ERIC Number: EJ1013431
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: N/A
Fiduciary Behavior: What's the Responsible Trustee to Do (and Not Do)?
Trusteeship, v21 n2 p8-16 Mar-Apr 2013
Governing board members bear major and ultimate responsibilities as fiduciaries of the college or university they serve. Calls for increased accountability and developments such as financial volatility, transformational technology, internationalization, and increased regulation of governance have led to mounting attention to the quality of fiduciary stewardship. In this article, some of the most distinguished trustees present what they consider to be basic good practice for boards and board members with respect to fiduciary behavior. In sum, they state that while the law is specific about fiduciary duties in some instances, their application typically depends upon the sound judgment of board members, as guided by integrity, observation, experience, insight, and institutional policy. It is not enough to protect the institution's endowment. Trustees must look to the future and execute their duties with loyalty, faith, and trust; they must ensure fidelity to mission, integrity of operations, and conservation of core values; and they must safeguard the institution's moral compass. Board members should be substantively educated on the institution's mission, programs, finances, and challenges. They should be open-minded, reflective, and not parochial. They should address the underlying issues, and they should not micromanage. The trustees sharing their views in this article are: Martin Michaelson, a partner in the law firm Hogan Lovells and an expert on higher education fiduciary matters; Gerhard Casper, president emeritus of Stanford University and a former trustee of Yale University; Richard Chait, a Harvard Graduate School of Education emeritus professor whose field is higher education governance; Yvonne R. Jackson, trustee of Simmons College, vice chair of AGB's board of directors, and present or former director of several corporate boards; David W. Miles, past president and current member of the Iowa Board of Regents; member of AGB's board of directors, and CEO of Miles Capital, Inc.; Martin D. Payson, a board member at Carl Marks who has also served on boards of several leading universities, Tulane University and Howard University among them; and Henry Rosovsky, a former member of the Harvard Corporation and dean of Harvard's faculty of arts and sciences.
Descriptors: Trustees, Governing Boards, Colleges, Decision Making, Moral Values, Integrity, Experience, School Policy, Educational Finance, Money Management, Legal Responsibility, College Programs, Institutional Mission
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. 1133 20th Street NW Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-356-6317; Tel: 202-296-8400; Fax: 202-223-7053; Web site: http://www.agb.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A