Board Responsibility for Equitable Student Success

Workshop Tools and Resources

Explore equitable student success workshop tools and resources.

Boards must dedicate time to addressing equitable student success. Holding a board workshop during a regularly scheduled board meeting is a great way to ensure that clear outcomes are defined, specific topics for discussion are addressed, and board members are prepared and engaged.

The workshop templates listed below can be customized to meet your board’s specific concerns. You may also consider engaging an outside facilitator to help your board work through these conversations and outline tangible follow-up actions. Not sure where to start? Plan your journey here.

Use these workshop templates in your boardroom.

Introduction and Overview of Equitable Student Success—Evidence of the Problem and Feasibility of Improvement

Workshop Outcomes:

  • Understand student success challenges.
  • Understand the language, stakeholders, and policies related to equitable student success.
  • Understand the data-informed impetus for the work and clarification that campus stakeholders can make a difference in improving success outcomes and experiences for students.

Learn more→

Weaving Equity into the Habits and Decision-Making of the Board

Workshop Outcomes:

  • Understand that equitable student success is already part of the board’s fiduciary duties.
  • Understand that equitable student success is not new work, just a different approach to the work of the board.
  • Understand that equity is an inextricable part of all board work.

Template coming soon

The Role and Responsibility of the Individual Trustee

Workshop Outcomes:

  • Understand the applicability of committee and individual work for equitable student success.
  • Understand the moral and ethical imperatives of equitable student success.
  • Review important questions that board members should ask related to equitable student success.
  • Understand that equity is everybody’s business.

Template coming soon

Plugging into the Board: Working with Institutional Stakeholders

Workshop Outcomes:

  • Highlight intentional collaboration—who is doing this work and who has been left out.
  • Provide enhanced knowledge of shared governance at play for equitable student success.
  • Improve understanding of the board-president relationship and the board-student relationship.

Template coming soon

Dashboards, Key Performance Indicators, and Working with Equity Data on Boards

Workshop Outcomes:

  • Understand the costs/benefits of student success.
  • Review fiduciary duty and financial health measures.
  • Discuss relevant social mobility indicators.
  • Highlight investment outcomes and “wastage” 

Template coming soon

Making Equity and Student Success Work Sustainable: Tailoring Equity Work to Institutional Type

Workshop Outcomes:

  • Contemplate what is unique about the campus and what equitable student success means for your institution.
  • Assess what “wins” the campus can report and plan the long-term and short-term goals to enhance student success.
  • Consider what lessons the board can learn from other institutions.
  • How can the board (and campus) assess progress toward equitable student success? 

Template coming soon

These readings and resources can enhance your understanding of equitable student success.

Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Toolkit
AGB, 2021 | Toolkit
AGB believes that addressing matters of social and racial justice is a national imperative. Removing barriers to student success; creating a stronger sense of belonging for all students, faculty, and staff; and contributing to the communities in which we live and work are critical to the success of our colleges and universities and our nation. To support your board and institution in addressing these issues, AGB has developed this Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (JDE&I) Toolkit. It includes materials you can customize to work with your board to develop a common understanding of JDE&I issues, assess institutional needs, and prioritize and pursue your goals. Take the following steps to get started.

Statement on Justice, Equity, and Inclusion and Guidance for Implementation

AGB Board of Directors’ Statement on Justice, Equity, and Inclusion and Guidance for Implementation
AGB, 2021 | Board Statement
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 Consulting

Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Consulting Service
Justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion (JDE&I) are now imperative for the sustainability and vitality of higher education institutions. Boards must promote student success, institutional integrity, openness, and respect. They can only provide that leadership when they fully integrate JDE&I into their roles, responsibilities, agendas, policies, and practices. Becoming a champion for JDE&I is a complex, demanding journey. But it is completely essential to fulfilling the roles of higher education in supporting democracy, contributing to society, and serving the public good.Our experts will help you assess how your history, culture, assumptions, and biases are shaping your policies, practices, operations, and impacts. Then we’ll help you identify priorities, define an action plan for incorporating JDE&I into your boardroom operations, develop your board members and leadership, measure your progress, and make adjustments so you can stay on course.

AGB Trusteeship Magazine September/October 2022 with cover article

Today’s College Students : What Boards Need to Know
Lisa Foss, Trusteeship magazine, September/October 2022
We often think of today’s college students as if there is a single way to describe them. We picture a “traditional” student (18-22 years old, attending full-time, financially dependent on parents, and living on campus) with the same goals, motivations, values, and lived experiences. But a look at the data on who is attending our colleges and universities reveals there is no one single profile of individuals attending our institutions and a single description could not be further from the truth.

Strategic Board Leadership for Justice, Equity, and Inclusion
Podcast, aired June 22, 2021
What is the board’s strategic role in advancing justice, equity, and inclusion? AGB’s own board of directors considered this question and recently published the AGB Board of Directors’ Statement on Justice, Equity, and Inclusion and Guidance for Implementation to guide governing boards in their efforts to implement this important governance work. In this podcast, AGB President and CEO Henry Stoever speaks with the organization’s board chair, Shauna Ryder Diggs, and board member Leo M. Lambert about the process, anticipated outcomes, and key to success as boards examine and address barriers to justice, equity, and inclusion in their own work, at all levels of the institution, and beyond the borders of the campus.

Board Leadership for Racial Justice
Podcast, aired October 15, 2020
Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Board of Trustees recently voted to establish a Committee on Sustainable Racial Justice. This standing committee will provide board-of-trustee oversight of the university’s efforts to eradicate systematic racism. In this podcast, MSU Denver’s Board General Counsel and Secretary David Fine discusses the work behind the new committee with trustees Mario Carrera and Albus Brooks, the board members who called for the formation of this committee.

A Balancing Act for Boards and Chief Executives: Free Speech and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on Campus
Webinar on Demand | October 4, 2022
Tensions are increasing on campuses between the core values of freedom of speech and the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion, both of which are integral to institutional missions. Unfiltered, unbridled social media have further eroded respect for civil discourse and thoughtful deliberation. With extremist elements more willing to say abhorrent things, the angry rhetoric and ensuing clash of viewpoints can lead to unrest, even violence. Leaders must be able to articulate how the First Amendment protects people from oppression and violence. Watch AGB counsel Tom Hyatt and higher education leaders as they discuss practical and proactive steps boards and leaders can take to model respectful civil discourse around campus flashpoints.

“I commend AGB for providing resources to guide boards in asking critical questions surrounding equitable student success. This work will further help boards lead institutions toward representing an environment where each student and employee feels welcome, included, and supported, and promotes academic success for all students. This is a timely and challenging set of resources filled with much thought and strategy.”

Robin Gary Cummings, MD

Chancellor, University of North Carolina at Pembroke