Why this is important.

Orientation is an indispensable introductory tool for new board members and an essential refresher tool for continuing board members.

Comprehensive orientation programs provide trustees with critical knowledge about higher education governance, essential board responsibilities, fiduciary duties, and boardroom culture. AGB empowers our members to deliver engaging board orientation programs that provide all trustees with foundational knowledge key to successfully serve their institution.

Source: Board Member Orientation, AGB

Questions for boards.

These are key questions for your board to consider:

Board and Institution Fundamentals

Consequential Questions:

  1. How well are our new board members oriented to their fiduciary responsibilities and expectations of board service?
  2. When was the last time we updated our board member orientation model?
  3. Does our orientation program include training and education on legal issues that impact board work?
  4. Does our orientation program have clearly defined, realistic expectations and goals?

Sources:

Board Member Orientation, AGB
“To Improve New Board Member Orientation, Flip It!” Julie E. Wollman and Katie Herschede, Trusteeship January/February 2020
Higher Education Governing Boards: An Introductory Guide for Members of College, University, and System Boards, AGB 2019

Board Discussions

Consequential Questions:

  1. How well are our continuing board members educated about current issues and future concerns affecting the foundation and the institution?
  2. Is our current orientation dynamic? Do we invite speakers? Are our orientation activities engaging? Do we provide opportunities for engaging in thoughtful dialogue?

Sources:

Board Member Orientation, AGB
“To Improve New Board Member Orientation, Flip It!” Julie E. Wollman and Katie Herschede, Trusteeship January/February 2020
Higher Education Governing Boards: An Introductory Guide for Members of College, University, and System Boards, AGB 2019

Board Relationships

Consequential Questions:

  1. Have our new and continuing board members completed AGB’s New Board Member Orientation, which is complimentary for AGB members?
  2. Does our orientation program include an opportunity for participant feedback? If so, have we utilized this feedback to improve our orientation program?

Sources:

Board Member Orientation, AGB
“To Improve New Board Member Orientation, Flip It!” Julie E. Wollman and Katie Herschede, Trusteeship January/February 2020
Higher Education Governing Boards: An Introductory Guide for Members of College, University, and System Boards, AGB 2019

We carefully curated these staff-picked resources for you:

Trusteeship Magazine cover January February 2020 cover thumbnail

“To Improve Orientation, Flip It!”

Trusteeship, January/February 2020
Julie E. Wollman and Katie Herschede

Welcoming New Board Members: 15 Tips for Better Orientations

Trusteeship, January/February 2013
Stephen G. Pelletier

All resources.