Magazine On-line [fall 2011]
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Around Campus

Board of Trustees is smaller after major restructuring

A major restructuring of the Transylvania Board of Trustees has resulted in a smaller group of active board members who will become more involved in the governance of the university, plus the creation of a Board of Regents whose members will act in an advisory capacity.

Other significant changes to the operation of the board include a term limit of five years, a 10-year limit on board service before sitting out a year, more meetings, and longer meetings that will likely stretch over two days.

“With everything we’re facing today, from the need for financial resources and keen strategic thinking, the more involvement we can get from board members, the better,” said William T. Young Jr., chairman of the board.

Young emphasized that the push for board overhaul came from the board members themselves.

“This was self-initiated,” Young said.

“Several trustees came to me and said they would like to get more involved in board strategy and decision-making, and wanted to review board structure. I appointed an ad hoc committee to study the possible changes.”

Norwood “Buddy” Cowgill Jr. ’65 was a member of the ad hoc committee and feels the new board structure, which was approved by the board at its May 2011 meeting, will benefit the university going forward.

“I am very excited about the new arrangements,” he said. “This structure will result in a stronger, more active, and more involved board. The change was necessary because of the many challenges facing higher education and the need to improve the governance of the university.”

Ann Rosenstein Giles ’75 served on the committee and noted the research that was done in relation to boards at colleges similar to Transylvania.

“The committee spent a great deal of time studying the role of university boards and found that we were not unique in wanting to make these changes,” she said. “The competitive arena has shifted and will continue to evolve due to the ever-changing financial, educational, and international world in which we live today. We are fortunate to have a very strong board whose members want to be more involved and work together with President Williams to move Transylvania ahead.”

The new board consists of 37 members, in contrast to the 66 members of the former board. Young met with all board members to determine their interest in serving under the new structure, and several chose to become Board of Regents members.

“The board was dealing with the interesting dynamic of how you ensure a critical mass of members without becoming so large that you lose some of the engagement of all members,” said President R. Owen Williams. “The resulting smaller board will make it easier for members to really help the university.”

There will continue to be an executive committee consisting of the officers, standing committee chairs, and other members as determined by the board chairman.

Transylvania Board of Trustees
William T. Young Jr., Chairman
William M. Arvin ’61
Glen S. Bagby ’66
Mindy G. Barfield ’85
Elizabeth Brooks Bulleit ’76
Karen K. Caldwell ’77
Aristides S. Candris ’73
John S. Carroll
Joe E. Coons ’73
Norwood Cowgill Jr. ’65
Luther Deaton Jr.
Rose Mary Stamler Dow ’88
Angela L. Edwards ’91
Michael C. Finley ’90
James H. Frazier III ’76
Ann Rosenstein Giles ’75
John R. Hall
Laura R. Harper ’84
Claria D. Horn ’91

James L. Hurley ’69
James G. Kenan III
Samuel J. Mitchell Jr.
William C. Oehmig ’71
Erwin Roberts ’94
Warren W. Rosenthal
Frances F. Taylor ’75
Joe M. Thomson ’66
John E. Tobe
Herbert B. Tully
George M. VanMeter Jr. ’77
A. Guy Waldrop ’59
Jeffrey P. Williams
John N. Williams Jr. ’74
Ann Orme Windley ’65
Brian C. Wood ’94
Byron Young ’61
Christopher H. Young
R. Owen Williams, ex officio

Produced by Office of Publications three times a year