The Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo —or Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (also known as UASD)) is a public university in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Founded during the reign of Charles I of Spain, it is the oldest institution of higher education in the western hemisphere.
Originally a seminary operated by Catholic monks of the Dominican Order, the institution was reorganized as a university by a papal bull (In Apostulatus Culmine dated 28 October 1538 by Pope Paul III), however it was not officially recognized by Royal Decree until 1558. It was then called Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino (University of Saint Thomas Aquinas).
In structure, the school followed the model of the University of Alcalá de Henares. The university organized its offerings into four departments: Medicine, Law, Theology, and the Arts. Today, the University has expanded to eight departments: Humanities, the Arts, Law and Political Science, Health Sciences, Economics and Social Sciences, Science, Engineering and Architecture, and Agricultural Sciences.
Aula Magna at night, Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD)
On December 31, 1961 Law No. 5778 was enacted, giving autonomy to the university. Since then, there has been a debate on institutional balance. On February 17 of the following year, the school chose its first administration under the new system.
The Autonomous University of Santo Domingo was created by means of the papal bulla In Apostolatus St Thomas Aquinas Culminates with the name of University, on October 28, 1538. The Pope Paul III established with this bulla the one that would be later, the most ancient university of America.
The university of Santo Domingo forms(trains) together with the first cathedral, the first hospital and the first office of customs; the set of institutions given priority of America installed in the city of Santo Domingo de Guzman.
The university stopped being a Studium Generate, that was handled by the congregation of the Dominicans, to turn into the center of the education into the new world. By means of previously mentioned bulla, asiende this General Study, which the Dominicans were directing from the year 1518, to the category of University. 
The nascent university takes like I shape the University of Alcala of Mowing meadows, and as such he was a standard-bearer of the renascent ideas that were arising from the medieval world, of the one that was emerging the Spain of the days of the conquest.
It is said that the Jesuits planned to hide the General Sanction of the Council of the Indies to get hold of the monopoly in the grant of degrees vaticanos, fundamental characteristic of a university. This, to the detriment of the University of Santo Domingo, established by the faction of the Church of the Convent Dominican.
Nevertheless, and even in case of the General Sanction does not exist in 1538 (even if yes it(he,she) existed, only that alone there was made official 28 years later by a committee reviser, common of ancient documents in a historical context in which the historical annals were late decades in putting a day. In those days there did not exist a written definite law that will re-want a viceregal stamp to be able to put in execution a papal bulla.  Evidently the University of Santo Domingo was granting academic degrees from much before that 1551, which categorizes her as "university", in the modern sense of the term(end), much before that the universities in Mexico or Peru.
The following bodies are charged with governing the University:
The Superior Cloister (El Claustro Mayor)
The Minor Cloister (El Claustro Menor)
The Universitary Council (El Consejo Universitario)
The Assembly of Colleges (Las Asambleas de Facultades)
The Technical Departmental Councils (Los Consejos Técnicos de Facultades)*
University bodies' resolutions are to be executed by:
The Rector when dictated by the Cloisters and the Council.
The departmental deans when dictated by the Assemblies and the Technical Councils.
The students are represented in all ruling bodies, comprising 33% of the members on each body.
The Cloister is the highest level of authority of the University and is divided into Superior and Minor branches. The Superior Cloister includes by all professors in active duty, researchers, emeritus professors (active and retired), students' delegates (5% of the total members of Cloister), and Administrative Personnel (2% of the total members of Cloister).*
(According to the University's Organic Statements; Art. Nos. 21 and 22)
The Law and Political Science Faculty is formed of the Schools of Law and Political Science.
The Law and Political Science Faculty award the titles of Licentiate in Law and Licentiate in Political Science; the latter has three majors: Internationals Studies, Socioeconomics Studies and Internationals Relationship. The Criminology Institute is a part of the Faculty.
The authorities for the period 2005-2008 are:
Dean: Dr. Santo Inocencio Mercedes
Deputy Dean: Dr. Antonio Medina
Director of Law School: Dr. Samuel Moquete
Director of Political Science School: Dr. Freddy Angel Castro
Director of Postgraduate Education: Dr. Rosalia Sosa
By Law 4412 of 24 March 1956 the University Organization Law of 21 October 1937 was modified, adding the Economics and Commerce Faculty to the existing faculties. The new faculty would award the degrees of Licentiate in Commercial Science and Doctor in Economics and Commercial Science.
At the same time, Law 4413 decreed that the four courses "of the second cycle of the Superior School of Accountant Technician, established by the decree 2383... were assigned to the Economics and Commerce Faculty of the Santo Domingo University from 12 October 1956, under the name of Commercial Science Department".
The Law 4439 dated 4 May 1956 changed the name of the Economics and Commerce Faculty to the new name of Economics, Finance and Commerce Faculty. This same law authorized to the graduates of the Superior School of Accountant Technician, with the title of Accountant Technician “provides them with licence to practice the profession of Authorized Public Accountant and carry the title in Commercial Science and allows them to opt for the Doctorate in Commercial Science by the presentation of a thesis, following the regulation dictated by the University Council”.
In 1950, Law 5130 changed the Economics, Finance and Commerce Faculty to the Economic Science Faculty and included the Public Administration School. The Organic statute approved by the University Cloister in 1966, gave the faculty with its current name of the Economics and Social Sciences Faculty.
Currently, the Economics and Social Sciences Faculty is formed of the Economics, Accountant, Statistic, Sociology, Marketing and Administration schools.
The authorities for the period 2008-2011 are:
Dean: Prof. Juan Antonio Cerda Luna
Deputy Dean: Prof. Ramón Desangles
Director of Economics School: Prof. Melvin Pérez Sarraf
Director of Administration School: Prof. Alixis Martínez
Director of Marketing School: Prof. José Antonio Burgos
Director of Accountant School: Prof. Norberto Hernández
Director of Statistic School: Prof. Francisco Roa Familia
Director of Sociology School: Prof. Marisela Duval Pérez