Good boards don’t happen by accident.
It takes discipline and intentional development practices to teach trustees how to effectively lead a university.
At Adler University, we employ a variety of governance best practices to develop great leaders:
- Multi-meeting new trustee orientation, including poster sessions with faculty, staff, and students
- Peer-to-peer trustee mentoring
- Regular review and refresh of our policies in our governance manual
- Professional development at meetings and retreats about topics such as fundraising, diversity, and enterprise risk management
- Trustee recruitment focused on diversity in ethnicity, gender, age, and expertise
- Annual board and trustee assessments
- Meeting assessment at every board meeting
- Annual board goal-setting related to fundraising and governance practices
Additionally, we’ve found that there’s no better way to train our trustees about governance best practices and higher education than by attending AGB’s National Conference on Trusteeship. We send all of our second-year trustees to the conference to learn from the greater community of trustees across the academy. After the conference, trustees who attended lead a discussion with the entire board about what they learned and actions they plan to pursue.
We see the results of these practices in trustee engagement, informed board deliberations and decisions, close partnership with the president, and increasing success in fundraising.