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The Trustees of Princeton University

Composition, Responsibilities and Committees

Composition of the Board

Princeton University is governed by a Board of Trustees that consists of no fewer than 23 and no more than 40 members. The President of the University and the Governor of the State of New Jersey serve ex officio with vote.

There are three categories of trustee: Charter Trustees and Term Trustees are elected by the Board for terms of eight and four years respectively; Alumni Trustees are elected by the alumni members of the University and serve four-year terms. There are 13 Alumni Trustees. Each year the current junior and senior classes, and the two most recently graduated classes, elect a member of the senior class as an Alumni Trustee.

There is always at least one alumnus/a of the Graduate School on the board. In addition to the 13 Alumni Trustees, there are no fewer than four and no more than ten Term Trustees, and the remainder of the Board are Charter Trustees. Trustees do not have to be alumni of the University.

Powers and Responsibilities of the Board

The powers and allocations of responsibilities of the Board derive from, and are set forth in, Princeton's original Charter of 1746 and its amendments, from legislation, from the Board's own bylaws and resolutions it passes from time to time including those delegating authority to various officers of the University, the faculty and other members of the University community.

The Board has charge and control of the finances and funds of the University. It sets the operating and capital budgets and supervises the investment of the University's endowment, which is managed by the Princeton University Investment Company. All campus real estate and long-range physical planning, the determination of architectural styling and landscaping, and the general condition of the University's physical plant are overseen by the Board.

The Trustees exercise prior review and approval of substantial new claims on funds, on the allocation of any significant proportion of the University resources, and the setting of priorities for development, changes in instructional method with broad implications for the University, the determination of tuition and fees, changes in admission policies affecting sizeable categories of potential students, and changes in relations with outside educational and social institutions and government agencies.

Standing Committees

The Board carries out its responsibilities and discharges its duties in part through standing committees that include:

  • Executive Committee
  • Committee on Academic Affairs
  • Committee on Alumni Affairs
  • Committee on Audit and Compliance
  • Committee on Finance
  • Committee on Grounds and Buildings
  • Committee on Honorary Degrees
  • Committee on Public Affairs
  • Committee on Student Life, Health and Athletics
  • Committee on University Resources

In addition Board committees can include ad hoc or special committees as necessary.