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Provost’s Councils


The Council of Deans serves as a forum for communication and discussion among the Provost and the deans on a broad array of issues, including strategic planning, budget parameters, academic policies and procedures, interdisciplinary and cross-school efforts, faculty recruitment and retention, faculty gender and minority equity, campus planning, safety and security, and fundraising.

The Council meets every other week. Its members include the Provost; the Vice Provosts for Education, Faculty, Global Initiatives, and Research; and the twelve deans.

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The Council of Undergraduate Deans consists of the Vice Provost for Education, who chairs the Council; the four undergraduate deans; the Vice Provost for University Life; the Dean of Admissions; the Faculty Director of College Houses and Academic Services; the Vice President for Institutional Research and Analysis; and the Chair of SCUE (the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education). Others are invited to meetings as appropriate. The Council discusses issues of mutual concern to the four schools and establishes unified policies. In the past, it has been concerned with such issues as undergraduate recruitment and retention, grading, financial aid, the development of the university’s College House system and the structure of New Student Orientation.


The Council of Graduate Deans is an advisory body to the Provost and Vice Provost for Education. The Council consists of the Vice Provost for Education, who chairs the Council, and the Graduate Deans of the nine schools that offer Ph.D. and research masters degrees. The Graduate Deans provide advice on administrative matters affecting the larger University graduate student community, such as recruitment and retention.


The Council of Professional Master’s Degree Deans is an advisory body to the Provost chaired by the Vice Provost for Education. Each School that offers a professional Master’s degree program has a representative who is appointed by the school deans and are expected to be the Associate/Deputy/Vice Dean of the school that oversees the degree program(s). The Council advises the Provost on issues and policies affecting professional programs and students that are cross-school or university-wide in scope.


The Graduate Council of the Faculties is an advisory body to the Provost. The Council is chaired by the Vice Provost for Education, and its members are elected by the School faculties according to their by-laws, with the following representation: seven members from the School of Arts and Sciences, two members from Biomedical Graduate Studies, and one member from each of the Annenberg School for Communication, School of Design, Graduate School of Education, School of Nursing, School of Social Policy and Practice, School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Wharton School. In addition, three Ph.D. candidates serve on the council, selected by the Vice Provost for Education on the recommendation of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly.

The Graduate Council assists in the evaluation of graduate programs by participating in or conducing periodic reviews; advises on policy matters related to the well-being of graduate education; advises concerning University-wide admissions and degree requirements for the PhD, AM, and MS degrees; and certifies for the Trustees the candidates for the award of those degrees.


The Provost’s Staff Conference is an advisory body to the Provost that meets to consider proposals for academic appointments and promotions. These start at the departmental level and, if approved, are then sent for review by the school’s faculty personnel committee and dean. Cases approved at this level are then considered by the Provost’s Staff Conference. Each case is documented with a curriculum vitae, bibliography, evidence of teaching, and letters of evaluation, including those of external reviewers. Approved appointments and promotions are forwarded to the President for consideration and then to the Trustees for approval.

The Provost’s Staff Conference is composed of the Provost, as chair; the Deputy Provost; the Vice Provosts for Education, Faculty, Global Initiatives, and Research; the deans of the School of Arts and Sciences, Wharton School, School of Engineering & Applied Science, and Perelman School of Medicine; and the deans of four additional Schools (which rotate).