Overview and Functions of the Board

The Elon College Board of Trustees is a formal organization established to manage the property and business of Elon College and to carry out those functions assigned to it by the College By-Laws. Specifically these powers are:

  1. appoint or remove the President and officers of the corporation in accordance with the By-Laws
  2. authorize the president to spend up to the amount specified by the Trustees on College projects at the President's discretion without further consultation with the Board
  3. establish and review the educational programs of the College
  4. establish annually the budget of the College, including approval of tuition charges and all fees charged to students
  5. authorize the construction of new buildings, major renovations of existing buildings and the naming of all physical facilities
  6. authorize the sale or purchase of major parcels of land or buildings for the use of the College facilities
  7. institute and promote major fund-raising efforts of the College
  8. receive, hold, invest, reinvest, and manage securities and other investments for maximum prudent benefit of the College
  9. accept or decline gifts or authorize officers or agents of the college to accept or decline gifts for the College
  10. authorize the incurring of debts by the College and the securing thereof by mortgage and pledge of real and personal property, tangible and intangible
  11. evaluate periodically the President and the general administrative operation of the College
  12. review recommendations for and award honorary degrees

In general, the Board's responsibilities are largely to guarantee sound fiscal policy including the raising of funds, to approve major programmatic directions, and to supervise (and hold accountable) its agent, the President of the College. Not surprisingly then, Elon's Board is dominated by successful businesspersons and property holders, some of whom are alumni of the college.

The Board holds regular meetings twice a year (October and March). Other meetings of the full Board may occur but these are not dictated by the By-laws.

Membership of the Board

The Elon College Board of Trustees consists of 41 persons. 36 of these are members elected for four years in classes of 9 each. Two other members are Youth Trustees, elected in classes of 1 each. The final three representatives are ex-officio Trustees (described below).

The Youth Trustees are recent graduates of Elon who are nominated for office during their senior year and who take office upon graduation. Youth Trustees serve two-year terms and may not succeed themselves.

The three ex-officio Trustees are the following: 1) the President of the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ; 2) the Conference Minister (Executive Vice President of the Conference), and 3) the President of the College. These officers serve without vote and are not counted as members for the purpose of determining a quorum.

The Board also admits the possibility of Trustees Emeritus. After a distinguished career of at least 10 years on the board, certain persons may be elected to this status. Emeritus members may attend board meetings and speak, but (like ex officio members) they serve without vote.

Further stipulations. Members must be at least 18 years old. In addition, no person may be elected to the board after attaining the age of seventy (70) years.

Somewhat different than membership is the role of "officer" of the corporation. These include: a Chair and Vice-Chair nominated by a Membership Committee and elected by the full Board; a Secretary; and a Treasurer. The latter two offices are held typically by non-trustees and are elected by the full Board from names submitted by the College President. Currently, the Secretarial office is held by the Provost; and the Treasurer role is held by the Vice President for Business and Finance. These latter two officers serve without vote.

Committees of the Board

The Board conducts its work through a number of subcommittees. The Board may request the President to appoint a member of the administrative staff of the College to serve as a liaison between the committee and the office of the President.

Current committees include:

  1. Administrative Personnel Committee (which is responsible for the annual evaluation, professional development, and compensation for the President).
  2. Audit Committee (which arranges and establishes policies for audits and explores possible conflicts of interest among Board members)
  3. Campus Life Committee (which is concerned with the social, cultural, and religious life of the campus community)
  4. Development Committee (which directs fund-raising and public relations activities of the College)
  5. Educational Affairs Committee (which studies and evaluates academic programs and policies and is responsible for the development of a long-range academic plan)
  6. Executive Committee (which operates as a coordinating committee composed of the chair and vice chair of the Board; the chairs of the standing committees; two at-large members; and the President serving as an ex-officio member without vote. This group acts for the Board between the twice-yearly meetings, develops a facilities master plan, and sets guidelines for honorary degrees.)
  7. Financial Affairs Committee (which sets forth long-range financial projection, supervises the construction of the annual budget, and analyses current economic factors affecting the College)
  8. Investment Committee (which supervises the investment portfolio of the College)
  9. Membership Committee (which supervises nomination procedures for members of full Board, members and chairs of committees, and emeritus trustees)
  10. Special Committees (ad hoc committees which address special needs of the Board)



Current Relationship of Elon Faculty to the Board

Currently, Faculty-Board communication occurs in a number of ways. These include: attendance of specified faculty members at the twice-yearly committee meetings of the Board, occasional presentations to the full Board by invited faculty, and occasional informal lunches or gatherings. In addition, two Faculty members recently served on the trustee group that conducted a search for a new College President. Notably, no current or past Faculty are members of the full Board itself.

The special committees of the Board (which designated Faculty attend) are:

  1. Educational Affairs Committee: attended by Vice-Chair of Curriculum Committee. The vice-president of the SGA (student) also attends this meeting.
  2. Campus Life Committee: attended by the chair of the Faculty Student Life Committee. The President of the SGA (student) also attends this meeting.
  3. Development Committee: attended by the chair of the faculty/staff annual fund. Also attended by the Treasurer of the SGA (student)

In addition, these three Faculty (and three students) attend the business session of the Board as do senior administrators. When the board goes into executive session, all faculty, staff, and students are excused.

Return to Report of the Academic Council Subcommittee on the Role of Faculty in Shared Governance.