Members of Puget Sound’s board of trustees are alumni, parents, community members, and the university president, who exercise fiduciary responsibilities per Puget Sound’s Articles of Incorporation and the university bylaws, as well as state and federal laws and guidelines.
In furtherance of the mission of the University of Puget Sound, the Board of Trustees has committed itself to developing the policies and securing the resources necessary to bring the University to “the next level of excellence.” Consequently, the Board has established the following key priorities for the University [Board Organization and Committee Responsibilities, revised May 14, 2021]:
- Further enhance the university’s ability to attract, support, inspire, and retain a diverse teaching faculty and staff of the highest quality.
- Further develop and maintain a diverse, equitable, and inclusive academic curriculum grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and a strong co-curriculum integrated with the curriculum.
- Further enhance the university’s ability to attract, inspire and retain a student body of exceptionally high quality, able to meet and benefit from the academic challenges and opportunities for deep learning, intellectual and personal growth, and strong outcomes offered by a Puget Sound education.
- Further develop and maintain a physical plant, library, equipment, and technology necessary to support a first-rate academic and co-curricular program, while also advancing institutional commitments to environmental justice and sustainability.
- Increase the endowment, pursue entrepreneurial opportunities, deepen community engagement, and secure the other resources necessary to support excellence within the faculty, the staff, the student body, and the academic and co-curricular program.
- Set mission and purposes
- Appoint the president, provide appropriate support for the president, and monitor the president’s performance
- Assess board performance
- Ensure strategic planning
- Review the educational program
- Ensure adequate resources
- Ensure good management
- Preserve institutional independence
- Relate campus to community and community to campus
- Oversee conflict resolution and legal affairs
How the Board Works
Board meetings typically unfold over two days, and include an executive session with the president; workshops on key strategic issues; meetings of policy and operating committees; meetings of policy sub-committees; opportunities to engage with members of the campus community; and a business meeting. Board members are elected to three-year terms, which may be renewed for a total of nine consecutive years. Trustees may be re-elected following a mandatory one-year break in service.
Members of the board’s executive committee are the chair; vice chair; treasurer; chair, Academic and Student Affairs; chair, Finance and Facilities; chair, Development and Alumni Relations; chair, Committee on Trusteeship; university president; two at-large trustees; and four ex-officio members (members who serve by virtue of their respective offices): the chair of the Faculty Senate, chair of the Staff Senate, the president of the Associated Students of the University of Puget Sound, and the president of the Alumni Council.
Ex-officio members do not vote on matters brought before the executive committee, but provide context and perspective that informs decision-making. Each ex-officio member is invited to provide a written report and to address the full board at each business meeting.
Policy and operating committees
The board accomplishes its work through policy and operating committees. Each committee reports its activities to the full board and brings forward as needed motions that require ratification by the full board at each business meeting.
Policy committees. Trustees typically serve three-year terms of service on one of three policy committees: Academic and Student Affairs, Development and Alumni Relations, and Finance and Facilities. The Finance and Facilities Committee also has three subcommittees: the Facilities Subcommittee, the Investment Subcommittee, and the Real Estate Subcommittee.
One faculty member (nominated through the regular Faculty Senate committee selection process and appointed by the board chair for a three-year term), one staff member (nominated by the chair of the Staff Senate and appointed by the board chair for a three-year term), and one student (nominated by the ASUPS president and appointed by the board chair for a one-year term) serve on each of the policy committees and participate in discussions and vote on matters brought before the committee on which they serve. Staff members, in alignment with their work responsibilities, provide support for and participate in the policy committees.
Role of faculty, staff, and student representatives. Each faculty, staff, and student representative to a board policy committee has the opportunity and obligation both to bring institutional perspective, as trustees do, to discussions regarding the university as a whole and to represent faculty, staff, and student concerns in the area of that committee’s focus; to review meeting materials in advance and be prepared to ask questions; and to engage in discussion and vote on issues brought before the committee. Faculty, staff, and student representatives are expected to share information with their respective constituencies.
Operating committees. Operating committees include the Audit Committee, the Committee on Trusteeship, the Compensation Committee and the Honorary Degree Committee. Operating committees are typically trustee-only. The Honorary Degree Committee includes faculty and student representatives.
2021–22 Ex Officio Members of the Executive Committee
- ASUPS President Kayden Diodati ‘23
- Faculty Senate Chair Robin Jacobson
- President of the Alumni Council Ted Meriam ’05
Board meetings typically conclude with a business meeting in which reports are heard from the board chair, the president, ex-officio members of the executive committee, and chairs of board committees. Motions are brought forward at the business meeting for action by the full board. Business meetings are open to students, faculty, and staff. The board chair and committee chairs reserve the right to convene a portion of each business meeting in executive session for trustees only.
The president’s cabinet and staff colleagues support the work of the board by providing information and expertise in their areas of responsibility. The vice presidents who work most closely with the board committees are:
- Academic and Student Affairs: Provost Laura Behling, Vice President for Student Affairs Uchenna Baker, and Vice President for Enrollment Matthew P. Boyce
- Development and Alumni Relations: Vice President for University Relations Dave Beers
- Finance and Facilities: Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Sherry Mondou