For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, DC (December 10, 2020)—The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), the premier organization representing higher education governance, today announced the creation of a new Board Professional Certificate Program. The board professional, designated as the primary individual who staffs the governing board, is the critical liaison between the board and other key leaders on campus. The position is more important than ever given the current tumultuous higher education landscape, which has forced many boards to reexamine key institutional strategies and priorities.
This first-of-its-kind course will be positioned to support mid-level board professionals as well as individuals who are interested in pursuing a board professional career path. To shape and develop the program, AGB is collaborating with Lynnette M. Heard, MEd, ambassador to the AGB Council of Board Professionals and former executive director of board relations and secretary of the board of the University of Cincinnati Foundation; the AGB Council of Board Professionals; and other working board professionals.
Participants will have access to ten modules that focus on the board professional’s responsibilities and relationships to key leaders, including board members, presidents, and cabinet members, as well as institutionally related foundation executives, if applicable. The course also includes sections on legal issues that the board professional may face, such as financial record keeping, conflict of interest, and compelling benefit, and for public institution boards, compliance with state open meeting laws. The program also dives into the board professional’s responsibilities in presidential searches, board and president assessments, and preparation for effective board meetings.
Participants will receive a certificate of completion, a digital badge, and a robust portfolio of knowledge to demonstrate competence.
“In the past, the work of board professionals was considered ‘other duties as assigned,’” said Heard. “Now, effective, strategic governing boards are more engaged than ever before, and this level of engagement requires greater leadership and support from staff. Board professionals have been asking for more opportunities to receive professional education, and I’m very pleased that AGB is able to deliver. This exclusive program offers a deep dive for professionals who want to take the next step in enriching their own learning and supporting their institution, system, or foundation board.”
While AGB has offered resources to benefit board professionals for decades, this is the first online course developed for these important leaders. The program is similar to AGB’s online board member orientation, using the same online education platform, and includes entirely new resources and material.
Creating this program is part of an intentional AGB effort to elevate the board professional role and demonstrate its importance to exemplary board governance. The certificate program will be launched at the AGB Board Professionals Conference (April 6–8, 2021), a virtual, global gathering of board professionals from across higher education.
“It’s hard to understate the importance of the board professional,” said Henry Stoever, AGB president and CEO. “These essential leaders are the primary communication conduit between the board, president, cabinet executives, staff leaders, faculty, and other stakeholders across the institution and campus, and they must anticipate issues before they occur. A prepared board needs a prepared board professional.”
The Board Professional Certificate Program will be complimentary for AGB members.
The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) is the premier membership organization that strengthens higher education governing boards and the strategic roles they serve within their organizations. Through our vast library of resources, educational events, and consulting services, and with nearly 100 years of experience, we empower 40,000 AGB members from more than 2,000 institutions and foundations to navigate complex issues, implement leading practices, streamline operations, and govern with confidence. AGB is the trusted resource for board members, chief executives, and key administrators on higher education governance and leadership.