Charter and Polity of the College

A Polity for the College was first suggested in 1940 by St. John’s College President and New Program founder Stringfellow Barr, who requested that the instruction committee, “investigate thoroughly the type of polity that might service the college community best and would be appropriately adapted to and coordinated with the aims of the program.” In November 1943, the faculty elected a committee to draft this Polity, which was completed on January 14, 1945, and ultimately instituted by President Barr on March 3, 1945. In 1949, during the first year of Richard Weigle’s presidency, the faculty elected a second committee to revise the existing Polity. Among the provisions was a mandate for future quinquennial Polity reviews by the faculty and the Board. This Polity revision was approved by the faculty on April 9, 1950, and adopted by the Board of Visitors and Governors on July 8, 1950. Since that time the Polity has remained the college’s principal governing document, overseen by the Board in consultation with the faculty.

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