University Council

The University Council was established in 1947 as an advisory body to the President of the University for the purpose of studying and making recommendations on particular facets of University life. Council members are generally drawn from the University alumni population and are appointed by the Yale Corporation on nomination by the President.

The Council meets twice yearly on campus, typically in December and April. The group consists of up to 35 members who serve in an at-large capacity or who are chairs of active committees. Currently, there are 31 members, including two ex officio members (Yale Alumni Association Board of Governors Chair and Yale Alumni Fund Chair). A President of the Council is elected by the membership upon recommendation by the President of the University. At-large members generally serve for a three-year term, and the President of the University may invite members to serve additional terms. Committee chairs are normally appointed for two years; the President of the University has, on occasion, asked a committee chair to serve as an at-large member upon the completion of the committee’s work. The President of the University attends all Council meetings.

Various topics are reviewed by the Council, and recent meetings have included discussions on the use of information technology in teaching, Yale College curricular reform and international education in Yale College, strategic planning for the sciences, developments at the School of Medicine, New Haven initiatives, safety and security in the wake of September 11, University investments, the Peabody Museum, the World Fellows Program, Yale College admissions, and the Schools of Music and Drama.

The Council also hears updates from committees impaneled by the President of the University under the auspices of the Council to study a specific matter. Members of the Council may be asked to serve on such committees, together with others—both alumni and non-alumni—who can bring a special insight or expertise to the matter under review. The President of the University extends all committee invitations and meets with the committee each time the group convenes on campus. Committees generally meet three to four times over the course of a two-year period, and the chair of the committee, or his or her designee, provides interim reports to the full Council during the committee’s tenure. A confidential final report of the committee’s findings and recommendations is presented to the President and the Council. The President shares each University Council report in confidence with the Yale Corporation.

University Council Past Committees

Concluded Since 2001

Committee on West Campus (April 2014)
Committee on Alcohol in Yale College (December 2013)
Committee on Reputation (April 2013)
Committee on Technology Transfer (April 2013)
Committee on the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (December 2012)
Committee on the School of Engineering and Applied Science (December 2010)
Committee on the School of Art (December 2009)
Committee on Digital Yale (April 2009)
Committee on a Sustainable Yale (December 2008)
Committee on the Yale School of Music (April 2008)
Committee on Workplace Diversity (November 2007)
Committee on Theater at Yale (March 2006)
Committee on New Haven Economic Development (March 2006)
Committee on Religious and Spiritual Life at Yale (December 2004)
Committee on Undergraduate Student Services (April 2003)
Committee on Distance Learning (April 2002)
Committee on Yale School of Architecture (May 2001)

University Council Members

Roger L. Barnett ’86 B.A., ’89 J.D. (2021)
Elisa A. Spungen Bildner ’75 B.A. (2022)
Gina Boswell ’89 M.P.P.M. (2021), president of the University Council
Anna M. Chavez ’90 B.A. (2021)
Bruce L. Cohen ’83 B.A. (2022)
Douglas B. Ellis ’87 B.S. (2022)
Stephen Freidheim ’86 B.A. (2023)
Donald Gips ’89 M.B.A. (2023)
Lori M. Goler ’91 B.A. (2021)
Marla Grossman ’90 B.A. (2022), ex officio, Yale Alumni Fund
Andrew G. Hauptman ’91 B.A. (2021)
Jerry W. Henry ’80 M.Div. (2022), ex officio, Yale Alumni Association
Jessica Herrera-Flanigan ’92 B.A. (2022)
Marie Oh Huber ’83 B.A. (2021)
Laura L. Kiessling ’89 Ph.D. (2022)
Eleanor Laurans ’00 B.A. (2023)
Roger H. Lee ’94 B.A. (2023)
Sheila Jackson Lee ’72 B.A. (2021)
Goodwin Liu ’98 J.D. (2022)
David J. Millstone ’99 B.A. (2023)
Richard H. Powers ’85 B.A. (2021)
David Samson, Yale College parent ’17 (2021)
Daniel P. Schrag ’88 B.S. (2022)
Neil Shen ’92 M.A. (2022)
Tarek A. Sherif ’84 B.A. (2023)
Robert Simonds ’85 B.A. (2022)
James B. Tananbaum ’85 B.S. (2021)
Marta L. Tellado ’02 Ph.D. (2023)
Tali Weinstein ’97 B.A., ’03 J.D. (2021)
Daniel H. Weiss ’85 M.P.P.M. (2023)
Neal S. Wolin ’83 B.A., ’88 J.D. (2023)

Note: Year in parentheses indicates end of current term