Board of Trustees

Amended and Restated Willamette University Bylaws

Adopted October 26, 2013

Preamble

The Trustees of Willamette University (“university”) accept the legal and moral responsibility for the exercise of all corporate powers of the university. The Board of Trustees of the university (the “Board”) will set policy, generally oversee the affairs of the university, and be responsible for the stewardship and development of the university’s resources. The Board delegates the authority to implement established policy to the administrative and professional staff of the university.

Trustee leadership is indispensable in the continuing effort to obtain the personal commitment and financial support necessary to achieve the university's objectives. The Trustees, individually and collectively, accept a participatory responsibility, in addition to their policy formulation and governance functions.

Responsibilities of the Board needing special recognition are:

  • Select and appoint the President of the university (the “President”). Define the position of the President in a formal job description and evaluate, with regularity, the role and performance of the President.
  • Develop a statement of the goals and the purposes of the university.
  • Lead in building public trust in the university by serving as liaison between the university and the public.
  • Help achieve a high level of mutual respect and cooperation between the various constituencies of the university (students, faculty, administrators, alumni, staff, etc.).
  • Develop and execute a plan for evaluating the performance of the Board, the performance of the Trustees, and the effect of its policies.

Each Trustee has specific responsibilities in helping to create an understanding of the university's special mission, value and accomplishments. Each Trustee must:

  • Become familiar with the goals and purposes of the university and assist in maintaining them.
  • Be personally involved in drawing others into the university's mission.
  • Be actively involved in policy decision‑making and in understanding educational developments, goals and achievements.
  • Provide leadership in giving funds or service to the university.
  • Help secure goodwill and financial resources to sustain and advance the university.
  1. BOARD OF TRUSTEES
    1. Powers. The Board exercises all corporate powers of the university, including the responsibility for establishing basic policies, generally overseeing the affairs of the university, and for the stewardship of its resources.
    2. Meetings; Quorum. The Board meets at least three times each year. The annual meeting of the Board will be held in May in Salem, Oregon. Either the President or the Chair of the Board (the “Chair”) may determine the location of the fall and winter meetings of the Board. One‑third of the total number of Trustees constitutes a quorum. Trustees may not vote by proxy.
    3. Call for Meeting. Meetings of the Board may be called by either the President or the Chair. If seven Trustees present a written request to the Chair stating their objectives, the Chair must call a meeting of the Board. If the Chair is absent, disabled, or fails to act, the Vice Chair must call a meeting of the Board. If the Vice Chair is absent, disabled, or fails to act, the Secretary must call the meeting of the Board.
    4. Notice of Meeting. Notice of the location, day, and hour of a meeting of the Board must be given not less than 24 hours before the meeting.
    5. Voting; Action of Board. Unless a different proportion is required by the Oregon Nonprofit Corporation Act, the Articles of Incorporation, or these Bylaws, the affirmative vote of a majority of the Trustees present and voting is the act of the Board if a quorum is present when a vote is taken. A Trustee is considered present regardless of whether the Trustee votes or abstains from voting.
    6. Nominations. Elected Trustees are nominated by the Subcommittee on Trusteeship, then elected by the Board. Other nominations may be made by a nominating petition signed by at least ten Trustees and filed with the Secretary not less than 24 hours before the meeting. Nominations from the floor are not permitted.
      1. Alumni Association Appointed Trustee. The Board of Directors of the Alumni Association may appoint a Trustee from the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association. The Trustee appointed by the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association serves at the pleasure of the Alumni Association Board of Directors but for no more than three consecutive years, and is otherwise subject to the same limitations and privileges as other Trustees. The Trustee appointed by the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association is not eligible for nomination to an elected Trustee position until one year after serving as the Trustee appointed by the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association.
      2. United Methodist Church Appointed Trustee. In recognition of the long-standing relationship between the university and the United Methodist Church (UMC), there will be three representatives of the regional conference on the Board of Trustees: the Bishop responsible for the Oregon-Idaho Conference, who has the right to attend any meeting of the Board, including executive sessions, and the right to participate in all discussions, but without the right to vote or make motions; plus a clergyperson and a lay representative who are nominated by the Bishop in consultation with the Subcommittee on Trusteeship, and elected by the Board to three-year terms, which are renewable upon recommendation of the Bishop in consultation with the Subcommittee on Trusteeship. The UMC clergyperson and lay representative to the Board are afforded the same rights, privileges, limitations and expectations as other Trustees, including the right to vote and make motions.
      3. President. The President is a Trustee.
    7. Faculty and Student Representatives. One faculty and one student representative from each of the university’s schools and colleges may attend meetings of the Board, other than executive sessions, with the right to participate in all discussions and to submit matters for consideration, but without the right to vote or make motions. The representatives of the faculty are to be selected by the faculty of each school or college. The representatives of the students are to be selected by the recognized student government organization of each school or college. The student representative from any school or college without a recognized student governance organization will be selected by the Dean of the school or college.
    8. No Compensation. Trustees serve without compensation.
    9. Removal. Any elected Trustee may be removed with or without cause by the affirmative vote of two‑thirds of the Trustees.
    10. Age Limitation. Trustees are eligible for reelection(s) until reaching the age of 70 years. After age 70, they are eligible for election to Life Trustee Emeritus in accordance with Section 1.11.
    11. Life Trustee Emeritus. A Trustee may be elected Life Trustee Emeritus by a vote of the Board upon completion of four terms as Trustee, or in special cases by vote of the Board. Election as Life Trustee Emeritus may also be based on distinguished service. Life Trustees Emeritus serve at their option and enjoy all privileges of Trusteeship except they may not vote, make motions, or be assigned to standing committees except at the request of the Chair or the President.
  2. OFFICERS
    1. Officers. The officers of the university are: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Administrative Secretary, Treasurer, and such other officers as the Board may from time to time determine. Officers are elected at the annual meeting or at a meeting called for election of officers. The Chair is elected for a term of four years and may be re‑elected. Other officers are elected annually.
    2. Chair. The Chair perform such duties as usually pertain to the office of the president of a nonprofit corporation, and signs all official papers and documents of the university unless otherwise provided for by special or general resolution of the Board. In the absence or disability of the Chair, the Vice Chair perform the duties of the Chair.
    3. Secretary. The Secretary countersigns all legal documents and certifies the accuracy and validity of all resolutions and other formal acts of the Board except as may be otherwise provided for by general or special resolution of the Board.
    4. Assistant Secretary. The Assistant Secretary performs all the duties of the Secretary in the absence of the Secretary and performs such other duties as may be required by the Chair.
    5. Administrative Secretary. The Administrative Secretary need not be a Trustee. The Administrative Secretary acts as recording secretary of the Board; serves as staff liaison to the Executive Committee; assures that notices are duly given as required by the Oregon Nonprofit Corporation Act, the Articles of Incorporation, or these Bylaws. The Administrative Secretary will have such other duties and powers as may be prescribed from time to time by the Board, the Chair, or the President.
    6. Treasurer. The Treasurer may also hold the position of Vice President for Financial Affairs. The Treasurer need not be a Trustee but has the privilege of voting on Executive Committee matters. The Treasurer has general supervision of the university finances; causes regular books of account to be kept and audited; prepares and presents budgets and financial reports; and will have such other duties and powers as may be prescribed from time to time by the Board, the Chair, or the President.
  3. COMMITTEES OF THE BOARD
    1. Executive Committee. The Executive Committee serves as an interim Board between regular Board meetings, with the authority to conduct university business as necessary on the Board’s behalf, with the following exceptions: the Executive Committee may not authorize distributions; approve or recommend dissolution, merger or the sale, pledge or transfer of all or substantially all of the university’s assets; elect, appoint or remove Trustees; fill vacancies on the Board or on any of its committees; or adopt, amend or repeal the Articles of Incorporation or the Bylaws.
      1. Composition. The Executive Committee is composed as follows: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, President, and the chairs of standing committees.
      2. Chair of the Executive Committee; Quorum. The Chair serves as chair of the Executive Committee. A majority of the members of the Executive Committee constitutes a quorum. The Executive Committee meets at the call of the Chair, the President or upon the written request of any member of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee must report all actions taken or completed by the Executive Committee at the next meeting of the Board.
      3. Banking Authority. Upon recommendation of the Financial Affairs Committee, the Executive Committee may, by appropriate resolution, designate certain officers of the university whose signatures, or facsimiles thereof, will authorize payment by banks having accounts maintained in the name of the university or special fund committees.
    2. Audit Committee. The Audit Committee assists in fulfilling the Board’s oversight responsibilities for the university’s financial reporting process; systems of internal control; audit process and auditors; process for monitoring compliance with laws and regulations and codes of conduct; and risk management. The committee serves as the focal point of open communication between the Board, the independent auditor, and management.
      1. Composition. The committee will consist of a minimum of three Trustees, no more than one of whom serves on the Financial Affairs Committee. Except for the President, who serves ex officio, no member of the committee may, in the current fiscal year or in the previous fiscal year, have been associated in the capacity of employee of the university, or have directly or indirectly received compensation as a result of a transaction with the university. No member of the committee may accept, either directly or indirectly, any consulting, advisory, or other compensatory fee from the university. The Chair of the Board designates the chair and membership of the committee in consultation with the president, the chair of the Subcommittee on Trusteeship, and the Treasurer. All members of the Audit Committee must be knowledgeable about financial matters. At least one member must have accounting or related financial management experience. The committee is staffed by the VP for Financial Affairs without the ability to vote or make motions.
      2. Meetings. The committee may meet in connection with any regularly scheduled meetings of the Board meeting or otherwise at the call of the chair as necessary. Trustees who are not members of the committee may not attend its meetings except as invited by the committee chair for consultation.
      3. Quorum. A majority of the committee members present constitutes a quorum for the purposes of transacting business at any meeting. For the purposes of establishing a quorum, the ex-officio members, other than the President and Chair, are not counted. The committee may meet without its ex-officio members at the request of the chair of the committee.
      4. Roles and Responsibilities. The committee is responsible to:
        1. Direct the appointment, retention and oversight of the auditors;
        2. Work with the auditor preparing or issuing an audit or any related work (including resolution of disagreements between management and the auditor regarding financial reporting), and the auditor will report directly to the committee;
        3. Review the auditor’s qualifications, independence and performance;
        4. Review the scope, approach and cost of the audit;
        5. Pre-approve all non-audit services to be provided by the university’s auditor;
        6. Review significant accounting and reporting developments and issues;
        7. Review and accept the annual financial statements as audited;
        8. Review any management letter received from the auditors and management’s response to it;
        9. Engage independent counsel and other advisors, as necessary to carry out duties;
        10. Periodically review internal controls, as well as management’s handling of major financial and enterprise risk exposures;
        11. Review with the auditor any audit problems or difficulties and management's response;
        12. Inform the Board in a timely manner of any significant irregularities or issues;
        13. Attend to such other matters as the Board may from time to time determine; and
        14. Ensure minutes and other records of the committee’s work are maintained and reported regularly (at least annually) to the Board.
    3. Standing Committees. The Board of Trustees may establish such committees as necessary to conduct university business and approve charters for such committees. Committee membership is determined by the Chair in consultation with the President, Subcommittee on Trusteeship and others as indicated in these Bylaws. All standing committees must be chaired by a Trustee.
    4. Subcommittee on Trusteeship. The Subcommittee on Trusteeship is a standing subcommittee of the Executive Committee.
    5. Committee Charters. The Subcommittee on Trusteeship must maintain a charter for each standing committee that articulates and governs the roles and responsibilities of the standing committee. Revisions to a committee’s charter must be reviewed by the Subcommittee on Trusteeship, approved by the Executive Committee, and reported at the next Board meeting. Minor edits and corrections to committee charters may be made by the Subcommittee on Trusteeship but must be reported at the next Board meeting.
    6. Other Committees. The Chair may establish such other committees, subcommittees, and task forces as necessary to facilitate the work of the Board. Special, ad hoc, or limited-duration committees or task forces do not require committee charters.
    7. Chair and President. The Chair and the President are ex-officio members of all committees with the right to vote and make motions and count towards a quorum.
    8. Non-Trustees on Committees. Although non-Trustees may be invited to attend committee meetings at the discretion of the President, Chair or committee chair, or as otherwise provided in a committee’s charter, non-Trustees may not vote, make motions or attend executive sessions and do not count towards a quorum.
  4. THE PRESIDENT, OFFICERS AND FACULTY
    1. President. The President is elected by and serves at the pleasure of the Board.
      1. Executive Duties. The President is the executive head of the university, including the College of Liberal Arts, the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, the College of Law, the Graduate School of Education, and such other colleges or schools as may be established by the Board. Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws, the members of the faculty, the Deans, and the vice presidents are appointed by the President. The President has authority, within the limitations of the budget and university policy, to create and fill any administrative or academic positions the President deems necessary or convenient for the effective functioning of the university. Unless otherwise ordered by the Board, the President from time to time may authorize or direct any officer, agent, or employee of the university to perform any of the duties or exercise any of the powers of the President. The President may authorize, make, and enter into on behalf of the university all contracts, agreements and instruments which, in the President’s judgment, are necessary or convenient in carrying out the ordinary course of the university's affairs, or which are authorized by the Chair.
      2. Board Duties. The President reports to the Board at its annual meeting and makes recommendations from time to time regarding the growth, promotion, and development of the university. The President reports to the Board for its review the appointment of officers, Deans, and faculty of the university. The President is responsible for the successful implementation of the policies adopted by the Board.
    2. Vice Presidents and Deans. The vice presidents and the Deans of the schools and colleges will report in writing to the President annually or whenever requested, and may make such recommendations to the President as they may deem to be in the best interests of the university.
    3. Faculty. The faculties of the respective schools and colleges consist of the President, the Dean, and all full‑time regularly‑appointed faculty members with the academic rank of Instructor or above. The faculty of the university includes all members of the respective school and college faculties.
    4. Faculty Chair. The President serves as ex-officio chair of the faculty and as a member of all faculty committees with power to vote or make motions. The President may delegate to any university administrator the authority to meet with the faculty, take part in deliberations, and have the privilege of voting.
    5. Tenure. Faculty tenure may be granted only by the Board and only upon recommendation of the President after appropriate consultation with the Dean and faculty of the particular school or college and in accordance with the personnel policies and procedures for each school or college.
    6. Academic Policies. In accordance with general policies adopted by the Board, and subject to the approval of the Dean and the President, the respective faculties of the schools and colleges have the responsibility to formulate and adopt for their respective internal operation:
      1. Faculty personnel policies and procedures;
      2. Academic standards and policies for the admission, retention, and graduation of students;
      3. Academic policies and programs necessary to achieve the educational aims of the university;
      4. Curricula and methods of instruction necessary to implement academic policies and programs;
      5. General policy and regulations for the conduct of intercollegiate athletics and other formalized intercollegiate activities; and
      6. Faculty governance structures and procedures.
    7. Suspension. The officers of the university, the Deans, and members of the faculties of the university’s schools and colleges may be suspended by the President for violation of any contract of employment, insubordination, or conduct detrimental to the welfare and best interests of the university.
  5. STUDENTS
    1. Admission. Students are admitted to the university as candidates for degrees only after they have satisfied the entrance requirements of the respective school or college in which they enroll.
    2. Registration, Tuition, and Fees. No person will be regarded as a student or admitted to class until formal registration has been completed, including the payment of tuition and fees.
    3. Dismissal. A student may be dismissed at any time for failure to maintain required academic standards or for conduct not in keeping with the interests, purposes and ideals of the university.
    4. Grades and Transcripts. Semester grade reports and transcripts of credits may not be issued for any student whose financial obligations to the university have not been satisfied.
  6. DEGREES
    1. Conferring Degrees. The university confers degrees on candidates recommended by the President and Faculties of the university and approved by the Board or the Executive Committee. On an annual basis, the Board may delegate its authority to review and approve degrees to a subcommittee convened by the Chair for this purpose.
    2. Degrees. The course of study to be required for degrees will be prescribed by the faculty subject to approval by the Dean, the President and the Board.
    3. New Degrees. Any new degree or certificate program where academic credit may be earned must be approved and conferred by the Board.
    4. Honorary Degrees. Honorary degrees may be conferred only upon persons approved by the Board or the Executive Committee.
  7. SPECIAL GIFTS AND FUNDS
    1. Acceptance of Special Gifts and Funds. The Board may accept special gifts and funds to be administered by special committees. Membership in such special committees must include adequate representation of the Board.
    2. Reporting. Such special committees must make annual reports to the Board of the results of the administration of the special funds.
  8. FINANCE
    1. Records. The Vice President for Financial Affairs must maintain adequate records from which the financial status of the university may be readily determined. These records must conform to currently‑accepted practices and procedures of college and university accounting.
    2. Accounting for Funds. All monies and property received by the university will be accounted for by the Vice President for Financial Affairs or by the chair of the committee having responsibility for the administration of the special fund. The chair of the committee for the administration of a special fund may delegate to an officer of the university the duty and responsibility of accounting for monies and property received by the committee.
    3. Audit. All books of account of the university and of committees administering special funds must be audited annually by a certified public accountant approved by the Audit Committee. Reports of the audits shall be presented directly to the Audit Committee, and the final audit report must be shared annually with the Board as soon as practicable after the completion of the audits.
  9. INDEMNIFICATION
    1. Indemnification Required. To the fullest extent permitted by the Oregon Nonprofit Corporation Act, the university must indemnify any person who has been made, or is threatened to be made, a party to an action, suit or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative, investigative or otherwise (including any action, suit or proceeding by or in the right of the university) by reason of the fact that the person is or was a Trustee, director, officer, employee, or agent of the university, or a fiduciary within the meaning of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 with respect to an employee benefit plan of the university, or serves or served at the request of the university as a director, or an officer, or as a fiduciary of an employee benefit plan, of another association, corporation, partnership, joint venture, limited liability company, trust or other enterprise.  The right to and the amount of indemnification will be determined in accordance with the provisions of the Oregon Nonprofit Corporation Act in effect at the time of the determination.
    2. Indemnification for Expenses. To the fullest extent permitted by the Oregon Nonprofit Corporation Act, the university must pay for or reimburse any and all reasonable expenses incurred by a Trustee, director, officer, employee, agent, or fiduciary of the university who is a party to a proceeding in advance of the final disposition of the proceeding.
    3. Effect of Termination of Action. For purposes of determining the right to any indemnification under this Section, the termination of any action, suit or proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction or upon a plea of nolo contendere or its equivalent, will not, of itself, create a presumption that the person acted in bad faith and in a manner which he or she reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interest of the university, and with respect to any criminal action or proceedings, had reasonable cause to believe that the person’s conduct was unlawful.
    4. Nonexclusivity. The right to indemnification and to the payment or reimbursement of expenses with regard to a proceeding referred to in this Section is not exclusive of any other rights to which any person may be entitled or hereafter acquire under any statute, provision of the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, action by the Board, or otherwise, and continues as to any person who has ceased to be a Trustee, director, officer, employee, agent or fiduciary of the university, and will inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors and administrators of such person.
  10. NOTICES
    1. Notices in Writing. All notices required by these Bylaws must be in writing unless otherwise expressly permitted.
    2. Notices to the University. Notices to the university or to the Board must be delivered to the President, the Chair, or as the Board may otherwise designate.
    3. Notices to Trustees. Notices to Trustees will be deemed adequate if sent by US Postal Service. The notice will be deemed delivered when deposited in the mail, with postage fully prepaid thereon, addressed to the Trustee’s most recent address as it appears on the records of the university.
    4. Notices by Electronic Transmission. Any notice required by these Bylaws may be given by electronic transmission, such as email, if the party receiving notice has consented to notice by electronic transmission, the consent has not been revoked, and no indication of inability to deliver the notice by electronic transmission becomes known to notifying party. Notice will be deemed delivered when transmitted.
    5. Notices by Other Methods. Notice by any method other than US Postal Service or electronic transmission will be deemed delivered when received.
    6. Waiver of Notice. Whenever any notice to a Trustee is required by the Oregon Nonprofit Corporation Act, the Articles of Incorporation, or these Bylaws, a waiver of notice in writing signed at any time by the person entitled to notice will be equivalent to the giving of notice. Attendance at a meeting constitutes waiver of any defect in the time, content, and delivery of notice of such meeting except where a Trustee attends the meeting for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business because the meeting is not lawfully called or convened.
    7. Use of Communications Equipment. The Board or any committee may permit any or all Trustees or members to participate in a meeting by, or conduct the meeting of the Board or committee through, use of any means of communication by which all persons participating may simultaneously hear each other during the meeting. A person participating in a meeting by this means is deemed to be present in person at the meeting.
  11. AMENDMENTS
    1. Process for Amendments. These Bylaws may be amended at any meeting of the Board called for that purpose, providing that the proposed amendment or amendments are first presented at a meeting held at least thirty days prior to the date for final action. The proposed amendments may, however, be motified at the meeting of the Board at which final action on the amendments is taken.
    2. Supermajority Required. Modification of these Bylaws requires an affirmative vote of two‑thirds of the Trustees present.
    3. Previous Bylaws. These Bylaws supersede and take the place of any and all former Bylaws that have been adopted.

Committee Charters

Adopted October 26, 2013

Purpose

The purpose of these committee charters is to remove from the University Bylaws the language describing each committee’s charge and role in order to afford more flexibility to the Board in determining how committees might function most effectively.

Revising Committee Charters

Revision to a committee’s charter requires review by the Trusteeship Subcommittee prior to its referral to the Executive Committee for approval, with a report to the full Board of Trustees at its next regular meeting. Minor edits and corrections may be made by the Trusteeship Subcommittee with a report to the full Board at its next regular meeting. The creation or appointment of special or ad hoc, limited-duration committees or task forces, as authorized by the Bylaws, does not require creation of a charter.

Committees:  General Provisions

The President and Chair of the Board (“Chair”) are ex-officio members of all committees and the Board with the ability to vote and make motions. Committees are chaired by Trustees, and membership is determined by the Chair in consultation with the President and the Subcommittee on Trusteeship. Unless otherwise indicated, committees meet at the call of the committee chair, Board Chair or President. All ex-officio members are invited to all committee meetings and activities. Although non-Trustees may be invited to attend committee meetings at the discretion of the President, Chair or committee chair or as otherwise provided in a committee charter, non-Trustee members may not vote, make motions or attend executive sessions and a non-Trustee does not count towards a quorum.

Quorum:  A quorum is required prior to a committee taking any action on any matter. Unless otherwise indicated in the Bylaws or charters, the quorum standard required for all committees is a majority of all voting members of the committee.

Meetings:  Generally, all committees meet at the call of the chair, or as frequently as required to achieve established goals and outcomes. Meeting dates must be scheduled in a consultative manner in order to reduce or eliminate schedule conflicts for Trustees and ensure the President’s ability to attend if so desired. The dates of committees’ regular meetings and notification will be provided with plenty of advance notice, but at least ten days in advance of the meeting. Meetings may be called by the Chair, by the President, or by the chair of the committee, and may be called upon short notice when longer notice cannot be given, and may be called summarily upon announcement at a regular or special meeting of the Board.

Responsibilities:  Each standing committee may develop policies, consider matters referred to it, and recommend policies to the Board, but a standing committee may not adopt new policies or change existing policies. The Board, in its discretion, may, however, authorize a standing committee to act in a specific instance or instances. Each standing committee must maintain written records of its meetings and activities and provide the Board with written summaries of all meetings.

Student and Faculty Service on Committees:  The roles and responsibilities of students and faculty serving as representatives to the Board and its school and college committees are indicated in each committee’s charter.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee serves as an interim Board between regular Board meetings, with the authority to conduct university business as necessary on the Board’s behalf, with the following exceptions:  the Executive Committee may not authorize distributions; approve or recommend dissolution, merger or the sale, pledge or transfer of all or substantially all of the university’s assets; elect, appoint or remove Trustees; fill vacancies on the Board or on any of its committees; or adopt, amend or repeal the Articles of Incorporation or the Bylaws.

Composition:  The Executive Committee is comprised of the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, President, and the chairs of the following standing committees:  Advancement, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Audit, College of Law, College of Liberal Arts, Endowment, Facilities & Technology, Financial Affairs, and Graduate School of Education.

Chair of the Executive Committee; Quorum:  The Chair serves as chair of the Executive Committee. A majority of the voting members of the Executive Committee present constitutes a quorum. The Executive Committee meets at the call of the Chair, the President or upon the written request of any member of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee must report all actions taken or completed by the Executive Committee at the next meeting of the Board.

Banking Authority:  Upon recommendation of the Financial Affairs Committee, the Executive Committee may, by appropriate resolution, designate certain officers of the university whose signatures, or facsimiles thereof, will authorize payment by banks having accounts maintained in the name of the university or special fund committees.

Subcommittee on Trusteeship

(reports to the Executive Committee)

The Subcommittee on Trusteeship is a subcommittee of the Executive Committee appointed by the Chair in consultation with the Vice Chair and the President.

Composition:  The subcommittee shall consist of the Vice Chair of the Board who shall serve as the subcommittee chair; a minimum of three members of the Board and the ex-officio members. The Administrative Secretary to the Board (Vice President & Executive Assistant to the President) serves as staff liaison to the subcommittee without the right to vote or make motions. The Vice President for Advancement is an ex-officio member of the subcommittee without the ability to vote or make motions. The responsibilities of the Subcommittee on Trusteeship are to:

  • Examine periodically (at least annually) the composition and characteristics of the Board and to evaluate the effectiveness of the body and of the individual Trustees
  • Work with the President and staff to seek out and recruit qualified persons for service on the Board of Trustees
  • Nominate new members to the Board after consultation with the Chair and the President. Also, after consultation with the Chair and the President, to nominate members of the Endowment Committee
  • Work with the nominating committees of the Alumni Association and the appropriate regional Conference of the United Methodist Church, communicating the needs of the Board to these other constituencies and standing ready to consult with them regarding all matters of trustee qualification
  • Orient and introduce newly elected Trustees to the particular responsibilities of trusteeship at the university
  • Develop a program of "continuing education" for all Trustees on effective trusteeship and best practices in governance, including workshops, seminars, retreats, conferences, etc.
  • Recruit and make nominations for Board officers positions
  • Recommend to the Chair, in consultation with the President, membership to the Board’s committees from among the current Trustees
  • Maintain and oversee the Board’s committee charters
  • Identify and make nominations for Life Trustee Emeritus

The subcommittee’s specific responsibilities in carrying out its oversight role are delineated in the Trusteeship Subcommittee’s work plan. The work plan will be reviewed annually and updated as needed. As the compendium of committee responsibilities, the most recently updated work plan will be considered to be an addendum to its charter.

Campus Religious, Spiritual & Ethical Life Committee

(reports to the Executive Committee)

Responsibilities:  The Committee on Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life exists to celebrate Willamette’s religious heritage and to oversee its appropriate application to the contemporary campus.  Particularly, it works to foster students, faculty and staff in their spiritual lives and to enhance their contributions to community, both on campus and in the wider society. 

It also strives to challenge the university to live out its values in its institutional life: enhancing campus community, relating responsibly to the wider communities in which we are situated, and promoting ethical practice not only in teaching and learning, but in all the ways we conduct our governance, finance, and business. 

The committee reports on its activities annually in writing to the Executive Committee. The committee’s specific responsibilities in carrying out its oversight role are delineated in its work plan. The work plan will be reviewed annually and updated as needed. As the compendium of committee responsibilities, the most recently updated work plan will be considered to be an addendum to its charter.

Composition:  The committee consists of two Trustees, one from the Committee on the College of Liberal Arts; five faculty, two from the College of Liberal Arts, one from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, one from the College of Law and one from the Graduate School of Education; five students, two from the College of Liberal Arts, one from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, one from the College of Law and one from the Graduate School of Education; one administrator and one member of the classified staff. It will be co‑chaired by the University Chaplain and one of the Trustee representatives. The University Chaplain shall also serve as staff liaison.

Advancement Committee

Responsibilities:  In matters relating to fund-raising, the committee shall take an active role in planning and implementing those programs necessary to achieve the long and short-range financial goals of the university. Specifically:

  • In concert with the Financial Affairs Committee and other committees as appropriate, the committee will work on defining specific objectives for the university's fund-raising programs and will make recommendations regarding these objectives to the Board.
  • In matters of alumni relations, the committee shall review periodically all basic alumni development initiatives and shall report on such items to the Board. The Advancement Committee, along with the Willamette University Alumni Association (WUAA) president, in her or his capacity as its representative to the Board, share the responsibility to link the Board with WUAA.
  • In matters relating to general university visibility, the committee will review all strategic marketing and public relations plans periodically and report on these items to the Executive Committee and to the Board upon request.

The committee’s specific responsibilities in carrying out its oversight role are delineated in the Advancement Committee’s work plan. The work plan will be reviewed annually and updated as needed. As the compendium of committee responsibilities, the most recently updated work plan will be considered to be an addendum to its charter.

Composition:  The Advancement Committee consists of a minimum of five members of the Board, one of whom is also a member of the Endowment Committee, and including the ex-officio members. The Vice President for Advancement serves as staff liaison of the committee without the right to vote or make motions. The Vice President for Enrollment and University Communications is an ex-officio member without the right to vote or make motions. The chair of the Advancement Committee is also a member of the Financial Affairs Committee, and will be responsible for the review and evaluation of those areas of university activity generally assigned to the Vice President for Advancement, as well as the university’s marketing and communications activities under the purview of the Vice President for Enrollment and University Communications.

Atkinson Graduate School of Management (AGSM) Committee

Responsibilities:  The Atkinson Graduate School of Management Committee facilitates the Board’s ultimate responsibility for educational quality by working closely with academic leadership and by regularly monitoring the following:

  • Progress made towards stated strategic goals;
  • Educational goals and outcomes for students;
  • Program quality, institutional and program accreditation, and program review;
  • Student admission and enrollment, retention, graduation rates, and job placements;
  • Policies and procedures related to faculty compensation, appointment, tenure, and promotion – and when appropriate, the committee makes recommendations to the Board regarding awarding faculty tenure. Faculty tenure may only be granted by the Board upon recommendation of the President after appropriate consultation with the dean and faculty of the particular school or college and in accordance with the personnel policies and procedures for each school or college; and
  • Regularly reviews academic planning and program structure.

The committee should report regularly to the Board and frame recommendations on matters of policy, quality, and funding that require the Board’s consideration and action.

The committee will receive appropriate and timely information and data to meet its responsibilities, including but not limited to annual reports on faculty hires, promotions, sabbaticals and new or eliminated programs of study.

Working at the nexus between Board oversight and academic prerogative, the committee should recognize and respect the central role of the academic administration and faculty in academic planning, curriculum development, faculty development, the evaluation and academic advising of students, and recommendations for faculty appointment, tenure and promotion.

The committee’s specific responsibilities in carrying out its oversight role are delineated in the AGSM Committee’s work plan. The work plan will be reviewed annually and updated as needed. As the compendium of committee responsibilities, the most recently updated work plan will be considered to be an addendum to its charter.

Composition:  The committee is comprised of Trustees and the ex-officio members. The committee is staffed by the Dean of the Atkinson School without the right to vote or make motions. A majority of the committee constitutes a quorum, and a quorum of committee members present or participating in a meeting is required for the committee to conduct business or provide necessary approvals.

Student and Faculty Representatives:  The AGSM faculty may select two tenured or tenure-track faculty representatives to serve on the committee, and the AGSM student governance organization likewise may identify two student representatives. The Dean or her/his designate is responsible for providing orientation and support for new student and faculty representatives assigned to the AGSM committee. Student and faculty representatives serve one-year terms without the ability to vote or make motions. Representatives may elect to make reports on non-confidential aspects of Board of Trustees meetings in accordance with the expectations of their respective constituencies. Faculty representatives may serve multiple terms as their governance organization sees fit.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee assists in fulfilling the Board’s oversight responsibilities for the university’s financial reporting process, systems of internal control, audit process and auditors. The committee serves as the focal point of open communication between the Board, the independent auditor, and management.

Composition:  The committee consists of a minimum of three Trustees, no more than one of whom serves on the Financial Affairs Committee. Except for the President, who serves ex-officio, no member of the committee may, in the current fiscal year or in the previous fiscal year, have been associated in the capacity of employee of Willamette University, or have directly or indirectly received compensation as a result of a transaction with the university. No member of the committee may accept, either directly or indirectly, any consulting, advisory, or other compensatory fee from the university. The Chair of the Board designates the chair and membership of the committee in consultation with the president, the chair of the Subcommittee on Trusteeship, and the Treasurer. All members of the committee must be knowledgeable about financial matters. At least one member must have accounting or related financial management experience. The Audit Committee is staffed by the VP for Financial Affairs without the right to vote or make motions.

Meetings:  The committee may meet in connection with any regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees or otherwise at the call of the chair as necessary. Trustees who are not members of the committee may not attend meetings of the committee except as invited by the committee for consultation.

Quorum:  A majority of the committee members present constitutes a quorum for the purposes of transacting business at any meeting. For the purposes of establishing a quorum, the ex-officio members, other than the President and Chair, are not counted. The committee may meet without its ex-officio members at the request of the chair of the committee.

Roles and Responsibilities:  The committee is responsible to:

  • Direct the appointment, retention and oversight of the auditors;
  • Work with the auditor preparing or issuing an audit or any related work (including resolution of disagreements between management and the auditor regarding financial reporting), and the auditor will report directly to the committee;
  • Review the auditor’s qualifications, independence and performance;
  • Review the scope, approach and cost of the audit;
  • Pre-approve all non-audit services to be provided by the university’s auditor;
  • Review significant accounting and reporting developments and issues;
  • Review and accept the annual financial statements as audited by the auditors;
  • Review any management letter received from the auditors and management’s response to it;
  • Engage independent counsel and other advisors, as necessary to carry out duties;
  • Periodically review internal controls, as well as management’s handling of major financial and enterprise risk exposures;
  • Review with the auditor any audit problems or difficulties and management's response;
  • Inform the Board in a timely manner of any significant irregularities or issues;
  • Attend to such other matters as the Board may from time to time determine; and
  • Ensure minutes and other records of the committee’s work are maintained and reported regularly (at least annually) to the Board.

College of Law Committee

Responsibilities:  The Committee on the College of Law facilitates the Board’s ultimate responsibility for educational quality by working closely with academic leadership and by regularly monitoring the following:

  • Progress made towards stated strategic goals;
  • Educational goals and outcomes for students;
  • Program quality, institutional and program accreditation, and program review;
  • Student admission and enrollment, retention, graduation rates, and job placements;
  • Policies and procedures related to faculty compensation, appointment, tenure, and promotion— and when appropriate, the committee makes recommendations to the Board regarding awarding faculty tenure. Faculty tenure may be granted only by the Board upon recommendation of the President after appropriate consultation with the dean and faculty of the particular school or college and in accordance with the personnel policies and procedures for each school or college; and
  • Regularly reviews academic planning and program structure.

The committee should report regularly to the Board and frame recommendations on matters of policy, quality, and funding that require the Board’s consideration and action.

The committee will receive appropriate and timely information and data to meet its responsibilities, including but not limited to annual reports on faculty hires, promotions, sabbaticals and new or eliminated programs of study.

Working at the nexus between Board oversight and academic prerogative, the committee should recognize and respect the central role of the academic administration and faculty in academic planning, curriculum development, faculty development, the evaluation and academic advising of students, and recommendations for faculty appointment, tenure and promotion.

The committee’s specific responsibilities in carrying out its oversight role are delineated in the College of Law Committee’s work plan. The work plan will be reviewed annually and updated as needed. As the compendium of committee responsibilities, the most recently updated work plan will be considered to be an addendum to its charter.

Composition:  The committee is comprised of Trustees and the ex-officio members. The committee is staffed by the Dean of the College of Law, without the right to vote or make motions. A majority of the committee constitutes a quorum, and a quorum of committee members present or participating in a meeting is required for the committee to conduct business or provide necessary approvals.

Student and Faculty Representatives:  The College of Law faculty may select two tenured or tenure-track faculty representatives to serve on the committee, and the Student Bar Association (SBA) likewise will identify two student representatives. The Dean or her/his designate is responsible for providing orientation and support for new student and faculty representatives assigned to the Law committee. Student and faculty representatives serve one-year terms without the ability to vote or make motions. Representatives may elect to make reports on non-confidential aspects of Board of Trustees meetings in accordance with the expectations of their respective constituencies. Faculty representatives may serve multiple terms as their governance organization sees fit.

College of Liberal Arts Committee

Responsibilities:  The Committee on the College of Liberal Arts facilitates the Board’s ultimate responsibility for ensuring undergraduate educational quality by working closely with academic leadership and by regularly monitoring the following:

  • Progress made towards stated strategic goals;
  • Educational goals and outcomes for undergraduate students;
  • Program quality, institutional and program accreditation, and program review;
  • Student admission and enrollment, retention, graduation rates, graduate school acceptances, and job placements;
  • Policies and procedures related to faculty compensation, appointment, tenure, and promotion – and when appropriate, the committee makes recommendations to the Board regarding awarding faculty tenure. Faculty tenure may only be granted by the Board upon recommendation of the President after appropriate consultation with the dean and faculty of the particular school or college and in accordance with the personnel policies and procedures for each school or college; and
  • Campus Life policies and programs, including ensuring that programs meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student body.

The committee should report regularly to the Board and frame recommendations on matters of policy, quality, and funding that require the Board’s consideration and action. The committee will receive appropriate and timely information and data to meet its responsibilities, including but not limited to annual reports on faculty hires, promotions, sabbaticals and new or eliminated programs of study.

Working at the nexus between Board oversight and academic prerogative, the committee should recognize and respect the central role of the academic administration and faculty in academic planning, curriculum development, faculty development, the evaluation and academic advising of students, and recommendations for faculty appointment, tenure and promotion.

The committee’s specific responsibilities in carrying out its oversight role are delineated in the CLA Committee’s work plan. The work plan will be reviewed annually and updated as needed. As the compendium of committee responsibilities, the most recently updated work plan will be considered to be an addendum to its charter.

Composition: The committee is comprised of a minimum of five Trustees and the ex-officio members. A majority of the voting members of the committee constitutes a quorum, and a quorum of committee members present or participating in a meeting is required for the committee to conduct business or provide necessary approvals. The committee is staffed by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts without the right to vote or make motions, and in consultation with the Vice President for Enrollment and University Communications, and the Dean of Campus Life, who are ex-officio members of the committee without the right to vote or make motions.

Student and Faculty Representatives:  The CLA faculty may select two tenured or tenure-track faculty representatives to serve on the committee, and the Associated Students of Willamette University (ASWU) likewise will identify two students representatives. The Dean or her/his designate is responsible for providing orientation and support for new student and faculty representatives assigned to the CLA committee. Student and faculty representatives serve one-year terms without the ability to vote or make motions. Representatives may elect to make reports on non-confidential aspects of Board of Trustees meetings in accordance with the expectations of their respective constituencies. Faculty representatives may serve multiple terms as their governance organization sees fit.

Endowment Committee

Responsibilities:  The Endowment Committee is responsible for directing the investment of the Endowment Fund, specifically:

  • To adopt, review and from time to time modify a policy for management and investment of the Endowment Fund in compliance with applicable statutes and the university bylaws.
  • To manage, control and invest the assets of the Endowment Fund in compliance with the Board’s Endowment Fund policy, and be the stewards of the university’s commitment to intergenerational equity.
  • To report annually or upon any occasion requested to the Executive Committee.
  • To deposit the securities and assets of the Endowment Fund in such bank or banks as may be designated by the Endowment Committee. The Endowment Committee may have the securities and other assets of the Endowment Fund carried in such agency or custodian account with such bank or banks as the committee may from time to time direct. All assets held in the Endowment Fund are the property of the university.
  • To sell, assign and transfer, at such times and on such terms the Endowment Committee may determine, and to vote or cause to be voted upon at meetings or otherwise, any or all of the stocks, bonds, funds, partnership interests and other securities owned or held by or in the name of the university, or its manager, agent or nominee. The Vice President for Financial Affairs or any two Trustee members of the committee are authorized, directed and empowered to make, execute and deliver any and all powers and other instruments as may be necessary or convenient to accomplish any of the purposes herein mentioned.
  • At its discretion, to deposit funds or securities under its control for participation in an externally-managed fund and to withdraw its share of the net assets from said fund either in whole or in part. The committee may determine, at its discretion, the amount of such deposits, and elect the manner in which earnings will be distributed by the externally managed fund.
  • At its discretion, to employ investment counsel and to entrust Endowment Fund assets with investment managers and counsel, granting to them full discretion to invest and reinvest the assets thereof.

The committee’s specific responsibilities in carrying out its oversight role are delineated in the Endowment Committee’s work plan. The work plan will be reviewed annually and updated as needed. As the compendium of committee responsibilities, the most recently updated work plan will be considered to be an addendum to its charter.

Composition:  The committee is composed of not fewer than three nor more than five members of the Board, one of whom must be the Board Treasurer and one who must serve concurrently on the Advancement Committee. In addition, not more than two additional members of the Endowment Committee may be non-Trustees. Each member of the Endowment Committee, including non-Trustee members, is elected by the Board to serve a three-year term. Members may be elected to consecutive terms.

The Endowment Committee is staffed by the Vice President for Financial Affairs who has the ability to vote and make motions.

Facilities and Technology Committee

Responsibilities:  The Facilities and Technology Committee, with the President, develops and revises as necessary, a general campus facilities and technology plan consistent with the overall objectives of the university. Specifically:

  • Planning and recommending to the Financial Affairs Committee specific projects necessary to implement the campus plans. Such projects would include: the purchase or sale of properties, construction of new buildings, and major renovations or enlargement of existing buildings and grounds.
  • Overseeing major construction and renovation projects authorized by the Board.
  • Evaluating and reporting on the condition of buildings and other university facilities, grounds and technological infrastructure to the Executive Committee and the Board.
  • Reviewing, evaluating and making recommendations to the President regarding maintenance policies and practices related to the universities facilities and technology.
  • Monitoring the university’s progress towards sustainability goals and the integration of the principles of sustainability into the operations of the university (facilities planning and construction, maintenance and related business practices).

The committee’s specific responsibilities in carrying out its oversight role are delineated in the Facilities & Technology Committee’s work plan. The work plan will be reviewed annually and updated as needed. As the compendium of committee responsibilities, the most recently updated work plan will be considered to be an addendum to its charter.

Composition:  The committee is comprised of the Trustees and ex-officio members. The Vice President for Financial Affairs serves as the staff liaison to the Facilities & Technology Committee without the ability to vote or make motions. The Vice President for Willamette Integrated Technology Services (WITS) and the Vice President for Administrative Services serve as ex-officio members of this committee without the ability to vote or make motions.

Financial Affairs Committee

Responsibilities:  The Financial Affairs Committee is responsible for recommending to the Board financial policies, goals, and budgets that support the mission, values, and strategic goals of the university. The committee also reviews and reports regularly the organization’s financial performance against its goals and proposes major transactions and programs. The responsibilities of the committee include but are not limited to:

  • Overseeing business operations (including budgeting, banking, borrowing, accounting, risk management), current and plant fund investments, supervision of security and real estate transactions, corporate structure of the university, insurance programs, and employee fringe benefit programs.
  • In concert with the Advancement Committee and other committees as appropriate, working to define specific objectives for the university's fund-raising programs and making recommendations regarding these objectives to the Board.
  • With the President and the Treasurer of the Board, preparing for the university all short and long‑range financial planning proposals for consideration by the Executive Committee.
  • Evaluating and making recommendations to the Board any recommendations and plans received from the Facilities & Technology Committee related to financing for specific projects necessary to implement the campus facilities plans. Such projects would include: the purchase or sale of properties, construction of new buildings, and major renovations or enlargement of existing buildings and grounds.
  • Presenting to the Executive Committee not later than the first meeting of the Executive Committee following December 1 of each year, an estimate of the income, receipts and other monies that will be available from all sources for expenditure during the next fiscal year and, at the same time, submitting a general estimate of the total sum that will be required the next fiscal year for all the operations of the university.
  • The income and expenditure estimates will be accompanied by recommendations for financial policies to be followed during the period. The policy recommendations will include tuition, other income items and personnel compensation. The Executive Committee or the Board will take appropriate action by March 1.
  • After the Executive Committee or the Board takes action, the committee is authorized to call upon the officers of the university to estimate the amounts that should be allowed for their activities during the fiscal year covered by the budget. The budget request thus prepared shall be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval prior to the April meeting of the Executive Committee. Once the budget has been approved by the Executive Committee or the Board, the Chair of the Financial Affairs Committee must be consulted as soon as the need for any major budget deviation becomes apparent.
  • Banking Authority. Upon recommendation of the Financial Affairs Committee, the Executive Committee may, by appropriate resolution, designate certain officers of the university whose signatures, or facsimiles thereof, will authorize payment by banks having accounts maintained in the name of the university or special fund committees.

The committee’s specific responsibilities in carrying out its oversight role are delineated in the Financial Affairs Committee’s work plan. The work plan will be reviewed annually and updated as needed. As the compendium of committee responsibilities, the most recently updated work plan will be considered to be an addendum to its charter.

Composition:  The Financial Affairs Committee consists of a minimum of six members of the Board and the ex-officio members. Among its members are the chairs of the Advancement, Facilities & Technology and Endowment Committees and the Board Treasurer. The Vice President for Financial Affairs shall serve as staff liaison of this committee and may vote in the absence of any regular member of the committee.

Graduate School of Education (GSE) Committee

Responsibilities:  The Committee on the Graduate School of Education facilitates the Board’s ultimate responsibility for educational quality by working closely with academic leadership and by regularly monitoring the following:

  • Progress made towards stated strategic goals;
  • Educational goals and outcomes for candidates;
  • Program quality, institutional and program accreditation, and program review;Admission and enrollment, retention, graduation rates, and job placements;
  • Policies and procedures related to faculty compensation, appointment, tenure, and promotion— and when appropriate, the committee makes recommendations to the Board regarding awarding faculty tenure. Faculty tenure may only be granted by the Board upon recommendation of the President after appropriate consultation with the dean and faculty of the particular school or college and in accordance with the personnel policies and procedures for each school or college; and
  • Regularly reviews academic planning and program structure.

The committee should report regularly to the Board and frame recommendations on matters of policy, quality, and funding that require the Board’s consideration and action.

The committee will receive appropriate and timely information and data to meet its responsibilities, including but not limited to annual reports on faculty hires, promotions, sabbaticals and new or eliminated programs of study.

Working at the nexus between Board oversight and academic prerogative, the committee should recognize and respect the central role of the academic administration and faculty in academic planning, curriculum development, faculty development, the evaluation and academic advising of candidates, and recommendations for faculty appointment, tenure and promotion.

The committee’s specific responsibilities in carrying out its oversight role are delineated in the GSE Committee’s work plan. The work plan will be reviewed annually and updated as needed. As the compendium of committee responsibilities, the most recently updated work plan will be considered to be an addendum to its charter.

Composition:  The committee is comprised of the Trustees and ex-officio members. The committee is staffed by the Dean of the Graduate School of Education without the ability to vote or make motions. A majority of the committee constitutes a quorum, and a quorum of committee members present or participating in a meeting is required for the committee to conduct business or provide necessary approvals.

Student and Faculty Representatives:  The GSE faculty selects two tenured or tenure-track faculty representatives to serve on the committee, and the Dean identifies two candidate representatives. If a candidate governance organization forms at GSE, that organization may select the two candidate representatives. The Dean or her/his designate is responsible for providing orientation and support for new candidate and faculty representatives assigned to the GSE committee. Candidate and faculty representatives serve one-year terms without the ability to vote or make motions. They may elect to make reports on non-confidential aspects of Board of Trustees meetings in accordance with the expectations of their respective constituencies. Faculty representatives may serve multiple terms as their governance organization sees fit.