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, although the bylaws allow for as many as 31 members. Sixty-five percent of the trustees currently are Hampshire alumni. 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: