Why this is important.
The success of higher education institutions depends on presidential leadership, and one of the governing boards’ most important duties is hiring, supporting, and retaining dynamic presidents. College and university presidents must embrace enterprise leadership and strive to excel “in the business disciplines of data-informed and market-oriented planning, marketing, and financial control.”1 AGB encourages our members to continually assess executive performance and develop stronger, more resilient leaders through robust partnerships between board members and presidents.
Questions for boards.
These are key questions for your board to consider:
- How does our president visibly support academic quality and values?
- How effective is our president as an advocate for the institution’s interests?
- Does our president promote a positive and inclusive climate for students, faculty, and staff and actively advance the tenets of justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion?
- Does our president display a realistic and sophisticated understanding of how politics work at the local, state, and federal level?
- Does our president ensure that enterprise risk management (ERM) is taken seriously as a means of managing risk and anticipating crises?
- In the president’s public and personal life, is their behavior above reproach?
- How well does our president work with the board as the “strategic partner” in advancing the enterprise?
- How are metrics, benchmarks, feedback, and the like used in decision-making and operations?
- Does our president ensure that the board and senior leadership receive accurate and timely financial information?
- What does our board expect to learn from presidential assessments? What actions should the board be able to take based on the assessment?
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