Digital Commonwealth

Board of Trustees Records, 1863-2010

University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries Special Collections and University Archives

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Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrew incorporated the Board of Trustees for the Massachusetts Agricultural College on April 29, 1863. The first board of fourteen trustees was charged with the task of creating a new agricultural college. The following year, members of the Board were established as overseers for the college, and Charles L. Flint, secretary, became college secretary as well. The Board of Trustees (including student trustees), governs the University, and meets regularly to act on University-wide matters of policy, mission, finance, and campus maintenance. Governance responsibilities in some areas (e.g., tuition, academic program review and approval) are shared with the statewide Board of Higher Education. The Board of Trustees maintains a Chair and six standing committees: Executive, Administration and Finance, Academic and Student Affairs, Athletics, Audit, and External Affairs. The President and the Five College Chancellors administer board policy. The bulk of the Board of Trustees records consists of meeting minutes (1906-2007) and Trustee Documents (1963-2007). Trustee Meeting Minutes (1863-1981) and Trustee Documents (1963-1981) are also available on microfiche. Comprehensive lists of all trustees serving the college and university since 1863 can also be found in this record group. Some of the individual trustees have extensive files, which contain correspondence, publications, and news clippings. Additional materials can be found in Trustees Photographs. Of note are the records of the significant undertaking by the Trustees' "Commission on the Future of the University of Massachusetts" (1988-1989), which resulted in the state's five public university campuses being consolidated under a single President and Board of Trustees.