The Senate is enshrined as one of the university’s central bodies in section 36(1) of the Lower Saxony Higher Education Act (Niedersächsisches Hochschulgesetz). Under section 41(4) of that act in conjunction with section 15 of the Statute of TU Clausthal, the Senate as a collegiate body is made up of 13 voting members in the following constellation:
- Seven from the group of university teachers
- Two from the group of staff
- Two from the group of students
- Two from the group of technical and administrative staff
The 13 voting members are elected directly according to their respective groups. The group of university teachers must have one more vote than the other groups put together. In decisions about matters pertaining to the evaluation of teaching, the votes of the members from the group of students count double while the members from the group of technical and administrative staff do not have a vote. Members’ regular term of office is three years for all groups except the students, whose members sit for one year.
The President, Vice-Presidents, Deans, and – on studying and teaching-related matters – the Deans of Studies have an advisory role in the Senate. The President convenes and chairs its meetings.
The procedure for convening and conducting Senate meetings is laid down in the general regulations.
The Senate is responsible for the following remit:
- It adopts the university’s regulations in all cases where neither the Lower Saxony Higher Education Act nor the Statute has delegated the responsibility to the relevant faculty.
- It adopts the Statute and any amendments to it by two-thirds majority vote.
- It adopts the development plan in accordance with the second sentence of section 1(3) and the plan from the advancement of women in cooperation with the President’s Office.
- It takes a position on all fundamental issues of self-government, particularly the establishment, alteration, and dissolution of faculties and the introduction, significant alteration, and cessation of degree programs.
In all matters of university self-government, the President’s Office has to account for its decisions to the Senate. This notably applies to procedures covered by section 17(2), first sentence, of the Lower Saxony Higher Education Act.
The Senate has a comprehensive right to information from the President’s Office. It must be heard before any resolution on the economic plan and informed if any objectives are agreed.