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What Happens at Board Meetings

Informed and Constructive Deliberation on the Most Important Issues Facing the University

Board meetings happen regularly throughout the year to approve major university decisions. The official board meeting focuses on reports from committee chairs about the work of the board committees. Trustees have an opportunity to discuss and consider a range of topics and to bring the diversity of their backgrounds and expertise to bear on the crucial issues facing the university.

The decisions under discussion include appointments of senior university leaders such as deans, faculty appointments, and conferral of academic degrees. The overall operating and capital budgets for the next fiscal year and major building projects are also considered and voted on by the board. Major policy decisions with significant financial impact, such as endowment spending rule changes, also require approval by the board.

In addition, the board holds in-depth sessions on a regular basis about issues of strategic importance to Yale, in order to offer guidance and gather information helpful to the stewardship of the university. Recent topics have included the university’s academic priorities, fundraising strategy and building projects.

Focused committees and community engagement

Before the board convenes in full, some or all of the standing committees conduct their own meetings. These committee meetings offer an opportunity to meet and discuss issues with relevant academic and administrative leaders of the university. Committees may refer matters to the full board for discussion or vote.

When in New Haven, many trustees often meet with members of the Yale community whether formally, such as in regular meetings with members of student government, or informally, such as at university teas.