Governing Boards:

The Institute governing board, also known as the trustees, regents, or board of visitors, possesses fundamental legal authority over the university. The authority of the governing board is vested in it by the state wherein the school resides or, particularly in the case of older, private institutions, by legally binding royal or colonial charters. Both public and private governing boards are generally constituted of citizen trustees. In the public case those trustees are often political appointees who serve as a fundamental link between the institution and state and national political structures.
Governing board members at public institutions typically arrive at the trustee table by one of four paths: direct appointment by the governor; ex-officio appointment; gubernatorial appointment subject to approval of the state legislature; and less frequently, election by popular vote. Public university board members represent the citizens of the state and the terms and conditions of their service are often defined by institutional charter or state constitution. Private boards are generally self-perpetuating, with new trustees chosen by the membership of the standing board. While private colleges and universities benefit considerably from public subsidies and support, private boards are not subject to the same degree of external scrutiny or intervention as are public boards.
The formal responsibilities of Institute governing boards are significant even as they are few in number. They include preservation of the university charter; institutional performance evaluations; fundraising; liaison with external agencies and political bodies; budget approval; oversight of campus policies and investment strategies; and, perhaps most important, hiring and evaluating the ongoing performance of the Institute president.

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