“(Universities) are going to work diligently to make the case with donors that the priorities for the institution are where they would really like the donor to invest,” said Richard Legon, president of Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. “But the challenge is a lot of donors increasingly have their priorities. At the end of the day the donor is going to prevail.”
A report from the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges urges campus leaders to hear out students concerns on campus culture and free speech, in an effort to anticipate and address instances of campus unrest.
It’s time for boards to understand that this is no longer business as usual. They owe their constituents—including the broader higher-education community—a clear signal that they understand their accountability and the need to begin the long road of reclaiming the public trust of so many.
Although big breaches of social media companies and large corporations frequently dominate the conversation at conferences such as those held by EDUCAUSE and AGB, the concerns that we heard were about how to protect our institutions. That is, they wanted to discuss their own problems and not dwell on failures from the news.
AGB officials told an audience during the Association of American Colleges and Universities annual meeting earlier this year that shared governance should be seen as shared responsibility for the well-being of the institution, and to take it a step further—student success.
In an opinion piece, AGB President Richard D. Legon states: Board vigilance and the capacity for informed decision-making are essential to ensuring the long-term sustainability of any organization. Timing and the will to act are also critical.