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ERIC Number: ED545349
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 48
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: 978-0-926508-06-4
The Audit Committee. AGB Effective Committee Series
Staisloff, Richard L.
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
This publication is part of an Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) series devoted to strengthening the role of key standing committees of governing boards. While there is no optimum committee system for institutions of higher education, certain principles, practices, and procedures prevail. The best practices outlined support the objectives of board committees: (1) focused effort; (2) informed decision making; and (3) self-management. The work of boards should be grounded in the work of its committees. Working in tandem, committees enhance the purpose and advance the productivity of the full board: (1) Committee charters should clearly declare the governance purpose of each committee; (2) Committee work should be aligned with the institution's strategic vision, goals, and priorities; (3) Committees should translate their charges into annual goals and work plans that align with the board's governance responsibilities and the institution's strategic plan; (4) Committees should focus on monitoring the institution's strategic progress and the committee's accomplishments; (5) Committee meeting agendas should be concise, developed in consultation with the committee chair and designated staff member, clearly state desired meeting outcomes, and they should be distributed--with appropriate supporting documents--well in advance; and (6) Committee members should strike an appropriate balance between "too much" and "too little" information. They must guard against requesting overly detailed information to avoid becoming embroiled in administration or overburdening staff. At the same time, they need sufficient supporting materials to make sound recommendations and ensure adequate oversight. Because much board work is accomplished in committees, effective committees are essential to productive board meetings and, ultimately, to successful boards. The universal best practices described here were designed to be incorporated into the work of all committees. Each publication in the Effective Committee Series addresses the specific needs and nature of a particular committee. Sections include: (1) "Introduction to the Audit Committee"; (2) "Purpose of the Committee"; (3) "Committee Responsibilities"; (4) "Committee Composition"; (5) "Tips for Effective Audit Committees"; (6) "Pitfalls and Lessons"; and (7) "Conclusion." References and Resources are provided. "Sample Audit Committee Charter" is appended. [Development of "The Audit Committee. AGB Effective Committee Series" was sponsored by Crowe Horwath LLP.]
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:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges