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Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Mission Statement

The Religious Studies Board of Visitors supports the mission of the Department by providing advice, advocacy, and contributions in support of its students, faculty, staff, and administration.  Board meetings should occur once each semester.  Special meetings can occur at the discretion of the Department Head. 

Responsibilities of Members of the Board of Visitors

All members of the Board are to be actively engaged in Board initiatives and attend the bi-annual meetings, and should make an effort to attend additional special Department events.  Members of the Board will support and promote the mission and vision of the Department in the following ways:

  • ŸProvide timely advice, perspective, and counsel to the Head and faculty;
  • ŸAdvocate for the Department with key stakeholders and the community;
  • ŸSupport the Department’s funding priorities, and help achieve 100% Board participation in giving by making an annual gift or multi-year pledge to the Department;
  • ŸIdentify and help assist with development activities and potential donors;
  • ŸRemain informed of the Department’s trends, programs, needs, and priorities;
  • ŸPerpetuate the Board through identifying and helping recruit new members.

Should a member not show substantive interest in the activities of the Board, as evidenced by not attending repeated meetings or by failing to return calls or correspondence after repeated attempts, the Head will send a letter to the member thanking them for their service and the member’s term will end.


Distinguished professionals from a variety of backgrounds will be invited to serve on the Board by the Department Head.  The Head’s choice of members will strive to include diverse perspectives.  The overriding qualification for membership is the ability and willingness to make a contribution of time, talent, and treasure to promote inclusive excellence in the Department of Religious Studies.  The Department Head is also a member of the Board.  

Board members serve staggered three-year terms that may be renewed indefinitely.  Appointments and renewals are initiated by an invitation from the Head of the Department after consultation with and approval from a majority of the faculty.

After serving at least one full term on the Board, a member may request emeritus/a status that allows them to participate in all Board activities at their discretion, but without voting privileges.

Officers of the Board

The Board Chair is selected by majority vote of the Board and serves a three-year term, which may be renewed at the will of the Board. The Chair shall preside at Board meetings, give general supervision and direction to the affairs of the Board, and help make membership recommendations to the Department Head.  The Chair is responsible for an annual report of the Board to the Department Head. The Chair is also responsible for communicating with the Board on issues that pertain to the Board and the Department Head. This does not preclude direct correspondence between any member of the Board and the Department Head.

Ad hoc Committees shall be appointed as needed by the Department Head in consultation with the Board and its Chair.

Board of Visitors

In order to communicate the work of the Department to the community, and to help raise funds for the research activities of faculty and students, a Board of Visitors, composed of interested local citizens, was created in 2004.

Former Members of the Board of Visitors

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