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Office of the President

Responsibilities of Individual Trustees

General Responsibilities

  • Believe in the value of RIT and its mission and be willing enthusiastically to further its interests.
  • Take seriously one's trusteeship and work diligently to enhance one's competence and fulfillment of duties.
  • To the extent of one's ability, support the University financially and assist in acquiring support from other sources.
  • Become sufficiently knowledgeable about RIT to make informed policy decisions.
  • Be able and willing to devote sufficient time to trustee duties.
  • Participate in good faith decisions consistent with the Institution's mission.
  • Provide information and advice regarding external factors influencing the mission and policies of RIT.

 

Specific Duties


 

Board and Committee Meetings:

  • Maintain excellent attendance.
  • Read background materials and come prepared.
  • Participate in discussions according to one's knowledge, conscience, and convictions.
  • Support majority decisions.
  • Suggest agenda items.

Conflicts of Interest:

  • Read, understand, and abide by the RIT Conflicts of Interest Policy.

Financial:

  • Read and understand financial statements.

Leadership:

  • Serve in leadership positions or undertake special assignments when asked, to the extent of one's ability and availability.

Orientation and In-Service Education:

  • Take advantage of orientation and in-service education programs provided by RIT.
  • When possible, attend the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) Conference, AGB seminars, and other programs on trusteeship.
  • Read Rochester Institute of Technology: Industrial Development and Educational Innovation in an American City, by Professor Dane R. Gordon, the RIT Bylaws, and become familiar with the Trustee Manual.
  • Become knowledgeable about Board policies and procedures.

Board Composition:

  • Continually attempt to identify highly qualified potential trustees and refer them to the Committee on Trustees.

Knowledge of RIT:

  • Become knowledgeable about the area of RIT that relates to one's Board committee assignment.
  • Participate in the life of RIT. For example: attend significant campus events such as opening convocation and commencement and meet with faculty, staff, and student groups.
  • Read RIT publications such as the Annual Report and News & Events.

Advocacy of RIT:

  • Speak knowledgeably and positively about RIT in business and social contexts.
  • Publicly speak with one voice regarding Board and University matters.
  • Assist in advocating for legislation, government support, or other public assistance to benefit RIT.
  • In general, use one's personal, political, or economic influence to benefit RIT.

Communication:

  • Raise questions and communicate concerns to the President and other administrative officers in a timely manner.
  • Encourage open communication within the Board and with the University.
  • Maintain confidentiality of Board deliberations.

Fund Raising:

  • Contribute personally to the annual fund and capital campaigns to the extent of one's ability.
  • Assist in identifying and acquiring external resources for the University according to one's interests, abilities, and available opportunities.

Support for the Administration:

  • Provide advice and support to the President and administrative officers.
  • Avoid interference in administrative matters.
  • Support reasonable risk-taking by administrators.
  • Follow normal channels of communication and decision-making within the administration.

Policy-Making:

  • Work toward consensus in policy matters.
  • Gain the knowledge about RIT and the issues involved that are required to make wise policy decisions.

Avoid:

(taken from "The Model Trustee: A Job Description" by David M. Lascell and James E. Holst)

  • Asking for special favors of the administration, including requests for information without at least prior consultation with the Board or committee chairperson.
  • Prejudiced judgments based on information received from individuals on campus without consulting those directly responsible.
  • Accepting property or loans from the Institution.
  • Accepting favors or gifts from anyone who does business with the Institution, or providing them to such business.
  • Benefiting financially at the Institution's expense.