O-Issue 2014: Board of Trustees

By Christine Schmidt

If the administration is represented by the gargoyles on Cobb Gate, then the trustees are the ones who decided which way they’re facing.

Tasked with shaping the University’s long-term vision, the Board of Trustees is comprised of 55 prominent alumni and industry leaders ranging from *New York Times* op-ed columnist David Brooks (A.B. ’83) to businessman and Board Chairman Andrew Alper (A.B. ’80, M.B.A. ’81). The Board selects who will serve in the higher levels of the administration, including the president, provost, and vice presidents, as well as fellow trustees.

Crafting the University’s future plans goes beyond the structure of the administration—it involves the crafting of the actual infrastructure of the University. The past decade has been a period of major campus growth, from the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts (opened 2012) to South Campus Residence Hall and Dining Commons (2001) to Joe and Rika Mansueto Library (2011). These projects were in large part provided for by a recent fundraising campaign, spearheaded by Alper over the course of eight years and resulting in more than $2 billion raised. The University recently ramped up fundraising in a new campaign entitled Inquiry and Impact, with the target of raising $4.5 billion by 2019.

While the Board of Trustees may seem like a transcendent entity, one of its ties to the student body comes in the form of Student Government’s Undergraduate and Graduate Liaisons to the Board of Trustees. This year’s liaisons—School of Social Service Administration student Katie Schumacher and second-year in the College Leeho Lim—enter their roles after campaigns that strongly questioned the disenfranchisement of the liaisons.