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College Governance

A1: Board of Trustees

  1. Composition of the Board

  2. The Board consists of not fewer than twenty‑four (24) nor more than thirty‑four (34) members.  Twelve (12) are elected by the General Synod of the Reformed Church in America, not fewer than twelve (12) nor more than twenty-two (22) at‑large members are elected by the Board of Trustees, two are elected by the Board of Trustees from among the faculty members, and the President of the College is a member by virtue of his office.

  3. Meetings of the Board

    The Board meets three times annually (January, May and October) and at other times upon call by the Chairperson or the President.

  4. Selection of the Faculty Trustees

    Each of the two faculty members serves a four-year term, with the terms staggered. Thus, each year in which there is a vacancy, two faculty members are nominated by the faculty through nomination balloting conducted by the P.I.C.  At its May meeting, the Trustee Affairs Committee of the Board submits the two faculty nominations, and other nominations as the Committee deems advisable.  The Board then elects one of the nominees.
  5. *No member of the faculty may serve more than one four-year term.

  6. Responsibilities of Faculty Trustees

    Duly elected faculty participate as voting members with all the responsibilities and privileges of Board members.  They periodically report to the faculty information which is not restricted regarding the actions of the Board.

  7. Faculty Liaison Members on Board Committees

    One faculty member is appointed to serve as a liaison between the faculty and each of the five major standing committees of the Board of Trustees.  The responsibilities of this liaison person are to present faculty opinions and perspectives to the Board of Trustees, to respond to questions from Board members, and to serve as a resource person for the Board committee.  Appointments to presently constituted Board committees shall be made by the Status Committee, normally from the faculty membership of the campus governance bodies as follows:

      Academic Affairs Committee – Chair of Academic Affairs Board

      Admissions Committee –Chair of Committee on Admissions & Financial Aid

      Business and Finance Committee –Chair of Professional Interests Committee

      College Advancement Committee –Chair of Administrative Affairs Board

      Student Life Committee – Chair of Campus Life Board

  8. Committee on Honorary Degrees and Citations


      1. To review and approve nominations of candidates for special citations.
      2. To receive or initiate nominations for honorary degrees and to recommend to the Board of Trustees candidates for honorary degrees.
      3. To advise the Board of Trustees on policies and procedures for the awarding of honorary degrees and citations


      The chairperson and the secretary of the Board of Trustees; the President and the Provost of the College; the two faculty Trustees; one faculty member appointed by the Status Committee; and the President of the Student Congress.  The Provost chairs the committee and prepares all reports and recommendations of the committee.

  9. Student Voice on the Board of Trustees

  10. The Board of Trustees invites the Student Congress to elect for one‑year terms a student liaison to each of the five major standing committees of the Board.

  11. Functions of the Board of Trustees

    By charter, the Board of Trustees is the legal custodian of the College and assumes ultimate responsibility for the total program of the College.  It has direct responsibility for selecting and supporting a President, for long‑range planning, for obtaining the necessary financial resources and facilities needed for the educational program of the College, for establishing faculty personnel policies, for deciding the broad aims of the College program, and for reviewing and establishing policies needed to maintain and develop such a program.  The Board of Trustees, in its bylaws, has delegated major responsibility to the administration, faculty and student body to determine and administer the specific policies of all phases of the intellectual, cultural, social, and religious programs of the College.

The remainder of Section A of the handbook is devoted primarily to describing the organization at this second level of College governance, with special emphasis upon the role of the faculty.

At its meeting on May 28, 1970, the Hope College Board of Trustees received as a guideline for College governance the 1966 "Joint Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities" of the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. (Copies of this published statement are available in the Provost's Office.)