Rick Legon began his tenure as the fourth president of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges in 2006. Working with the AGB Board of Directors, staff and members, Rick led AGB through a strategic planning process that focused on the increasing challenges confronting institutional governance and that resulted in enhancing board accountability. AGB’s 2007 Task Force on the Presidency framed AGB’s call for a new collaborative governance framework, "Integral Leadership." Much of the AGB agenda on board accountability was an outgrowth of the Task Force's work. Several AGB policy statements, carrying the imprimatur of the association’s Board of Directors, were issued that addressed the heightened expectations around issues of board performance and engagement, and fiduciary responsibilities.
Rick is frequently invited to address meetings of national higher education associations, testifies on behalf of this country's unique form of citizen governance, and has led over 100 retreats for boards of public and private institutions as well as institutionally-related foundations. His experience working across public and independent higher education--with governing bodies (campus and system boards) and boards of public institution-related foundations, as well as other not-for-profit organizations--extends over 35 years.
He has written extensively on the growing challenges and responsibilities facing board governance with a focus on board structure, fund-raising and institution leadership. Rick was also instrumental in shaping AGB’s initiatives in AGB's work with the boards of public institution-related foundations, and served as the editor of AGB’s monograph, Margin of Excellence: The New Work of Higher Education Foundations.
During his tenure, AGB has led on issues related to institution cost, education quality oversight, and board leadership. Currently, Rick is leading the association’s renewed efforts to address the complex challenges associated with board oversight of intercollegiate athletics, an issue that AGB has paid special attention to in recent years. In addition, he has led the national effort to amend the recent SEC proposed rule related to municipal advisors; and was active in the association’s efforts to work with the IRS during the framing of the recently changed Form 990— including spearheading a collaborative effort with The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) to monitor the IRS Compliance Survey of 2008-2009.
Under Rick's leadership, AGB has recently finalized a new strategic plan for the association. Vision 2016 provides an aggressive agenda for AGB that is focused on service, expanded outreach and program development, research, and advocacy.
In a special column for Trusteeship magazine, Rick stated that "Getting governance right…must be a heightened priority for board members and top administrators. Failure of boards to attend to the business of their business is not acceptable." His leadership emphasizes those values in institution governance which are increasingly central to the success of higher education.
Rick, a graduate of the George Washington University, from which he also holds an MPA, serves on the governing boards of Spelman College and the American University of Iraq. He previously served on the governing boards of Virginia State University, and the University of Charleston (West Virginia). He received an honorary doctorate of law from the University of Charleston in 2007. Rick and his wife, Fran, make their home in Fairfax, VA; they are the proud grandparents of one granddaughter.