Many trustees equate fiduciary responsibility principally with safeguarding the financial and tangible assets of institutions. But in fact, trustees also guard and steward institutional values, mission, campus culture, and the well-being of thousands of human beings, especially students.
Our institutions must be engines of fairness, opportunity, and justice as well. As many institutions today carry out the difficult and critical work of studying their historical relationships with Indigenous, Black, Brown, LGBTQ, and many other groups too long marginalized in American society, it is painfully clear the U.S. system of higher education—both public and private nonprofit—has never been the level playing field some imagine it to be.
The AGB Board of Directors recognizes the urgency for governing boards to examine and address barriers to justice, equity, and inclusion (JEI) in their own work, at all levels of the institution, and beyond the borders of the campus. Undertaking this work will be challenging and complex and the AGB Board of Directors’ Statement on Justice, Equity and Inclusion serves as a critical resource for boards in their efforts to implement this important governance work.
AGB continuously develops content to support boards and foundations on their justice, equity, and inclusion journey. Members will have access to articles, case studies, professional development resources, assessment instruments, and examples of high impact practices for student success. Visit AGB’s Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page for more resources.
The AGB Board of Directors’ Statement on Justice, Equity, and Inclusion and Guidance for Implementation is available as a complimentary PDF download exclusively for AGB members.
Download the statement→
- A Call to Action
- A Fraught Moment
- Making the Case for Justice, Equity, and Inclusion on Campus
- The Way Forward
- Recommendations and Key Questions
- A bulk discount is available for orders of 10 or more copies
- Publication Year: 2021
- 44 pages
“I want to express my organizational and personal solidarity with the substance and spirit the AGB Board of Directors’ Statement on Justice, Equity, and Inclusion and Guidance for Implementation. This is a central issue posing a great challenge and threat to the future viability of our democracy. Our higher education institutions and society can ill afford any longer a leaky higher education pipeline. Therefore, governing board practices must be rethought to examine questions of student success through an equity lens. I salute the AGB Board for showing the way.”
John N. Gardner
CEO and Board Chair
John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education
“Colleges and universities are vital to American democracy, prosperity, and ingenuity. At this juncture in our nation’s history, the courageous leadership of governing boards is needed to take on the fundamental work of examining anew our policies, practices, and institutional behaviors through a lens of equity. To do less is to fail to understand the most significant shortcomings of the institutions entrusted to us, as well as the extraordinary promise and fullness of our futures. The most important job of trustees is to ask bold and reverberating questions. This new statement from AGB will guide trustees in asking questions that will lead their institutions—and our society—to a better tomorrow.”
Leo M. Lambert
Member, Board of Directors, AGB
President Emeritus and Professor, Elon University
“It’s like they had been listening into all of our meetings and then figured out how to tell us how we should pursue these issues of justice, equity, and inclusion, especially within the governance of the board.”
Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of the College