Composition and authority: South Carolina law and the 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 are currently three emeritus members: Colonel Leonard C. Fulghum, Jr., Chairman Emeritus, and Colonel William E. Jenkinson III and Colonel Douglas A. Snyder, Members Emeritus.
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 (An earlier law that said no members could serve beyond their 75th birthday was rescinded in 1997.)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 chair serves a two-year term. The chair may be re-elected to a second term, but the entire service as chair shall not exceed four years. The vice chair serves a two-year term and may be re-elected to a second term, but the entire service as vice chair shall not exceed four years.
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; the vice chair performs in the absence of the chair.
The chair is an ex officio member of all committees but chairs only the Executive Committee. The chair does not vote.
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 or ad hoc, and joint.
Purpose: The Executive Committee has the authority to dispose of matters affecting the interests of the College upon which the Board has already indicated its policy as well as those matters which may require immediate action when it is not practical to assemble the full Board. The Executive Committee shall serve as the audit committee. In periods of emergency, the Executive Committee shall serve as the Board of Visitors’ crisis action committee.
Strategy, Vision and Governance Committee
Purpose: The Strategy, Vision and Governance Committee provides strategic oversight for the development of The Citadel’s vision, strategy, policies and processes to accomplish The Citadel’s Mission. This committee provides guidance related to the functional areas of strategic planning, finance, and governance.
Education and Leadership Development Committee
Purpose: The Education and Leadership Development Committee provides strategic oversight on matters related to the ethos of The Citadel, its military culture, and the pursuit of academic distinction. This committee provides guidance related to leadership development, academic excellence and competitive intercollegiate athletics to strengthen The Citadel into a nationally recognized college for the education and development of disciplined, principled leaders.
Communications and Community Relations Committee
Purpose: The Communications and Community Relations Committee provides strategic oversight on matters that enhance The Citadel’s brand and bolster The Citadel’s reputation and profile among college constituencies. This committee provides guidance related to strategic communications, marketing, and government and community relations.
Operations and Risk Management Committee
Purpose: The Operations and Risk Management Committee provides strategic oversight of College budget development, operations, compliance, and risk management activities. This committee provides guidance related to compliance with all internal and external laws and regulations.
Special or ad hoc 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.