Tasks of the ETH Board

The ETH Board is responsible for the strategic management of the ETH Domain and undertakes supervision of its institutions.

Mission of the ETH Board

The ETH Board defines the strategy of the ETH Domain within the framework of the performance mandate, represents the ETH Domain to the government and government agencies at federal level, issues controlling directives, carries out strategic controlling, approves the development plans of the institutions of the ETH Domain, oversees their implementation and supervises the ETH Domain (Art. 25 ETH Act). It agrees targets with both Federal Institutes of Technology and the four research institutes and allocates federal funding on the basis of the institutions’ budget requests. It is also the ETH Board’s responsibility to prepare and carry out selection procedures: it submits requests to the Federal Council for the selection of the Presidents of the two Federal Institutes of Technology and of the Directors of the four research institutes, elects the other members of the Executive Boards of the two Federal Institutes of Technology and appoints the other members of the directorates of the four research institutes. Finally, the ETH Board selects the professors at the request of the Presidents of both Federal Institutes of Technology.

Supervisory function

In addition to its strategic management responsibility, the ETH Board also performs its supervisory function through the use of the following tools: periodic reporting from the institutions on resources (finances, human resources, real estate), annual reporting from the institutions regarding the status of mission fulfilment with regard to agreed targets, annual talks between the ETH Board and the institutions (so-called “dialogues”) within the context of strategic controlling, and reports from the institutions within the framework of their risk management systems. Moreover, the ETH Board’s Internal Audit staff evaluate the risk management processes, internal control system and governance processes of the institutions and report on them to the ETH Board, in particular the ETH Board’s Audit Committee.

Functioning of the ETH Board

The ETH Board carries out its mission under the leadership of the President on the basis of rules of procedure published in the federal collection of laws. The President is assisted by the Vice-President, the other members of the ETH Board and the ETH Board’s staff. In general, the ETH Board meets five times a year for one or two days at a time. The meetings focus on strategic and budgetary discussions, reporting, nomination proposals for the Federal Council, the appointment of professors and the selection or appointment of prominent figures for the six institutions’ management bodies. The ETH Board also spends another seven days a year in dialogues with the institutions of the ETH Domain.

Moreover, proprietor discussions are held twice annually between the President of the ETH Board, the heads of the responsible departments, the General Secretary of the EAER, the State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, and the Director of the Federal Finance Administration. The President of the ETH Board is responsible for periodic individual discussions with the Presidents of the Federal Institutes of Technology and the Directors of the research institutes, who present reports about the strategic development of their institutions.