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Are board members limited in the number of terms they may serve?

Yes, roughly a quarter of public institution boards and over half of private institution boards limit trustee terms.

AGB’s 2010 board composition survey found that 41% of public governing boards have a policy that limits the number of consecutive terms a board member may serve; the average number of terms allowed, for those that limited terms, is two.

Among boards of private institutions, more than half limit the number of consecutive terms a member may serve. The typical trustee of an independent college or university serves a three to four-year term (mean 3.7, median 3) and may serve a maximum of three consecutive terms. Almost all boards (90%) allow a trustee who has served the maximum number of terms to serve again after a hiatus of one year.

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