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As to duties of the Executive Committee (Permanent Committee) it can be said that the founding Act of August 10, 1846, stated only that the Executive Committee might act for the Board of Regents in the certification of payments for debts or the certification of claims on contracts. Joseph Henry identified the duties of the Executive Committee to consist of executing the acts of the Board generally and examining and certifying appropriations necessary to operations of the Institution. In 1903, a study committee defined the duties of the Executive Committee as including: auditing the accounts of the Institution; advising the Secretary upon matters of new policy; and reporting to the Board of Regents upon all matters referred to it. Essentially, these have continued to be the duties of the Executive Committee.

The permanent Committee of the Board of Regents was established by the Board on January 24, 1894:
[[indented and single-spaced to establish a quote]] [[quotation mark]] Resolved, that the Executive Committee and the Secretary constituted a permanent committee with authority to accept for the Institution any property, real, personal, or mixed, that may be given to it... with power to sell or convert such property, and to invest the proceeds...[/quotation mark]] [[/indented and single-spaced to establish a quote]]

In practice, since 1954, the Permanent Committee (consisting of the Executive Committee, the Chancellor, and the Secretary) has participated int he deliberations of the Executive Committee in the examination of the assets of the Institution. It has served also as an interim steering committee on matters of policy between meetings of the Board of Regents, and it has served to review the agenda and the policy issues to be laid before the Board of Regents.

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