Location:
BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS; EDUCATION - HIGHER;
Scope:
Background;

OLR Research Report


January 19, 2012

 

2012-R-0039

STUDENT AND ALUMNI REPRESENTATION ON BOARDS OF TRUSTEES

By: Terrance Adams, Legislative Analyst II

You asked about student and alumni representation requirements on boards of trustees of state flagship universities. You specifically asked us to review a selection of 25-30 institutions nationwide.

SUMMARY

We reviewed the required representation for 30 boards of trustees, including UConn. Of these 30, seven require alumni representation and 23 require student representation, with 18 having at least one voting student member. (Some boards have both voting and nonvoting student members.)

Please note that this report only considers required representation. In practice, most, if not all, boards have alumni members, and alumni comprise a significant portion of board members.

REQUIRED REPRESENTATION

“Flagship institution” is a term that often refers to a state's first public university. In states with multi-institution systems, the “flagship” is typically the oldest campus in the system. It is possible for a state to have more than one institution that is considered a flagship; in those cases we chose one institution from that state to include in this report.

We reviewed the required representation for 30 boards of trustees, including UConn (see Table 2). Most of these boards are in the eastern U.S., but our selection encompasses all regions of the country. Of the 30 we reviewed, seven require alumni representation and 23 require student representation, with 18 having at least one voting student member. (Some boards have both voting and nonvoting student members.) Additionally, Virginia allows, but does not require, its board to appoint a student member. UConn's 21-member board must have both alumni (six members) and student (two members) representation.

Table 1 shows statistics from these 30 boards. The averages for alumni and student representation apply only to those boards that require it.

Table 1: Statistics for Selected Boards of Trustees

Average Size

17.33

Number Requiring Alumni Representation

7

Average Number of Required Alumni Members

5.86

Number Requiring Student Representation

23

Number Requiring at Least One Voting Student Member

18

Average Number of Student Members

1.57

Process for Becoming a Student Member

Appointment

14

Election

6

Ex-officio

3

This information only represents required alumni membership. In practice, most, if not all, boards have alumni members. For example, a 2010 survey by the Association of Governing Boards found that, on average, alumni comprise half of the board members at public colleges and universities (note that this includes all public college and university boards, not just those of flagship institutions).

Table 2 shows, for each state flagship institution in our selection, (1) its governing body, (2) the number of members, (3) the number of required alumni members, and (4) the number of required student members and the method by which they become part of the board (e.g., appointed, elected, or ex-officio).

The overall board sizes include both voting and nonvoting members. Unless otherwise noted, the student members listed are voting members. Additionally, please note that many of these boards govern multiple institutions and not just the one that is listed.

Table 2: Required Student and Alumni Representation for Selected Boards of Trustees

University

Governing Body

Number of Members

Required Alumni Members

Required Student Members

University of Arizona

Arizona Board of Regents

12

0

2

appointed

1 is a voting member

University of California-Berkeley

Regents of the University of California

26

0

1

appointed

University of Colorado-Boulder

Regents of the University of Colorado

9

0

0

University of Connecticut

Board of Trustees for the University of Connecticut

21

6

2

elected

University of Delaware

Board of Trustees of the University of Delaware

32

0

0

University of Florida

Florida Board of Governors

17

0

1

ex-officio

University of Georgia

Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia

18

0

0

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois

13

0

3

elected

governor designates 1 of these 3 as a voting member

Indiana University

Trustees of Indiana University

9

3

1

appointed

University of Iowa

Board of Regents, State of Iowa

9

0

1

appointed

University of Maine

Board of Trustees of the University of Maine System

16

0

governor must make every effort to appoint an alumnus from each of the system's seven institutions

1

appointed

University of Maryland-College Park

Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland

17

0

1

appointed

Table 2 (Continued)

University

Governing Body

Number of Members

Required Alumni Members

Required Student Members

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Board of Trustees of the University of Massachusetts

22

5

one from each UMass campus

5

elected

one from each UMass campus

2 are voting members

University of Michigan

Board of Regents of the University of Michigan

9

0

0

University of Minnesota- Twin Cities

Regents of the University of Minnesota

12

0

1

elected

University of Missouri-Columbia

Board of Curators of the University of Missouri

10

0

1

appointed, non-voting

University of New Hampshire

University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees

27

6

2

elected

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Board of Governors of Rutgers, the State University

15

0

1

elected, nonvoting

State University of New York (system does not have a flagship campus, but all institutions are governed by the same board)

Board of Trustees of the State University of New York

18

0

1

ex-officio

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Board of Governors for the University of North Carolina

33

0

1

ex-officio, non-voting

Ohio State University

Board of Trustees of The Ohio State University

19

0

2

appointed, nonvoting

University of Oregon

State Board of Higher Education

12

0

2

appointed

Table 2 (Continued)

University

Governing Body

Number of Members

Required Alumni Members

Required Student Members

Pennsylvania State University- University Park

Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees

32

9

0

University of South Carolina-Columbia

Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina

20

1

0

University of Rhode Island

Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education

13

0

1

appointed

University of Texas-Austin

University of Texas System Board of Regents

10

0

1

appointed, non-voting

University of Vermont

Board of Trustees of the University of Vermont

25

0

2

appointed

University of Virginia

Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia

16/17

see note about student member

11

board may, but is not required to, appoint a non-voting student member (who would increase board's membership to 17)

University of Washington

University of Washington Board of Regents

10

0

1

appointed

University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents

18

0

2

appointed

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