The Advisory Councils are charged with providing advice, advocacy, and philanthropy to the units they serve, and through their work and reporting, increasing the understanding of the Board of Trustees and other friends of the University regarding the respective unit they serve.

The members' ability to perform this function is facilitated by the active participation of the Deans and Directors, the President, and the Administration, who provide the members of the Councils with the information they need to carry out their responsibilities.

While all the advisory councils have common purposes – to serve as ambassadors for the unit in the larger community, to support the Dean or Director, to be a source of funds for the unit – each council necessarily emphasizes those purposes correspondent to the unit’s specific needs. The professional schools may rely upon their councils to help with career placements, while the divisions may find their councils better suited for other tasks. Members may also be requested to provide advice and counsel at the behest of the Dean or Director.