President and Fellows of Harvard College
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The President and Fellows of Harvard College (also called the Harvard Corporation) is the smaller of Harvard University's two governing boards, the other being its Board of Overseers.
In 1650, at the request of Harvard President Henry Dunster, the Great and General Court of Massachusetts issued the body's charter, making it now the oldest corporation in the Americas; detailed provisions for the Corporation's status and privileges were subsequently written into the charter of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as well. Although the institution it governs has grown into Harvard University (of which Harvard College is one of several components), the corporation's formal title remains ''the President and Fellows of Harvard College''.
The corporation was probably originally intended to be a body of the school's resident instructors, similar to the fellows of an Oxbridge college. However, it early fell into the now-familiar American model of a governing board—an outside body whose members are not involved in the institution's daily life, which meets periodically to consult with the day-to-day head, the president (whom it appoints). The Corporation is self-perpetuating, appointing new members to fill its own vacancies as they arise.
In recent years, the Corporation has comprised six fellows in addition to the president,
but in December 2010 it announced that, as a result of a year-long governance review, its "composition, structure, and practices" would be greatly altered: the number of fellows would increase from 7 to 13, with prescribed terms of service, and several new committees would endeavor to improve the group's integration with the activities of the University as a whole, especially its long-term planning.〔
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