Titre I - IDENTITY, PURPOSES AND COOPERATION SERVICES
Art 1 – IDENTITY
The International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) is an association of Catholic universities and Catholic institutions of higher education. Founded in 1924, it was approved by the Holy See in 1949 and recognised as an International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO) by the system of United Nations in 1952. The Federation relates to the Holy See, especially through the Congregation for Catholic Education.
Article 2 – MISSION AND PURPOSES
The mission of the Federation is to contribute to the progress of knowledge and its applications and to the development of a more just and human world in the light of reason and faith through the ferment of the Gospel. Its purposes are:
1. to promote collective reflection on their mission amongst the membership;
2. to set up networks of knowledge and know-how to foster effective collaboration between its membership;
3. to represent the membership at the international organisations and associations and to collaborate with them in line with its institutional priorities;
4. to contribute to the development of Catholic higher education and its Catholic identity, based on the criteria of quality, continuity and autonomy.
Article 3 - COOPERATION SERVICES
Inspired by a Three-year Strategic Plan, the Federation’s activities are carried out according to three main strands of cooperation, all based on a strategy of networking related to fields of interests, knowledge and spheres of competence: Regional Associations, Sectorial Groups and the programs/projects of the Center for Coordination of Research.
1. the Regional Associations are composed of Catholic universities and institutions of higher education within a particular geographical region, wishing to carry out joint reflection on the major priorities of their milieus and to consolidate their presence in that region;
2. the Sectorial Groups are composed of scholars belonging to the same disciplinary field and they aim to share their specific interests through meetings, seminars, themes of research, publications and exchanges of professors;
3. the programs/projects of Center for Coordination of Research, which bring together teams of researchers from different academic institutions on thematic projects. The Center coordinates activities in the true spirit of interdisciplinary and concerted scientific research.
Article 4 – As an integral part of IFCU, the Regional Associations, the Sectorial Groups and the programs/projects of the Center for Coordination of Research embody the Federation’s mission and work in harmony with its orientations as formulated by the Board of Administration.
Article 5 – LEGAL HEADQUARTERS
The legal domicile of the Federation is the Vatican City. The administrative work is carried out at 21, rue d’Assas, 75270 Paris, Cedex 06, France. The site of the administration is determined by the Executive Board after consultation with the members of the Board of Administration.
TITLE II – MEMBERSHIP
Article 6 - The institutional membership of the Federation is composed of Catholic universities and Catholic institutions of higher education which can be under two categories: members and associates.
Article 7 - GENERAL CRITERIA FOR MEMBERSHIP
The following conditions must be fulfilled for the admission as member of any candidate university or institution of higher education:
1. to have an academic and scientific work of quality and sufficient material and logistic means to carry it out;
2. to have a Christian inspiration, not only individual, but also of the community as well;
3. to reflect on the benefits of human and scientific knowledge in the light of Christian faith;
4. to be faithful to the Christian message as passed on by the Church;
5. to have an institutional commitment to the service of Christian thought and education;
6. to be established in accordance with existing civil and ecclesiastical laws;
7. to award official degrees;
8. to be recommended by two member universities or institutions: whenever possible, one recommendation comes from within the candidate’s country and one located in another country;
9. to have at least three schools or equivalent divisions at the university level;
10. to have been in existence as a university for five years.
Article 8 – ASSOCIATE UNIVERSITIES AND INSTITUTIONS
Every university or institution of higher education wishing to become an associate must fulfil the general criteria stipulated in Art. 7, 1-8 included; it must also comply with one or two of the following characteristics:
1. to have less than three faculties or equivalent divisions of university level;
2. to have less than five years of existence.
Article 9- RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES
1. member and associate universities or institutions of higher education have the right to participate in the Federation’s activities and services as well as in its consultation, and to request mutual assistance;
2. members and associates undertake to pursue the Federation’s mission and purposes, observe the Statutes and pay the membership dues set by the General Assembly.
3. it is the task of the members and associates to make recommendations to the Board of Administration regarding the place, time and theme of the next General Assembly.
Article 10 – SUSPENSION AND EXCLUSION FROM MEMBERSHIP
1. the rights of members and associates are suspended by a decision of the Board of Administration if the criteria for admission no longer fulfilled and/or the dues have not been paid for three consecutive years without just motive;
2. in the event of suspension, it is the responsibility of the Board of Administration to decide, if any request for readmission is made, whether or not a new file should be presented;
3. members and associates can submit their resignation from the Federation with prior notice of three months. This resignation takes effect after its acceptance by the Board of Administration. Dues must be paid pro rata temporis up until the moment that the resignation is accepted by the Board.
TITLE III – GOVERNING BODIES
Article 11 – THE FEDERATION IS GOVERNED BY:
1. the General Assembly;
2. the Board of Administration;
3. the Executive Board.
The General Assembly
(Art. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
Article 12 - The General Assembly is composed of delegates from member and associate universities or institutions of higher education.
Article 13 - It meets every three years. However, in special circumstances, the meeting can be advanced or postponed by decision of the General Assembly.
Article 14 - It is the task of the General Assembly, as the highest authority in the Federation:
1. to elect the members of the Executive Board of the Federation, with the exception of the Secretary-General, who is appointed by the Board of Administration on the proposal of the President;
2. to ratify the election or the appointment made, according to the modalities laid down in Article 20, of the other members of the Board of Administration;
3. to decide on the dues to be paid and determine the limits within which the Board of Administration can modify the scale of fees;
4. to amend the Statutes. In this case, proposed amendments must be submitted to each member and associate university or institution of higher education at least three months before the opening date of the General Assembly;
5. to deliberate on all matters which pertain to the mission, purposes and activities of the Federation.
Article 15 - During the period between General Assemblies, the proposals made in accordance with the preceding Articles (9.3 and 13) may be modified according to Article 16.8.
Article 16 – In addition to those set forth below, the rules governing procedure in the General Assemblies are determined by the General Assembly itself:
1. each member has two votes;
2. each associate has one vote;
3. a majority vote is required for every election;
4. two-thirds of the votes cast are required for amendments to the Statutes. This number of votes must be equal to at least half of all possible votes in the Federation;
5. voting for every election must be by secret ballot;
6. a secret ballot may also be requested in other matters by the delegates participating in the General Assembly. Such a request becomes binding if it obtains one-third of the votes;
7. voting by proxy is permitted on behalf of only one other member or associate;
8. the provisions mentioned above in 1) and 2) also apply to any formal votes carried out among the membership in between General Assemblies. However, such votes are only valid if a majority of all possible votes in the Federation are cast.
The Board of Administration
(Art. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23)
Article 17 - The Board of Administration is composed of twelve Board members (including the three Vice-Presidents) and of the President and the Secretary General, a total of fourteen members. It meets at least once a year upon notice from the President.
Article 18 - The President must be Rector of a member university or institution of higher education at the time of the election. Two of the three Vice-Presidents must be, at the time of the election, rectors or vice-rectors of a member university or institution. The third Vice-President must be, at the time of the election, rector or vice-rector of a member or associate university or institution. The President and Vice-Presidents come from the various regions of the world.
Article 19 - The Secretary General must be, or have been, a professor at university level.
Article 20 - The Board members must belong to a member or associate university or institution of higher education. Moreover:
1. Seven Board members must be, at the time of the election, rectors or vice-rectors elected by the Regional Associations or, when these do not exist, by all the member or associate universities or institutions of a region;
2. One Board member is chosen by the Board of Administration from among the presidents of the Sectorial Groups and another one from among the directors of programs/projects of the Center for Coordination of Research.
Article 21 - The President has the right to invite special guests to the meetings of the Board of Administration.
Article 22 - The members of the Board of Administration are elected in a personal capacity and hold office until the end of the following General Assembly. They are eligible for re-election once.
Article 23 - It is the task of the Board of Administration:
1. to see that the guidelines are respected and that the directives of the General Assembly are implemented;
2. to appoint the Secretary General at the proposal of the President;
3. to establish and adopt By-laws;
4. to form committees when the need arises, in the framework of the guidelines fixed by the General Assembly, with the obligation to report back to this latter;
5. to approve the Strategic Plan proposed by the President and to oversee its implementation;
6. to be responsible for the organisation of the General Assembly;
7. to admit new members and associates in accordance with the criteria listed in Articles 7 and 8;
8. to approve the financial documents and budgets submitted every year by the Secretary General;
9. to modify the fees within the limits established by the General Assembly;
10. to prepare the amendments to the Statutes which may prove necessary;
11. to deal with all issues that are of importance or of strategic interest to the Federation.
3. The Executive Board
(Art. 24, 25, 26)
Article 24 - The Federation’s Executive Board is composed of the President, the three Vice-Presidents and the Secretary General. It meets at least once a year upon notice from the President.
Article 25 - The task of the Executive Board is:
1. to ensure the efficient functioning and coordination of the different bodies and services of the Federation;
2. to ensure, in particular, the smooth running of the Federation’s Permanent Secretariat and the quality of the services that it offers (See TITLE V).
Article 26 - In the event of a tied vote on a question being deliberated by the Board of Administration or the Executive Board, the President has the deciding vote.
TITLE IV - THE FUNCTIONS
PRESIDENT, VICE-PRESIDENT, SECRETARY GENERAL
Article 27 - It is the function of the President:
1. to propose a Strategic Plan for three years;
2. to convene the meetings of the Board of Administration and the Executive Board;
3. to convene the General Assembly after consultation with the Board of Administration;
4. to direct the work of the General Assembly, the Board of Administration and the Executive Board;
5. to inform the General Assembly of the situation concerning the Federation’s activities since its last meeting;
6. in the event of an emergency in the interval between General Assemblies or meetings of the Board of Administration or of the Executive Board, to make all decisions appropriate in the circumstances;
7. to represent the Federation either personally or by a delegate of his choice;
8. to deal with the Holy See regarding the activities and affairs of the Federation;
9. to invite special participants in the meetings of the Federation deemed as appropriate collaborators.
Article 28 - If the office of President becomes vacant before the end of his term of office or if the President is unable to exercise his functions, the Board of Administration appoints an interim President to complete the mandate.
Article 29 - In addition to their functions as members of the Executive Board and of the Board of Administration, it is also the task of the Vice-Presidents to assume more specific functions:
1. to assist the President in the exercise of his functions;
2. to ensure the quality of the links between the activities of the Regional Associations, the Sectorial Groups, the Center for Coordination and Research and the Board of Administration;
3. to promote, in the various parts of the world, the life and the activity of the Federation.
Article 30 - It is the function of the Secretary General:
1. to assist the President in his functions;
2. to implement the tasks of the Federation with the help of the Permanent Secretariat;
3. to be responsible for the implementation of the priorities and guidelines defined by the Board of Administration;
4. to direct the Permanent Secretariat;
5. to direct the Center for Coordination of Research;
6. to represent legally the Federation in all the activities attached to the afore mentioned Secretariat: the Association governed by the French 1901 Law, the Ex Corde Ecclesiæ Foundation and other organizations as deemed appropriate;
7. to maintain and coordinate the links and activities with funding agencies and International Organizations;
8. to report back to the Board of Administration and the General Assembly on income and expenditure and to propose the budget;
9. to perform all the duties as may be assigned by the President.
Article 31 - If the office of Secretary General becomes vacant before the end of his term or if the Secretary General is unable to exercise his functions, the Board of Administration appoints his replacement, at the proposal of the President.
TITLE V – THE PERMANENT SECRETARIAT
Article 32 - The Executive Committee, after consultation with the members of the Board of Administration, decides on the place where the Permanent Secretariat is established. It can change the location if circumstances so require.
Article 33 - The tasks and the organisation of the Permanent Secretariat and the Center for Coordination of Research are determined in a general way by the General Assembly and, in a more precise manner, by the Board of Administration. The Secretary General is immediately responsible for this. If the need arises, he can be aided in his task by a Deputy Secretary General.
Article 34 – In case of controversy, the French text of the Statutes is the authoritative document.
Initial text adopted in Rome on January 11, 1951:
amended in Tokyo, on August 29, 1965,
amended in Boston, on August 28, 1970,
amended in Porto Alegre, on August 24, 1978,
amended in Louvain‑la‑Neuve, on August 22, 1980,
amended in Toronto, on August 25, 1983,
amended in Santo Domingo, on August 9, 1985,
amended in Jakarta, on August 5, 1988,
amended in Santiago, on October 24, 1997,
amended in Fremantle and Paris, on October 16, 2000,
amended in Bangkok and Paris, October 13, 2006,
amended in São Paulo and Paris, October 15th, 2012,
amended in Beirut and Paris, May 10th, 2015.