Laws and rules

At Williams, we live, work and study within broad rules designed to support a healthy, safe and respectful living-learning community while teaching personal agency and accountability and respecting reasonable rights of privacy. The rules operate at a variety of levels:

The College Charter and its amendments establish the college as a nonprofit entity under Massachusetts law, define its corporate purposes and enumerate its corporate powers.

The College Laws comprise our rules and procedures for internal governance and define the rights and responsibilities of Trustees, officers and committees of the board with respect to the management of the college. It also establishes the system of shared governance with the faculty.

Three parallel handbooks define the rules of conduct and governance that apply to staff, faculty, and students:

Finally, accreditation is a federally-mandated process to ensure that each college or university's education meets acceptable levels of quality. While it is more of a review than a prescriptive set of rules, the resulting studies offer insight on how Williams' practices compare with those of peer schools.