The trustees, together with the president, have fiduciary responsibility for governing and stewarding Elon University. The Board is an independent body, self-perpetuating, self-selecting and self-governing, responsible only to itself, the laws of North Carolina and of the United States.
While the Board of Trustees constitutes the ultimate corporate authority responsible for the university’s policies and programs, at Elon the governance of the university is shared as well with the faculty, both as individuals who serve in leadership roles and as a legislative body with authority over much of the policy and administrative work of the university.
The number of trustees, according to the university’s bylaws, can range from 36 to 40, plus the president, who serves as an ex officio member. Additionally, two Youth Trustees who are recent graduates of the University, shall be elected in their senior years, one each year. The presidents of the Elon Alumni Board, the Parents Council, and the Young Alumni Council attend board meetings at the invitation of the trustees. Invitations are extended to the faculty chair of the university’s Academic Council, the staff chair of the Staff Advisory Council, the chair of the University Curriculum Committee, and the executive officers of the university’s Student Government Association. The university president’s chief of staff serves as secretary to the board.
Elon has three types of trustees: trustees, emeritus trustees, and life trustees. Trustees elected after October 2014 may be elected to serve up to two consecutive four-year terms with renewed eligibility for election to the Board following a hiatus of one year. Trustees elected prior to October 2014 may be elected to four-year terms without limitation by term limits. A retiring trustee who has served the University with distinction may be elected by the Board to the honorary position of Trustee Emeritus. To recognize and honor outstanding leadership on the Board and many years of extraordinary service to the University, a retiring trustee may be elected by the Board to the honorary position of Life Trustee.
Officers of the board include a member elected to serve as chair for a term of two years, a vice chair, and a secretary/treasurer. Leadership is provided by the Executive Committee of the Board, composed of the Board officers, the chairs of standing committees, the immediate past chair of the Board, and two additional members elected by the Board of Trustees. The university president serves as an ex officio member of the Executive Committee.
The Governance and Nominating committee of the Board is responsible for presenting candidates for election to the full Board and seeks individuals interested and capable of helping to advance the university’s distinct mission to be an academic community that transforms mind, body, and spirit and encourages freedom of thought and liberty of conscience.
The full board meets formally twice each year, and for specific purpose as needed.