The Northeastern University Corporation is the fundamental governing body of the institution. The Corporation is a self-perpetuating body of approximately 260 members which meets annually to elect new members and officers as well as to promote or re-elect members to the Board of Overseers and Board of Trustees, to amend bylaws, and to approve an external auditor. Corporation members serve renewable four-year terms.
The Board of Overseers is an intermediate governing board within the Corporation. All members of the Board of Overseers are selected from the membership of the Corporation, and may be up to 48 in number as provided currently by the bylaws. Each overseer may serve as a full voting member of specified standing committees of the Board of Trustees and may also participate in College-based advisory councils. Membership on the Board of Overseers is limited to 36. Members are permitted to serve for a maximum of eight years in this capacity.
The Board of Trustees is vested with the ultimate fiduciary responsibility for the University. The Board is elected by the Corporation from within its membership. Trustees serve four-year renewable terms. The bylaws provide for 36 voting trustees. The Board of Trustees is authorized by the bylaws to elect members to serve on standing committees to oversee the business of the University.
The bylaws specify that the Board of Trustees will elect the officers of the University, including the president, chancellor, treasurer, and all vice presidents. The duties of the president and the chancellor are designated by the Board of Trustees; the responsibilities of the vice presidents are set by the president in consultation with the Board of Trustees.