Leadership and Governance

Warren Wilson College leadership and community governance support the mission of the College:

The mission of Warren Wilson College is to provide a distinctive undergraduate and graduate liberal arts education. Our undergraduate education combines academics, work, and service in a learning community committed to environmental responsibility, cross-cultural understanding, and the common good.

Community Governance

Warren Wilson College has historically practiced a unique and collaborative approach to college governance. Open communication is key to building trust, inclusivity, and effectiveness in our governance system. Gathering all campus constituencies together—students, staff, and faculty—we seek to provide a balanced structure for addressing policy questions, undertaking program development, ensuring effective communications, and solving problems together. Our governance framework provides a platform for all points of view, creates an ideal learning milieu, fosters school unity and pride, and generates sound decisions and advice.

Governance Structure

This information on the College’s governance is intended to be read as an abbreviated, illustrative description and does not include the exact language or detail of the documents and bylaws that guide our process.

The governance structure of Warren Wilson College consists of the Board of Trustees, the President, the Forum, and the Student Government Association, in addition to committees and working groups created as needed.

Board of Trustees

The Bylaws of the College state that it will be governed by a Board of Trustees that will be “responsible for establishing policy and overseeing the management of the institution.” Although it may delegate certain authority to the President, the Board of Trustees has the final responsibility for the determination of policy for the College, the purpose and basic mission of the College, the management of the assets of the College, and the development of the College’s land and assets.

President

The President is responsible to the Board of Trustees and serves as its executive officer in matters relating to the operation of the College. Specific duties include:

  1. Giving general direction and oversight to the program and activities of the College
  2. Developing and recommending personnel policies and procedures
  3. Selecting and managing academic and administrative officers, faculty, and staff
  4. Preparing an annual budget of income and expenditure for recommendation to the Board
  5. Attending all meetings of the Board of Trustees, with few exceptions

Forum

The Forum consists of six voting faculty and six voting staff plus a nonvoting staff convener and a nonvoting faculty convener. The Forum determines the process for choosing representatives and conveners from the faculty and staff, respectively.

The Forum is responsible for maintaining no fewer than three committees – Budget Advisory, Policy Review, and Strategic Planning. Other committees are created as needed. Forum Members shall serve on at least one of the three core committees listed above, and Forum committee meetings are sometimes open to the community. Each committee reports back to Forum on its activities on a regular basis.

Forum meets at least monthly and, in the spirit of transparency, meetings are open to the College community.

Forum is responsible for:

  1. Reviewing College policies and making recommendations to the President
  2. Managing its own membership and designating liaisons to other advisory committees or task forces at the request of the President
  3. Establishing its own policies and procedures, subject to approval by the President
  4. Discussing issues raised by its members and making recommendations to the President as appropriate

Student Government Association

The Student Government Association (SGA) consists of members of the student body who are identified by the SGA procedures as voting members. In the past, students have been considered voting members after attending a set number of meetings.

In the spirit of transparency, meetings of the SGA will be open to the College community.

The SGA is responsible for:

  1. Reviewing College Policies and making a recommendation to the President
  2. Assigning students to college policy committees and assuring that they remain voting SGA members
  3. Establishing its own policies and procedures, subject to approval by the President