The Senate is a University-wide legislature, representing faculty, students, and other constituencies. It makes policy on a range of issues that affect the entire University or more than one school, including educational programs and priorities, the budget, academic freedom and tenure, the conduct of research, the libraries, information technology, Columbia's external relations, student sexual misconduct, rules governing political demonstrations, and the welfare of faculty, students, and research officers. Trustee concurrence is required for acts of the Senate.

The Senate has 108 voting seats, with 63 reserved for faculty, 24 for students, 6 for officers of research,
2 each for administrative staff, librarians, and alumni, and 9 for senior administrators including the president, who chairs monthly plenaries.

For more information, see "Introduction to the Senate."

Suzanne Goldberg, Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law and Special Advisor to the President for Sexual Assault Policy, and Melissa Rooker, Title IX Coordinator for the University and Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, gave an update on the new sexual assault policy at the Senate plenary on October 24. Photograph by Jessica Raimi.

Gender-based misconduct
and sexual assault:
Some background documents

The new Gender-based Misconduct Policy for Students was announced on August 15. On September 23, the university released a report providing aggregate data on sexual assault at Columbia (Gender-based Misconduct Prevention and Response Report).

The University Senate held a town hall on gender-based misconduct and sexual assault on April 16 (transcript here), following a town hall organized by undergraduate students and deans on March 13. Here are some background documents on the issue. 

Revisiting the Rules
of University Conduct:
A Series of University Senate Town Halls

The third town hall to discuss the review of the Rules of University Conduct governing political rallies and demonstrations will be held Monday, November 10, 2014, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Morningside Campus, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 103. Panelists will include:

Zila Acosta, Student Senator and Co-Chair, Student Affairs Committee; Columbia Law School

Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin, Dean of Students, Lecturer in Law, Columbia Law School

Gillian E. Metzger, Stanley H. Fuld Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Jared Odessky, Student Senator, Columbia College

Christopher Riano, Co-Chair, Rules Committee; Attorney-at-Law; Lecturer in Law, Columbia University

A transcript of the October 17 town hall on the Morningside campus is available here. The transcript of the October 22 town hall at the Columbia University Medical Center will be available soon.

The Committee on Rules of University Conduct (Rules Committee) has jurisdiction to review and revise Columbia’s rules governing political rallies and demonstrations, as well as their enforcement. The Rules set boundaries for the exercise of free speech and free expression on campus, to provide maximum freedom consistent with the rights of all members of our community.

For the first time in many years, the Rules Committee has engaged with the Rules as currently written to determine whether they are fulfilling their original purpose while protecting the due process rights of those charged with violating them. You will find the Rules here.

All members of the Columbia community are welcome; CUID required. Registration is encouraged but not required. Space is limited; admission is first come, first seated. For information, write to or call 212-854-2023.

Online handbook for creating and modifying educational programs

University policies adopted by the
Senate in recent years

Honors and prizes nomination form
Use this form to nominate candidates for Columbia University honorary degrees and the University Medal for Excellence.


The next plenary meeting will be Thursday, November 20, 1:15 p.m., 103 Jerome Greene Hall (the Law School).

Anyone with CUID is welcome.



All at 1:15 p.m. Some locations to be announced.

Tuesday, September 30

Friday, October 24

Thursday, November 20
103 Jerome Green Hall

Thursday, December 11
1501 International Affairs Building

Friday, February 6

Friday, February 27

Thursday, April 2

Friday, May 1

Click on past plenary dates to see agendas.

Agendas of past Senate meetings with links to documents.


Orientation materials are available here.