Why this is important.

The work of boards should be grounded in the work of its committees.

Working in tandem, committees enhance the purpose and advance the productivity of the full board. Because much board work is accomplished in committees, effective committees are essential to productive board meetings and, ultimately, to successful boards. AGB strives to provide our members with universal best practices designed to be incorporated into the work of all committees.

Source: The Development Committee by Peyton R. Helm, AGB 2012

Questions for boards.

These are key questions for your board to consider:

Fundamentals

Consequential Questions:

    1. Is all our committee’s work aligned with our institution’s strategic vision, goals, and priorities?
    2. Do our committees translate their charges into annual goals and work plans that align with the board’s governance responsibilities and our institution’s strategic plan?
    3. Are our committees’ meeting agendas concise and developed with clearly stated desired meeting outcomes?
    4. When making formal recommendations to the full board, do our committees present conclusions that summarize relevant data and findings, including constituent voices and diverse perspectives?

Sources:

The Development Committee by Peyton R. Helm, AGB 2012
Restructuring Committees by Theodore E. Long, AGB 2018

Discussions

Consequential Questions:

  1. Does our current staffing structure and budget support the key enterprises of effective committees?
  2. Do our committees focus on monitoring our institution’s strategic progress and all our committee’s accomplishments?
  3. Are any of our board members assigned to more than two committees, excluding the executive committee? If so, then have we checked in with these board members to make sure they aren’t being spread too thin?

Sources:

The Development Committee by Peyton R. Helm, AGB 2012
Restructuring Committees by Theodore E. Long, AGB 2018

Relationships

Consequential Questions:

  1. When was the last time our board restructured our committees? Are our current committee structures limiting our board’s potential?
  2. How often do we rotate committee assignments among board members? Has our board considered instituting term limits for committees because most committees benefit from hearing new voices and examining fresh perspectives?
  3. Do each of our committees have an administrative staff member designated to serve as liaison? If so, is this staff member an integral part of the committee and do they work in full partnership with committee leadership?

Sources:

The Development Committee by Peyton R. Helm, AGB 2012
Restructuring Committees by Theodore E. Long, AGB 2018

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All resources.