Trustees Approve Changes to Bylaws
The Davidson College Board of Trustees today affirmed the college’s Statement of Purpose and approved revisions to the trustee bylaws that govern eligibility for the president and trustees.
The revised bylaws open the office of president to candidates of any faith who will assume responsibility for affirming, upholding and achieving the Statement of Purpose. The changes also expand the number of seats on the Board of Trustees that do not include a personal religious requirement.
“The board’s actions honor Davidson’s commitment to the Reformed Tradition and the values to which it leads us—including a commitment to inclusivity and to the dignity and worth of each human being,” Board of Trustees Chair Alison Hall Mauzé '84 said. “These actions strengthen the Davidson community, building on the past and equipping the college for the future. We will deepen the pool of outstanding candidates who can seek the presidency, and, now, there will be more opportunities for devoted alums, and other members of the Davidson family, to serve the college.”
Prior to the board’s vote, the college’s bylaws required that the president be an active member of a Christian church who would appropriately affiliate with Davidson College Presbyterian Church. A separate bylaw required that 80 percent of board members be active members of a Christian church.
The college’s bylaws also require that no less than one-quarter of the board be Presbyterian, and, as a part of Davidson’s ongoing commitment to the Reformed Tradition, that requirement remains in place. The board today voted to affirm their commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive governing body while also honoring the college’s religious heritage. The board will seek candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds who support the college’s Statement of Purpose, and board members will continue to ensure a significant presence of Christians on the board.
Davidson has for decades explored, discussed, debated and made thoughtful change on how best to live out those ties, including:
- Allowing non-Christians to become tenure-track faculty in the 1970s
- Welcoming non-Christian trustees in 2005
- Forming the Committee on Church Relatedness in 2012
- Changing the Presbyterian representation on the board of trustees to at least 25 percent in 2015
- Creating the Reformed Tradition Working Group, which issued its report in 2017
- Creating the 2021 Reformed Tradition Working Group
Board and college leaders expressed gratitude for the college community’s cultivation of humane values, educational excellence and leadership and service.
“The bylaw amendments will help keep Davidson firmly rooted in its mission, values and tradition,” Mauzé said, “while positioning the college for an even better, stronger future.”