The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Governance

This document has been prepared in response to desires of the Faculty and the Administration for a statement of Faculty rights, responsibilities, and authority that will establish the optimum conditions for teaching and learning at The Cooper Union.

This document defines the membership, functions, organization, rights, responsibilities, and authority of the Faculty of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture.

The guiding concept in preparing this document has been the affirmation that education is of first importance in The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture and the belief that teaching at The Cooper Union can be most effectively carried on, in cooperation with the Administration, by a Faculty aware of the areas in which its authority may be exercised, and aware of its rights, duties, and responsibilities within those areas.

Article I - Name Purpose and Authority

Article II - Membership and Organization

Article III - Meetings

Article IV - Duties and Responsibilities

Article V - Committees

Article VI - Veto of Faculty Actions by the President

Article VII - Amendments

Article I - Name Purpose and Authority

SECTION 1. The name of this organization is the Faculty of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.

SECTION 2. Subject to the authority of the Board of Trustees and in consultation with the President, this Faculty shall have the general power and responsibility to adopt policies, regulations, and procedures intended to achieve the educational objectives and general welfare of those involved in the education programs of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. The Faculty shall exercise its responsibility by providing instruction in The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, by participating in committee work and administrative work associated with the instructional programs, by fostering creative scholarship, by advancing professional education, by considering and acting on other matters of common academic interest, and by advising the President.

SECTION 3. The Governance of this Faculty shall remain in full force and effect pursuant to its own terms on the understanding, however, that this Governance shall be applied in a manner which is consistent with the terms of a Common Governance. The Governance of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture as it exists or may exist in the future, is separate and distinct from, and independent of, any other Institutional Governances or agreements and that any dispute, grievance or complaint not legally subject to those documents shall be resolved only through the appropriate Governance process of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture.

SECTION 4. This Governance, or any part of it, shall become effective upon adoption of a resolution of approval by the Board of Trustees of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and upon communication of such action to the President and to the Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. Such resolution shall become a part of this document.

Article II - Membership and Organization

SECTION 1. The membership of the Architecture Faculty shall consist of the Dean, Associate Dean, all Resident Faculty, three members of the Adjunct Faculty, three student representatives and one Alumnus.

  1. Resident Faculty. Those professors holding full time appointments, proportional appointments, and those professors holding chairs are herein designated as Resident Faculty. All Resident Faculty are expected to serve on committees and to fulfill other, non teaching responsibilities.
  2. Proportional Faculty. Proportional Faculty appointments shall have full voting rights as members of the Resident Faculty and shall assume, on a proportional basis, the responsibility of the full time Faculty. Priority shall be given to Adjunct Faculty members of the School. Appointments shall be continuous and may be terminated in the same manner as Adjunct Faculty appointments.
  3. Adjunct Faculty. Those professors and instructors not holding full time or proportional appointments are designated as Adjunct Faculty. Adjunct Faculty are generally those hired on a part time or per course basis. Service on committees and performance of non teaching duties shall be in accordance with the Part time Teaching Appointment Policy. The elections for adjunct representatives to the Architecture Faculty and to its standing committees will be held prior to the election of the standing committees. The adjunct representatives are to be elected in accordance with the Part time Teaching Appointment Policy.
  4. Student Representatives. Those students of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture who are in good academic standing are eligible to serve as representatives to the Architecture Faculty and to its standing committees. The elections for student representatives will be held in the Spring semester for the following year. The student representatives to the standing committees shall be elected by an election participated in by a majority of the students they represent. This election is to be administered and certified by the Dean of Students. The term of office for the student members shall be for one year. The three student representatives to the Faculty Meetings shall be selected by the student representatives from among themselves.
  5. Alumni. The representative of the Alumni Association to the Architecture Faculty shall be a graduate of the School of Architecture and elected in accordance with the election procedures of the Alumni Association. The term of office for the Alumni representative shall be for three years.

SECTION 2. Ex officio members of the Faculty shall be the President, the Dean of Students, the Dean of Admissions and Records, a representative from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professors (Adjunct) of the School of Architecture, and the representative of the Alumni Association. Ex officio members do not vote.

SECTION 3. Whenever in the opinion of 2/3 of the voting members of the Faculty of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture the participation of all members of the faculty of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture is appropriate, the right to vote on a particular issue may be extended to those adjunct members who do not normally have this right and to ex officio members.

SECTION 4. The officers of the Faculty shall be a Chair, a Secretary, and a Parliamentarian.

  1. The Dean of the School of Architecture shall be the Chair of the Faculty. In the absence of the Dean, the Associate Dean shall act as Chair. The Chair shall call meetings of the Faculty, prepare agenda, and preside at meetings. The Chair shall communicate actions of the Faculty to the President.
  2. The Secretary of the Faculty and the Parliamentarian of the Faculty shall be elected by the Faculty at its last regular meeting in every third academic year to serve for the next three years. Nominations for Secretary and Parliamentarian shall be made from the Faculty at that meeting. The duties of the Secretary shall be those usually pertaining to the office in similar bodies.
  3. The duties of the Parliamentarian shall be to insure that the rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the Faculty in all cases in which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with this Governance.

Article III - Meetings

SECTION 1. Regular meetings of the Faculty shall be held in Fall and Spring semesters of each academic year.

SECTION 2. Special meetings of the Faculty may be called by the Chair acting on his/her own authority. Special meetings shall be called by the Chair:

  1. following action by the Faculty, at a regular meeting, that calls for a subsequent special meeting;
  2. on petition to the Chair by three members of the Faculty, for consideration of any subject stated in the petition;
  3. on request of the President.

SECTION 3. A quorum shall consist of one half of the members of The Faculty, not counting ex officio members. Each member of The Faculty on sabbatical or leave of absence reduces the required quorum by one when that member is not in attendance at a given meeting.

Article IV - Duties and Responsibilities

SECTION 1. The Faculty shall have responsibility for implementation of the educational programs and other matters detailed in Article I Section 2, and in Articles IV and V. The Faculty may also consider other matters of general concern to The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture.

SECTION 2. The Faculty shall make recommendations to the President for awarding of degrees. The Faculty shall also recommend to the President such honors and awards as seem fitting to be bestowed on students, alumni, and members of the teaching staff.

SECTION 3. Members of the Faculty shall have advisory responsibility with respect to appointments and promotions of the teaching staff. This responsibility shall be exercised in the following manner:

  1. Concerning Members of the Faculty. On occasion of a faculty vacancy or new appointment, the Dean in accordance with procedures established by the Administrative Committee shall recommend a candidate to fill the vacancy.
  2. Concerning the Dean. When the Deanship is to be filled, Search Committee shall be formed according to the following procedure: the Administrative Committee shall prepare a slate of 5 faculty members which shall be circulated to the Faculty at least two weeks prior to a Regular or Special Meeting, at which meeting, after any additional nominations from the floor, the election shall take place by closed ballot. The Search Committee elected shall prepare a job description to be published in accordance with Federal Law, and shall further seek potential candidates until a candidate (candidates) is (are) chosen. The Search Committee shall present to the President its recommendation (recommendations) for his/her consideration. Any member of the faculty is eligible to serve on this committee and may, without prejudice, decline to serve. If there should be an interval in which the Deanship is unfilled, the President shall appoint the Associate Dean of the School of Architecture to serve as Acting Dean, unless there are exceptional reasons presented to, or by, the committee for making another appointment. The Acting Dean and/or Associate Dean may serve as ex-officio members on the Search Committee.
  3. Concerning the President. At such times as the Trustees face the task of filling the office of President, a committee shall be formed to assist them. The Committee shall consist of the Deans of Faculties and the Vice President of Business Affairs of The Cooper Union. The Committee shall prepare a list of persons it deems qualified to be candidates and shall submit such a list to the Trustees for inclusion in their consideration. If requested by the Trustees the Committee may submit specific recommendations concerning candidates.

SECTION 4. The duties and responsibilities of The Faculty and its committees are further defined in Article V.

Article V - Committees

SECTION 1. GENERAL. The Faculty shall have standing committees to

which it may delegate specific duties and responsibilities. There shall be the following standing committees within The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture:

  1. The Administrative Committee
  2. The Curriculum Committee
  3. The Admissions Committee
  4. The Committee on Academic Standards

The students of the School of Architecture shall be represented by one student representative on all standing committees of the school. Each student representative shall be elected according to the terms and conditions of Article II, Section 1(c).

Designated members of the Alumni Association shall be ex officio members of committees a, b, c, and shall be chosen by the Dean in consultation with the senior faculty from a list prepared by the President of the Alumni Association.

When members of committees are to be elected by The Faculty, the procedure shall be as follows: A slate of nominees shall be prepared by the Administrative Committee and circulated to The Faculty at least two weeks prior to a Regular or Special meeting, at which meeting, after any additional nominations from the floor, the elections shall take place by closed ballot.

Adjunct representatives to standing committees shall be elected according to the terms of the Part Time Teaching Appointment Policy.

Unless otherwise specified, the term of office shall be three years.

Unless otherwise specified Each committee shall elect its chair.

The Faculty may create ad hoc committees at any time to consider matters not already assigned to standing committees.

Unless otherwise specified, all committees of this Faculty shall report to The Faculty; however, they may tender a report to the Administrative Committee for information and for evaluation and guidance.

SECTION 2. ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE

The Administrative Committee shall consist of the Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, who shall be chair, two Resident Faculty, one Adjunct Faculty representative, one student representative, the President, the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, contingent on reciprocal representation, and one alumnus of the School of Architecture. The President, the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the alumnus shall be non voting, ex officio members. The Committee shall be responsible for general administration of the operations of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture and for matters not delegated to nor within the purview of other standing committees of the Architecture Faculty and shall serve as advisor to the Dean.

The Administrative Committee shall establish in writing the procedures necessary to assure consistent and equitable treatment of all members of the faculty of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. No decision shall be made by the Dean regarding initial appointment, re appointment, promotion, or tenure without due respect to the established procedures.

Any dispute, grievance, or complaint not covered by the Governance of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture or by any other Institutional Governance or legal agreement shall be presented to this Committee. In such cases the Administrative Committee shall be guided by the principles adopted jointly by the Association of American Colleges and the American Association of University Professors and shall recommend to the Faculty, for its approval, a code to be followed.

In carrying out their duties the members of the Committee shall reflect the interests of The Faculty and shall seek to interpret these interests to the President or other concerned bodies through the Dean.

The Committee may receive, or ask for, reports from any committee, evaluate them, and make recommendations to The Faculty for appropriate action.

The Committee shall make nominations for membership on standing committees according to the procedures specified in Article V, Section 1. When a vacancy occurs in the position of Secretary of The Faculty, Parliamentarian of the Faculty, or on a standing committee, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term of office by election at the next meeting of The Faculty.

The Committee shall oversee the functioning of the standing and ad hoc committee system. Actions and considerations of the Administrative Committee shall be communicated to members of the Faculty by the Dean, or by a designated member of the Committee at the annual Spring meeting of the Faculty. The minutes of the committee shall be made available to members of the Faculty.

SECTION 3. CURRICULA. The Curriculum Committee shall consist of the Associate Dean who shall be Chair, two Resident Faculty, one Adjunct Representative, one Student Representative, the President, The Dean of Admissions and Records and one alumnus from the School of Architecture. The President, the Dean of Admissions and Records, and the representative of the Alumni Association shall be non voting, ex officio members. Whenever pertinent, the Committee may invite any academic representatives from within The Cooper Union to participate in the discussion of curricula.

The Curriculum Committee shall have responsibility for coordinating and planning new curricula and revisions of the curriculum. The Committee has an obligation to obtain full information germane to its studies from any member of The Faculty, and the committee shall be open at all times to members of The Faculty wishing to propose curriculum changes.

Any member of The Faculty may suggest a revision of the curriculum at a meeting of The Faculty, and may make a motion for study and consideration by the committee on any curriculum matter.

New curricula and revisions of the curriculum shall be acted on in accordance with the following procedures:

  1. A proposal for adoption of new curricula and/or revisions of the curriculum shall be prepared by the Curriculum Committee and forwarded to the Administrative Committee. After review by the Administrative Committee the proposal will be placed on the agenda of the next regular Faculty meeting. Copies of the proposal shall be sent to each member of the Faculty at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which the proposal will be considered.
  2. If the Faculty does not approve the proposal it shall be returned to the Committee with appropriate instructions.
  3. After approval by the Faculty, the curricula, or revision of the curriculum, together with a schedule for its introduction, shall be transmitted to the President. The President shall approve the proposal and then so notify the Dean; or if disapproved, the President must return the proposal, with comments, to the Administrative Committee.

SECTION 4. ADMISSIONS. The Admissions Committee shall consist of two Resident Faculty, one Adjunct Faculty, one student representative, the Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, the President, the Dean of Admissions and Records and one Alumnus from the School of Architecture. The Chair of the Committee shall be a Resident Faculty member elected by the Committee for a one year term. The Dean, the President, the Dean of Admissions and Records, and the representative of the Alumni Association shall be ex officio and do not have a vote. The Committee shall establish the policies and procedure for admission of students to The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture and continually review the performance of such policies and procedure with respect to the admission of students. The Committee shall establish a slate of Resident and Adjunct Faculty from within The School of Architecture to participate in the administration of admission policies.

The Committee shall be responsible to its Faculty and report annually at the Spring meeting of the Faculty.

SECTION 4.1 ADMISSIONS. (Graduate Program). The Admissions Committee (Graduate Program) shall be a distinct committee and shall consist of two Resident Faculty, one Adjunct Faculty, one graduate student representative, the Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, the President, the Dean of Admissions and Records and one Alumnus from the School of Architecture. The Chair of the Committee shall be a Resident Faculty member elected by the Committee for a one year term. The Dean, the President, the Dean of Admissions and Records, and the representative of the Alumni Association shall be ex officio and do not have a vote.

The Committee shall establish the procedure for admission of students to the graduate program of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in conformance with the program's stated goals and objectives.

The Committee shall continually review the performance of such procedure with respect to the admission of students. The Committee shall consult with Resident and Adjunct Faculty from within The School of Architecture specific to the applicant's intended area of concentration.

The Committee shall be responsible to its Faculty and report annually at the Spring meeting of the Faculty.

SECTION 5. ACADEMIC STANDARDS. The Committee on Academic Standards shall consist of two Resident Faculty, one Adjunct Faculty, one student representative, the Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture or the Associate Dean, the Dean of Students, the Dean of Admissions and Records, and the President. The Dean, or Associate Dean, the President, the Dean of Students and the Dean of Admissions and Records shall be ex officio and do not have a vote. The Chair of the Committee shall be a full time faculty member of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture.

This Committee shall be responsible for reviewing the academic performance of individual students, defining the grading system, recommending standards and regulations for academic performance, reviewing petitions from students, and recommending candidates for degrees, in accordance with the following procedures:

  1. The Committee shall receive and consider proposals for changes in the grading system, or in academic standards and regulations, which may be made by any member of the Faculty. After consideration by the Committee, major changes shall be approved by the Faculty and sent to the President for approval.
  2. Minor changes, such as changes in wording for clarification, may be acted on by the Committee and reported to the Faculty.
  3. The Committee shall receive and take action on petitions for reinstatement from students who have resigned, or who have withdrawn, or who have been dropped from the rolls for having failed to maintain required academic standards. In this area the action of the Committee shall be final. Each petition will be considered as an individual case, and decision to reinstate will be made on the basis of the specific circumstances, potential benefit to the student from further education at The Cooper Union, and the current state of enrollment.
  4. The Committee shall receive from the Dean of Admissions and Records, after termination of classes in May, a list of candidates for graduation, consisting of those students who have attained the necessary standing and have satisfied all other academic requirements in their respective courses. The Committee shall review the list for possible addition or deletion. After review the Committee shall present its list to the Faculty at a meeting in May, with a recommendation that the names thereon be approved for graduation. The Committee shall explain the addition or removal of any name from the Dean of Admissions and Records' list. The Faculty shall act on such additions or deletions. It shall be the responsibility of the Faculty to certify the academic eligibility of all candidates for graduation by a favorable vote.

Article VI - Veto of Faculty Actions by the President

SECTION 1. If an action of the Faculty of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture is vetoed or not acted upon by the President within three months, and if this action is then passed again by a 2/3 vote in the Faculty, after the President meets with the Faculty, the issue is to be taken to the Board of Trustees for a consultative session at which the President and the Dean shall be heard. The Dean may select representatives from the Faculty to accompany or represent the Dean at the meeting with the Trustees.

Article VII - Amendments

SECTION 1. The foregoing Articles, or any of them, may be altered, amended, added to, or repealed by a vote of two thirds of the members of The Faculty, excluding ex officio members, provided that written notice of the proposed changes shall have been sent to each member at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which the changes are to be moved. A vote shall not be taken until the next Regular or "Special" meeting after the proposed changes have been moved. Such changes shall be in effect when approved by the Board of Trustees.

****As approved by the Faculty of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union on 17 May 1989.

****With revisions approved by the Faculty of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union on 19 May 1999.

****With revisions approved by the Faculty of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union on 9 November 1999.

****With revisions approved by the Faculty of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union on 27 June 2000.

****With revision approved by the Faculty of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union on 12 December 2006.

 

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.