Members of the Hampshire College Board of Trustees are bound by a code of conduct as part of their service to the College, and annually provide a signed copy of this document to the secretary of the College as evidence of their willingness to comply with its provisions.
A trustee shall:
1. Become familiar with and committed to the major responsibilities of a governing board: (a) appoint the President; (b) support the President; (c) monitor the President's performance; (d) support the institutional mission; (e) evaluate and approve long-range plans, budgets, appointments, degrees, and major projects; (f) approve the educational program; (g) ensure the long-term viability of the institution; (h) preserve institutional independence; (i) enhance the College's public image; (j) facilitate communication between the community and the campus; (k) consider appeals when the board deems it appropriate; (l) assess one’s own performance; and (m) adhere to the principles of loyalty, fairness, honesty, and utmost good faith in all board business and interactions.
2. Support the institution's fundraising efforts through personal giving in accordance with one's means, both to the annual fund and to major initiatives, and be willing to engage in the solicitation of others.
3. Devote time to learning how the institution functions—its uniqueness, strengths, and needs—and its place in postsecondary education.
4. Carefully prepare for, regularly attend, and actively participate in board meetings and board committees.
5. Accept and abide by the legal and fiscal responsibilities of the board as specified by institutional charter, and by federal and state statutes and regulations.
6. Facilitate appropriate communication between the board, its committees, and the campus, and at the same time maintain the confidential nature of the board's work and avoid acting as a spokesperson for the entire board unless specifically authorized by the board chair to do so.
7. Make judgments always on the basis of what is best for the institution and for the advancement of higher education as a whole, vote according to one's individual convictions, and challenge the judgment of others when necessary; yet to be willing to support the majority decision of the board and work with fellow board members in a spirit of cooperation.
8. Understand the role of the board as a policy-making body, and avoid participation in the administration of policy.
9. Learn and consistently use designated institutional channels when conducting board business (e.g., responding to faculty and student grievances, responding to inquiries concerning the status of a presidential search, etc.).
10. Refrain from actions and involvements that might prove embarrassing to or compromise the College's reputation or standing in the higher education community, and resign if such actions or involvements develop.
11. Comply with the conflict of interest policies and disclosure forms promulgated by the board.
My signature below certifies my understanding of and commitment to this code of conduct.
Rev. February 2010
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