About the Board of Visitors
Composition and authority: South Carolina law and college regulations define the role of the Board of Visitors.
General organization: The Board of Visitors has 14 voting members. Ex officio members include the governor, the adjutant general and the state superintendent of education; the other 11 members are graduates of The Citadel. The Board also has a non-voting secretary and can appoint as emeritus members individuals who have served at least 18 years on the Board.
Emeritus members are elected by a two-thirds majority of the Board. There is currently one emeritus member: Colonel Leonard C. Fulghum, Jr. Eleven members are Citadel graduates: seven are elected by joint vote of the South Carolina General Assembly, three are elected by The Citadel Alumni Association, and one is appointed by the governor.
The General Assembly and the governor must elect members "based on merit regardless of race or economic status and shall strive to assure that the membership of the board is representative of all citizens of the state of South Carolina." Elections take place in the session prior to the expiration of a Board member's term.
Board members serve for six years with terms that run from July 1st through June 30th. There is no limit to the number of terms that a Board member may serve and no age limit for Board members. (An earlier law that said no members could serve beyond their 75th birthday was rescinded in 1997.)
The Board of Visitors has the responsibility for the direction and supervision of the college. All powers not delegated to other parties by the legislature are reserved for the Board. In addition, the Board has specific authorities:
- To adopt regulations for the organization and good government of the college, including the budget. (These regulations must be consistent with the laws of South Carolina and the United States.)
- To confer degrees and honorary degrees.
- To appoint professors of military science and other branches.
- To establish a site for burying the remains of past presidents and their wives (with concurrence of the State Budget and Control Board).
- To manage The Citadel Trust for scholarships and other financial assistance to the college.
- To report on the condition of the college to the State Superintendent and the governor. (This report is prepared by the college administration and is filed with the Budget and Control Board and the General Assembly.)
Miscellaneous: Board members have the rank of colonel in the Unorganized Militia of South Carolina. If members have earned a higher rank in military service, they may retain that rank. However, seniority on the Board is determined not by rank but by total service whether or not that service is continuous.
Meetings: The Board will meet at least three times each year with the June meeting being the annual meeting. A majority of the Board constitutes a quorum at regular meetings. Board members must be present to vote. All Board meetings shall have a written agenda, and the president or any Board member may place items on the agenda.
Special meetings may be called with at least five days' notice to Board members; four or more members attending a special meeting constitute a quorum. The chair presides over meetings and serves a four-year term. To be eligible to serve as chair, a member must have served at least two years.
The chair is an ex officio member of all committees but chairs only the Executive Committee. The chair does not vote. The chair has the responsibility to appoint trustees to oversee The Citadel Trust and The Daniel Fund.
The vice chair serves a four-year term and performs in the absence of the chair.
Committees: The Board of Visitors works according to a committee structure. Each committee has a chair and at least three voting members. Items requiring action by any committee must be submitted at least five days prior to a meeting. There are three types of committees: standing, special, and joint.
- The Executive Committee considers policy matters affecting interests of the college or other issues requiring immediate action when it is not possible to assemble the full Board.
- The Finance Committee reviews proposed tuition and fees; the operating budget; and proposed expenditures.
- The Education Committee considers matters relating to academic programs, academic facilities and resources, admissions policies, and development of new academic programs.
- The Athletics Committee considers issues relating to intercollegiate athletics, athletic facilities, and the proposed operating budget for the Athletics Department.
- The Special Recognition Committee is comprised of the entire Board of Visitors with responsibility for all matters related to Honorary Degrees, Palmetto Medal, and Special Recognition, as well as other matters referred to it by the Chair of the Board of Visitors.
- The Customs and Regulations Committee reviews major policy changes affecting the Corps of Cadets and conduct of cadets, reviews all disciplinary appeals submitted to Board, and serves as sounding board for the commandant on matters pertaining to the Corps of Cadets.
- The External Affairs Committee coordinates policy activities with all external constituencies; develops policies and guidelines with respect to fundraising; reviews deeds of trust and other documents related to fundraising; and provides guidance for governmental affairs and alumni, community, and media relations.
- The Buildings and Grounds Committee considers matters of development, improvement, or expansion of campus; reviews proposed improvements when cost exceeds $500,000 and architectural projects that exceed $50,000; and reviews major changes to the use of existing property.
- The Strategic Planning Committee serves as liaison between the Board and the college for strategic planning and prepares the strategic plan while considering the college environment and changing circumstances.
- The Audit Committee assists the Board of Visitors in fulfillings its oversight responsibilities in reporting financial information to the public; monitors internal and extenal activities; ensures that an adequate system of internal controls has been established and is functioning adequately; and provides an avenue of communication between the external and internal auditors and the Board of Visitors.
Special committees: Appointed by the chair as needed to accomplish special purposes.
Joint committees: Committees composed of members from the Board of Visitors and other organizations.