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About the Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the oversight of the California State University. The Board adopts rules, regulations, and policies governing the California State University. The Board has authority over curricular development, use of property, development of facilities, and fiscal and human resources management.

Currently, California law requires 25 trustees for the California State University, all of whom are full voting members. There are five ex officio members: the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the Assembly, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Chancellor. Sixteen trustees are appointed by the governor, confirmed by the State Senate, and serve eight-year terms. Trustees confirmed by the Senate remain on the Board until a replacement is named or 60 days after their term expires whichever comes first.

Additionally, the CSU Alumni Council appoints an alumni trustee, while the governor appoints a faculty trustee from nominees proposed by the Academic Senate of the California State University. The alumni and faculty trustees serve for two years. The governor also appoints two student trustees from nominees proposed by the California State Student Association. Student trustees serve staggered two-year terms. Terms for alumni, faculty, and student trustees expire at the end of their term.

The governor is designated as the President of the Board, while the CSU’s General Counsel serves as Secretary, and its Chief Financial Officer as Treasurer. Other officers, including the Board’s chair and vice chair, are elected by Board members for one-year terms.

Currently there are nine standing committees of the Board: Audit; Campus Planning, Buildings and Grounds; Collective Bargaining; Educational Policy; Finance; Governmental Relations; Institutional Advancement; Organization and Rules; and University and Faculty Personnel.

The Donahoe Higher Education Act of 1960 structured state colleges and individual campuses into the nation’s largest system of four-year higher education (designated “The California State University” on January 1, 1982). The legislation became Division 16.5 of the California Education Code. Along with Division 18, it defines the composition, appointments, terms, powers, and functions of the CSU Board of Trustees.

Section 89030 of the Code provides “the Trustees shall adopt rules and regulations not inconsistent with the laws of this State for: a) the government of the trustees, b) the government of their appointees and employees, c) the government of the California State University.” Section 66607 stipulates that “The California State University shall be entirely independent of all political and sectarian influence and kept free therefrom in the appointment of its trustees and in the administration of its affairs.”​