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How the University makes its way—visits to five engine rooms
The earliest reference to an institutional committee at Boston College turns up in the November 19, 1943, edition of the Heights. In a piece titled “Religious Blueprints of Foreign Policy,” the paper reported on “the third meeting of the Faculty Committee on Postwar Planning,” which involved a lecture on the topic by James Burke, SJ, chair of the history and government department. Stray references to administrative committees appear in the following years—in March 1948, for instance, an unnamed faculty committee selected students to compete for a spot on the CBS radio show Opinion, Please! Precisely when Boston College began to assemble (and rely on) committees in numbers is unclear. The University Academic Senate, a sort of uber-assembly, was established in 1967, and in the protest-riddled years of 1968–70 the University crafted committees to address concerns about the Vietnam War, which companies could recruit on campus, and the development of “student-run courses.” And it was in the years following the appointment of J. Donald Monan, SJ, as president in 1972 that financial and academic planning committees grew to match the needs of the University, which found itself trying to grow at the same time that it tried to distance itself from non-collaborative practices that had led to a substantial operating deficit.
Today, more than 70 committees, composed of faculty, staff, and administrators (and sometimes students), engage in the work of guiding, prodding, and serving the University. Among many other tasks, they frame curricular initiatives, adjudicate disputes, and monitor compliance with federal regulations. Their work can be strategic (revamping the core curriculum) and simply practical (providing parking, refreshment, and safe-keeping for some 23,000 Commencement Day visitors). Certain committees such as those dealing with dismissal, grievances, promotion, and tenure, are required by University statute. Less august, but perhaps more important to some, are the committees that set parking rates and regulations, and decide, after dutiful taste-testing, on additions to dining-hall menus. Over the course of the late winter and early spring, BCM visited five of these groups as they sat around tables and did their work.
Purpose: Plan and coordinate activities associated with Commencement
Founded: Long ago
Membership: 70 faculty and staff, appointed
Chair: University Secretary Terrence Devino, SJ
Reports to: Office of the President
Photographed: March 28, Heffernan House
Agenda: Review of current parking sites and discussion of possible future shortfalls due to construction • Report on contingency plans in case of rain (15,000 one-size-fits-all, clear, red, and yellow ponchos in storage)
Pictured: (clockwise from lower left) Paula O’Connor (Office of the President), Devino, Joy Haywood Moore ’81, H’10 (Alumni Relations), Linda Riley ’76, M.Ed.’79 (Human Resources), Regina Bellavia (Facilities), John Savino (Transportation and Parking), and Chris Cordella ’87 (Student Services).
University Council on Teaching
Purpose: Foster teaching excellence through research and training
Membership: Nine faculty appointed by deans; three administrators
Chair: Jeffrey Cohen (Accounting)
Reports to: Office of the Provost
Photographed: February 23, O’Neill Library
Agenda: Upcoming events and programs at the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence • Learning and teaching issues in the context of student diversity
Pictured: (clockwise from upper left) Patricia De Leeuw (vice provost for faculties), Danielle Taghian (Biology), John Rakestraw (Center for Teaching Excellence), Audrey Friedman (Lynch School of Education), Kathleen Bailey (Political Science), Robert Bloom (Law School), Jacqueline Lerner (Lynch School of Education), and Cohen.
Law School Promotion and Tenure Committee
Purpose: Evaluate applications from faculty eligible for promotion, tenure, or both
Founded: Circa 1950
Membership: Dean; and four faculty elected by their fellows
Chair: Dean Vincent Rougeau
Reports to: Office of the President
Photographed: March 14, Stuart House, Newton Campus
Agenda: Review the points at which an untenured faculty member may apply for tenure, based on University statutes and Law School precedent
Pictured: (clockwise from left) professors Judith McMorrow, Robert Bloom, Rougeau, and Zygmunt Plater.
Research and Science Strategic Planning Committee
Purpose: Refine plans for an institute on integrated sciences in the context of the humanities and social sciences
Membership: 12 faculty; four staff in the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment; one librarian; one graduate student—all appointed
Cochairs: Kelli Armstrong, Ph.D.’96 (Planning and Assessment), and Thomas Chiles (Biology)
Reports to: Strategic Planning Steering Committee
Photographed: April 22, Waul House
Agenda: Develop a facility that is welcoming to many academic disciplines and conducive to collaborations • Opportunities for post-doctoral students • Joint appointments for faculty • Ways to utilize the facility for the public good outside the academic year
Pictured: (clockwise from lower left) Eranthie Weerapana (Chemistry), Margaret Ryan, Ph.D.’07 (Planning and Assessment), Ethan Baxter (Earth and Environmental Sciences—obscured), Michael Pimental ’90, MBA’99 (Plan-ning and Assessment), Armstrong, Chiles, Denice Koljonen (Planning and Assessment), David Takeuchi (School of Social Work), Arianne Babina (doctoral student, Biology), Melissa Sutherland (Connell School of Nursing), Stefan Hoderlein (Economics), and Kenneth Burch (Physics).
Church in the 21st Century Center (C21) Student Advisory Board
Purpose: Foster models for engaging students in faith-related conversations and activities
Membership: Some 80 student volunteers
Cochairs: John Walsh ’17, Meghan Hilger ’16, and Jonah Caparros ’16
Reports to: C21 staff
Photographed: April 20, Fulton Hall
Agenda: Promoting an Agape Latte program that would feature young alumni • Screening short video interviews with students on the C21 website and YouTube • Activities for fall 2016
Pictured: (clockwise from bottom center) Lea Nelligan ’18, Elaina Gray ’18, Amanda Bolanos ’18 (partially obscured), Layla Aboukhater ’18, Claire Raab ’18, Elizabeth Campbell ’14 (C21 Fellow), Megan Hopkins, MTS’17 (C21 graduate assistant), Walsh, Karen Kiefer ’82 (C21 associate director), Hilger, Catherine Bradley ’18, Sacha Hauc ’18, Allison Parsley ’18, and August Michaelides ’19.