Universities are democratic institutions with many different committees and opportunities for participation. Perhaps you have already been dissatisfied with processes at the university, but had the feeling that you could not change them on your own anyway. Or the whole terminology seemed too overwhelming and intransparent to you. So that this is no longer the case, we would like to give you a brief overview below.
Basically, the university policy is divided into two separate levels: The academic self-administration and the student self-administration.
In the academic self-administration all decisions concerning the whole university are made. Representatives of the four status groups sit on the committees: Professors, academic staff, students and staff from technology and administration. The following is an overview of the committees of our faculty.
The Student Council is the elected representation of students' interests at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Among other things, our work consists of advocating for student interests in faculty committees and informing students about current events. In addition, the Student Council is your contact for problems with members of the faculty or university, e.g. problems with teachers. You can contact us at any time by mail or just drop by our office hours (currently via Zoom). You can find more detailed information about our tasks in our self-conception.
The highest decision-making body of the faculty is the Faculty Council. Various faculty commissions belong to it. In the Faculty Council, for example, the guidelines of the faculty are drawn up, examination regulations are determined and the teaching plan is coordinated. You are represented there by the Student Council, which also runs as a list for the Faculty Council elections every year.
Discussion of the individual sections with mostly all staff members and the representatives of the student council. At our faculty we have 5 sections: Methods, Social Psychology, Sociology, Political Science and Social Economics.
The Faculty Commission on Teaching (FKL) is an advisory body. Among other things, the teaching planning for the next semester is discussed here.
The Faculty Committee on Structure, Planning and Finance (FKS) is an advisory body and discusses financial planning and general planning for the faculty.
This commission allocates the quality improvement funds of the faculty, and assigns these funds to different projects that improve the quality of teaching or university. Due to the student majority (also on faculty level?) they chair the commission.
An appointment commission is formed when a professorship becomes vacant and needs to be filled. It is usually chaired by a person from the section in which the professorship is vacant. Over the course of several meetings, the commission discusses the applicants and, at the end, draws up an appointment list.
Administration of the faculty library. This includes setting hours, discussing new acquisitions, and managing literature.
The organization and coordination of student course evaluations is assigned to the Evaluation Commission. Student surveys serve to ensure and improve, the quality and efficiency of both individual courses and the entire range of courses offered by an academic institution. They primarily pursue the goal of providing the individual instructor with constructive feedback regarding the teaching and learning success associated with his or her course from the perspective of the students participating in that course.
This body has a student majority. In case of changes to the examination regulations, the advisory board must agree, otherwise the faculty council needs a 2/3 majority to change the regulations instead of a simple majority.
All topics relevant to examinations are discussed and decided here, including plagiarism and changes to the examination regulations. The student council represents the student body with two representatives.
The doctoral committee decides on all questions concerning compliance with the doctoral regulations; it shall delegate the handling of current business to its chairperson. It is an appeal instance in the sense of the Administrative Court Regulations.
Its tasks include the decision on acceptance as a doctoral candidate, the appointment of the rapporteur for the dissertation, the decision on admission to the doctoral procedure, in the event of failure, the setting of a deadline for the re-examination and the decision on discontinuation and termination of the doctoral procedure.