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Duties and Responsibilities of Life Trustees

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Corporation Members may elect Life Trustees upon such terms and conditions as the Members specify.

A Trustee or a Corporation Member who has served one or more terms as a Trustee will be eligible to be elected a Life Trustee at the first annual meeting following his or her 75th birthday. Corporation Members will consider the recommendations of the Committee on the Board when electing Life Trustees.

No person, who is or was a member of the Scientific Staff of the Institution, should be elected a Life Trustee if at the time there are at least five Life Trustees who are or have been members of such Staff.

Rights and Privileges
The Life Trustees shall be entitled to attend all meetings of the Board and to participate in discussions and shall have all the rights and privileges of the elected Trustees, except that the Honorary Trustees shall be non-voting participants and will not be counted in the determination of a quorum at meetings or in the number of Trustees.

Generally, a Life Trustee shall retain his or her honorary status until the Life Trustee resigns.

Participation on Committees
Life Trustees will be eligible to serve on any charter committee, but no more than one third of the members of a charter committee may be Life Trustees.

There will not be a limit to the number of Life Trustees eligible to serve on advisory and special committees. The Committee on the Board will develop general guidelines regarding the appropriate mix of active and Life Trustees that should serve on these committees.

Life Trustees will not be eligible for formal voting and quorum decisions by the committees.

Life Trustees may serve as chairperson on advisory and special committees but they generally will not serve as chairperson on the charter committees.

Life Trustees Meetings
All Life Trustees are encouraged to attend the May and October combined meetings of the Board of Trustees and the Members of the Corporation. Specially scheduled meetings for the Life Trustees are organized to solicit recommendations and advice on matters regarding the organization, policy, administration and governance of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Chairperson of the Life Trustees
The Chairman of the Board, in consultation with the Life Trustees and the Committee on the Board, shall appoint annually a Chairperson of the Life Trustees. The Chairperson of the Life Trustees will become an ex officio member of the Executive Committee. It is generally expected that the Chairperson of the Life Trustees will serve not more than three consecutive terms.

Mentoring and Orientation
Life Trustees, working with members of the Committee on the Board, may assume responsibility for introducing and mentoring newly elected Trustees and Corporation Members with regard to the mission, history, policies and operating practices of the Institution.

Last updated: January 27, 2016