The Board Assessment service is designed to strengthen relationships, build trust, and improve individual and organizational effectiveness. It provides boards with an opportunity to step back from the preoccupations of regular board business, candidly review their performance, and develop action steps to strengthen the work of the board.
A Board Assessment can help establish:
- a clearer understanding of the board’s primary roles and core responsibilities
- consensus on specific objectives and plans to improve board organization and performance
- a better working relationship between the board and the chief executive
- a renewed sense of commitment to the institution’s mission and purpose
- more productive board meetings
- a commitment to expectations for personal philanthropy
AGB offers several ways to conduct the assessment. They may be used individually or in combination as best meets the needs of the board.
- Board Assessment Survey – Board members complete AGB’s 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 survey is designed to elicit candid perceptions of the board's effectiveness in each of these areas of responsibility. It can be customized to address unique institutional characteristics and challenges. The results of the survey are presented in an easy-to-read format to be used as a tool to enhance performance.
- Board Member Interviews – An AGB consultant interviews board members and senior leaders using a panel of questions tailored to the specific context and interests of each board. Interviews often provide the board with deeper and more nuanced insights than the survey alone. An interview protocol may be used to enhance understanding of the survey results or in place of an online survey.
- Case Study of Board Action – An AGB consultant analyzes how the board addressed one or more critical issues and how its work affected the institution. Through interviews, a review of documents, and campus visits, the consultant will create a case study document and lead a workshop with the board.
AGB offers a choice of levels of service, from using the results of the online survey on your own to a workshop facilitated by an expert consultant with ongoing support. They range from the most autonomous, with minimal AGB engagement, to the most comprehensive, with support from an AGB governance expert.
- Level One: Board Assessment Survey Results – AGB administers a confidential online survey of board members and the chief executive, and provides a written report of the results for every engagement. The report will include a summary of best practices in each area assessed, which the board may use on its own or with assistance from an AGB consultant.
- Level Two: Expert Interpretation and Recommendations – In addition to the findings of the survey results, an AGB consultant provides a written interpretation of the significance of the findings for the institution and written recommendations for strengthening board performance. The consultant also arranges a video or conference call with the chief executive, board leaders, or the entire board to present findings and allow for questions and discussion of the assessment’s meaning and options for strengthening its performance.
- Level Three: On-Site Board Development Workshop – In consultation with the chief executive and board chair, an AGB consultant plans and conducts a one-day workshop with the board to a) review characteristics of effective boards, b) delve into the assessment survey findings and recommendations, and c) develop an action plan for board development going forward. Boards maximize the value of the board assessment survey to develop the most extensive understanding and strongest action plans through this facilitated workshop.
- Optional Interview Protocol – On its own or in addition to the survey, an AGB consultant will conduct interviews with some or all board members and key institutional leaders to deepen understanding and explore complex or sensitive issues.
When presidents and boards work together in a collaborative and complimentary way, there is very little that can’t be done. The Presidential and Board Assessment service combines a Board Performance Assessment and a Comprehensive Presidential Assessment.