Establishment of the Board of Trustees
THE PEOPLE OF MICHIGAN, through the State Constitution, established the Michigan State University Board of Trustees to develop a free and distinguished University -- to promote the welfare of humanity through teaching, research and service.
To meet the directives, the Constitution grants the Board general supervision of the institution, including control and direction of all its expenditures and final authority in its government.
The Board, by federal law, also is charged to uphold the obligations of a land-grant University. Those obligations are to provide a liberal and practical education to prepare students for various pursuits and professions. Combined, the directives call for a commitment to excellence.
The Board consists of eight members elected for eight-year terms. Two members are selected every two years by the people of Michigan in a statewide general election.
According to the preamble of the MSU Board of Trustees Bylaws, the Board seeks to create and maintain a University that offers undergraduate and graduate education of the highest possible quality in all appropriate fields; cherishes knowledge that is legacy; preserves the best of cultural, social and political heritages; and encourages meaningful research and experimentation to develop new knowledge and subject society to a full and objective study.
The Board also seeks to nurture an institution that is ever responsive to the needs of a dynamic and complex society by developing and offering programs of public service, and that disseminates information to promote the well-being and development of the people of the state, nation and world.
The Board delegates responsibility to the University's president, and through the president to officers and the faculty, and delegates appropriate authority and jurisdiction over matters for which they are held accountable by the Board. Such matters include educational policy and the development of a strong and efficient organization with which to accomplish the University's objectives.
The people of Michigan are invited to support, with the Board, the time-tested principles that encourage a free forum for ideas and discussion.
The Constitution of the State of Michigan
Article VIII, Section 5
University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University; controlling boards.
The regents of the University of Michigan and their successors in office shall constitute a body corporate known as the Regents of the University of Michigan; the trustees of Michigan State University and their successors in office shall constitute a body corporate know as the Board of Trustees of Michigan State University; the governors of Wayne State University and their successors in office shall constitute a body corporate known as the Board of Governors of Wayne State University. Each board shall have general supervision of its institution and the control and direction of all expenditures from the institution's funds. Each board shall, as often as necessary elect a president of the institution under its supervision. He shall be the principal executive officer of the institution, be ex-officio a member of the board without the right to vote and preside at meetings of the board. The board of each institution shall consist of eight members who shall hold office for terms of eight years and who shall be elected as provided by law. The governor shall fill board vacancies by appointment. Each appointee shall hold office until a successor has been nominated and elected as provided by law.
Article XI, Section 2
Terms of office of state and county officers.
The terms of office of elective state officers, members of the legislature and justices and judges of courts of record shall begin at twelve o'clock noon on the first day of January next succeeding their election, except as otherwise provided in this constitution. The terms of office of county officers shall begin on the first day of January next succeeding their election, except as otherwise provided by law.