Presidents, Boards, and COVID-19: Governance Challenges and Advice

Webinar On Demand
March 18, 2020

Watch this webinar/teleconference to learn what boards need to know and do about the COVID-19 pandemic as well as best practices for addressing concerns such as:

  1. Health and safety of students, faculty, and staff
  2. Ensuring continuation of courses of study and other operations
  3. Short- and long-term financial implications
  4. Communications with key constituencies
  5. Special considerations (clinical programs, hospitals, and food and housing insecurity).

We’ll also look ahead to anticipate the evolving problems created by this pandemic and what strategic issues boards should be prepared to address through the end of the current term into summer and fall.

Participants will be able to post questions for the presenters by logging in for the call through the GoToWebinar invitation and can listen through VOIP online or by calling in by telephone. To view a recording of the webinar, please register as usual. A link to the recording will be sent to registrants following the event.

Join these presenters who will share their own experiences at their universities and system:


Merrill Schwartz, Senior Vice President, Content Strategy and Development at Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
Merrill Schwartz

Merrill Schwartz has over 30 years of higher education experience in administration, research, writing, and program development, including 20 years with AGB and nearly a decade with The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. She is responsible for the association’s overall strategy for print and digital content development, including books, Trusteeship Magazine, papers, and web resources. Schwartz earned a PhD in higher education administration and leadership from the University of Maryland and MPA and BA degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  The subject of her dissertation was Assessing the Performance of Academic Presidents.


Marshall M. Criser III, chancellor of the State University System of Florida
Marshall M. Criser III

Marshall M. Criser III is the chancellor of the State University System of Florida. He is the former president of AT&T Florida. He took office as chancellor in January of 2014. Criser served on Florida’s Higher Education Coordinating Council, including serving as cochair.

He currently serves as a member of the Florida Council of 100, where he is a former chair. He is also a member of the Enterprise Florida Board, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. His past community service includes terms as vice-chair of the University of Florida’s Board of Trustees.

A Florida native, Criser graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in business administration

Julio Frenk, President of University of Miami
Julio Frenk

Julio Frenk is the president of the University of Miami and a renowned scholar and leader in higher education and global health. He became president of the University of Miami in 2015 and holds academic appointments as a professor of Public Health Sciences in the School of Medicine and a professor of Health Sector Management and Policy in the School of Business Administration.

He previously served as the dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, and as Minister of Health of Mexico. He is the founding Director-General of the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico and has held top positions at the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others.

He holds an M.D. from the National University of Mexico, and a master of public health and joint Ph.D. in medical care organization and sociology from the University of Michigan. He has authored more than 170 articles and 30 books. He is on the boards of the United Nations Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Medicine.

Shauna Ryder Diggs, AGB Board of Directors Secretary, University of Michigan Board of Regents and dermatologist in Grosse Pointe, MI
Shauna Ryder Diggs

Shauna Ryder Diggs was elected to the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan in 2012. She received her B.S. degree from the University of Michigan and her M.D. degree from the University of Michigan Medical School. She is the first physician to serve on the Board of Regents and is a board-certified dermatologist in solo private practice at Cosmedic Dermatology in Grosse Pointe, practicing general, laser, and cosmetic dermatology.

Ryder Diggs serves as the chair of the board of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. She is a life member of the University of Michigan Alumni Association and has endowed a student scholarship in support of the U-M Alumni Association LEAD Scholarship Program.

Ryder Diggs serves as the chair of the board of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, and is a member of the Blue Care Network Board, serving as chair of the Health Care Quality and Service Improvement Committee. She has served on the boards of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Zoological Society, and Forgotten Harvest.

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