The governing board of the institution is autonomous to make decisions in the best interest of the institution in compliance with board policies and to ensure the institution’s integrity.
The governing board is trained and knowledgeable so that it makes informed decisions with respect to the institution's financial and academic policies and practices; the board meets its legal and fiduciary responsibilities.
As outlined in Indiana University policy ACA-01 (24-0154), Indiana's governor appoints five trustees to serve three-year terms. In addition, three trustees and a student trustee are elected by IU graduates who serve three and two years respectively. Trustees are Indiana leaders who have demonstrated career success and intentional service to the community. Trustees bring with them expertise in each area (e.g., Law, Communications, Medical Research, Freight Management, Strategy, Sales Broker, and Business Management). The board holds four two-day meetings throughout the academic year and the location of the meetings rotate among IU campuses. Board meetings are open to the public, indicating the transparency of their process (24-0155).
The IU Board of Trustees has an established set of by-laws to direct its efforts (24-0533). The Board of Trustees was created and is governed by the Code of the State of Indiana (24-0077; 24-0156). It is responsible for the mission and role of the university and each of the campuses (24-0080; 24-0157).
The Board of Trustees is informed of the issues affecting the campus through a variety of sources. The University Faculty Council (UFC) communicates with the President (and various VPs in the system) through direct contact with the UFC co-chairs. The president meets a two to three times each semester with the UFC co-chairs to discuss matters affecting the IU campuses. The President then communicates information directly to the Board. Communication with the Board also occurs through the administrative assistant to the Board.
The governing board's deliberations reflect priorities to preserve and enhance the institution.
Higher Education Board members execute their duties within guidelines set for all public servants under IC 35-44.1-1-4b regarding statutory conflict of interest. IU Southeast enjoys some self-governance, but all legal authority rests with the trustees. Furthermore, it operates within the context of guidelines established by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) and the Higher Learning Commission. The deliberations of the Trustees, contained in the minutes of its meetings, are accessible on its website (24-0158). In April 2023, the Trustees approved the IU Strategic Plan 2030 (24-0512).
The governing board reviews the reasonable and relevant interests of the institution's internal and external constituencies during its decision-making deliberations.
In accordance with state law, all trustee sessions, including committee meetings, committees of the whole, seminars, most retreat sessions, and formal business meetings (except for executive meetings) are open to the public (24-0155). The public may, at the Trustees invitation, contribute to ongoing deliberations. While public comment is not taken at trustee meetings, the public is encouraged to share comments and agenda items for future consideration via email.
The governing board preserves its independence from undue influence on the part of donors, elected officials, ownership interests or other external parties.
Upon election to the board, Trustees participate in a two-day orientation. This includes meeting with the President (and all members of their cabinet) to better understand what each area does and how Trustees interact with them. The orientation also includes a session with the General Counsel to review Indiana's Open Door Law, Access to Public Records and other crucial elements on which Trustees must be well versed. Each Trustee must also complete a conflict-of-interest form when they begin and annually thereafter (24-0534).
The governing board delegates day-to-day management of the institution to the institution's administration and expects the institution's faculty to oversee academic matters.
In compliance with Indiana University policy ACA-04, "the faculty has legislative authority to establish policy and determine procedures for its implementation governing the teaching, research, and service aspects of the University's academic mission" (24-0159). The authority is duly exercised through the University Faculty Council (UFC), which consists of elected faculty members across all IU campuses.