Council of Board Chairs

Shared Governance in an Environment of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity 

The November meeting of AGB’s Council of Board Chairs focused on the challenges that the environment of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA)[1] present to effective and strategic shared governance of America’s colleges and universities. The session began with a presentation by Council Ambassador David Maxwell, PhD, proposing the essential institutional characteristics necessary to survive and thrive in a VUCA world:

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What Board Chairs Think About Heading Back to Campus and Today’s Challenges

The topic of the August session of the AGB Council of Board Chairs was “Anticipating Strained Board-Constituent Relations.” The primary question put to the group was: “Are You Ready?” In advance of the session, the following list of potential factors impacting the campus environment and its constituents was offered to give participants opportunities and challenges to consider. Council ambassadors David Maxwell and Jill Derby offered an overview of these topics while emphasizing the challenges institutional leaders and boards face in addressing these issues as they emerge in an environment that has changed (and continues to change) in significant ways. There is definitely consensus that new approaches and creative solutions are needed in this post-pandemic world—across all sectors of higher education.

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