As a comprehensive public institution, Montclair State University's patterns of governance, organization, and administration are complex and multilayered, reflecting both the comprehensive nature of the University's mission and the intricate relationships it maintains with a variety of distinct constituencies such as students, employees, alumni, government, other educational institutions, business and industry, and the larger community.

Montclair's Board of Trustees exercises the powers and duties necessary to oversee and guide the management of University affairs.

The Board is composed of voting members who are drawn from business and the professions, and includes an undergraduate student from the University; a second undergraduate student and the President serve as non-voting members. The three officers of the Board of Trustees are the chair, vice chair, and secretary. The Board maintains an Executive Committee and three standing committees: Academic Affairs and Facilities; Audit, Finance and Investment; and Personnel, Compensation, Nominations and Governance. The term of office for a voting (non-student) Board member is six years. A faculty representative is appointed by the Board to a two-year term and meets regularly with the Board.