Inside AGB

By AGB    //    Volume 29,  Number 4   //    July/August 2021

Upcoming Books from AGB

The following new books will be released by AGB this summer. 
Visit to access these titles, which are a free benefit included in your AGB membership.

A President’s Guide to Effective Board Leadership
By William E. Troutt

This resource for presidents and board leaders offers practical, actionable advice on how to optimize the talents and abilities of the dedicated individuals who serve as college and university trustees. Most governing boards are populated with a core of trustees who take their responsibilities seriously and are ready to improve trustee governance. They are eager to partner with the president in advancing the institution. In 10 concise chapters, former college president William Troutt outlines strategies for recruiting and retaining trustees, designing trustee education and leadership development, optimizing governing board organization and structure, fostering a future-oriented board culture, designing engaging board meetings and focused agendas, and cultivating thought leadership and strategic partnerships with board members.

Business Models Under Stress: Achieving Graceful Transitions in Higher Education
By Melody Rose and Larry Large 

The headwinds disrupting the higher education business model picked up speed with COVID-19. Melody Rose and Larry Large make the case for structural change in higher education by setting the current institution-level crisis in a broader, national context. They offer specific guidance about how boards should monitor institutional financial health and readiness for a shift in the business model toward mergers, strategic affiliations, or more extreme measures like closure. Rather than prescriptions about what to monitor via a standard set of metrics, the authors encourage a process that will strengthen board governance, clarify roles, and reveal a set of local metrics with shared meaning and buy-in from relevant stakeholders. The optimal process results in a shared understanding of the institution’s condition and its concomitant options.

The grim reality facing the most financially distressed institutional boards— that the college or university is beyond the opportunity for merger or strategic affiliation and fiduciary responsibility dictates a closure—is modelled as a timely, thoughtful decision that results in a graceful closure, with protection of both institutional legacy as well as individual and institutional liability. By strengthening board oversight and decision-making grounded in the institution’s financial realities, Rose and Large hope that more intrusive regulatory impulses will be avoided.

Cyber Risk Handbook for Higher Education: Key Principles and Practical Guidance for Governing Boards

Cybersecurity is a growing concern for colleges and universities, as cyber threats and ransomware attacks are on the rise. College and university governing boards have a responsibility to ensure their institution’s enterprise risk management strategy is adequately addressing these growing threats, that the board has access to cybersecurity expertise, that board members understand all of the legal and compliance issues they face as fiduciaries, and that the right frameworks and budget resources are committed to support the strategy. This handbook lays out five principles that boards of trustees need to understand in order to provide adequate oversight of their institution’s cybersecurity strategy. (This book is sponsored by AIG.)

Policies, Practices, and Composition of Governing and Foundation Boards 2021

Since 1969, AGB has tracked data on the composition, policies, and practices of governing boards of public and independent institutions to offer insight about their composition and allow institutional and foundation boards to compare their attributes with those of other boards. In 1985, the pool of data collected was expanded to include institutionally affiliated foundations, given the unique role they play in supporting public colleges, universities, and systems. This survey report and those that preceded it are also intended to spark dialogue about the future of higher education governance, including board capacity and functionality. In the 2020 survey, new questions were added about planned board diversification along demographic and/or occupational lines where legally permissible (i.e., where boards are not elected or appointed). Completed surveys were returned by 116 public governing boards, 325 independent governing boards, and 96 foundations. Some of the key items covered include the following: board member demographics (race/ethnicity, gender, age, and occupation); boards’ policies and plans for diversity, equity, and inclusion; board size; board meeting logistics; board committees; presidential search; and annual giving.

AGB Podcasts

Subscribe to AGB podcasts at and listen to recent episodes on the development of AGB’s statement on justice, equity, and inclusion, applying the Principles of Trusteeship to maximize your effectiveness as a board member, and how higher education business models under stress adapt and prepare for major structural changes.

New AGB Members

AGB welcomes its newest members who have joined since April 19, 2021. 

Community College of Denver Foundation

Harrison Middleton University

Morton Community College District

New College Foundation, Inc.

Northland College

Prince Sultan University

Queens University of Charlotte

Rhode Island College Foundation

Texas College

The Art Institute of Atlanta

University of Guam Endowment Foundation

University of Wisconsin-Platteville Foundation

Waubonsee Community College Foundation

*This list is accurate as of June 14, 2021. 

Upcoming Events

Under Pressure from Students to Divest from Fossil Fuels? Us Too.
July 21, 2021    Webinar

Improving Budget Processes at Public Colleges and Universities: Session 5 of the Strategic Transformation Workshop Series
July 28, 2021     Workshop

Scaling and Institutionalizing Work Readiness in Higher Education
August 18, 2021     Webinar

The New Endowment Model
August 19, 2021     Webinar

Consolidation/Centralization Strategies in Public Higher Ed: Session 6 of the Strategic Transformation Workshop Series
August 25, 2021     Workshop upcoming-workshop/consolidation-centralization-strategies

AGB Tweets! 

Keep up to date with what is new and exciting in the world of governance. Follow us on Twitter!
President Henry Stoever @henrystoever AGB @AGBInsights



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