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New University Policies, Programs Approved by Board of Directors

February 14, 2019 – The university’s board of directors approved university policies on weapons, rank and tenure, changed a department name and approved new medical school programs at its winter meeting this week.

The Policy Prohibiting Firearms, Weapons and Explosives makes clear that firearms, weapons, explosives, imitations, replicas and antiques, are prohibited on all Georgetown University properties and at University-sponsored events.

Clarification of the university’s policy prohibiting weapons became necessary after a federal court decision ruled that certain provisions of the District of Columbia’s law restricting the carrying of concealed handguns in public were struck down as unconstitutional by a federal court.

The District of Columbia laws remain clear that the right to carry handguns does not extend to certain places, including public and private universities and hospitals. The university-wide policy makes clear that firearms, including licensed concealed handguns, continue to be prohibited.

The policy exempts authorized law enforcement and military personnel and allows Georgetown’s Chief of Police to provide exemptions for firearms and weapons that will be used for academic, artistic, or cultural purposes, after being rendered inert and inoperable.

Signs will soon be placed at entrances to campus alerting visitors of the prohibition of weapons for anyone coming onto campus.

Rank and Tenure

The rank and tenure process has been revised so that applications for tenure and/or promotion will be granted by the university president when a case has the support of at least 75 percent of the University Committee on Rank and Tenure and the candidate’s executive vice president (EVP). For these cases, further review by the president will no longer be required, thereby expediting the process.

When an application for tenure and/or promotion receives the president’s review, the candidate will be provided an opportunity to submit a letter addressing any concerns about the case prior to the president’s consideration and decision.

This change replaces the current opportunity for candidates to seek reconsideration of the president’s decision after it has been made. The EVPs will provide additional information to faculty about how these new processes will be implemented for the cases currently under consideration.

Name Changes, New Programs

The board also approved a name change for the Department of Theology, now the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.

Department faculty proposed the name change to better represent the teaching and scholarship conducted within the department.

While the teaching of theology remains a central component of the department’s curriculum, the department now includes a wide range of faculty studying an array of issues related to religion and its role both historically and in contemporary society.

At Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC), the Department of Medicine’s Division of Dermatology, which has grown substantially since its creation, will become the Department of Dermatology.

Also at GUMC, the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology will now offer a Master of Science degree in Bioinformatics. The degree is designed to prepare students with knowledge and expertise in computational tools and techniques for the collection, analysis, management and visualization of biological data.