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On behalf of the Committee for Commencement and Academic Ceremonies, Cinthia Salinas (associate professor, curriculum and instruction) submitted the following proposal to disband the committee. The secretary has classified this proposal as general legislation. It will be presented to the Faculty Council for discussion at its meeting on November 16, 2009.
SAG signure
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council




The Commencement and Academic Ceremonies Committee held its initial meeting of the 2009-10 academic year on October 26, 2009. At that meeting, the committee discussed the original function and charge of the committee and its relevance today. It was determined that unless a new charge is provided, ‘sunset’ is a viable option. After discussion and input from all present at the meeting, the recommendation to abolish the committee was unanimously approved.

Rationale: In 1995, the University-wide commencement ceremony was recreated. It went from a simple repeating convocation model managed by a staff member in the president's office to an complex "theatrical" framework based on continual improvement. As a result, the Office of Relationship Management and University Events was established to coordinate institutional ceremonies. To achieve this, the office ofrmed a commencement production team to direct logistical and production efforts. College and school committees for both Commencement and Honors Day were formed to coordinate college ceremonies with parallel institutional programs.

Over time, this comprehensive restructuring made the charge and function of the Commencement and Academic Ceremonies Committee less relevant. Routine policy issues, although infrequent, relate to program content or production and are addressed most effectively within the present structure via ad-hoc committees. Speaker suggestions are sought widely from various University constituencies. It is the position of the committee that there are alternate ways speakers can be nominated by faculty. The chair of the standing committee has served as the University marshal for the period of his/her term. Another mechanism can be developed to identify the University marshal. These functions, while valid and relevant, can be managed in ways other than a full Standing Committee.

FUNCTION: To advise the Faculty Council, the president, and academic deans on policy matters, including selection of speakers, planning graduation, Honors Day, and other formal academic ceremonies.

COMPOSITION: Four members of the General Faculty, two staff members, one graduate student, and two undergraduate students. Student members shall be appointed by the president in the fall from a panel of names submitted by the Student Government and the Graduate Student Assembly. In addition, every year the chair of the Faculty Council shall appoint two members of the Faculty Council for one-year terms as members of the committee. The committee shall elect its own chair and vice chair, who shall be members of the General Faculty. A representative of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, the director of the Department of Facilities Services, the director of University Bands, and the executive director of the Ex-Students' Association shall serve as administrative advisors without votes.


This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council web site on November 10, 2009.