Board of Advisors

Thayer School of Engineering's Board was established in 1867 by Sylvanus Thayer in his original gift to Dartmouth to help found the School that now bears his name. The Board serves a vital advisory role to the Dean, providing advice and perspective on Thayer's strategy, programs and resources. Meetings typically take place three times per year.

Members

The Board of Advisors is comprised of alumni and friends of Thayer School of Engineering, including the President of Dartmouth, the Provost of Dartmouth, a Trustee of Dartmouth, and the Dean of Thayer, who serve in ex-officio positions. New members are nominated by the Dean and the current Board members to serve three-year terms, with the exception of the ex-officio members. Elections are by a majority vote of the Board, with subsequent approval by the Trustees and formal appointment by the President of Dartmouth.

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Meetings

The Board of Advisors meets three times per year. Typically, meetings are held in Hanover in October and May, and a February meeting is held off-site. Meetings begin with dinner on Thursday evening and conclude at noon on Saturday.

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Thayer Board of Advisors

2023

October 19–21 (Dartmouth Homecoming)
Hanover, NH

2024

February 1–3
Dallas, TX

May 9–11
Hanover, NH

October 31–November 2 (Dartmouth Homecoming)
Hanover, NH

Committees

The two standing committees of Thayer's Board of Advisors provide counsel or support to the full Board and to the Dean on general or specific areas of need.

Advancement and Campaign Committee

The Advancement and Campaign Committee collaborates with Thayer's Office of Advancement to raise funds for the priorities of the School.

    Nominations and Governance Committee

    The Nominations and Governance Committee identifies and recommends alumni and friends of Thayer for membership on its Board of Advisors and serves as the executive committee of the board as needed.

      Charter

      The Board of Overseers (referred to as the Board) was established in 1867 by Sylvanus Thayer in his original "Instrument of Gift" founding the School which now bears his name. It was Thayer's intention that the School "be under the management and control of a Board of Overseers." At the request of the Board of Trustees, Boards of Overseers at Dartmouth were renamed Boards of Advisors in 2017–18.

      Mission

      The mission of the Thayer Board of Advisors is to provide the Dean of Thayer with advice and perspective on the strategy, programs, policies, and resources of Thayer School of Engineering. The Advisors provide careful oversight of the School's budget and serve in an advisory capacity to the Dean and, through the Dean, to the Provost and President. Fiduciary responsibility resides with the Dartmouth Board of Trustees.

      Membership

      Members of the Board of Advisors are nominated by the Dean and Board with the approval of the Provost and appointed by the Dartmouth Board of Trustees. The Board will consist of no more than 25 members representing diverse experience and skills relevant to the activities of Thayer, plus one ex officio (with voting privileges) representative from the Dartmouth Board of Trustees. The President, Provost, and Dean will be honorary members of the Board, with no voting privileges as the Board is advisory to them.

      Terms of Office

      Advisors are appointed for three-year terms. Effective July 1, 2020, members will be limited to no more than three consecutive terms with the exception of ex-officio members and individuals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and service to Thayer School of Engineering as determined by the Nominations and Governance Committee and with the concurrence of the Thayer Board Chair and the Dean of Thayer. Such individuals will be eligible for continuing appointments beyond the three-term limit; at no time shall the number of these individuals exceed one-third of Board membership.

      Board appointments will be staggered to allow approximately equal turnover of the Board of Advisors members each year. Terms begin July 1 and end June 30.

      Chair

      The Dean, in consultation with the Board, Provost, and President, will recommend to the Board of Trustees the designation of one of the Advisors as Chair of the Board. Appointment as Board Chair will be for a term of 4 years, with the possibility of one four-year term renewal at the approval of the Dean, Provost, Board of Advisors, and Dartmouth Board of Trustees. The Chair presides at meetings and works with the Dean of Thayer to develop the Board agenda. In the event of a transition in the School's leadership or other extenuating circumstance, a Chair may be asked to serve for one additional year.

      Member Criteria and Expectations

      Each member of the Thayer Board of Advisors is expected to contribute substantial interest, time, energy, and financial support within their means to the School. Additionally, advisors are expected to:

      • Understand the mission of Thayer and how it relates to Dartmouth;
      • Make the best effort to attend all board meetings;
      • Bring new ideas and fresh viewpoints to Thayer and act as a sounding board for the School's leadership on key issues;
      • Maintain Dartmouth in their top philanthropic priorities through annual contributions to Thayer;
      • Be available to aid Dartmouth faculty, students, and administrators in their activities, especially concerning Thayer's work;
      • Serve as an ambassador to help enhance Thayer's and Dartmouth's overall reputations and speak for the Board only when authorized to do so by the Chair and/or Dean;
      • Adhere to the highest standards of personal and professional behavior to reflect favorably on Dartmouth.

      Committees

      While the Board of Advisors operates primarily as a board-of-the-whole, there are two standing committees: The Advancement Committee and the Nominations and Governance Committee (NGC).

      The Advancement Committee collaborates with Thayer's Advancement Office to raise funds for the priorities of the School.

      The Nominations & Governance Committee identifies and recommends alumni and friends of the School to serve on its Board of Advisors, and serves as an executive committee of the Board when called upon by the Dean. The NGC is composed of up to eight members of the Board (including the Chair), plus the Dean of Thayer and former Chairs of the Board, ex officio. The NGC recommends current Advisors to serve on the NGC on a rotating basis, with subsequent approval by the Board of Advisors.

      Meetings

      The Board of Advisors meets at the call of the Chair. Meetings ordinarily take place three times a year, with the fall and spring meetings held in Hanover, and an off-site meeting in winter at a place selected by the Board.

      Compensation/Conflict of Interest

      Board of Advisors members shall not receive compensation for services rendered to the Board or Thayer as Advisors. Advisors shall comply with the Dartmouth Conflict of Interest Policy.

      Amendment

      This Charter may be amended periodically by the Dartmouth Board of Trustees in consultation with the Thayer Board of Advisors.

      Approval

      This Charter was approved by the Dartmouth Board of Trustees on March 4th, 2021.

      Sylvanus Thayer Fellows Award

      The Sylvanus Thayer Fellows Award was established in 1978 by the Board of Advisors at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth to recognize alumni/ae and friends who have given thoughtfully of their time and resources to the school. Over the years, the award has been bestowed on individuals distinguished by their generosity to Thayer, their commitment to engineering education at Dartmouth, their accomplishments in their careers, and their service to the community at large.

      Learn More

      Contact

      Jennifer Seiler
      Chief of Staff, Advancement
      jennifer.seiler@dartmouth.edu
      +1 (603) 646-3639