ERIC Number: EJ788929
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb-22
Reference Count: 0
The Importance of External Advisory Boards
Olson, Gary A.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n24 pC3 Feb 2008
In a recent Internet discussion among academic deans, the topic was whether departments and other academic units should create external advisory boards. The dean who raised the issue asked his colleagues whether they maintained boards, if they were genuinely beneficial, and what the ideal board would look like. Some administrators are only now recognizing the value of advisory panels, but they have become indispensable to many academic units. While business schools once enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the practice, today high-level external boards are ubiquitous. Still, as the deans' online discussion showed, a wide range of views exists about the best way to organize such boards and about their relative value. Presidents, deans, and department heads create external boards with a variety of objectives in mind, but they are most useful as tools to solicit strategic or programmatic advice, cultivate political influence, and support fund raising. Advisory boards can take a number of forms. Among the most common: the community advisory board, composed of influential political and community leaders; the alumni board, made up of distinguished graduates; the professional board (often a specialized kind of alumni board), devoted to a specific career such as law or medicine; the emeritus faculty board; and the development board, which assists in fund raising.
Descriptors: Advisory Committees, Community Leaders, Fund Raising, Alumni, Politics of Education, College Faculty, Department Heads, Deans, Computer Mediated Communication, Board Administrator Relationship, Administrator Attitudes, Social Networks
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A