Role of the Board of Trustees
In adopting the Donahoe Higher Education Act of 1960, the State Legislature established the Board of Trustees of The California State Colleges (designated "The California State University" on Jan. 1, 1982) to "succeed to the powers, duties and functions with respect to the management, administration and control of the state colleges." Prior to this, the State Board of Education had jurisdiction over the separate colleges.
The Donahoe Act also restructured the individual campuses into the nation's largest system of senior higher education. The Board of Trustees governs this diverse and complex 23-campus system by:
- developing broad administrative policy for the campuses;
- providing broad direction and coordination to campus curricular development;
- overseeing the efficient management of funds, property, facilities and investments by the system and the campuses;
- appointing the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors for the system, and the Presidents for the campuses as chief executives with certain delegated responsibilities; and
- communicating to the people of California an understanding and appreciation of the current effectiveness and the future needs of the California State University.
The Governor is designated as the President of the Board, the General Counsel serves as Secretary, and the Chief Financial Officer as Treasurer. Other officers, including the Board's Chair and Vice Chair, are elected by Board members for one-year terms. One Trustee serves as representative to the California Postsecondary Education Commission.
Currently there are nine standing committees of the Board: Audit; Campus Planning, Buildings and Grounds; Collective Bargaining; Educational Policy; Finance; Governmental Relations; Institutional Advancement; Organization and Rules; and University and Faculty Personnel.
The Board of Trustees is responsible for the oversight of the California State University. The Board adopts rules, regulations, and policies governing the California State University. The Board has authority over curricular development, use of property, development of facilities, and fiscal and human resources management.
The 25-member Board of Trustees meets seven times per year. Board meetings allow for communication among the trustees, chancellor, campus presidents, executive committee members of the statewide Academic Senate, representatives of the California State Student Association, and officers of the statewide Alumni Council.
The Donahoe Act - which grew out of the recommendations of A Master Plan for Higher Education in California, 1960-1975 - became Division 16.5 of the California Education Code. Along with Division 18, it defines the composition, appointments, terms, powers, and functions of the Board of Trustees.
Section 89030 of the Code provides that "the Trustees shall adopt rules and regulations not inconsistent with the laws of this State for: a) the government of the Trustees, b) the government of their appointees and employees, c) the government of the California State University." Section 66607 stipulates that "The California State University shall be entirely independent of all political and sectarian influence and kept free therefrom in the appointment of its Trustees and in the administration of its affairs."