Academic Affairs Manual (ACD)

[horizontal rule]

Effective: 12/1/1948

Revised: 7/1/2011

[horizontal rule]
[ASU logo]

ACD 102: Academic Administration

[horizontal rule]


[horizontal rule]

To describe the academic organization of the university

[horizontal rule]


[horizontal rule]

Arizona Revised Statutes § 15–1601
Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6–101, 6–103
Office of the Provost of the University

[horizontal rule]


[horizontal rule]

Arizona Board of Regents

The Arizona Board of Regents is entrusted by the people of the State of Arizona with the responsibility for developing a system of higher education that provides an opportunity for education to all persons, explores and expands the frontiers of knowledge, and serves to improve the quality of life for the people of the state. In pursuit of these responsibilities, the board endeavors to develop and maintain an excellent educational system marked by sound academic programs, distinguished faculty and academic professionals, institutional diversity, fully equipped facilities, and an open and stimulating environment for learning, teaching, research, and service to the public.

It is the policy of the board to make this system of education available to all qualified persons in Arizona, to provide equal employment opportunity and due process for its employees, to promote freedom of inquiry, search, and exposition of truth, and to involve the faculty in the formulation of educational policy and the governance of the universities.

The board recognizes that Arizona universities have long adhered to an honorable tradition of academic freedom in teaching, research, and service and reaffirms that faculty participation and consultation in matters of academic policy is a valuable tradition that must be preserved. The faculty and academic professionals of the university have a correlative duty to share in the responsibilities and obligations of governance and administration.

In support of the university’s central function as an institution of higher learning, a major responsibility of the board is to protect and encourage the faculty and academic professionals in their teaching, learning, research, and public service. The authority to discipline faculty members and academic professionals in appropriate cases derives from the recognition shared by the faculty, the academic professionals, and the board that the purpose of discipline is to preserve conditions hospitable to these pursuits.

The board is charged by law to exercise control and supervision of ASU and its property. Any authority delegated by the board shall always be subject to the ultimate authority of the board. The board retains the right to periodic review and modification of all aspects of governance of the university, and the right to enact such rules, regulations, policies, and orders as it deems proper.

ASU is governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The board selects and appoints the president of the university, who is the chief executive officer of the institution. The president is aided in the administration of the institution by provost, vice presidents, deans, faculty, directors, department chairs, and other officers.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University (ASU) is governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. ASU is a multiple campus university. Courses are also offered online and at other sites to advance the mission of the university. The academic organization of the university is composed of academic units within colleges reporting to the provost of the university; the administrative organization is composed of administrative units within vice presidential areas. For the history and mission of the university, see the university’s Web site at


General Responsibilities

The president of the university is the chief executive officer of the university. The president shall be responsible for the execution of measures enacted by the Board of Regents regarding the administration of the university, and for the execution of all measures adopted by the faculty or councils of the university, provided such measures by the faculty or councils are approved by the president. The president shall be, ex officio, a member of the university faculty, the University Senate, and faculty committees of schools and colleges, including divisional councils. The president shall also be the official representative of the university to the Board of Regents.

The president also makes such reports and recommendations to the board as are appropriate for the operation and improvement of the university. The president signs all duly authorized certificates and diplomas, and issues all degrees conferred by the university.

The president exercises control over the grounds, buildings, and other property of the university.

Budget Responsibilities

The president is the chief budget officer of the institution and calls upon the departments and offices of the university annually for estimates of their financial needs during the ensuing fiscal year. On the basis of these estimates and other available information, a budget is prepared to meet the needs of the university, its colleges, schools, academic divisions, departments, and other offices. After approval of the budget by the Board of Regents, and before July 1, each college, school, division, department, or office is notified of the amount set aside for its use under university policies during the fiscal year. All disbursements shall be made according to rules and procedures authorized by the president, subject to the Board of Regents and requirements of state law.

Appointment Powers

The president appoints and assigns persons to all positions in the university and approves all faculty and staff changes, subject to the policies and practices of the Board of Regents.

With the approval of the Board of Regents, the president may appoint one or more vice presidents who serve at the pleasure of the president. During the temporary absence or incapacity of the president, the provost of the university may perform the duties of the president.

In each college, school, division, or department there is a dean, director, or chair, appointed by the president, who at the pleasure of the president performs such duties as the president assigns.

The president may establish such faculties, boards, and councils (advisory or administrative) as may be necessary for the work of the university. Action taken by all such bodies is subject to the approval of the president and, as appropriate, the Board of Regents.

University Administrative Officers

University administrative officers are appointed by the president and serve at the pleasure of the president. Appointments to all faculty and academic professional administrative positions are made on an annual basis and may be full- or part-time.

University administrative officers do not accrue time toward tenure or continuing appointment in an administrative position; however, if they concurrently hold a tenure-eligible faculty or continuing track academic professional appointment, they may accrue time toward tenure or continuing appointment in the faculty or academic professional position.

University General Counsel

University general counsel provides a full range of legal services, including advising, advocating, and litigating on behalf of ASU. Counsel reports directly to the president. Faculty members and academic professionals having concerns about legal matters that may affect the university should bring those concerns to their academic unit chairs/directors rather than to university general counsel. If unit chairs/directors are unable to resolve the difficulties, they may contact the Office of General Counsel with appropriate concurrent notice to their dean.

Academic Deans

Each college has a dean who performs such duties as the president and the provost of the university may assign. The dean is the executive academic officer of the college. Responsibilities of the dean include:

  1. presiding over meetings of the faculty and/or academic professionals of the college
  2. presenting policies for consideration by the faculty and/or academic professionals
  3. approving and recommending all budgets submitted from the college
  4. supervising the registration, progress, and educational well-being of students in the college
  5. efficiently executing all university and Board of Regents policies, so far as they affect the college


  6. recommending to the provost of the university, after consultation with the faculty, the nomination of division heads, and academic unit chairs/directors.

Administrative Deans

Dean of Barrett: The Honors College

The dean of the Barrett Honors College has primary responsibility for administering the Honors College, for admitting students through the college, and for monitoring their progress through the college. The dean of the college is responsible for the development and integrity of the honors curricula throughout the university and serves as chair of the University Honors Council, which recommends policy on honors education for the dean’s consideration. All matters pertaining to the initiation, development, and evaluation of programs offered through the college are responsibilities of the dean’s office.

Dean of ASU Online

The dean of ASU Online has primary responsibility for coordinating and administering extended education programs. He or she is responsible for developing and implementing a plan to bring high quality education to nontraditional students. This dean serves in a leadership role with the other deans and off-campus constituents in executing a centralized system, which includes revenue sharing between extended education and the colleges. Components of ASU Online include but are not limited to Internet-based degree programs, non-credit courses, and the American English and Culture Program.

Academic Unit Chairs/Directors/Heads

In each academic unit, the chair/director is responsible for the efficient execution of university policies and for overall leadership of the academic unit. The chair/director seeks to share with other members of the faculty, academic professionals, and staff, through discussion and other democratic procedures, the responsibility for academic unit activities. The chair/director represents the academic unit in its official business with other university personnel, with students, and with the public.

Leadership duties of the chair/director may include:

  1. long-range planning for development of degrees and course work in a field of study
  2. encouragement of excellence in each academic unit faculty, academic professional and staff member
  3. maintenance of a productive and collegial atmosphere
  4. budget preparation
  5. budget administration, including limitation of expenditures to budget constraints
  6. management of day-to-day operations


  7. supervision of:
    1. planning and coordination of program offerings, research, and public service
    2. assignment of faculty and/or academic professional workloads
    3. planning of library and laboratory facilities and
    4. recruitment and recommendation of persons to fill vacant and new positions.

Center Directors

In each center, the director is responsible for the efficient execution of university policies and for overall leadership of the center. The center director seeks to share with members of the faculty, academic professionals and staff attached to the center, through discussion and other democratic procedures, the responsibility for center activities. The director represents the center in its official business with other university personnel, students, and with the public.

Leadership duties of the center director may include:

  1. encouragement of excellence in research and/or public service
  2. development of and consultation with an advisory board where such an advisory board is deemed appropriate to the center’s mission
  3. budget preparation
  4. preparation of all documentation for the Office of the Provost of the University sunset reviews


  5. management of day-to-day operations.

skip navigation bar

ACD manual | ASU policies and procedures manuals | Index of Policies by Title | ACD manual contact | Provost’s Office Web site


Back to Top

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional