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Events & Programs

Strengthening Board Committees Workshop

November 6 - 7, 2016
Boston, MA

Enhance the Productivity of Your Board
The work of boards is grounded in the work of board committees. When committees work in tandem, they enhance the productivity of the board and advance the purpose of the institution. While there is no one ideal structure for the board, certain principles, practices, and procedures help committees ensure the board’s effectiveness.

Join Board Members and Campus Leaders to Discover New Ways to Optimize Your Work
Through the two-day workshop, you will:

  • Gain a better understanding of the responsibilities of committee members.
  • Explore best practices for fulfilling specific committees’ fundamental purposes.
  • Develop new perspectives and innovative approaches to organizing the work of the board.
  • Gather with peers to discuss solutions to common challenges.

Because successful committees require the full engagement of all members and the administrators who support and advise them, we encourage institutional teams to attend together.

Many thanks to our generous sponsors:


SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES

1)  Preconference Workshop for Presidents and Board Leaders: Developing Leadership for a High-Performing Board
High-performing boards enable presidents to lead boldly, but how does a board become high-performing? In partnership with the chief executive, a governing board’s leadership must attend to the development of the board over time. This workshop, inspired by AGB’s highly regarded institute for presidents and board chairs, will focus on the essential elements of a productive relationship between the CEO and board leadership.

During this half-day workshop, you will:

  • Develop a working understanding of the complementary roles of board leadership and chief executive.
  • Examine mutual expectations that lead to high performance.
  • Explore practical approaches to strengthening board culture and structure for improved effectiveness.
  • Consider initial steps toward an overall governance action plan for your institution.

Facilitator: Richard Legon, president, AGB; board member, Spelman College

Must register a board chair and president/chancellor to attend this program. Additional board leaders are encouraged to attend as part of the team (e.g., board officers and/or committee chairs).

2)  Complimentary Optional Session on New Committee Structures
In this session, participants who did not participate in the track on Restructuring Your Board Committees will have an opportunity to join an informal conversation about how board and committee structures are changing, why, and what lessons could be applied to their own boards and committees to achieve strategic objectives. Session concludes by 4:00 pm.
Facilitators: Richard Legon, president, AGB; board member, Spelman College; Susan Johnston, executive vice president and chief operating officer, AGB; board member, Radford University and Rollins College

COMMITTEE TRACKS

Participants must select from one of five committee tracks for the duration of the workshop. The tracks provide deeper dives on fulfilling the fundamental fiduciary and committee responsibilities, operating strategically, and embracing the forward-thinking perspective required in today’s complex higher education environment.

Traditional Committee Tracks
The academic affairs committee ensures that policies and practices are in place to support the academic mission. This track addresses the board’s role in assuring the quality of the academic program, aligning academic priorities with current and future programs, supporting shared governance, and ensuring student success.
Facilitator: Dan Currell, board member, Gustavus Adolphus College and Midland University

The finance committee ensures that the institution is operating in a fiscally sustainable manner, balancing long-term and short-term financial obligations. This track considers ways to support entrepreneurial activities while maintaining revenue for institutional operations and fulfilling obligations for expenditures.
Facilitator: Duane Kilty, former chief financial officer, Indiana Wesleyan University

The governance committee is responsible for recommending prospective members and promoting strategies for board effectiveness. This track discusses best practices for board composition/structure, defining members’ roles, assessing individual and full board performance, board member orientation, and continuing education.
Facilitators: Karen Bearden, board chair, Kentucky State University, and member, AGB Board of Directors; and David Maxwell, president emeritus, Drake University, and senior fellow, AGB

The student affairs/student life committee enhances the board’s focus on student welfare and student success, and ensures that students remain at the center of board considerations and decisions. This track addresses the board’s role in understanding students of today and tomorrow, and the programs and services that create conditions for student learning, student well-being, student engagement, and degree completion.
Facilitator: Larry Roper, former vice provost for student affairs, Oregon State University, and board member, Heidelberg University

Restructuring Your Board Committees
Many boards have completely transformed their committee structures or are considering doing so to improve board effectiveness, including eliminating, adding, and combining committees. Participants will explore alternative ways to align board committees to address institutional and governance needs while increasing board engagement, promoting greater accountability, and enhancing contributions to the work of the board.
Facilitators: Susan Johnston, executive vice president and chief operating officer, AGB; board member, Radford University and Rollins College; and Kristen Hodge-Clark, director of research, AGB

Sunday, November 6

10:00 am
Registration Opens

12:00 pm
Preconference Workshop for Presidents and Board Leaders: Developing Leadership for a High-Performing Board

Must register a board chair and president/chancellor to attend this program. Additional board leaders are encouraged to attend as part of the team (e.g., board officers and/or committee chairs). Workshop concludes at 4:45 pm.

5:00 pm
Conference Welcome

5:15 pm
Opening Plenary: Leadership in a Time of Disruption and Uncertainty
In the midst of a turbulent national election cycle and complex global environment, higher education finds itself defending its value and contributions to society while simultaneously seeking new ways to operate and educate students. This plenary session will explore what is needed from higher education leaders in a time of disruption and uncertainty, and the need for boards to organize and conduct themselves in a manner that enables their institutions to be successful through unsettled times.

Speaker: Robert E. Johnson, president, Becker College

6:15 pm
Opening Cocktail Reception

 

Monday, November 7

7:15 am
Continental Breakfast

8:15 am
Committees Track Part 1: Fiduciary Principles and Stewardship
This portion of the workshop covers the foundations of committee work and best practices related to the specific committee’s purpose and charge, its relationship to the board, its composition and structure, member roles and responsibilities, and reporting practices.

For the track on Restructuring Your Board Committees, Part 1 identifies the internal and external drivers of change, including addressing current board structures, identifying key strategic institutional issues, and determining the gaps in structure to improve governance and achieve the institution’s goals.

9:45 am
Networking Break

10:00 am
Committees Track Part 2: Strategic Decision Making
This portion of the workshop prepares committee members to serve as strategic thought partners with the administration in their committee meetings. Beyond reviewing reports, committee members should be prepared to ask questions that drive innovation and effectiveness, yet hold the president and the administration accountable for institutional performance.

For the track on Restructuring Your Board Committees, Part 2 provides best practices and case studies of alternative committee structures and establishes the foundation for implementing changes at one’s institution.

11:45 am
Break

12:00 pm
Luncheon Plenary: Leveraging Board Structure to Drive Innovation
Addressing the changing landscape of higher education has required many boards and institutions to rethink how they operate. Beyond changing their bylaws and meeting schedules, boards are leveraging committees more strategically and in some cases adjusting committee structures to be more nimble and flexible. This plenary session will explore how boards can make effective use of committees—existing, ad hoc, or newly designed—and utilize other strategies to drive innovation.

Speakers:

  • Marty Meehan, president, University of Massachusetts
  • Deborah Raizes, board chair, Lesley University
  • Pamela C. Scott, board member and former chair, Salem State University
  • Michael K. Thomas, president and CEO, New England Board of Higher Education

1:15 pm
Break

1:30 pm
Committees Track Part 3: Being Consequential, Improving Value
In this session, participants will build on previous discussions and engage in deeper inquiry into the underlying institutional and external conditions shaping and informing committees' performance. Participants will leave the workshop with specific strategies to fulfill their committees’ purpose, and in the process advance the work of the board.

For the track on Restructuring Your Board Committees, Part 3 discusses formalizing the process for creating change in board structures.

3:00 pm
Adjourn

3:15 pm
Complimentary Optional Session on New Committee Structures
Session concludes by 4:00 pm.

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