Collection ID: C218
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Collection context


Indiana University. Trustees
The Indiana University Trustees serve as the governing board of the university. Created in 1820, the current Board meets six times per year. Among the Board's powers are their capacity to possess all the real and personal property of the university; to expend the income of the university; and to all bylaws necessary to carry these powers into effect. The minutes in this collection include official acts, resolutions, policies, agreements, and other business pertaining to the governance of Indiana University between 1838-1859 and 1883-2017.
17.8 cubic feet
Materials are in English .
Preferred citation:

[Item], Indiana University Board of Trustees minutes, Collection C218, Indiana University Archives, Bloomington.


Biographical / Historical:

The Board of Trustees was created by the General Assembly in 1820. Six men were named as trustees, and provision was made for four additional trustees in 1821, and for three more in 1826.

Throughout its history the number and residence of its members has varied: in 1828 it was increased to a 15 member board; in 1838, 21, including the Indiana Governor as ex officio vice president; in 1841 the board consisted of 9 members with only one from Monroe County; it was increased to eleven members in 1852; and in 1855 it was set at eight, with no two from the same county, save Monroe.

Since 1975, there have been 9 members, including one full-time student.

Board members have held their seat in a number of ways. Since 1891, three of the members are elected by alumni. In 1931, power was given to the State Board of Education to elect five members; when the role of the Board of Education was eliminated in 1984, the Governor was given full appointment power.

The current Board of Trustees meets six times per year and has the power to elect one of their number as president; to elect a treasurer, secretary, and other officers, to prescribe the duties and fix the compensation of such officers; to possess all the real and personal property of the university; to expend the income of the university; to elect a president, professors and officers and prescribe their duties and salaries; to employ other persons as necessary; to prescribe the course of study and discipline and price of tuition; and to make all bylaws necessary to carry these powers into effect.

Scope and Content:

This collection consists of the minutes of the Board of Trustees meetings dating from 1838 to the present, with the exception of August 1859-July 1883, as those minutes were destroyed in the 1883 Seminary Square fire. The collection also includes a fragment of the September 1835 minutes and the Board's Executive Committee minutes from 1914-1953.

The Board of Trustees minutes include all official acts, resolutions, policies, agreements and other business pertaining to the governance of Indiana University. The Minutes themselves include the record of the Trustees’ Business Meeting, which incorporates General Business, Trustee Business, Committee Business, and Personnel Actions that require Trustee approval. Such personnel actions requiring specific action by the Trustees include annual promotion and tenure recommendations, initial appointments with tenure, awarding of a named and endowed and distinguished professorships, and initial appointments, resignations, retirements or any changes in status of Vice Presidents, Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, other university officers, deans, and the president and/or CEO of the Alumni Association.

Specific minutes also contain addenda that reference Trustee business conducted outside the business meeting. These are contained in the minutes, and fall after the adjournment in the document. These can include the minutes from the sessions of the Committee of the Whole, adopted policies, purchase agreements, or other agreements adopted by the Board of Trustees.

In 1987, in an effort to abbreviate Board of Trustees meetings and to endow the branch campuses with more power over their day-to-day functionings, the Board of Trustees transferred certain powers, including most personnel and some construction duties, to the branch-campus chancellors. The Administrative Action reports detail the actions taken by the branch-campus vice-presidents and/or chancellors and is compiled by the President’s office into a single document. This document details branch-campus activities and is incorporated into the Board of Trustees minutes. Included are General Actions, Fiscal Actions, Construction Contract Awards and Personnel Actions. Personnel Actions specific to the Administrative Action Report include initial appointments for tenure-track, visiting, clinical and adjunct faculty, re-appointments for tenure-track faculty, changes in status for tenured or tenure-track faculty including sabbatical leaves, leaves of absence, departmental leaves, title changes, resignations, and retirements, designation of emeritus status, and finally actions involving head of Department of Intercollegiate Athletics or assistant coaches. The Administrative Action Reports continue to appear at the end of Board of Trustees minutes.

All of the minutes are in chronological order with the minutes between 1838 and June 1988 in bound volumes. From August 1988 to February 1995, most of the minutes are official signed originals, but some have been supplemented with copies of the originals. This is noted in the folder list. Those from March 1995 to December 1999 are all copies of the official signed minutes in 3-hole binders. The minutes from January 2000 through the present are official signed originals and are filed as individual documents.

Acquisition information:
Accession 7013
Processing information:

Processed by Joseph M. Galvin

Completed in 2004.


This collection is organized into two series: Minutes and Executive Committee minutes.


Regular accurals are made to this collection. The finding aid will be updated twice yearly at the end of both the Fall and Spring semesters.

Online content



This collection is open for research.

Advance notice is required.


Copyrights for records originating with Indiana University administrative units, departments, and other offices are held by the Trustees of Indiana University. For more information, please contact the Indiana University Archives staff.

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[Item], Indiana University Board of Trustees minutes, Collection C218, Indiana University Archives, Bloomington.

Indiana University Bloomington
Herman B Wells Library E460
1320 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-7000, United States
Indiana University Bloomington