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General Laws

Section 1A. There shall be a board of trustees for University of Massachusetts consisting of nineteen voting members. Two members shall be full-time students from said institution, 1 member shall be the secretary of education, ex officio, in this chapter called the secretary, or her designee, and 16 members shall be appointed by the governor, at least five of whom shall be alumni of said institution, and one of whom shall be a representative of organized labor who shall be appointed by the governor from a list of not less than two nor more than five names, representing different unions submitted by the Massachusetts State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. If no such list of names is submitted within sixty days after a vacancy occurs, the governor may appoint any representative of organized labor of his own choosing to the board. Of the alumni appointed to the University board, one shall be a graduate of the Amherst campus; one shall be graduate of the Boston campus; one shall be a graduate of the Dartmouth campus; one shall be a graduate of the Lowell campus; and one shall be a graduate of the Worcester campus. The student members shall be elected annually, and each shall be selected on a rotating basis in order by the student body of the Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, and Worcester campuses. In any given year, the elected student representatives of the three campuses without a vote shall be ex officio non-voting members of the board; provided, however, that said members may only participate in open meetings of the full board of trustees.

The term of office of each elected student member shall be one year and shall commence on July first following her election and shall terminate on June thirtieth of the following year. If at any time during the elected term of office said student member ceases to be a full-time student or fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress, the membership of said student shall be terminated and the office of the elected student member shall be deemed vacant. A vacancy in the office of an elected student member prior to the expiration of a term shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the same manner as an election to a full term.

Appointive members shall be appointed to serve for five year terms, but no member shall serve for more than ten years. A vacancy in the appointed membership prior to the expiration of a term shall be filled for the remainder of the term by the governor. Membership on the board of trustees shall terminate if a member ceases to be qualified for appointment. If any member, either elected or appointed, is absent from four regular meetings in any academic year, exclusive of July and August, his office as member of said board shall be deemed vacant. The chairperson shall forthwith notify the governor when any vacancy exists. Said vacancy shall be filled by the governor according to the provisions of section eighteen B of chapter six.

All members of the board shall be elected or appointed for their interests in, and their ability to contribute to, the fulfillment of the purposes of the board. The members appointed by the governor shall include representatives from each region of the commonwealth. All members shall be deemed members-at-large, charged with the responsibility of serving the best interests of the university. No more than one-third of the voting members of the board of trustees shall be principally employed by the commonwealth. Members of the board shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for all expenses reasonably incurred in the performance of their duties. The governor shall appoint the chair of the board of trustees, who shall serve at the governor’s pleasure. Members of the board who are employed on a full-time basis by the commonwealth shall be ineligible to serve as chair.

The board of trustees shall be responsible for establishing those policies necessary for the administrative management of personnel, staff services and the general business of the university. The board shall: (a) cause to be prepared and submit to the secretary and to the board of higher education, in this chapter called the council, estimates of maintenance and capital outlay budgets for the university; (b) establish all fees at said institution, subject to guidelines established by the council. The board shall submit recommendations for fee guidelines to the council. Said fees shall include fines and penalties collected pursuant to the enforcement of traffic and parking rules and regulations. Said rules and regulations shall be enforced by persons in the employ of the institution who throughout the property of the institution shall have the powers of police officers, except as to the service of civil process. Said fees established under the provisions of this section shall be retained by the board of trustees in a revolving fund or funds, and shall be expended as the board of the institution may direct; provided that the foregoing shall not authorize any action in contravention of the requirements of Section 1 of Article LXIII of the Amendments to the Constitution. Said fund or funds shall be subject to annual audit by the state auditor; (c) appoint, transfer, dismiss, promote and award tenure to all personnel of the university; (d) manage and keep in repair all property, real and personal, owned or occupied by the university; (e) seek, accept and administer for faculty research, programmatic and institutional purposes grants, gifts and trusts from private foundations, corporations, federal agencies, alumni and other sources, which shall be administered under the provisions of section two C of chapter twenty-nine and may be disbursed at the direction of the board of trustees pursuant to its authority; (f) implement and evaluate affirmative action policies and programs; (g) establish, implement and evaluate student services and policies; (h) with approval of the board of higher education, establish admission standards and instructional programs for the university, including all major and degree programs; provided, however, that said admission standard shall comply with the provisions of section thirty of chapter fifteen A; (i) have authority to transfer funds within and among subsidiary accounts allocated to the university; (j) establish and operate programs, including summer and evening programs, in accordance with the degree authority conferred under the provisions of this chapter; (k) with the approval of the council, award degrees in fields, either independently or in conjunction with other institutions; and (l) submit a 5-year master plan to the secretary and the council, which plan shall be subject to the secretary’s approval, in consultation with the council, and shall be updated annually on or before the first Wednesday of December in each year; (m) submit financial data and an annual institutional spending plan to the secretary and the council for review. Said plan shall include an account of spending from all revenue sources including but not limited to, trust funds; (n) develop and submit to the secretary and the board of higher education, for approval, a mission statement for each campus, as well as a statement for the university, consistent with identified missions of the system of public higher education as a whole. In developing its mission statements for the secretary and the board of higher education, the university shall provide a clear indication of the different missions of its campuses and shall provide national benchmarks that demonstrate each campus’ success in competing with peer institutions. The chancellors of institutions with the potential to expand their mission, profile and orientation to a more regional or national focus may develop in consultation with the board of trustees of the university a 5-year plan embracing an entrepreneurial model which leverages that potential in order to achieve higher levels of excellence. Such plans shall include, but not be limited to, budget and enrollment projections for each year, projections for total student charges for each year, projections for in-state and out-of-state enrollments for each year, and plans to ensure continuing access to the institution by residents of the Commonwealth, and affirmative action policies and programs that affirm the need for and a commitment to maintaining and increasing access for economically disadvantaged and minority students. The board of trustees shall vote to approve said plan, or to return it to the chancellor of the campus with recommended changes. Approval shall require a two-thirds vote. If the board recommends changes, the chancellor may submit a redrafted plan, which will be treated as a new plan under the provisions of this clause. As the flagship research campus of the University system, the Amherst campus shall structure any such proposal to demonstrate how its adoption will serve to support the institution’s effort to achieve parity with its peer institutions and enhance its ability to compete with them for students, faculty, and research funding. All such plans shall include, but not be limited to, a 3-year retrospective description of performance and a 5-year plan for future goals. Said mission statements shall be forwarded to the secretary and the council for approval. The board of trustees shall, after their approval, make said mission statements available to the public; (o) submit an institutional self-assessment report to the secretary and the council, which the board of trustees shall make public and available at the institution. Said assessment report shall be used to foster improvement at the institution by the board of trustees and shall include information relative to the institution’s progress in fulfilling its mission, as approved by the secretary. Said report shall be submitted, initially, by January first, nineteen hundred and ninety-three and every two years thereafter; (p) submit recommendations to the council for approval for tuition rates at the university.

The board of trustees may delegate to the president of the university any of the powers and responsibilities herein enumerated.

The commonwealth shall indemnify a member of the board against loss by reason of the liability to pay damages to a party for any claim arising out of any official judgment, decision, or conduct of said member; provided, however, that said member has acted in good faith and without malice; and provided, further, that the defense or settlement of such claim shall have been made by the attorney general or his designee. If a final judgment or decree is entered in favor of a party other than said member, the clerk of the court where such judgment or decree is entered, shall, within twenty-one days after the final disposition of the claim, provide said member with a certified copy of such judgment or entry of decree, showing the amount due from said member, who shall transmit the same to the comptroller who shall forthwith notify the governor; and the governor shall draw his warrant for such amount on the state treasurer, who shall pay the same from appropriations made for the purpose by the general court.

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