About the Board

Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library

The University of Miami is a duly chartered private educational institution incorporated under Florida law; its original Charter was granted by the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Dade County, as permitted by the Florida Statutes prior to 1959. 

The University of Miami has traditionally attracted people of extraordinary ability and vision to its governing board. The first Board of Regents of the University of Miami was founded in 1926 and chaired by William E. Walsh, a Miami Beach municipal judge.  Judge Walsh remained chairman until 1929, when he and other board members resigned in the wake of the financial collapse that followed the end of the Miami land boom and the hurricane of 1926.  Their hope was that a newly constituted board would project a positive image to the community during trying times. The subsequent board consisted of only ten members, including founding University of Miami President Bowman Foster Ashe, formerly an economics professor at the University of Pittsburgh, who briefly chaired the new board.  Other members of that board include legendary South Florida pioneers and business leaders George Merrick, Theodore Dickinson, E. B. Douglas, David Fairchild, James H. Gilman, Richardson Saunders, Frank B. Shutts, Joseph H. Adams, and J. C. Penney.

In July 1934, the University of Miami was reincorporated and the University of Miami Board of Trustees was established.  For a few months under the new charter, President Ashe and four members of his administration comprised the board. By 1940, community leaders were replacing faculty and administration as trustees. Throughout the ensuing decades, the trustees have provided the guidance and focus in partnership with the administration and faculty to firmly establish the University of Miami among the top research universities in the world.

To better manage the University’s upward trajectory, today’s University of Miami Board of Trustees has grown considerably with 39 elected members, three alumni representatives, 17 senior members, six ex-officio members, four national members, 22 emeriti members, and one student representative.