Skip to main content

Faculty Committees

As a small academic community, members of the faculty participate significantly in the life of the institution.  There are a large number of committees on which faculty members serve. Two important elected faculty committees are the Committee on Faculty Procedures, which is responsible for the agendas for faculty meetings and for various matters concerning faculty procedures, and the Council on Educational Policy, which is concerned with matters of basic academic policy.  Faculty policies and procedures which have been legislated by faculty vote may be found within the Handbook for Instructional Staff found in the Handbooks & Policies section of the Faculty Quick Links. 

The Committee on Faculty Procedures assigns faculty to committees each year.  The full list of current committees and assignments of faculty members may be found on the Committee Membership List [pdf]. Listed here are some of those committees.

Academic Assessment Committee

College Judiciary Committee

The College Judiciary Committee is composed of two students, five faculty members (two regular and three alternates), and three staff members (one regular, two alternates). It is chaired by the Dean of the College and, in addition to dealing with appeals from the Student Judiciary Committee, decides cases involving students charged with academic dishonesty. An observer from the Dean's staff is also part of the committee.

Committee on Academic Requirements (CAR)*

The Dean of Students chairs the Committee on Academic Requirements (CAR), a large committee charged with regular review of students' academic programs and the administration of faculty regulations concerning academic standards and requirements. Each semester the committee reviews the record of students on academic probation, or those who receive warnings of unsatisfactory work, and others who have less than a C average. The committee also recommends to the faculty waivers of certain requirements.

Committee on Faculty Procedures (COFP)*

Committee on Faculty Procedures (COFP) is one of two elected committees of the Faculty, and is made up of six faculty members, representing all divisions, in addition to the President and the Provost.  This committee is the “committee on committees”, and sets the dates and agendas for faculty meetings, determines procedures for how issues are presented and voted upon by the faculty, and appoints faculty members to serve on the other College committees.

Committee on Fellowships and Prizes *

The main task of the Committee on Fellowships and Prizes is to interview and recommend applicants for national graduate fellowships like the Fulbright, Marshall, and Rhodes Scholarships in the fall and for the Swarthmore Fellowships in the spring. Other fellowships for which the committee submits recommendations include the Keasbey, Goldwater, and Truman Scholarships. In addition, the Committee makes recommendations to the Faculty for the Sarah Kaighn Cooper Scholarship to an outstanding junior, and the Lang, Ivy and Oak Leaf Awards to members of the senior class.

Committee on Promotion and Tenure (CPT)*

The Committee on Promotion and Tenure (CPT) is headed by the President of the College and includes the Provost and four appointed faculty members. In January and February, this committee reviews the dossiers (normally prepared by the faculty member's department) of all faculty members who come up for tenure in a given year or who are being considered for promotion. These dossiers include letters from one's own department, from faculty outside the department, from students, and from faculty outside the College. After concluding its deliberations, the Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Managers.

The Cooper Committee

The William J. Cooper Foundation provides a varied program of lectures and concerts to enrich the academic life of the College. The Cooper Committee works with the departments and with student organizations in arranging lectures or concerts by distinguished scholars or artists and also in bringing to the College speakers of note who remain in residence for a long enough period to enter into the life of the community. Faculty and student proposals are publicly solicited each year. This committee could be your ideal vehicle for organizing intellectual or artistic symposia beyond the resources of your own department. In recent years, for example, feminist filmmaker Patricia Rozema, the singing group Sweet Honey in the Rock, and the Tamburitzan Dancers were among those invited to the College under the auspices of the Cooper Foundation.

Council on Educational Policy (CEP)*

Council on Educational Policy (CEP), is one of two elected committees of the Faculty, and includes six faculty members from each of the divisions. Headed by the Provost, this committee includes the President and occasional student representation, and is concerned with long-range, broad matters of curriculum, curricular change, and introduction of new programs. In prior years, this committee developed the curricular reforms that included restructuring of academic divisions, Primary Distribution Courses for the first two years, and reorganization of the External Examination Program (now known as the Honors Program). More recently, the committee has set procedural guidelines for and reviewed the allocation of new or vacated faculty positions, addressed ways to nurture good teaching, and explored "diversity" in the curriculum.

Crum Woods Stewardship Committee

The Crum Woods Stewardship Committee is looking at academic uses of the woods and the College's responsibility for their safeguarding.

The Curriculum Committee*

The Curriculum Committee deals with immediate questions of the existing curriculum, recommending new concentrations for approval of the faculty and providing oversight for academic issues such as the calendar, registration, etc. Chaired by the Provost, it consists of the Heads of the three divisions, the interdisciplinary representative, the Registrar, and representatives from Student Council. Recently, it recommended new interdisciplinary programs in Latin American Studies and Francophone Studies, which were approved by the faculty. It has also overseen the implementation of the revised Honors Program.

Faculty & Staff Benefits Committee

The Faculty & Staff Benefits Committee (FSBC), is chaired by the Vice President for Human Resources and includes the Associate Provost, the Vice President for Finance, members of Human Resources staff, three faculty members, and three staff representatives.  The FSBC advises the Vice President for Human Resources on matters related to the College's employee benefits programs.

Faculty Committee on Diversity and Excellence*

Global Engagement Office Advisory Committee*

The Off-Campus Study Committee is co-chaired by the Director for Off-Campus Study and the Faculty Adviser for Off-Campus Study. The committee is charged with advising the Off-Campus Study Office regarding changes in policy and practice; participating in regular reviews of Swarthmore College study abroad programs; reviewing approved and proposed study abroad programs; reviewing appeals of student petitions to attend non-approved programs; and in general overseeing the educational quality of all supported programs while contributing to the effort to remove unnecessary institutional barriers to participation.

Health Sciences Advisory Committee*

The Health Science Advisory Committee consists of eight members of the faculty and administration and is chaired by the Health Science Advisor, who advises students throughout their four years on specific requirements for professional schools and prepares composite letters of recommendation for all students applying to medical, dental and veterinary schools. Carefully reviewing these confidential letters of recommendation is the most important responsibility of committee members. The letters are reviewed in May and June for mailings in early August to the professional schools. Members of the committee also consider the rankings of students applying to medical school, suggest the names of students for scholarships and prizes, and review new policies for medical school admissions.

Honorary Degrees Committee

The Honorary Degrees Committee meets to nominate people for honorary degrees. The Faculty must approve these nominations.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee*

The IACUC is a federally mandated committee that oversees all research on vertebrates at Swarthmore College and reports to the US Department of Agriculture. The committee, consisting of faculty, animal care personnel, veterinarian(s) and at least one community member, evaluates and approves protocols for animal research and oversees animal facilities on campus.

Lang Center Advisory Board*

A committee of faculty and staff members who meet with the staff of the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility to exchange information, offer advice, and share Lang Center activities.

Physical Education and Athletics Advisory Committee*

The purpose of the Advisory Council to Physical Education and Athletics is to give the Athletic Department leadership input from a general faculty/student perspective on issues for which the Athletic Department leadership wishes such input. Recently it has offered opinions on moving competitive sports from one category to another (interest groups, clubs, varsity), on conflicts between academic and athletic schedules, and on the state of athletic facilities at the college.

Research Ethics Committee*

The main charge of the Research Ethics Committee is to ensure the protection of human subjects in research. A subcommittee reviews all research proposals funded by the government to see that the procedures conform to federal guidelines. The committee also investigates breaches of research ethics, as requested by the Provost.

Social Responsibility Committee

The Committee on Social Responsibility is a committee of the Board of Managers of the College consisting of five members of the Board, the President, Provost, the Vice President for College and Community Relations, four members of the faculty, three students, two members of the staff and a representative from alumni council. It is charged with reflecting upon the College's commitment, in association with the fulfillment of its institutional mission, to prepare and motivate students to engage issues of social responsibility facing our communities and societies and to set their own paths as responsible citizens toward shaping a more inclusive, just, and compassionate world. The committee will suggest, encourage, evaluate, and facilitate the development of internal community practices, educational programs, and institutional outreach initiatives, which build on the distinctive strengths of the College in meeting these ends. As the College's work in these areas progresses, the committee will likewise reflect upon what the College and it have achieved-the objectives it has defined and related problems and accomplishments-and prepare accounts of that experience that might be helpful to other institutions with similar goals. The Committee will report its deliberations and recommendations to the Board, to other committees of the Board as appropriate and to the campus community.

Sustainability Committee

Teacher Education Committee*

The Teacher Education Committee consists of representatives from departments involved in the certification of teachers. The committee reads student teacher dossiers and recommends students to the state for certification and consults with Educational Studies faculty on requirements for certification.

*Indicates a standing committee of the faculty