The Board of Trustees is the governing body of Hampshire College. At present, the board has 26 members, including the student, staff, and faculty trustees; the bylaws allow for as many as 31 members. The board meets at least four times a year, usually on campus.
The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, the national organization for higher education governance and leadership, describes the role of a board of trustees as follows:
Trustees of independent colleges and universities are surrogates of the general public. They are responsible for acting on behalf of their fellow citizens and institutional founders as their individual consciences and best judgment dictate.
A governing board’s fundamental responsibility is to chart the institution’s course and ensure that the institution has the resources it needs to fulfill its mission. The board also has a unique fiduciary role in finance and budgeting, in endowment and investment management, and in preserving and expanding physical resources. In addition, the board ordinarily is called on to participate in fundraising activities.
Specific responsibilities of the board of trustees include:
• Setting and clarifying the institution’s mission and purpose
• Appointing the president, supporting the president, and evaluating the president’s performance
• Supporting the institution’s engagement in sound strategic planning
• Reviewing and ensuring the quality of the institution’s educational and other programs
• Approving faculty appointments, reappointments, and promotions
• Conferring all honors and degrees
• Participating in fundraising
• Preserving academic freedom and institutional independence
• Relating the campus to the outside community and the outside community to the campus
• Assessing its own performance as a board
Did you know?
• Sixty-five percent of the trustees currently serving are alumni.
• Forty-six percent of trustees are women and 19 percent are people of color.
• There are five Hampshire parents serving on the board.
• Twenty-three trustees live throughout the United States and three live internationally.
• At any given time, five elected trustees serve on Hampshire’s Board: a student trustee, a faculty trustee, a staff trustee, and two alumni trustees. In addition, a non-voting student trustee alternate participates in the meetings.