Why this is important.

Today’s higher education environment for presidents is more dynamic, challenging, and threatening—yet full of potential—than ever before.

Presidents who embrace enterprise leadership will fulfill their critical responsibilities of fostering student success and ensuring long-term institutional vitality. Governing boards are vital to achieving these presidential goals. When presidents learn how to fully engage trustees as strategic thought partners, both parties foster better decision-making and overall engagement within the institution.

Sources: A President’s Guide to Effective Board Leadership, William E. Troutt, AGB 2021
Assessing and Developing College and University Presidents: An Enterprise Leadership Approach, Terrence MacTaggart, AGB 2020
The 21st-Century Presidency: A Call to Enterprise Leadership, AGB 2017

Questions for boards.

These are key questions for your board to consider:

Fundamentals

Consequential Questions:

  1. Is our president willing to invest the time necessary to develop and support a high level of board engagement?
  2. Is our endowment managed to ensure long-term growth and are proceeds used to advance the institution rather than make up for budget shortfalls?
  3. Does our president reinforce a culture of integrity through integrity audits, whistleblower protection practices, and the like as strong features of institutional life?
  4. Does our president ensure that enterprise risk management (ERM) is taken seriously as a means of managing risk and anticipating crises?
  5. Does our president display a realistic and sophisticated understanding of how politics work at the local, state, and federal level?

Sources:

A President’s Guide to Effective Board Leadership, William E. Troutt, AGB 2021
Assessing and Developing College and University Presidents: An Enterprise Leadership Approach, Terrence MacTaggart, AGB 2020

Discussions

Consequential Questions:

  1. Is our institution in a stronger competitive position than 12 months ago? What is our president’s agenda for the future? 
  2. Is our strategic plan realistically aligned with institutional strengths and market potential?  
  3. Does our president willingly present and discuss dashboards, metrics, and other quantitative measures of performance? 

Sources:

A President’s Guide to Effective Board Leadership, William E. Troutt, AGB 2021
Assessing and Developing College and University Presidents: An Enterprise Leadership Approach, Terrence MacTaggart, AGB 2020

Relationships

Consequential Questions:

  1. Does our president clearly and regularly communicate to the board the enterprise status of the institution?  
  2. In what ways does our president engage the faculty in the need to strengthen, update, and otherwise maintain academic vitality and relevance? 

Sources:

A President’s Guide to Effective Board Leadership, William E. Troutt, AGB 2021
Assessing and Developing College and University Presidents: An Enterprise Leadership Approach, Terrence MacTaggart, AGB 2020

We carefully curated these staff-picked resources for you:

All resources.