AGB Consulting recently developed a new, online board performance survey focusing on six key areas: mission and strategy, leadership and shared governance, institutional sustainability, educational quality, board performance, and board culture. The customizable survey is designed to elicit candid perceptions of the board's effectiveness in each of these areas of responsibility.
Below is a short case study of an HBCU (with 11 board members) that found a board performance assessment especially productive.
As a board of a historically black university, we saw the challenges our fellow colleges and universities were facing, and we understood that our governance practices needed to improve in order for us to survive and prosper. We contacted AGB Consulting for a board performance assessment. It was the first time the board went through a facilitated self-study process.
We had an AGB consultant work closely with us to customize the board performance assessment survey, making sure we included items that fit the context of our board. A letter was sent to all board members with an explanation of the service, how to complete the survey, and background of the consultant. Once the responses from board members were collected and analyzed, the consultant reviewed a summary report with the board chair and president and highlighted items to address at a workshop with the full board. The process took about two months to complete from the time we reached out to AGB to the date of the workshop.
All board members present at the workshop have stated it was one of the best sessions they have attended. Follow-up work is now taking place on a governance committee, and a policy and procedures manual for the board is in development. We continue to benefit from the stronger framework for governance the assessment established.