The University is governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of up to seventy individuals, most of whom are former students of the University. Certain Trustees are specifically designated as Alumni Trustees and others are designated as Young Alumni Trustees. All Trustees serve six-year terms other than Young Alumni Trustees who serve a four-year term. Trustees are eligible for re-election at the end of a term in office except that Alumni Trustees and Young Alumni Trustees are limited to one term in those categories. Terms are staggered so that approximately 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.

The Board of Trustees holds an annual meeting each June and meets at least three other times during the year. At the annual meeting in June, the Trustees elect their own officers, who serve until the next annual meeting and are eligible for reelection at the end of a term except that the Chair of the Board serves a five-year term and is eligible to be reelected for only one additional term. Between meetings, the Executive Committee has broad authority to act for the Board. Other standing committees are the Academic Affairs Committee, Alumni Affairs and University Life Committee, Audit and Compliance Committee, Committee on Trustees, Committee on Online Education and Technology, Compensation Committee, Development Committee, Facilities and Real Estate Committee, Finance Committee, Global Initiatives Committee, and Investment 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.