The University of Massachusetts is governed by a 22-member Board of Trustees that represents various interests of the public at large on a non-partisan basis. Seventeen members of the board are appointed by the Governor and five members are UMass students elected by the student body on each of the five campuses.

The Board of Trustees functions as a legislative body dealing mainly with general policies governing the University. The Board is not an administrative or management board.  The Massachusetts General Laws allows it to act as an appeals body in certain rare instances.

For more information on how the Board is composed and its responsibilities, see Chapter 75: University of Massachusetts of the Massachusetts Legislature's General Laws.