Standard College-Wide Committees

Undergraduate Curriculum (UCC)

  • Consists of the chairs of departmental and Marlboro Institute curriculum committees (eight members), who are elected by the faculty, and two undergraduate students selected by the Student Government Association. Members elect the chair.
  • Meets regularly, and, occasionally, in between by email to discuss and make decisions on proposals.

Its purpose is to:

  • increase knowledge and understanding of the College’s undergraduate curricular mission and its implementation across the College;
  • encourage interdisciplinary initiatives;
  • provide diverse perspectives on curricular and program change to departmental and Marlboro Institute curriculum committees;
  • provide the administration with College-wide feedback on the state and development of programs and courses.

The committee:

  • reviews all new courses and programs, as well as course and program changes, in the undergraduate curriculum approved by departmental curriculum committees in consultation with department chairs and full department faculties;
  • reviews new course proposals for any interdisciplinary or cross-listed courses and reviews courses and course changes from the Marlboro Institute approved by the Institute Advisory Council;
  • reviews proposals from any other body proposing credit-bearing undergraduate courses or programs;
  • approves or compiles a list of suggested revisions or additions to any proposals it wants to see amended or revised;
  • provides feedback to the departmental curriculum committees, the Marlboro Institute Advisory Council, and the Office of Academic Affairs;
  • collects needed signatures (chair, dean) on each form and submits to Assistant VP for Academic Affairs Anne Doyle.

Graduate Council (GC)

  • Consists of the graduate program directors of each graduate program (fourteen members), the dean of graduate and professional studies, and a graduate student representative selected by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Student Association. The director of graduate admission and representatives from the Registrar’s office, Professional Studies, and International Student Affairs are ex-officio members without vote. The dean of graduate and professional studies serves as chair of the GC.
  • Meets regularly, and, occasionally, in between by email to discuss and make decisions on proposals.

Its purpose is to:

  • advise the dean of graduate and professional studies on matters of policy affecting graduate programs;
  • define the philosophy and goals of graduate study;
  • establish general policies and procedures;
  • determine admission and degree requirements;
  • set policy for the review of the graduate programs.

Department curriculum committees submit their recommendations on graduate program changes and new and/or revised graduate course proposals to Graduate Council for review and approval.

Faculty Status (FSC)

  • Consists of eight tenured faculty members representing departments and the Institute who are elected by Faculty Assembly; at least one member must be at the rank and status of (full) professor. Assembly also elects two alternates, one of whom must hold the rank of (full) professor; members elect the chair and secretary.
  • Meets as demanded by the workload; works more intensely during the period in which its reviews and recommendations are due (see College calendar for due dates).

Its purpose is to evaluate all requests for faculty promotions and tenure.

The committee:

  • reviews faculty dossiers and discusses and votes on whether the candidates meet or exceed criteria for tenure and promotion as listed in the Faculty Handbook;
  • collectively writes the FSC report about the decision and its rationales regarding teaching, research, and service;
  • reports its recommendations directly to the provost.

Faculty Development and Research Council (FDRC) 

  • Consists of eight faculty members (one from each department and the Institute) elected at Faculty Assembly; it is co-chaired by the associate VP for research and creative scholarship and a faculty member.
  • Meets regularly, with periods of weekly meetings.

Its purpose is to advise the College administration on issues that affect the research success of faculty and students, including policies and procedures that will enhance the ability of the College to realize its potential for distinction in research, creative, and scholarly activities.

The Council:

  • gathers information and reports to Faculty Assembly on both faculty research and faculty mentoring activities taking place at the departmental, school, and College levels;
  • establishes standing procedures for the awarding of relevant internal grant programs and external limited submission funders and serves as reviewer for those programs;
  • reviews and votes on recommendation of submitted grant proposals.

Library & Technology (L&T)

  • Consists of eight faculty members (one from each department and the Institute), the executive director of the Iwasaki Library, and the chief information officer of Information Technology (IT).
  • Meets regularly.
  • Committee members report on Library and IT initiatives, services, resources, and holdings to their department and work as a liaison with department faculty and staff in addressing them and reporting back to the committee.

Its purpose is to discuss initiatives, services, resources, and holdings at the Iwasaki Library, along with links to other library systems, as well as technology-related needs of the College.

Faculty Council (FC)

  • Consists of eight faculty members (one from each department and the Institute) elected by Assembly; chaired by the chair of Assembly; secretary elected from members.
  • Meets regularly to follow up on old and introduce new business for the monthly Faculty Assembly agenda.
  • Its purpose is to engage in the College’s shared governance: the responsibilities for certain academic policies and practices, on the terms and conditions set forth in the Faculty Handbook, that the Board and the president have shared with the faculty;
  • Members serve as department liaisons/representatives on Council and inform department chairs and need-to-know parties about faculty issues across all departments;
  • Council votes, as needed, on Faculty Handbook language changes submitted by the Faculty Handbook Committee before sending to Assembly for discussion and vote.

ECCAAUP Governing Council

  • Composed of union dues–paying members of the faculty.
  • Meets monthly.

Its members:

  • aid the president and other officers in strategizing and thinking through emergent issues;
  • serve as principal conduit of concerns and input from departments simultaneously and are responsible for reporting out to department members important information about goings-on with union leadership, as well as other issues of interest and concern;
  • provide feedback on approaches, issues of interest, and reaction from departments during negotiations.


In addition to the above, the president: 

  • serves as a one-stop-shop for listening for issues and figuring out whom they need to work with in order to solve them, if they can. Very time-intensive, particularly in a negotiation year;
  • plans and conducts monthly meetings of Governing Council;
  • has regular leadership meetings with the provost, head of Faculty Council, and the president of the affiliated faculty union;
  • works on the regular publication of newsletters and communications with membership;
  • organizes the Negotiation Team, holds regular meetings with the Negotiation Team, and plans all negotiations asks;
  • retains contact with union legal representation;
  • participates everywhere that it appears concerns lie or union representation is needed (e.g., the presidential search committee, Shared Governance, informal meetings to work on Covid-related conundra, negotiations between College leadership and student leadership);
  • strategizes how to work with membership in order to try and find ways to improve working life and solve problems before they become big problems;
  • maintains communications and bridges with all sides of the College (Human Resources, administration, faculty, other unions, and student organizations);
  • attends national conferences of AAUP;
  • grows relationships with new partners in AFT and the AFL-CIO.

Vice President

In addition to Governing Council activities, the vice president:

  • plays a support role in all of the president’s duties above, taking on any number of initiatives of their own (e.g., lead on working through the creation of Senior II).


In addition to Governing Council activities, the treasurer:

  • manages finances of the union;
  • manages labor union and tax filing requirements for the union;
  • collects and manages dues from membership (very time-intensive).

Grievance Officer

In addition to Governing Council activities, the grievance officer:

  • is the first point of contact for members who feel the process is not in alignment with the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement;
  • writes formal grievances in collaboration with the president.
  • This position is very heavy some years; other times, it is relatively quiet.

Communications Officer

  • With the president, the communications officer maintains the union newsletter and formulates and strategizes other communication strategies to address emergent issues.

Union Negotiation Team

  • This team is created in a year when the contract is set to expire.

These committees meet during the academic year (not monthly):

Faculty Handbook (FHC)

  • Consists of two faculty members selected by the Faculty Assembly; three academic administrators selected by the president of the College; and the chair of Faculty Assembly, who serves as the committee chair.
  • Meets as needed during the academic year.
  • Its purpose is to consider proposals for Faculty Handbook changes or amendments and offer recommendations for revision and alternative approaches.
  • FHC reports its recommendations, along with a timeline for implementing those changes, with the committee’s analysis, signed by each member of the committee, to the Faculty Assembly for further discussion and vote, except in cases where the FHC unanimously rejects a proposed change.
  • During the academic year, the FHC acts on submitted changes within 60 days of receipt of the recommendation for change.

Educational Equity and Justice Council (EEJC)

(All DEIA initiatives are currently being reviewed by the new VP for equity and social justice as a new strategic plan and timeline of action items have been created.)

  • Consists of eight faculty (one from each department and the Institute), administration, staff, students, and all who want to attend and will opt in to meet as equal stakeholders and strategic partners in crafting proposals for Emerson’s future academic and extracurricular programs.
  • The chair or co-chairs volunteer and are voted through acclamation by members for up to a three-year term.
  • Tasked with ensuring that Emerson College fulfills its commitment to educational equity and social justice.
  • Reflects on, advocates for, and prioritizes projects of educational equity and social justice in the academic and extracurricular life of the College, including pedagogy, curricula, faculty training and support, and the cultural climate.
  • Members liaison with other academic and College units on DEIA issues and support equity and inclusion across the College.

Emerson Sustainability Action Planning Committee (ESAPC)

  • Consists of seven faculty, staff, undergraduate students, and graduate students. Campus Services appoints members annually, considering expertise, passion, and commitment.
  • Meets regularly throughout the fall and spring semesters.
  • Its purpose is to encourage environmental, social, and financial actions that reflect the College’s commitment to sustainable practices.
  • Works with Sustainability staff to manage the campus-wide sustainability plan.

Accessibility Advisory Board (AAB)

  • Consists of two faculty (on a three-year term), administration, staff, undergraduate students, and graduate students. Some members are appointed as a focus of their position on campus while others are appointed for two-year terms. Chaired by the director of Student Accessibility Services.
  • Meets twice a semester and focuses on the establishment of priority projects and requests. Depending on the nature of the priority, other members of the College community may be requested to participate in specific projects/conversations.

Its purpose is to:

  • establish and monitor priorities for the College, focusing on improving access and increasing the application of universal design principles;
  • identify and involve relevant members of the student body, faculty, and staff in workgroups addressing the issue;
  • monitor progress in meeting priorities and provide regular reports to the College community;
  • be forward-thinking regarding accessibility as intrinsic to Emerson’s philosophy and role as a leader in inclusive excellence and to assist in the development of long-term planning and design, with a goal of strategically enhancing the accessibility of the campus community in Boston, Los Angeles, and global programs;
  • work proactively and collaboratively with individuals and departments as they design and implement accessible programs and spaces that demonstrate Emerson’s commitment to Inclusive Excellence for community members with disabilities;
  • increase sensitivity and awareness among students, faculty, and staff at Emerson about a social justice model for the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities;
  • encourage greater understanding around and implementation of principles of Universal Design for Learning and for Places.

Career Development Employer & Faculty Advisory Council (CDEFAC)

  • Consists of eight faculty (one from each department and the Institute) and the director of the Career Development Center.
  • Meets as organized by Career Development Center (frequency changes).
  • Its purpose is to share information and provide recommendations on how to better prepare and support Emerson students professionally to succeed in college and beyond.


  • provide the perspective of each specific department;
  • attend events with employers and students.

President & Provost’s Advisory Council (PPAC)

  • Consists of faculty representatives whose number is determined by the president and provost and selection is by the chair of the Faculty Assembly in consultation with Faculty Council and with others, as needed.
  • The committee meets as requested by the president and/or provost.

Its purpose is to serve as an official reacting, evaluating, advising, and recommending channel from various constituencies to the president and provost, and is called and tasked at the discretion of either.


  • solicit faculty feedback from across the College;
  • consolidate and interpret the data, then write a recommendation/report to the president and/or provost;
  • have a follow-up meeting with the president and/or provost;
  • prepare a faculty version of the recommendation/report to present at Faculty Assembly and/or in department meetings upon call at their regular meetings.

Presidential Advisory Group for Community & Equity (Formerly Inclusive Excellence)

(All DEIA initiatives are currently being reviewed by the new VP for equity and social justice as a new strategic plan and timeline of action items have been created.)

  • Will begin meeting in Fall 2023.
  • Consists of faculty, administration, and staff.
  • Its purpose is to serve as an official reacting, evaluating, advising, and recommending channel regarding community and equity from various constituencies to the president.

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

  • Consists of members from various units of the College who are appointed by the provost based on certain criteria (in accordance with federal guidelines).
  • The chair is the one faculty member and is appointed to this role in order to comply with the Office for Human Research Protection’s (OHRP’s) guidelines on the recommended experience, expertise, and familiarity with human subjects research regulations that the chair should possess.
  • Meeting frequency is intermittent (between 1 and 4 per academic year, depending on the number of protocols that require full committee review). Attendance at full board meetings is necessary to ensure that a quorum is met.
  • Requires an extremely intense online training.

Its purpose is to:

  • ensure the protection of human subjects through the review, approval, modification, or disapproval of research applications submitted by faculty, staff, or students;
  • review human subject research application protocols for compliance with the ethical principles outlined in the Belmont Report (1979) and legal mandates outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 45, Part 46 (2009);
  • maintain training certification for IRB members (“Responsible Conduct of Research in Social and Behavioral Sciences” every three years).


  • review 35–50 applications per academic year, most taking 2–3 weeks (submission to approval);
  • review modifications, protocol closure forms, etc. and approve, disapprove, or require changes in research conducted by Emerson College faculty, students, and staff involving human participants;
  • sometimes meet to interview a person who submitted a study;
  • suspend or terminate approval of research;
  • monitor the consent process and the conduct of the research.

When necessary, the IRB solicits consultation of subject matter experts to assist in the review of issues that require expertise beyond or in addition to that which is available on the IRB.

Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO)

(Formerly Title IX Sanctions Panel and Student Conduct Board)

  • The total number of members, of both the panel and the board is twenty; six members are faculty and the others are staff (e.g., the assistant dean of student life for Student Conduct Board) and other advisors.
  • Members are called as needed (e.g., three faculty for the OEO panel) on a rotating basis.
  • All members are  required to participate annually in training (required by federal and state law so attendance is mandatory). That training is usually a full-day training conducted in person in August or January.
  • Members serve on one OEO panel per year, which typically requires about 10 to 15 hours of involvement over a 2 to 3 week period.  
  • Members serve on one student conduct panel a year.
  • The term of service is indefinite because the more training and experience members have on panels, the better they can do this specialized work (but with the understanding that sometimes people need breaks from service for different reasons).
  • The purpose of the panel and the board is to address and work to solve cases as they are presented to them.
  • There is no investigation by the panel or board: they only determine any sanctions based on the final outcome of the investigations and supporting materials.

Budget Planning and Priorities Advisory Committee (BPPAC)

Its purpose is to review and discuss budget and planning priorities.

  • Consists of permanent members, the president, the chief financial officer, and the provost; and five faculty appointees (one each from SOA, SOC, the Marlboro Institute, plus AAUP and AFEC union heads) who are advisory members.
  • Meets three times per year.

Academic Administration Advisory Committees for Searches (AAAC)

  • Formed only as needed by the administration ( Board, president, or provost).
  • Consists of administration (Board, president, and provost) members and invited faculty representatives for academic administration searches (e.g., president, provost, dean).
  • Meetings vary in frequency (may meet up to 4 times a year).

Board of Trustees Faculty Representative

  • The representative is a full-time faculty member elected by Faculty Assembly.
  • Attends meetings three times a year.
  • Prepares a written report for the full Board meetings and presents to the Board.

Board of Trustees Student Experience Committee

  • The representative is a full-time faculty member elected by Faculty Assembly.
  • Is a two-year term.
  • Attends meetings three times a year.
  • Meetings vary in regularity as needed. Meetings include:
    • planning and agenda-setting meetings with the VP and dean for campus life, the VP for enrollment management, the Trustees who co-chair the Student Experience Committee, and often an undergraduate student representative to the committee.
    • meetings with the full Student Experience Committee on various topics of interest to the Board (as determined in the planning and agenda-setting meetings).

Board of Trustees Mission and Academic Affairs

  • The two representatives are full-time faculty members elected by Faculty Assembly.
  • Meetings vary in regularity as needed (e.g., weekly for one semester regarding NECHE, then no meetings for a semester).