UC Charter (By-Laws)



Revised MAY 1, 2018



The University Council is a centralized, deliberative body of governing bodies and administration. It is intended to be a channel for leadership development and communication among and between constituent groups and university administration.  Its charge shall be to:

  1. Bring the interests of various represented governing bodies and administration within Gallaudet to this council with spirit of shared governance to provide support and counsel to the University’s leadership.

  2. Review the university’s strategic plan and corresponding action plan(s). 

  3. Provide advice and guidance to the President on key issues. 

  4. Learn about and share leadership lessons and wisdom needed to advance Gallaudet and Clerc Center.



The University Council shall consist of twenty-two (22) individuals, each representing a specific constituency. The number of representatives per constituency is shown below, along with their terms of office.

Executive Team (3 of 5 should be in attendance depending on issues; infinite terms)

President (who serves as chair)


Chief Academic or Chief Operating Officer of Clerc Center

Vice President, Administration and Finance

Vice President, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


University Faculty (3; three-year terms)

Chair, University Faculty 

Vice Chair, University Faculty 

Secretary, University Faculty 


University Staff (3; two-year terms)

Chair, Gallaudet Staff Council

Vice Chair, Gallaudet Staff Council

Secretary, Gallaudet Staff Council


Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center (3; terms set by Clerc Center)

Representative, Kendall Demonstration Elementary School

Representative, Model Secondary School for the Deaf

Representative, National Mission

Undergraduate Students (4; one-year terms)

President, Student Body Government

Vice President, Student Body Government 

Director of Diversity, Student Body Government

At-large representative, Student Body Government


Graduate Students (3; one-year terms)

President, Graduate Student Association 

Vice President, Graduate Student Association

At-large representative, Graduate Student Association


Board of Trustees (1; coincident with term of appointment to the Board)




The duties, roles, and responsibilities of the members of the University Council are as follows:

  1. To recommend pathways for the University to address barriers and opportunities.

  2. Provide expertise, including identifying emerging issues.

  3. Attend all meetings possible and prepare appropriately.

  4. Complete all necessary assignments prior to each meeting.

  5. Relay information to their constituents after each meeting and gather. information/feedback from their constituents as practicable before each meeting.

  6. Articulate and reflect the interests that the members of each governing group bring to the table.

  7. Demonstrate shared governance.



  1. Regular meetings of the organization shall be held once per month.

  2. Special meetings may be called by the Chair with three (3) days’ notice.

  3. The location and duration of meetings will be determined by the chairperson.

  4. The Chair or a designated representative shall prepare the agenda for meetings.

  5. A quorum for any regular or special meeting shall be: two-thirds (2/3) of the membership.

  6. The Chairperson shall appoint a recorder for each meeting. 

  7. Members are expected to attend meetings as scheduled. Members who cannot attend a meeting should inform the Secretary at least two days in advance. Three consecutive absences may result in a member being replaced.

  8. Decisions shall be made by a simple majority of those present.

  9. The Council shall create ad hoc committees for special purposes. Additional committees may be created at the Chairperson’s discretion.

  10. The Chairperson shall have veto power.



When an issue arises that cannot be easily resolved, the University Council members agree to:

  1. Remember that controversial issues may/may not impact each governing groups, so the intent of all groups is exchange information and perspectives to gain greater clarity about possibilities for addressing conflicts or issues;

  1. Determine if the issue should be resolved within or outside of the University Council, and participate as appropriate;

  1. Ensure that facilitators, mediators, or decision-makers are available as appropriate to assist in resolving to resolve the issue.



This charter may be revised at any regular meeting by a simple majority of those present.



800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002