ERIC Number: EJ917667
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: N/A
Board Complacency and the Experienced President
Bahls, Steven C.
Trusteeship, v19 n1 p15-19 Jan-Feb 2011
The real danger with a successful president and a complacent board is that the board will no longer have the benefit of a "marketplace of ideas" when making critical decisions. Boards that rely on an experienced president as the major source of their information are just as likely as a student's single-source paper to arrive at uninformed conclusions. In this article, the author suggests that when boards are engaged in institutional issues and decision making, rather than relying on the experience of the president alone, they avoid complacency and benefit from the resulting variety of ideas. To prevent complacency, trustees can demand transparency, create a culture of critical analysis and inquiry, deliberately assess academic outputs, continuously learn more about the changing world of higher education, evaluate the president regularly, and renew the board often to garner fresh perspectives. Strong board leadership, through the board chair and governance committee, can steer trustees away from complacency and toward a collaborative relationship with the president. Four steps towards better presidencies are offered.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Criticism, Trustees, College Presidents, Governing Boards, Board Administrator Relationship, Interprofessional Relationship, College Administration, Access to Information, Disclosure
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; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois