Penn State Graduate School Penn State Penn State Graduate School

Articles of Authority




Graduate education and graduate research are among the foremost functions of The Pennsylvania State University. They constitute a dominant force in maintaining the vitality of scholarly inquiry and intellectual achievement in the University community. The accomplishments of graduate research and education are a major contribution of the University to the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

As delegated by the University Faculty Senate (Senate Bylaws, Article VII, Section 2), ultimate responsibility for all matters pertaining to graduate education and graduate research rests with the Graduate Faculty. To provide for governance by that faculty and to facilitate the creation and maintenance of graduate education and graduate research programs of high quality and accomplishment, these Articles are hereby established.


The faculty of the Graduate School, as represented by the Graduate Council, is delegated authority by the University Faculty Senate for the interests of the Graduate School except in those matters that have University-wide implications; it shall administer its own affairs subject to review by the University Faculty Senate.

The review process shall include a report of actions of the Graduate Council to the Senate through the Senate Council.

  1. On special motion of the Senate Council, any of those actions may be placed on the agenda of the Senate for appropriate action.
  2. The Senate Council will provide for liaison with the Graduate Council.


The Graduate Faculty of The Pennsylvania State University shall consist of its present Members and such members of the University community as hereafter shall be designated, on the basis of their academic credentials, scholarly achievements, and abilities in graduate education and research, to be Members.


The Graduate Faculty shall be responsible, through its governing body, for the creation and maintenance of all graduate programs in the University and for all matters pertaining to graduate education and graduate research.


The authority of the Graduate Faculty shall be vested in a Council of Graduate Faculty (the Graduate Council, or Council). The members of the Council shall be elected from membership of the Graduate Faculty and from the membership of an officially sanctioned graduate student organization as provided for in the Bylaws of the Graduate Council.


The Graduate Council shall:

  1. Establish criteria and procedures for election to membership in the Graduate Faculty.
  2. Establish bylaws governing the election of Council members, the organization of the Council, the frequency of its meetings, the procedural rules that will govern its proceedings, and a procedure for Graduate Faculty review of Council actions.
  3. Establish general policies and procedures pertaining to graduate programs and graduate research within the University.
  4. Strive to improve and enhance the quality of graduate education and graduate research.
  5. Promote the general welfare of the graduate students and faculty.
  6. Foster and sustain the intellectual climate of the University.


The Office of the Dean of the Graduate School shall have the responsibility for implementing the policies and actions of the Council and the Graduate Faculty and for administering the Graduate School so that it is effective in implementing and responding to those policies.


These articles shall be subject to amendment in the following manner:

  1. A preliminary presentation and discussion of the proposed amendment will be made at a meeting of the Graduate Council.
  2. At a second regular or special meeting of the Council, to be held no less than thirty and no more than sixty days after the preliminary presentation, the proposed amendment will be discussed and approved by a majority of Council members present and voting.
  3. The amendment shall be approved by two-thirds of all Graduate Faculty members voting in a mail ballot sent to all members of the Graduate Faculty.
  4. Following approval, the amended Articles of Authority will be submitted by the Chair to the University Faculty Senate for ratification.

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