THE University Council was created by the University Senate on May 11, 1931, and was approved by the Regents on May 29. Those constituting the initial membership were the president of the University, ex officio, twenty-two ex officio members selected by him, and thirty-four representatives elected by the several faculties.
In June, 1940, the ex officio membership, which has varied in number from time to time, consisted of the president of the University, the assistant to the president, the vice-presidents, the deans, the directors of several units and divisions (the College of Pharmacy, the Department of Postgraduate Medicine, the Division of Hygiene and Public Health, the Summer Session, the University Extension Service, the University Hospital, and the University Museums), the president of the School of Music, the librarian of the University, and the registrar.
The numbers of representatives of the several schools and colleges are as follows: College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, fourteen members; College of Engineering, four; College of Architecture and Design, two; Medical School, three; Law School, two; School of Dentistry, two; School of Education, three; College of Pharmacy, one; School of Business Administration, one; School of Page 239Forestry and Conservation, one; and School of Music, one.
Also on the University Council are the members of the Senate advisory committee on University affairs, which is composed of twelve persons elected by the University Senate and chosen for staggered terms without regard to their membership in the University Council.
The ex officio members are appointed by the president for indefinite terms. The faculties are at liberty to name their representatives in such manner and for such terms of office as they may severally determine.
To the University Council were transferred the powers of the University Senate, though the latter body retains the right of review over the legislative actions of the University Council.
The University Council holds eight regular meetings each year, the second Monday of the months from October to May, inclusive, and special meetings may be called as occasion requires. The majority of its members constitutes a quorum. The Council is concerned with academic policies which affect the University as a whole, or which concern two or more schools or colleges. All University administrative boards and committees within its jurisdiction are required to report annually.
The Council has five standing committees, which cover the fields, respectively, of (a) program and policy, (b) educational policies, (c) student relations, (d) public relations, and (e) plant and equipment.
The committee on program and policy is composed of the president of the University, the vice-chairman of the Council, the secretary, and the chairmen of the four other standing committees. Each of these committees has seven members appointed by the president. The committee on program and policy considers those matters which may be referred to it by the president or by other standing committees, and is charged with the preparation of the program for the meetings of the Council. The other four standing committees have within their general jurisdiction the University administrative and advisory boards and committees.
During the nine years since its organization, the University Council has abolished a number of University committees which had become inactive, or whose functions more appropriately belonged to other committees. Also it has created or recommended to the Regents the organization of many new administrative and advisory groups. Among them are the committee on honorary degrees, the Bureau of Co-operation with Educational Institutions, with its subcommittees on relations with secondary schools and on relations with institutions of higher education, an advisory committee on the Department of Military Science and Tactics, one dealing with problems of foreign students, and another administering the program of the Orientation Period.
The methods of procedure in the administration of student affairs received the attention of the Council in a series of meetings, and a definite organization chart was adopted. A University committee on student conduct was set up, with the dean of students as chairman, and within this body, a subcommittee on discipline. The administrative control of broadcasting was put under the University Extension Service. A new committee on University lectures was organized to take over the functions of the Oratorical Association. The personnel of the Board in Control of Student Publications received attention and its functions were outlined, and the duties of the committee on theater policy and practice were redefined. Under the direction of the Council, an experimental advisory group was concerned with the administration Page 240of the General Library resulted in the appointment of a permanent council to advise with the University librarian.
Many meetings were devoted to the consideration of the program of physical education. These discussions resulted in a change of name — the Board in Control of Athletics to the Board in Control of Physical Education — and definite regulations were adopted with respect to the amount and place of physical education in the curricula of the University. Procedure was determined for proposals for material changes and additions in the offerings of departments, particularly departmental changes directly affecting the programs of more than one department. The Council encouraged the several schools and colleges to establish nonfinancial honors for students with the use of the term "scholar" preceded by the name of some distinguished deceased professor. The program of Commencement exercises, the University calendar, and the regulations for academic dress were definitely formulated. The Council recognized a need for the restatement of the standards for promotion of the faculty of the University from one grade to another, and definitely stated the general qualifications represented by each grade.
The Council also formulated the limitations under which the faculty could engage in outside employment. It secured the compilation of all the degrees granted by the University for record in its proceedings and in the minutes of the Regents. It suggested the privileges which men on the faculty should enjoy upon retirement due to age. The development of the Mall and the location of the new buildings, the Burton Memorial Tower and the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, were considered by the University Council before construction began. Also, the problems arising from a proposal to extend the University Library have greatly concerned the Council.
In addition to these special matters, the reports of the administrative and advisory boards and committees have regularly constituted a part of the program. The Council elects the Senate representatives on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Union, and receives for permanent record the memorials to deceased members of the Senate.
Members of the faculty are encouraged to present to the Council their suggestions for the betterment of the University. The usual procedure is to consider the communications at regular meetings of the University Council, and then, in the light of the discussion, refer each communication to the standing committee to which the subject matter seems appropriate. The standing committee then proceeds to a detailed consideration, calling into its deliberations members of the faculty or other officers of the University who may be interested or concerned. After these conferences, the standing committee reports its findings to the University Council, which either takes final action or, should the topic concern the Regents, forwards the report to the Board for consideration, along with the Council's recommendations.