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Academic Affairs Committee

The Academic Affairs Committee is established in the Bylaws as a standing committee of the Board of Trustees.  The Committee is responsible for overseeing policies and issues related to academic affairs.

Committee Members, 2022-2023

  • Janice Menke Abraham, Chair
  • Mehdi Heravi, Vice Chair
  • Stephanie M. Bennett-Smith
  • LaTrelle Easterling
  • Hani M.S. Farsi
  • Gerald Bruce Lee
  • Betsy A. Mangone
  • Matthew S. Pittinsky
  • Jeffrey A. Sine
  • David Trone
  • Lilian Baeza-Mendoza, Faculty Trustee
  • Aisha Jallow, Student Trustee
  • TBD, Student Trustee-Elect

Resource Persons

Cabinet Member:
Provost
Campus Representatives:
Alumni ASsociation
Faculty Senate
Graduate Leadership Council
Staff Council
Student Bar Association
Student Government

CHARTER

Purpose

The Academic Affairs Committee is established in the Bylaws as a standing committee of the Board of Trustees.  The Committee is responsible for overseeing policies and issues related to academic affairs.

Organization

  1. Membership/Structure. Pursuant to the Bylaws (Article VII, Other Standing Committees) and the Board Policies (Article IX, Election of Committee Officers and Members), the Academic Affairs Committee shall consist of four or more trustees nominated by the Trusteeship Committee and approved by the Board of Trustees. The Chair and Vice Chair(s) of the Committee shall be nominated by the Trusteeship Committee and approved by the Board of Trustees. The Chair of the Committee shall be a member of the Executive Committee. 
  2. Staff Designee. The Provost and Chief Academic Officer shall be responsible for staffing the Committee.
  3. Meetings. Meetings shall be held in conjunction with regularly scheduled meetings of the Board, or as deemed advisable by the Chair of the Committee.
  4. Agenda, Minutes and Reports. The Chair of the Committee, in collaboration with the Staff Designee, shall be responsible for establishing the agendas for meetings of the Committee. An agenda, together with relevant materials, shall be sent to the Committee members in advance of each meeting. Minutes for all meetings shall be prepared in draft form by the Staff Designee and reviewed by the Chair and shall be approved by the Committee members at the following meeting. The general session minutes shall be available for review by any member of the Board of Trustees. The closed executive session minutes shall be available for review by any voting member of the Board of Trustees. The Committee shall make regular reports to the Board of Trustees.
  5. Review of Charter. The Committee shall conduct a self-assessment and review its charter on a periodic basis, or as required by Board policy.

Roles and Responsibilities

Guided by the University’s mission and its strategic plan, the Academic Affairs Committee is charged with supporting and monitoring the University’s key strategic efforts related to the review of academic issues, proposals, and policies at American University to ensure that they are consistent with the university's academic mission, strategies, and priorities. The Committee leads the Board’s engagement on emerging issues, sets priorities, provides guidance, and makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees on matters related to academic affairs.

To fulfill its purpose, the Committee will:

  1. Monitor the alignment of the university’s academic programs with the university's mission, strategies, and priorities;
  2. Review academic and enrollment policies and procedures, as appropriate, to ensure that they are effective, efficient, and consistent with academic and institutional priorities;
  3. Advise regarding faculty appointments in rank and promotion to tenure to ensure that they are held to the highest standards of teaching, scholarship, and service, and strengthen the mission and priorities of the university;
  4. Consider whether financial resources reflect the academic mission and priorities and are targeted to maintain high-quality academic programs;
  5. Consider whether academic programs reflect student interests and needs and enhance their educational experience;
  6. Ensure that academic programs, and faculty performance and enrollment strategies are evaluated effectively;
  7. Ensure that the general intellectual climate of the university is strong and lively; and
  8. Ensure that there is a regular review of the university’s goals relating to increasing diversity, equity and inclusion as they pertain to the areas for which the Committee has oversight responsibilities, the progress that the University is making in achieving those goals, and actions the Committee and Board of Trustees should consider taking to support the University’s efforts.

Approved February 25, 2022