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Events & Programs

Institute for Board Chairs and Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities (Phoenix)

January 10 - 12, 2019
Phoenix, AZ

This Institute is currently at capacity. If you are interested in attending an Institute, please consider the Institute held in Aspen, CO, from June 17-19.

The most important relationship for effective governance is that between the board chair and the president. To succeed, both individuals must commit their time and talents to work as partners for the institution and the students they serve.

AGB's Institute for Board Chairs and Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities allows chair-president teams to develop robust partnerships and create a focused agenda that moves both the board and the institution forward. Since 1985, nearly 900 teams have participated in the institute, and have found it essential to effective governance at their institutions. As a result of this Institute, board chairs and presidents will strengthen their relationship, find answers to emerging challenges, and develop an action agenda for the board.

Facilitated group sessions provide best practices in governance and effective strategies from other institutions, while president-chair team meetings and one-on-one consultations allow participants to focus on shared work at their own institutions.

By participating in this institute, participants will:

  • Enjoy highly engaging small-group sessions with higher education experts to discuss key trends and best practices in governance;
  • Develop an action agenda for improving board practice and advancing their institutions;
  • Participate in one-on-one consultations to focus on shared work at their institutions and assess the strength of their boards; and
  • Engage with a network of peers to learn from and draw upon after the institute concludes.


  • Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran, president emerita, Kalamazoo College; vice chair, Pomona College Board of Trustees; AGB senior fellow
  • Shannon McCambridge, trustee emerita, Gonzaga University; search consultant, AGB Search

Sample Agenda (subject to change):

Day One
12:00–1:00 pm
Lunch and Welcome

1:00–2:00 pm
Setting the Stage: Introductions to Participants and to the Institute

2:00–3:30 pm
Building an Effective Chair-President Relationship

3:30–3:45 pm

3:45–4:30 pm
Characteristics of an Effective Board

4:30–5:30 pm
Team Meeting #1: Honest Assessment of the Board

5:30–7:00 pm
Open Time

7:00–9:00 pm
Reception and Dinner

Day Two
7:45–8:15 am
Buffet Breakfast

8:15–8:30 am
Setting the Stage: A New Day

8:30–9:15 am
Risk and the Governing Board

9:15–10:15 am
Team Meeting #2: Identifying Key Strategic Risks

10:15–11:45 am
Collaborative Chair-President Leadership: Collaboration for Board Recruitment, Orientation, Discipline, and Building Board Culture

11:45 am–12:30 pm
Team Meeting #3: Building a High-Performing Team

12:30–1:15 pm

Assessing Board and Presidential Effectiveness

3:15–4:15 pm
Team Meeting #4: Assessing Presidential, Board, and Chair Effectiveness

4:15–7:00 pm
Open Time

7:00–9:00 pm
Reception and Dinner

Day Three
7:45–8:15 am
Buffet Breakfast

8:15–8:30 am
Setting the Stage for Day Three

8:30–10:15 am
Using Committees to Support the Board’s Work

10:15–10:30 am

10:30–11:30 am
Team Meeting #5: Strengthening the Board’s Structure

11:30 am–12:00 pm
Final Questions, Wrap Up, and Evaluation



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