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.
It’s troubling when even those who ultimately set tuition agree that college affordability—or the lack thereof—has reached a breaking point. The survey of more than 1,400 trustees across the country, conducted by Gallup and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, found the price of college to be their top concern.
Women hold almost 80 percent of the seats on the schools’ investment committees, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In comparison, on state university foundation boards, whose duties include overseeing endowments, women on average held only a quarter of the seats in 2015, according to a report from the Association of Governing Boards.