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Board of Counselors

Board of Counselors

The Board of Counselors was founded in 1950 by the Smith College Board of Trustees as an advisory committee. It had a revolving board made up of 25 members, originally either alumnae, their husbands or fathers, who possessed some expertise and provided advice and opinions in specialized areas such as health, art, public relations, music, theatre, etc. Each counselor served on the board for five years, and could be re-appointed. The Board of Counselors was divided into smaller committees which included: Afro-American Studies; Botanic Gardens; Campus School; Careers; Chapel; College Relations; Friends of the Library; Health Services; Multicultural Affairs; Museum; Nominating; Residence; School for Social Work; Science of Engineering; and Theatre. Each committee met once or twice a year. The Board of Trustees met with the General Chair annually at the October Trustees’ meeting where the general chair would report on the Board of Counselors’ annual activity and advice.

Originally the Board of Counselors worked with the President of the College and the Board of Trustees in order to advise them in their duties of directing the college, as well as being available to the faculty for counsel and also worked with alumnae, friends of the college, and the general public to insure a wider understanding of college policies, plans, and needs. However, in 1998, the Board of Counselors stopped reporting to the Board of Trustees, and the position of general chair was discontinued. Instead, the committee chairs work more closely with department heads and senior staff members to serve the specific needs of each department. Committee chairs work with department heads to plan meetings as needed. The President makes all appointments to the Board of Counselors committees, including all committee chairs. Official committee correspondence, reports, and nominations for committee membership are channeled through the Office of the President.

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