The University is governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of up to seventy men and women, about 80% of whom are former students of the University. Six are specifically designated as Alumni Trustees; one such Alumni Trustee is elected each year. All Trustees serve six-year terms and, except for the Alumni Trustees who may not succeed themselves in that capacity, are eligible for re-election at the end of a term in office. Terms are staggered so that one-sixth of the Board is elected each year. The Trustees have enacted Bylaws that outline the basic structure of the University and determine the principal officers and agencies that will deal with its affairs and the ways in which those affairs are to be conducted.
The Board of Trustees holds an annual meeting each October and meets at various other times during the year. At the annual meeting in October, the Trustees elect their own officers, who serve until the next election. Between meetings, the Executive Committee has broad authority to act for the Board. Other standing committees are the Academic Affairs Committee, Audit Committee, Committee on Trustees, Development Committee, Financial Affairs Committee, and Alumni Affairs Committee. The conduct of educational matters throughout the University is entrusted, under the leadership of the President, to the faculties of the individual schools and to the University Senate.