Skip to main content

AGB Blog

Addressing the Board’s Risk Factor

Addressing the Board’s Risk Factor

In these challenging times, AGB’s national commission noted that, “Governance itself should not be an additional risk factor.” Commission members felt the need to suggest that the people entrusted with the institution might also put it at risk. If that happens, a key recourse for concerned parties is the institution’s regional accreditor - often the only external organization with compelling authority to warn the board.

Board behavior has prompted a small number of recent accreditor actions. More than a dozen difficult board-accreditor situations have come to AGB’s attention in the past year. One of the six regional accreditors has a current list of more than a dozen governance situations that raise serious accreditation questions.

The best advice for reducing such risk is not surprising: learn about governance, commit to high performance, self-assess, and continually improve board operations. But too many boards do not systematically attend to board improvement and hold themselves accountable for it.  Does yours?

It helps to think of the board as a second organization that the board is also responsible for. Collectively, you govern the institution and you govern the board.

Identify the agenda items, events, and projects that relate to the board itself, such as governance education, bylaws revisions, committee restructuring, and member orientation. Do you attend to them as faithfully as to institutional matters? Do you have written policies for board operations and a regular calendar for governance development?

The administration and AGB will gladly support your efforts to improve governance, but it’s up to the board to lead and follow through. The results strengthen both the board and the institution.

If you're ready to build a better board, AGB Consulting is pleased to offer signature services that have been carefully developed to respond to the unique needs of higher education governing boards. Areas of service include presidential and board assessments, leadership advisory services, and governance reviews, as well as many others. Learn more.

Help
Close

Help

Click here to chat with the member concierge
Close

Help