Council (subject to the ultimate approval of the Trustees). More serious changes, after discussion by the Council, should be referred to the Trustees for final action.

This process description was adopted by the Board of Trustees March 18, 1992, upon recommendation of the College Council and was updated by staff in 2022 to reflect more current nomenclature.

Budget Committee

The Budget Committee advises in the construction of the annual budget and in the development of a longer-term financial plan

College Council

College Council develops non-curricular policies

Advisory Committee on Student Life

ACSL addresses issues specifically concerning student life

Education and Curriculum Committee

The ECC articulates educational policy and reports to the faculty, who are the final voting authority on such matters

View a full list of Carleton’s governance committees.