University System of New Hampshire

I. Governance Policies

Table of Contents

BOT Board of Trustees :: I. Governance Policies

A. Implementation of the Student Trustee Election Law

  1. Preamble
  2. Campus Rotation
  3. Candidates
  4. Voting
  5. Election Procedures

B. Implementation of the Alumni Trustee Election Law

  1. Preamble
  2. Authority
  3. Eligibility to Serve
  4. Eligibility to Vote
  5. Nominations
  6. Voting

C. Authority of the USNH Treasurer and Secretary

  1. Authority of the USNH Treasurer
  2. Authority of the USNH Secretary

D. Expectations of Members of the Board of Trustees

E. Strategic Planning

F. Submission of Agenda Items

  1. Distribution of Agenda and Materials
  2. Review and Approval of Agenda Items
  3. Late Items and/or Materials

A. Implementation of the Student Trustee Election Law

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "BOT.I.A.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)


A. Implementation of the Student Trustee Election Law

  1. Preamble. To guide the conduct of the student trustee elections authorized under Chapter 124 of the laws of 1979 and subsequent amendments, the Board of Trustees under the authority of RSA 187-A:13 and 16 adopts the following policy:
  2. Campus Rotation. Chapter 76 of the New Hampshire Laws of 2011 provides that the 2011 elections for student trustee will occur at the University of New Hampshire and Plymouth State University, the 2012 elections at Plymouth State University and Granite State College, the 2013 elections at Granite State College and Keene State College, and the 2014 elections at Keene State College and the University of New Hampshire. Unless the law is repealed or amended, the election for the student trustee in subsequent years shall rotate among the campuses in the same order.
  3. Candidates. Any full-time matriculated undergraduate or graduate student at the institution scheduled for the student trustee election shall be entitled to run as a candidate for student trustee. This student should appear on the ballot provided:
    1. The student has completed at least three semesters or terms at the institution they would represent; and
    2. The student has submitted a petition with not less than 50 student signatures to the appropriate student government representative at least 2 weeks prior to the election, except at Granite State College where the student is required to submit a statement of interest to the President's Office at least 2 weeks prior to the election.
  4. Voting. All full-time matriculated undergraduate and graduate students shall be eligible to vote for student trustee.
  5. Election Procedures. Each institution shall carry out the election of the student trustee under the same procedures used for the election of the student body president. In case of conflict between those procedures and this policy, the terms of this policy shall control.

B. Implementation of the Alumni Trustee Election Law

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "BOT.I.B.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)


B. Implementation of the Alumni Trustee Election Law

  1. Preamble. In state law, RSA 187-A:13, IV, V, and VI provide for four Board members to be elected by the alumni of UNH, one by the alumni of PSU, and one by the alumni of KSC, without further specifying the manner in which said elections are to be conducted. In order to provide for the consistent and orderly election of alumni trustees, the Board hereby establishes the following procedures by which all such elections shall be conducted.
  2. Authority. The alumni associations, acting through their governing boards, shall conduct the elections of alumni trustees. The alumni associations are authorized to establish such election procedures as may be expedient or desirable, provided that such procedures do not conflict with either state law or the provisions of this policy.
  3. Eligibility to Serve. An alumni association shall nominate for election only individuals who are current members of said alumni association. No alumni trustee may be elected to more than two successive four-year terms.
  4. Eligibility to Vote. Every member in good standing of the alumni of an institution shall be entitled to cast one vote in the election of the alumni trustee (or trustees) from said institution.
  5. Nominations. The alumni association conducting an election shall create a nominating committee to include non-biased representatives of the alumni community and shall develop an election timeline that provides an opportunity for information about the candidates and the process to be broadly disseminated. The nominating committee shall nominate at least one candidate for election and prepare an appropriate form of ballot that explicitly provides for write-in voting.
  6. Voting. The alumni association shall establish and publish the procedures by which voting will be conducted, including, if deemed desirable by the association, provision for voting by electronic data communication.

C. Authority of the USNH Treasurer and Secretary

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "BOT.I.C.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)


C. Authority of the USNH Treasurer and Secretary

  1. The Board of Trustees authorizes the Treasurer of the University System of New Hampshire to execute all contracts, leases, grants, deeds, negotiable instruments, and any other legal documents whatsoever on behalf of the USNH and each of its component institutions.
  2. The Board of Trustees authorizes the Secretary of the University System of New Hampshire to hold and maintain the seal, minute books, and official records of the USNH and its component institutions and to issue certificates with respect to those minute books and official records and to affix the seal to such certificates.

D. Expectations of Members of the Board of Trustees

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "BOT.I.D.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)


D. Expectations of Members of the Board of Trustees

  1. Membership on the USNH Board of Trustees is an exciting, rewarding, and demanding endeavor. Full and proper execution of the duties and responsibilities of a Trustee requires a substantial commitment of time, intellectual energy, and effort. Every Trustee is expected to meet or exceed shared standards for participation, decorum, collegiality and integrity including, but not limited to, the following.
  2. A Trustee shall at all times discharge his or her duties as a Trustee in good faith, with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would exercise under similar circumstances.
  3. A Trustee shall carefully prepare for, and regularly attend, all scheduled Board meetings and the meetings of Committees to which he or she is assigned.
  4. A Trustee shall commit the time necessary to actively participate and be effective in Board and Committee meetings.
  5. A Trustee shall act with decorum and recognize that his or her behavior will be attributed to and reflect on the other members of the Board and USNH. In meetings, other Board events and activities, and in his or her life outside of the Board, a Trustee shall relate to every other member of the Board with a spirit of collegiality, respect, and cooperation.
  6. A Trustee shall faithfully execute his or her duties in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in the best interests of USNH, setting aside all other interests, personal or otherwise.
  7. A Trustee may challenge the judgment of others when he or she deems it necessary to do so, and shall vote his or her individual convictions after listening to others. A Trustee must, however, be willing to work with fellow Board members in the best interests of USNH and should not undermine Board decisions publicly or otherwise.
  8. A Trustee shall support the Chancellor's and Presidents' roles as chief executive officers, to whom the Board has delegated broad responsibility for the management and administration of his or her respective institution.
  9. A Trustee shall communicate promptly and as appropriate any significant concern or complaint of which he or she becomes aware to the Chancellor or Board Chair.
  10. A Trustee shall recognize that he or she is not the official spokesperson for USNH or the Board unless otherwise designated. When a Trustee engages in communications as an individual, whether with USNH students or employees, public officials or citizens, the media, or anyone else, the Trustee shall be guided by the expectations set forth in this statement.
  11. A Trustee shall support the fundraising activities of USNH and its component institutions through financial participation and otherwise, according to his or her personal circumstances.
  12. The constituency of each Trustee is USNH, regardless of the source of appointment. A Trustee shall act independently for the benefit of USNH as a whole and not for the benefit of a particular program or interest.
  13. A Trustee shall comply with the letter and spirit of the Board of Trustees' Policy on Conflict of Interest, BOT III.I.
  14. A Trustee shall not engage in conduct that would bring discredit on the Board or USNH or any of its component institutions.
  15. The Board Chairman or Executive Committee shall refer to the Governance Committee all cases in which a member of the Board is alleged to have violated one or more of the expectations enumerated in this policy and/or his or her legal duties as a Trustee. The Governance Committee shall fully and fairly review the matter and report to the Executive Committee its findings and recommendations for further action, if any. The Executive Committee, after considering the findings and recommendations, may issue a private reprimand, recommend to the full Board a public vote of censure or, in appropriate cases, no confidence, or take such further action as may be allowed by law.

E. Strategic Planning

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "BOT.I.E.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)


E. Strategic Planning

  1. Each institution shall develop a strategic plan for presentation to the Board of Trustees. Strategic plans shall include academic, financial, human resources, and capital planning components, and provide for the accomplishment of the respective institutional missions. The plans shall also recognize the institution's role and impact within the larger system of institutions (including opportunities to collaborate and/or adverse impacts that might result). The Administrative Board shall ensure the plans are appropriately well-coordinated.
  2. Annually, at the Board of Trustees' retreat, each campus President and the Chancellor should identify the key strategic issues for their respective institutions and set out the strategic priorities and risks for the coming fiscal year. The Administrative Board shall adopt a template acceptable to the Board of Trustees for the institutional presentations to ensure the presentations and associated materials are appropriately strategic and comparable.
  3. Following the annual retreat, the Administrative Board will carefully consider the Board of Trustees' responses to the presentations and its members will make such adjustments to their respective institutional strategic plans as may be necessary or desirable.
  4. At the Board of Trustees' business meetings the host institution will present a status report on its strategic plan, results, and system-wide impacts.

F. Submission of Agenda Items

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "BOT.I.E.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)


F. Submission of Agenda Items

1.  Distribution of Agenda and Materials.  Meeting agendas and supporting materials ordinarily shall be available to Trustees at least eight (8) days in advance of a scheduled meeting of the full Board or any Committee.  In unusual circumstances the Board Chair or Committee Chair may authorize the distribution of an agenda and/or supporting materials closer to the scheduled meeting.

2.  Review and approval of Agenda Items.  The Board Chair or Committee Chair may require the prior review and approval of agenda items and/or supporting materials and can in their discretion establish a deadline for the submission of items and materials for review.

3.  Late Items and/or Materials.  Under extraordinary circumstances and with the approval of the Board Chair or Committee Chair, late items and/or materials may be included on the agenda, clearly labeled on the agenda and in the minutes as a “Late Item.”  The Board’s or Committee’s deliberation of a late item shall include explicit discussion of whether Trustees have had sufficient time to review, understand, and consider the item and any related materials.