The Board of Trustees has the following standing committees: Executive, Academic Affairs, Audit, Budget and Finance, Buildings and Grounds, Honorary Degrees, Institutional Advancement, Investment, Student Life, and Trustee Affairs. Below is a brief description of each committee.
Standing Committees of the Board
The Executive Committee’s central purpose is to strengthen the Board’s performance by helping it function efficiently and effectively, such as: in conjunction with the Chair and the President, provide advice and counsel for Board meeting objectives and agendas; coordinate work of the various committees; act for the Board as a whole when required and appropriate. Its broad powers shall be used only as necessary and appropriate on routine housekeeping business or on emergency matters that cannot or should not be delayed until the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting or until a special meeting of the Board should be called, as specified in the bylaws.
The Academic Affairs Committee is responsible for providing Trustee oversight on matters related to academic affairs to ensure the College’s mission and vision as determined by the Board of Trustees. The Committee is concerned with matters under the administrative leadership of the Dean of the College, Vice President for Admission and Financial Aid, Chief Information Officer, and the Dean of Students.
The Audit Committee’s primary function is to assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities by reviewing risk management policies, the systems of internal controls that the administration and the Board of Trustees have established, the audit process and reviewing and understanding the College’s financial statements.
The Budget and Finance Committee has the primary responsibility of ensuring the fiscal stability and long term economic health of the College. The Budget and Finance Committee is responsible for the management and control of all financial matters of the College including but not limited to the establishment of routines for safeguarding College securities and other assets.
The Buildings and Grounds Committee oversees the management of the College’s facilities and grounds. The Committee operates in the broad context of institutional stewardship to ensure that Board policies and practices for facilities development, maintenance, planning and short and long-term funding serve the College’s mission.
The Honorary Degrees Committee is responsible for reviewing and recommending to the Board candidates for honorary degrees. In keeping with the traditions of American higher education, Occidental College awards honorary degrees to recognize extraordinary individual accomplishment across the wide spectrum of human endeavor.
The Institutional Advancement Committee monitors the ongoing advancement activities of the College, including alumni relations and development, and works with the Office of Institutional Advancement to achieve programmatic objectives.
The Investment Committee manages the College’s endowment. It sets the policies and procedures that guide investment decisions, monitors investment performance, appoints and oversees investment consultants and fund managers, makes periodic reports on matters pertaining to the endowment to the Board, and ensures that the Board’s fiduciary responsibilities as respects the prudent handling of the College’s endowment are discharged appropriately. The Committee works closely with the Budget and Finance Committee on oversight of the Board’s Endowment Spending Policy.
The Student Life Committee shall serve as a forum for discussion of important policies and issues affecting the quality of student life at Occidental. The Committee will focus particularly on the out-of-class aspects of the Occidental experience including co-curricular, social, cultural, recreational, spiritual and residential living; and shall also review the special services available to support student success. The overall goal of the Committee is to promote a campus environment in which the students can achieve their fullest potential.
The Trustee Affairs Committee serves as the governance committee of the Board of Trustees, providing strategic focus to the development, structure, membership, and activities of the Board. The Committee has oversight for the policies, procedures and functions of the Board, ensuring alignment with institutional values and mission. The Trustee Affairs Committee monitors the performance of the Trustees, individually and collectively, to ensure a culture of institutional stewardship and Board accountability.