The trustee role

  • The Board of Trustees is comprised of 64 members, representing students, faculty, employees, alumni, labor, agriculture, and New York State government. Cornell’s board is the only Ivy League board that includes trustees elected by students, faculty and employees.

    The board is vested with “supreme control” over the university and is responsible for stewarding the long-term strategic direction, reputation and finances of the university.

    It approves the operating budget of the university, including tuition levels and financial aid policies.
    It manages the university’s endowment and determines how much to pay out each year to support university operations, faculty salaries, and financial aid.
    It approves significant new buildings and major renovations of existing buildings, like Klarman Hall, Gates Hall, Cornell Health, and the new North Campus residential expansion.
    It elects the Cornell president.
    It also decides major policy matters, like whether to create a technology campus in New York City, a College of Business, a School of Public Policy, or a medical college in foreign countries, like Qatar.

    In short, the board of trustees ensures that the mission, vision, values and reputation of the university live forever and remain true to our founding principles.

Alumni-elected trustees in the news