GPP.07 Trustee Responsibilities and Commitments

Board of Trustees

Statement of Responsibilities

The Board of Trustees is expected to fulfill its responsibilities in the best interests of Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) and consistent with its affiliations described below. The responsibilities of the Board of Trustees are described in EMU’s Bylaws.

The Board’s responsibilities include:

  1. Appoint EMU’s President following a search conducted by a committee appointed by the Board of Trustees and MEA, and ensure regular performance feedback and evaluation for the President.
  2. Review and revise university mission, vision, and values statements as needed, and at least every 3-5 years in conjunction with strategic planning cycles.
  3. Approve new programs, program changes and deletions, and undertake strategic and long-range planning, including establishing the campus master plan and capital projects.
  4. Through personal philanthropy and philanthropic advocacy, assist EMU in securing financial resources to support adequately its institutional goals and otherwise support EMU in its advancement and public relations efforts.
  5. Establish broad institutional policies and material operating policies of EMU.
  6. Approve EMU’s annual budget and all material capital expenditures.
  7. Approve procedures for faculty hiring, promotion, dismissal, and the extension of long-term contracts.
  8. Evaluate and monitor continuously that EMU’s academic, financial, development and administrative goals and objectives are being achieved.
  9. Provide counsel to the President of EMU on major administrative issues.
  10. In its discretion, act as a court of appeal for EMU faculty, staff and students.
  11. Maintain procedures to receive guidance from, and regularly make reports to, MEA.
  12. Recruit, orient and provide professional development opportunities for trustees.

Core Commitments

The Board of Trustees is committed to excellence in its governance practices. We hold the following expectations and commitments as foundational in building an effective and strong board.

  1. We value the unique gifts, perspectives and experience that each trustee brings to the board.
  2. All trustees are members in good standing of a Mennonite congregation or of another Christian faith community and exhibits high ethical standards in her/his personal and professional life.
  3. All trustees will actively participate in board and committee meetings including regular attendance, listening and reflection, contributing perspectives, innovative ideas, insights and counsel, and engaging differences respectfully.
  4. We are committed to creating a vibrant board culture, cultivated by mutual respect, diversity, candid dialogue, prayerful discernment, and trust.
  5. Trustees are able and willing to assume fiduciary responsibility for the overall operations of the university.
  6. Trustees are expected to support EMU financially by including EMU among their top three philanthropic commitments during their tenure on the board. In joining EMU’s board, trustees understand that they will make a substantial gift to the University Fund annually, to the current capital campaign, and will give serious consideration to include EMU in their estate plan commitments.
  7. All board members, regardless of philanthropic capacity, are encouraged to advocate for EMU within their spheres of influence. This includes the all-important effort to identify and encourage students to attend EMU.
  8. Trustees will separate personal interests from university interests in all actions related to the university.
  9. We speak as one board. All trustees are expected to support and represent the board’s decisions publicly.
  10. All trustees are expected to engage as active learners, strengthening the individual and collective capacity to govern with excellence and will participate in the performance evaluation processes for trustees and for the board.  
  11. We are committed to faithfully pray for EMU’s president, faculty, staff, students, and board as we work together to live out EMU’s mission, vision and values.

Approved by EMU Board of Trustees, June 2017

Updated: Trustee Committee of EMU Board of Trustees, March 2020

Revised and approved by EMU Board of Trustees, June 2020