Many college and university boards of trustees operate in a shockingly inefficient and counterproductive way. They are often an impediment to change and bastions of tradition, old boy networks, outdated practice and alumni parochialism. At other times, they may be testing grounds for new business models, consumer fads, or the will of the dominant trustees. Contemporary college and university boards are seldom nimble, forward-looking and entrepreneurial.
This puts the president and senior staff in a genuine dilemma. How do you respond best as the institutional CEO without facing unnecessary political intrigue, idiosyncratic whim, and confusing rules of governance?
Boards must be held more accountable, especially to themselves. They must refocus their energies on setting policy, financial stewardship, and crafting a climate for the administration to succeed by re-imagining who they are and how they relate as a board within a shared governance structure. In doing so, boards must seek new rules of engagement. The ability of the college or university that they serve to respond to the shifting dynamics within higher education will depend upon it.
For more detailed information on this topic please refer to this article in the May/June issue of Academe found here http://www.aaup.org/article/new-rules-engagement