The University of Minnesota was established by Charter adopted by the territorial legislature in 1851 (Minnesota Territorial Laws 1851, Chapter 3). This authority was later perpetuated by the Constitution of the State of Minnesota, Article 13, Section 3. The University Charter provides that "the government of this University shall be vested in a Board of twelve Regents" and that the Board has certain powers including the "power, and...duty to enact laws for the government of the University."
University of Minnesota Charter Board of Regents bylaws address the operation of the Board of Regents, including duties, responsibilities, and election of the officers, committee meetings, rules of procedure, and delegation of authority. The bylaws were first adopted by the Board on December 10, 1899 and were last amended on July 12, 2001.