Constitution, purpose and office of the Agency
§ 1. The Holy See’s Agency for the Evaluation and Promotion of Quality in Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties (AVEPRO), erected by the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI with a chirograph dated 19 September 2007, is an Institution linked to the Holy See, in accordance with arts. 186, 190 and 191 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus1 .
§ 2. The Agency seeks to promote the quality of research and teaching and evaluates the attainment of appropriate international standards by the Catholic Church’s academic Institutions, as previously desired by the Second Vatican Council2 .
§ 3. The Agency conducts its activities in relation to the Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties that, having been erected or approved by the Congregation for Catholic Education, have the power to confer academic degrees under the authority of the Holy See3 . The Agency can also deal with non-ecclesiastical Institutions of higher education in accordance with art. 4 § 2 of this Statute.
§ 4. The Agency is endowed with a canonical public juridical personality and Vatican civil juridical personality.
§ 5. The Agency has its registered office in the Vatican City State.
1 Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, arts. 186 and 190 in AAS 80 (1988), 910-911.
Autonomy of the Agency
While complying with the canonical provisions in force and the international agreements on the subject of higher education to which the Holy See is a party, the Agency enjoys autonomy in its performance of the activities provided for in this Statute. To this end it develops, updates and implements appropriate measures and procedures for the attainment of institutional goals.
Quality of ecclesiastical academic Institutions
§ 1. The quality of ecclesiastical academic Institutions in the field of higher education and research is understood as these Institutions’ effective ability to meet the following aims:
1° to cultivate and promote the subjects they study and teach, through scientific research and didactic activity, and to deepen understanding of the Revelation of Christ and of matters connected with it4 ;
2° to provide appropriate training for the teaching of the sacred sciences and related sciences, as well as for the duties and activities of the Church5 ;
3° to actively help both particular Churches and the universal Church in the work of evangelization, in accordance with their own nature and in close communion with the Hierarchy6 .
§ 2. Quality is promoted and verified through the evaluation of the results achieved, both from the point of view of science, training and education, and from that of resources and facilities.
4 Cf. Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, art. 3 § l in AAS 71 (1979), 478.
5 Cf. ib. Proemio III in AAS 71 (1979), 472.
6 Cf. ib. Art. 3 § 3 in AAS 71 (1979), 478.
Scope of the Agency’s work
§ 1. The Agency operates in an international dimension and is structured taking this into account, in accordance with the universal vocation of the Church.
§ 2. For any specific exigencies the Agency, with the consent of the Congregation for Catholic Education, can implement forms of cooperation with other Institutions in order to respond to the demands of different countries or geographical areas. In such cases the Institutions must gain the approval of the Episcopal Conference they belong to.
§ 3. The Agency conducts its activities in compliance with the international conventions, agreements and initiatives that the Holy See adheres to.
The Agency’s activities
The Agency carries out the following specific activities, within the limits of its competence and capacities and according to requirements of time and place:
1° supports academic Institutions in improving the quality of their research and teaching;
2° together with the academic Institutions involved, it defines, develops and updates procedures for the internal and external evaluation and verification of quality, in compliance with ecclesiastical and civil, juridical and practical requirements at regional, national and international levels;
3°plans the external verification of quality in individual academic Institutions and carries out said verification through the visits of experts, who prepare final reports following guidelines issued by the Agency itself;
4°publishes the final reports, under its own authority and in compliance with Art. 12 § 1, which suggest and recommend actions to improve the Institutions evaluated;
5°favours the dissemination of information in academic fields;
6°selects and prepares experts for the external evaluation visits;
7° proposes appropriate instruments for the promotion of quality.
Organs and staff of the Agency
§ 1. The following are Organs of the Agency:
1° the President;
2° the Board of Directors;
3° the Scientific Council.
§ 2. The Director and staff are also part of the Agency.
§ 3. The Agency uses the services of experts.
§ 1. The President is appointed by the Supreme Pontiff for a five-year term. Each appointment is renewable only once.
§ 2. The President manages and represents the Agency and chairs the Board of Directors and Scientific Council.
Board of Directors
§ 1. Members of the Board of Directors are distinguished by their wealth of knowledge and circumspection and have qualifications and experience in both academic fields and in the specific field of quality promotion. They should also reflect, as much as possible, the various competences as well as the diversity, including geographical diversity, of the Church.
§ 2. The Board of Directors has the following purposes:
1° assists the President in managing the Agency;
2° approves the Agency’s general approaches;
3° supervises the Agency’s activities, verifying the results.
§ 3. The Board of Directors is composed of a maximum of ten members. This includes ex officio members and members appointed for a five-year term by the Supreme Pontiff, following proposals from the President of the Agency. Each appointment can be renewed only once. The ex officio members are: the President of the Agency, the Director in the role of actuary, a representative of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and a student representative appointed by the President of the Agency for a one-year term.
§ 4. The Board of Directors normally meets once a year, when convened by the President. It can also be consulted on other occasions, according to needs and at the discretion of the President, even via means of distance communication.
§ 5. Observers can participate in the meetings of the Board of Directors, at the invitation of the President of the Agency.
§ 6. The decisions of the Board of Directors are valid if the majority of members are present and if the absolute majority of those present give their approval. In the case of an equal number of votes, the matter is decided by the President of the Agency.
§ 1. Members of the Scientific Council are distinguished by their wealth of knowledge, circumspection and academic experience, with specific reference to the field of quality promotion. They are chosen, as far as possible, to reflect the various components and the geographical extension of the Church.
§ 2. The Scientific Council has the following purposes:
1° assists the President of the Agency in the preparation of instruments of use in conducting the Agency’s activities;
2° provides suggestions and reasoned opinions on the procedures used or to be used to evaluate quality;
3° cooperates in the selection and training of the experts appointed to conduct the evaluations;
4° can also, if requested by the President of the Agency, express reasoned opinions regarding the individual evaluations conducted or to be conducted, or on any other matter.
§ 3. The Scientific Council is composed of a maximum of twenty members, appointed for a five-year term by the Supreme Pontiff, following proposals from the President of the Agency and consultation with the Board of Directors. Each appointment can be renewed only once.
§ 4. The Scientific Council meets when necessary, or at least once every two years, when convened by the President.
§ 5. The following people are invited to the meetings of the Scientific Council:
1° the Director of the Agency in the role of actuary;
2° at least one student representative.
The President of the Agency can also invite other people with particular expertise and has the right to consult individual members and experts also via means of distance communication.
The Director and staff of the Agency
§ 1. The Director is appointed by the President of the Agency with the authorization of the Secretariat of State, which consults the Secretariat for the Economy.
§ 2. The Director, in accordance with the orders and instructions of the President:
1° coordinates the work of the offices and staff in the implementation of the Agency’s programmes and execution of its tasks;
2° is in charge of both management and accounting aspects of the Agency’s administration.
§ 3. The staff of the Agency is recruited by the President of the Agency from clerics, religious or lay candidates distinguished by virtue, circumspection and appropriate experience, as well as by their knowledge, the latter confirmed by the possession of qualifications specified by the Mansionario Generale of the Roman Curia. The authorization of the Secretariat of State, which consults the Secretariat for the Economy, is necessary for the purpose of such appointments.
§ 1. The Experts for the external evaluation of academic Institutions are appointed for a five-year term by the President of the Agency, following consultation with the Congregation for Catholic Education, on the strength of their scientific competence as well as their academic and ecclesial experience.
§ 2. The names of Experts are entered into a list from which they are selected for individual evaluations. This list must comprise a sufficient number of persons to carry out all planned evaluations in a reasonable period of time and in the main languages.
§ 3. The Agency decides on the composition of the Teams of Experts for individual evaluations.
Reports and diffusion of the Agency’s work
§ 1. Before publishing the final reports on the external evaluation of quality, as provided for under art. 5 § 4 of this Statute, the Agency can receive reasoned observations concerning the reports from the academic Institutions evaluated.
§ 2. By the thirty-first of March each year, the Agency presents a summary of its activities to the Congregation for Catholic Education and to the Secretariat of State.
§ 3. The Agency prepares a self-evaluation report in compliance with the requirements established by the Registers and by the international associations it refers to. This self-evaluation report is also to be sent to the Congregation for Catholic Education.
Accounts, budget and management
§ 1. Expenses for the ordinary administration of the Agency, regarding staff, the office and premises, are charged to the competent Administration.
§ 2. Expenses related to the external evaluation of the quality of academic Institutions are, as a rule, paid by the individual Institutions involved.
§ 3. The President of the Agency, having consulted the Director, presents a budget proposal to the Secretariat for the Economy each year, as established by the regulations in force.
§ 4. The President of the Agency receives a final balance from the Secretariat for the Economy each year.
The Agency will endow itself with its own Regulations concerning ordinary activities, in compliance with the general regulations of the Roman Curia.
Approval and publication
This Statute is approved for a five-year term and will be published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis.