Institutional Governing Board Authority

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Board Oversight of Fiscal, Personnel, and Operational Issues is Essential

Article VIII, Section 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 affirms that the governing boards of the state universities of Michigan “have general supervision of its institution and the control and direction of all expenditures from the institution’s funds.” More than 150 years of jurisprudence has consistently upheld governing board authority over the entire university enterprise. This campus autonomy is a foundational aspect of governance among Michigan’s public universities and is essential to ensuring effective oversight and informed decision-making involving operational and strategic matters at these institutions. Issues involving expenditures, facilities planning, personnel, zoning, and public-private partnerships are under the authority of institutional governing boards.

Policy Action:
  • Promote understanding and recognition among stakeholders of the authority governing boards have over public university strategic and operational matters.