Why this is important.

Within a board’s governance structure, the executive committee can be uniquely influential. It is the only committee vested with the possibility of almost complete fiduciary authority. Governing boards must ensure their executive committee facilitates cross-functional discussions, frames major institution-wide issues for full board deliberation, and is cautious of creating problems through overreach.

Source: The Executive Committee by Richard D. Legon, AGB 2012

Questions for boards.

These are key questions for your board to consider:

Fundamentals

Consequential Questions:

  1. Is our committee work aligned with our institution’s strategic vision, goals, and priorities?
  2. Does our committee translate our charges into annual goals and work plans that align with the board’s governance responsibilities and our institution’s strategic plan?
  3. Have the members of our executive committee grown accustomed to acting for the full board rather than facilitating its work?

Source: The Executive Committee by Richard D. Legon, AGB 2012

Discussions

Consequential Questions:

  1. How effective is our committee’s decision-making processes when we act on behalf of the board between board meetings?
  2. How competitive is our compensation package for presidents compared with our peer institutions?
  3. Is our committee’s focus overreaching? Are our responsibilities properly limited to coordinating, advising, and serving in emergency roles?
  4. Are our committee meeting agendas concise and do they clearly state desired meeting outcomes?

Source: The Executive Committee by Richard D. Legon, AGB 2012

Relationships

Consequential Questions:

  1. Is our committee aware of the impact of issues brought before other board committees that deal with executive-related issues?
  2. Is our committee an effective sounding board for the president and the board chair? How can we improve these relationships?
  3. If our institution does not have a compensation committee, does our executive committee ensure that the institution is paying compensation and benefits in a manner that is compliant with applicable law?

Source: The Executive Committee by Richard D. Legon, AGB 2012

We carefully curated these staff-picked resources for you:

All resources.