2021 Board Professionals Conference: Schedule

April 6-8, 2021 | Virtual Conference

Schedule

The Board Professionals Conference spans three days, April 6 – April 8, with the program including three plenaries, 20 concurrent sessions, more than six hours of networking opportunities, and an assortment of on-demand content and opportunities for ad-hoc conversation.

Exciting new sessions are under development as the Board Professionals Leadership Group, in conjunction with AGB, works to build out this year’s program. Watch this space and your inbox for updates.

Tuesday, April 6

10:00 AM ET – 6:00 PM ET | AGB Experience Open

11:00 AM ET – 11:15 PM ET | Opening Remarks and Conference Welcome

The Conference will kick off with remarks from leadership of both AGB and the Board Professionals Leadership Group as they set the stage for all to come over the the next three days.

Speakers:
Denise Nelson Nash, vice president and secretary for the board of trustees, Scripps College
Henry Stoever, president and CEO, AGB

11:15 AM ET – 12:30 PM ET | Opening Plenary: The Sea Change of 2020: What’s the Impact on Higher Education?

The higher education seas will have profound changes as a result of 2020 and while some of these changes were inevitable and merely sped up, others were radically introduced. What will be temporary and what will be permanent? What can history tell us about changes implemented under similarly unique circumstances? The implications will be profound for many of our institutions and will shape new and preexisting efforts to invite philanthropic partnerships to advance our missions. What strategies will institutions be deploying to meet the needs not just of this moment, but of the future to come?

Speaker:
Mark Marshall, president of philanthropic counsel, BWF; former vice president for development and alumni relations, William Mitchell College of Law

12:30 PM ET – 12:45 PM ET | AGB Experience & Networking Break

12:45 PM ET – 1:30 PM ET | Concurrent Sessions

The Agile College: Adapting to Demographic Change

In this interactive session, Dr. Grawe will briefly review recent demographic trends and their implications for higher education. Then, drawing on interviews for his recent book, he will share how proactive institutions are attacking demographic challenges through initiatives in recruitment, retention, academic programming, and consortial collaboration. Connections will be drawn to covid-19 and its impacts. Participants will be encouraged to share their own observations about the changing composition of the market for higher education and how institutions might adapt to the changing environment.

Facilitator:
Nathan Grawe, Ada M. Harrison distinguished teaching professor of the social sciences, Carleton College

Board Building for Transformation Through Integrated Advancement

In this session you will learn how to transform your foundation board through integrated advancement. Well before the current pandemic, the College of Charleston Foundation Board began this process which has only been fortified and enhanced by the stressors of the current challenges facing higher education today. Through the integrated advancement of your board’s fundraising, financial and donor stewardship, career services, alumni engagement and admissions outreach, your board will be able to achieve the ultimate goal to support their institution through expert financial management of all foundation resources and exceptional engagement of all on and off campus constituencies.

Facilitators:
Hannah Spencer, executive associate and board liaison, College of Charleston
Chris Tobin, executive vice president of institutional advancement and executive director, College of Charleston Foundation

Mergers, Acquisitions, and More

Under development

Facilitator:
Rick Beyer, trustee emeritus, Olivet College; former president, Wheeling Jesuit University; former trustee, American University; senior consultant and senior fellow, AGB

The Post-Pandemic Value Proposition

Under development

Facilitator:
Kevin Reilly, president emeritus and regent professor, University of Wisconsin System; senior consultant and senior fellow, AGB

1:30 PM ET – 2:15 PM ET | Concurrent Sessions

Operating in the Sunshine: Open Meeting Laws

All institutions face varying levels of community expectations surrounding transparency in its operations. Public institutions face additional expectations, often found in state law, that establish minimum requirements pertaining to the level of transparency in its operations, including open meetings laws and open records laws. This session will provide an overview of the considerations that any board professional should be aware of as we help our board operate in an effective way that also is consistent with the expectations placed upon our institutions regarding transparency. 

Facilitator:
Guilherme Costa, senior associate vice president and deputy university secretary, Syracuse University

Board Meetings from Z to A: Priorities and Strategies

The past year has provided plenty of twists and turns for the work of board professionals. Our priorities and the strategies we use to address them have all changed. In this fast-paced, audience-directed session, two long-serving board professionals will focus beyond the fundamentals of board meetings to address the technical and strategic issues critical to our positions and will suggest innovative ways to tackle them in today’s topsy-turvy world of higher education. With over a dozen timely topics on the agenda, you pick the topics for discussion, and we’ll let the ideas flow. Be prepared to take thorough notes so you can bring key takeaways back to your board.

Facilitators:
Heather Fehn, chief of staff and secretary to the board of trustees, The College of New Jersey
Lorrie Kyle, executive director of the office of the president, Rollins College

Year at a Glance: A Framework to Help Your Board be More Consequential

Does your board get bogged down under the weight of its own agendas? Does it often spend hours on mundane topics that do little to advance the institution? This session will offer a framework for planning your board’s work to maximize time spent on consequential topics.

Facilitator:
Brian Steeves, executive director of the board of regents and corporate secretary, University of Minnesota

Technology Essentials for the Virtual World

When higher education pivoted quickly to operating in a remote environment, the many duties of the board professional followed suit. In this interactive session we will outline the framework for successfully managing in the virtual world and share lessons learned through operating via email, video conference, and telephone.

Facilitators:
Tina Holloway, director of board technology services, The University of Texas System
Brent Schrader, associate university secretary, University of Delaware

Next Generation Search

Under development

Facilitators:
Roderick McDavis, managing principal, AGB Search
Melissa Trotta, associate managing principal, AGB Search

2:15 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET | AGB Experience & Networking Break

3:00 PM ET – 4:00 PM ET | Peer-to-Peer Conversations

Connect with colleagues, new and old alike, in the first of many lightly structured networking opportunities. Segmented by institution type and size, these small group discussions will empower attendees to candidly share and discuss concerns, approaches, and strategies to the challenges and opportunities most relevant to you and your specific institution.

4:00 PM ET – 5:00 PM ET | Mentoring on Demand

For those newer to the board professional field, join a group of experienced board professional mentors as they provide coaching on how to elevate yourself and take your position to the next level. This informal, interactive opportunity will help you to forge professional connections with those who have been there and done that, as they share their experience and expertise, insight and ideas, through one-on-one and small group conversations.

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Wednesday, April 7

10:00 AM ET – 6:00 PM ET | AGB Experience Open

11:00 AM ET – 12:30 PM ET | Plenary: Higher Education as a Force for Good

This past summer was marked by numerous protests and demonstrations against the long-standing issues of racial injustice and inequity. Although institutions and their leadership, staff, and students have been quick to stand together in the moment, the work is far from done. Hear from a diverse panel of higher education leaders as they share their thoughts on how higher education can move beyond simply responding to these issues among immediate outcry, and instead become proactive in leading the way long term.

Moderator:
Denise Nelson Nash, vice president and secretary for the board of trustees, Scripps College

Panelists:
Robin Cummings, chancellor, University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Sumun Pendakur
, board member, National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education; former chief learning officer and director, University of Southern California Race and Equity Center
Laura Perna
, vice provost for faculty, GSE centennial presidential professor of education, and executive director of the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy, University of Pennsylvania

12:30 PM ET – 12:45 PM ET | AGB Experience & Networking Break

12:45 PM ET – 1:30 PM ET | Concurrent Sessions

Identity Check: Who’s on Your Board... And Who's Not?

Board diversity is a key objective for many institutions. We’ve all read the articles on the 5 -10 steps to increasing board diversity. Easier said than done! Board professionals serving self-perpetuating boards are invited to join this interactive session that will provide examples of high impact approaches to fostering inclusive board culture, effective recruitment strategies, and ideas leading to the development of strategic recruitment plans to meet board diversity goals.

Facilitator:
Denise Nelson Nash, vice president and secretary for the board of trustees, Scripps College

Campus Policing and Safety

In the wake of George Floyd’s death, Minneapolis has become an epicenter for nation-wide discussions about policing and race. In this session, leaders from the University of Minnesota will discuss these crucial topics and will share lessons that they’ve learned – and continue to learn – as they strive to best serve their institution and community.

Facilitators:
Matt Clark, chief of police, University of Minnesota Police Department
Michael Goh, vice president for equity and diversity, University of Minnesota

Campus Activism: Responding Beyond Words

As the world continues to struggle with racial, social, and economic injustice and inequity, students continue to be among the first and the loudest voices seeking to enact change. Although some campuses and their leaders have been able to positively and proactively engage their student bodies accordingly, many have all too often proven insufficient in their responses. In this session, join the facilitators as they discuss practices and policies that boards and the staff who serve them can utilize to not only listen to the needs and concerns of their campus communities, but to then also act on what they hear.

Facilitator:
Terrence MacTaggart, former chancellor, University of Maine System and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; senior consultant and senior fellow, AGB

Promoting Equity Through The Board Office

Under development

Facilitators:
Felecia Commodore, assistant professor of higher education, Old Dominion University
Demetri Morgan
, assistant professor of higher education, Loyola University Chicago
Raquel Rall
, assistant professor of higher education, University of California Riverside

1:30 PM ET – 2:15 PM ET | Concurrent Sessions

Creating Trustee Ownership in the Budget Process

Alignment between boards and administrators is crucial for colleges and universities seeking to thrive in today’s higher education landscape. Using an institution’s financial processes to build such alignment is essential for effective communication with boards. Board professionals from the University of Minnesota will take a case-study approach to describe how we engage our board in the consequential work of annual operating budget development. These examples will illustrate how board professionals, working with business officers, can increase transparency; clarify budget trade-offs and priorities; and build effective alignment. 

Facilitator:
Jason Langworthy, board associate, policy and committees, University of Minnesota

Resources, Partners, and Tools to Grow Your Board Professional Knowledge

In this rapidly changing environment, it is important to remember that as a board professional, you are not alone.  In this session you’ll learn how to tap into the many resources and countless tools available to you complimentary through your AGB membership. AGB staff and long-time AGB board professionals will share insights and tips on how to navigate and leverage the vast information. You’ll leave with a deeper understanding of how to make the most of your membership to enhance your everyday work and help you meet the challenging topics we face as board professionals.

Facilitators:
Lynnette Heard, former executive director of foundation board relations and secretary of the board, University of Cincinnati Foundation; council of board professionals ambassador, AGB
Patti Kunkle, vice president, membership experience, AGB

Flipped Orientation in a Virtual World

You’ve heard of a flipped classroom, but have you ever heard of a flipped board orientation?!  During this session, you’ll learn how to take the best principles and practices from flipped teaching and apply them to your board’s orientation and meetings.  Why do this?  Orientations and meetings aren’t effective when we lecture to board members for hours on end.  Like all learners, board members need time to process and contextualize information. Learn how to easily create videos with leaders on your campus about key topics.  Learn how to leverage the excellent resources from AGB and the higher education press to supplement your own campus materials. 

Facilitators:
Katie Herschede, vice president for strategic initiatives and chief of staff, Widener University
Diane Fornieri, chief of staff and secretary to the board, Molloy College

Macro Trends in Education

Higher education is transforming in significant ways, with much of it driven by macro trends that are beyond the control of any one institution. Among other factors, demographic changes, innovations in technology, and historic shifts in public investment are reshaping the entire higher education landscape. This session will unpack some of these trends and discuss the impact they are having on colleges and universities across the country.

Facilitators:
Rachel Goodrich, executive assistant to the president, Lancaster Theological Seminary
David Rowe, interim president, Lancaster Theological Seminary; former president, Centenary College of Louisiana; senior consultant, AGB

Best Practices for Online Meetings

Colleges and universities, and their leadership models, have changed rapidly in response to today’s environment. Since the pandemic began, board meetings may have converted from in-person to virtual, but expectations for success have persisted, if not grown. This session will explore best practices to help you adroitly manage virtual meetings.

Facilitators:
Lauren Ferguson, director of foundation board relations and development, University of Central Florida
Brent Schrader, associate university secretary, University of Delaware
Laura Stylianou, senior manager for board relations, University of Central Florida

2:15 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET | AGB Experience & Networking Break

3:00 PM ET – 4:30 PM ET | Roundtable Discussions

Bringing together small groups in face-to-face video rooms, roundtables are an opportunity for attendees to connect with fellow board professionals in lightly facilitated conversations on some of the most pressing topics of today.

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Thursday, April 8

10:00 AM ET – 6:00 PM ET | AGB Experience Open

11:00 AM ET – 12:30 PM ET | Back By Popular Demand

Don’t worry about missing a single moment of the Conference – with every session being recorded, you’ll be able to watch it all on demand. This dedicated time will showcase some of the most popular content of the past two days and will include live chat rooms to discuss it all as you watch (or rewatch) with your fellow attendees.

12:30 PM ET – 12:45 PM ET | AGB Experience & Networking Break

12:45 PM ET – 1:30 PM ET | Master Classes

Through a series of short, TED-style talks, participants will have the opportunity to hear from some of their most experienced colleagues on a variety of topics. Each class will include context for the topic, an outline of the value to your board and/or your own professional development, and will provide resources so you can continue your exploration of the topic on your own. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend multiple talks during this time and, as with all Conference content, these presentations will be recorded for later viewing.

1:30 PM ET – 2:15 PM ET | Ideas Exchange

Join peers, event speakers, AGB staff, and AGB partners for an informal exchange of ideas on some of today’s most pressing challenges. Share creative solutions, discuss potential resources and tools, and brainstorm with other board professionals who know what it is like to be where you are. Feel free to stay in one room for the full duration or to move about as conversations shift and flow.

2:15 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET | AGB Experience & Networking Break

3:00 PM ET – 4:30 PM ET | Closing Remarks & Plenary: Reflections from the Room Where It Happens

As trusted partner, strategic advisor, and invaluable liaison to the president and board, board professionals often find themselves present when critical institutional decisions are being made, such as this past year in the face of the pandemic. In an interactive panel discussion, experienced board professionals from a variety of backgrounds will have a candid conversation on what it’s like to be in in the room where it all happens when it all happens. What stories can they share and what are some lessons that they’ve learned? What was their role, before, during, and after? What advice can they give for when, inevitably, the unforeseeable strikes again?

Moderator:
Kai Swanson, special assistant to the president, Augustana College

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