Preserving and Extending the Vassar Mission, for This and Future Generations

The Vassar College Board of Trustees, or the Board, is the College’s principal governing body. The shared governance of Vassar College establishes the rights and responsibilities of the trustees and describes the organization and means of shared responsibility and distributed decision-making, consultation and advising that support and encourage fulfillment of the Mission Statement of the College. As fiduciaries, the Board delegates responsibility, with accountability, over operations of the College to the President, and, as to certain matters, to the faculty, the students and the alumnae/i. In doing so, the trustees ensure that Vassar’s academic and administrative leadership are guided by sound policies and practices and equipped with adequate resources to further Vassar’s mission. In this work, they balance the needs of today’s faculty, students, alumni, and staff with those of future generations, and promote the well-being and excellence of the College.

A commitment to protect what makes Vassar unique and excellent

The Board is a uniquely engaged group that includes the President of the College and between 22–35 Vassar graduates and elected members. New trustees are nominated and elected to the Board at the annual meeting in May, with input from Board members and administrators. All trustees serve on one or more of eleven committees. 

There are two observers to the Board: the chair of the faculty, policy, and conferencing committee and the president of the Vassar Student Association. The Board is staffed and supported by the senior team of the College.

Drawing from their wide-ranging areas of expertise and common commitment to Vassar, trustees address issues of strategic importance and offer guidance to support the stewardship of the College. The Board meets multiple times each year with Vassar’s academic and administrative leaders to review, discuss, and/or vote on such matters as faculty and senior leadership appointments, status of student life, the conferral of degrees, major building projects, and operating and capital budgets.

Engagement with the community

During and between meetings, the trustees connect with members of the Vassar community, including faculty, students, and staff. When they are on campus, some do so formally, in regular meetings with student government and faculty leadership, and others informally, at lunches and other campus events. Board Student Ambassadors work with trustees to create additional opportunities for engaging with the campus community. Off campus, trustees meet with alumni at a variety of small and large gatherings, engaging on issues of importance to Vassar and higher education in general.

Service to the College and beyond

In their role, trustees work to ensure that Vassar’s excellence continues for generations and across the entire community. Board members act as stewards for the generous gifts of their fellow alumni; they preserve the physical resources of Vassar’s 1,000 acres; and they make sure that its nearly 300 faculty, more than 1,000 staff/administrators, and more than 2,400 students are able to teach, work, and learn at the highest levels.