Dartmouth College, Board of Trustees records, 1770-2004 Rauner Manuscript DA-1

Introduction

The Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College was created as "one body corporate and politick" by the charter of Dartmouth College, 13 December 1769, comprising twelve members, including the President of the College and the Governor of New Hampshire as ex officio members. The Board first met in Keene, New Hampshire, 22 October 1770, and consisted of Sir John Wentworth, Gov. of New Hampshire, the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, President of Dartmouth College, Theodore Atkinson, George Jaffrey, Daniel Pierce, Peter Gilman, William Pitkin, Benjamin Pomeroy, James Lockwood, Timothy Pitkin, John Smalley, and William Patten. Dartmouth’s Board of Trustee is responsible for oversight of the financial, administrative, and academic affairs of the College, including the appointment and evaluation of the President, long-range strategic planning, maintaining the academic quality of all the degree programs, ensuring the excellence of the faculty and the quality of the student experience, approving operating and capital budgets, managing the endowment, leading fundraising efforts, setting tuition and fees, and approving major policy changes. Over the years, the number of “elected” Trustees (i.e., Trustees in addition to the President and the Governor) and the overall size of the Board have varied. The Charter originally set the number of elected trustees at ten. In 1961, the New Hampshire legislature and the Board approved a Charter amendment increasing the number of elected Trustees to 14, and amended again in 1967 to omit the New Hampshire residency requirement for any members of the Board. In 2003, the Board voted to increase the number of elected Trustees to 20. Two of those new Board seats has been filled, bringing the current size of the Board to 18 (16 “elected” Trustees, the Governor, and the President of the College.) Today, as it has since 1970, the Board elects a Chair separate from the President of the College. Among the major actions of the Board were the establishment of professional schools in Medicine (1797), Engineering (1867) and Business (1900); resolutions in 1876 and 1891 allowing for alumni nominations of some candidates for Trustee; the November 22, 1971, resolution making the undergraduate college coeducational; and the November 1989 decision to divest from companies doing business with South Africa.

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