As the new academic year unfolds and governing boards across the country convene for fall meetings, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) has published a book outlining a new governance standard. Shaped by a distinguished panel of scholars and experts, An Anatomy of Good Board Governance in Higher Education was developed to help college, university, and system boards to understand and apply the principles of good board governance and to assess and improve their own governance practices.
The book outlines the three fundamental tenets on which the quality and effectiveness of board governance depend: who serves on the board (the right composition), what they focus on (the right focus), and how they relate to one another and to others (the right relationships). Each board must discern for itself what composition, focus, and relationships are right within its unique institutional context. A board that meets the standard will ensure strong and effective board leadership in the midst of external and internal challenges currently facing higher education.
“The standard set by An Anatomy of Good Board Governance is high, but so are the risks facing an institution if their board fails to rise to these expectations. Today’s trustees can’t afford to wait for a crisis to test their strength as fiduciaries,” said AGB President Richard D. Legon. “Boards must strive to meet this high standard—campus faculty, administrators, students, and families deserve no less.”
“I hope boards take a serious look at this recommended standard,” said AGB Board of Directors Chair David W. Miles, a trustee of Drake University (IA). “It’s an essential resource for new trustee orientation, presidential onboarding, and leadership retreats. This book gets at the very core philosophy of good board governance and distills it for easy comprehension.”
An Anatomy of Good Board Governance in Higher Education is currently available for purchase at agb.org/store.