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Trusteeship Committee

The Trusteeship Committee is concerned with policies and issues related to board governance. It consists of at least five trustees with seniority. The Board Vice Chair serves as the Trusteeship Committee chair. The President is not a member of the Trusteeship Committee.

Committee Members, 2021-2023

  • Gina F. Adams, Chair
  • Thomas A. Gottschalk, Vice Chair
  • Gary M. Abramson
  • Stephanie M. Bennett-Smith
  • Greg Bergquist
  • Jack C. Cassell
  • Pamela M. Deese
  • Marc N. Duber
  • Margery Kraus
  • Gerald Bruce Lee
  • Peter L. Scher
  • Jeffrey A. Sine
  • Garret Martin, Faculty Trustee

Resource Persons

Cabinet Members:
Secretary, Board of Trustees
Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations



The Trusteeship Committee is the governance and nominating committee of the American University Board of Trustees. In fulfilling this mission, the committee assesses the composition of the board, and evaluates and proposes candidates for service as successors to the original trustees. The committee reviews issues relating to the governance of the university including reviewing and making recommendations to the board for proposed changes to the operations, policies, and procedures of the board and proposed changes to the bylaws and committee charters.


The Trusteeship Committee is a standing committee of the board, Article VII (Other Standing Committees), of the bylaws of the university:

Section 1. There shall be such other Standing Committees as the full Board shall appoint from time to time, each having such composition, duties and powers as shall be approved by the full Board from time to time. At present, the other Standing Committees shall be as follows: Academic Affairs Committee; Alumni Affairs and Development Committee; Athletics Committee; Audit Committee; Campus Life Committee; Communication Committee; Finance and Investment Committee; and Trusteeship Committee.

Section 2. Except for the Trusteeship Committee, nominations of Standing Committee officers and members for two-year terms shall be made by the Trusteeship Committee for action by the Board at the first regular Board meeting following the Spring meeting. The Board Vice Chair is the Trusteeship Committee Chair. Nominations of Trusteeship Committee Vice Chair and members for two-year terms shall be made by the Executive Committee for action by the Board at the same regular meeting as the other committee nominations after the other Standing Committee officers have been approved by the full Board. Vacancies on Standing Committees shall be nominated by the Trusteeship Committee and approved by the Board or Executive Committee for any unexpired term. Vacancies on the Trusteeship Committee shall be filled by the Board or Executive Committee.

. . .

Section 10. The Trusteeship Committee consists of at least five (5) trustees with seniority and is concerned with policies and issues related to Board governance. This Committee has such powers and duties, and shall operate in accordance with such procedures, as shall be set forth in a Committee charter, and any amendments thereto, approved by the Board. The Board Vice Chair shall be the Trusteeship Committee Chair. The President shall not be a member of the Trusteeship Committee. Subject to his or her acceptance, the trustee who is the General Secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church shall be a member of the Trusteeship Committee.

Section 11. A majority of members of any other Standing Committee constitutes a quorum at any meeting thereof. Standing Committee members may participate in Standing Committee meetings by teleconference, which shall constitute presence in person at the meeting.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Trusteeship Committee:

  • Ensures that board policies reflect best practices on the role of private university trustees as well as on board philosophy and practice;
  • Determines the ideal composition of the board and regularly reviews the board profile to assess its changing needs and its capacity for effective action;
  • Through the board’s Criteria for Trustees and Trustee Nomination Procedures, identifies prospects to be included in a pool and maintains a list of them from which the committee can select candidates;
  • Meets with and cultivates top prospects for the board;
    Presents nominations for new trustees to the board;
    Develops and oversees an orientation program for all new trustees;
  • Monitors the effectiveness of individual trustees;
    Evaluates the effectiveness of trustees standing for re-election, and, at the winter meeting of the board, presents the slate of trustees nominated for re-election;
  • Assists the board in developing appropriate recognition criteria, honors, and awards for exceptional service by trustees;
    Nominates for reelection as trustee emeritus those former trustees who meet the criteria in the Trustee Emeritus Policy (Board Policy V);
  • Nominates board officers (Chair and Vice Chair) for two-year terms;
  • Except for the Executive Committee and the Trusteeship Committee itself, nominates standing committee officers and members for two-year terms and nominates standing committee officers and members to fill committee vacancies for any unexpired term; and
  • Assists in developing and conducting board retreats to enable trustees to focus on major priorities and responsibilities on behalf of the university.

Updated June 2021