Within a board’s governance structure, the executive committee can be uniquely influential. As the only committee vested with the possibility of almost complete fiduciary authority, the executive committee has the potential to affect the overall performance of the board—adding value when done well and creating problems if it overreaches. Author Richard D. Legon, president of AGB, explains how an effective executive committee can further good governance, institutional well-being, and board member engagement by striking an appropriate balance between the efficient use of board officers (and other leaders) and the full board’s authority.
This publication is part of the Effective Committee Series, which is devoted to strengthening the role of key standing committees of governing boards. While there is no optimal committee system for institutions of higher education, certain principles, practices, and procedures prevail. The best practices outlined in this publication support the objectives of board committees: focused effort, informed decision making, and self-management.