What Happens at Board Meetings
A typical board meeting is preceded by meetings of some or all of the standing committees. During committee meetings the president and trustee members discuss issues with relevant academic and administrative leaders of the university. Committees may refer matters to the full board for discussion or vote.
In addition, on a regular basis the full board holds in-depth plenary sessions about issues of strategic importance to the university to offer guidance and gather information helpful to the stewardship of the university. Recent topics have included the university’s new mission and goals, the expansion of Yale College, and campus names and representations.
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.
The official board meeting focuses on reports from committee chairs about the work of their committees. All trustees have an opportunity to discuss any and all topics from the committees. The board also votes on senior university leadership appointments 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 advance of meetings all trustees receive background information about relevant strategic and operational issues and key questions they are asked to consider.