Effective committees are the engines for boards. They review budget assumptions and draft budgets. They ask probing questions about proposed academic programs. They review suggested board policies to determine their worthiness for adoption.
Effective committees do the work that allows boards to use their time well while ensuring that critical issues are explored at the appropriate level.
Effective committees involve board members in meaningful work, enhancing their understanding of key areas of board oversight. Committee work helps new board members figure out more deeply and more quickly how the institution works. And, effective committees can help institutional leaders in a variety of ways, especially by testing and strengthening institutional plans. That said, there are plenty of ways for committees to under-perform. Because they work directly with vice presidents, committee members can unwittingly move into micromanagement. Some committees are in search of consequential work and drift into the weeds. Without effective committee structure and leadership, they can miss the strategic completely.
High performing boards have high performing committees.
Seeking a comprehensive resource for committee work? Consider the Effective Committees Toolkit.