Inside AGB

By AGB    //    Volume 29,  Number 6   //    November/December 2021

AGB Gears Up for Two Institutes

Two upcoming AGB Institutes are designed to strengthen the vital relationship between presidents and board chairs. These special events will provide leaders of colleges, universities, and foundations the opportunity to bolster this critical partnership in these times of uncertainty.

From January 9–11, 2022, AGB will host the Institute for Board Chairs and Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities in Naples, Florida. This institute allows chair-president teams to develop robust partnerships and create a focused action agenda to advance their institutional goals. Featured sessions include “Building a High Performance Board: Getting Your Board into Strategy Mode,” “Renewing and Restructuring Committees,” and “An Anatomy of Good Board Governance.” Featured speakers include President Emerita of Kalamazoo College Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran and President Emeritus of Alvernia University Thomas Flynn. Registration is at capacity but interested parties may join the waitlist at

Applications are live for the Institute for Foundation Board Chairs and Chief Executives held in La Jolla, California, from June 12–14, 2022. For institutionally related foundations to succeed, presidents and foundation chief executives must work as a team for the sake of the institution their foundation serves and the students who benefit from that service. AGB’s renowned institutes are highly engaging, small by design, and offer attendees a contemplative environment suited for focused learning and action planning. Featured speakers include Cherí E. O’Neill, president and CEO of the Colorado State University Foundation, and AGB Senior Fellow George P. Watt Jr.

AGB New Leadership Staff Announcements

R. Barbara (Bobby) Gitenstein, PhD, has been appointed to the role of Senior Vice President for AGB Consulting. Gitenstein previously served as an AGB senior fellow and an AGB senior consultant. With more than 40 years of experience as a college professor and administrator in both public and private sectors, she is president emerita of The College of New Jersey where she served as president for nearly 20 years. Prior to being named president of The College of New Jersey, Gitenstein served as provost and executive vice president at Drake University for over six years. She was the first woman to serve as provost at Drake University, and she was the first woman to serve as president of The College of New Jersey.

David Bass has been appointed executive director for philanthropic governance. Bass was previously the senior director of research for CASE (the Council for Advancement and Support of Education). Prior to his position at CASE, Bass worked at AGB for ten years (2007–2017) managed programs, including the annual Foundation Leadership Forum. Earlier in his career, Bass held several relevant positions at CASE as well as academic faculty positions in the English departments of Georgetown University, George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College, and University of Virginia.

AGB Submits Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court

AGB submitted an amicus brief in July 2021 that supported the Houston Community College (HCC) system and its board, which had chosen to censure a board member, David Buren Wilson. The presented question is whether the First Amendment restricts the authority of an elected body to issue a censure in response to a member’s speech. On November 2, 2021, the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case of Houston Community College System v. David Buren Wilson. In AGB’s view, the case goes to the heart of the right of a board to self-govern. Although a federal district court initially ruled in favor of HCC, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision, and HCC sought relief from the Supreme Court. Additional amicus briefs in favor of HCC’s position were filed by the U.S. Solicitor General’s office, the Attorney General of the State of Texas, and others. The Supreme Court has until June 2022 to vote and issue an opinion.

To read the amicus brief, see Find out more about this case at

Foundation Leadership Forum in January 2022

AGB’s 2022 Foundation Leadership Forum will be held from January 30–February 1, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida. AGB places the health and safety of its members as a first priority. With that in mind, COVID FAQs are now online, which detail extensive precautions AGB is taking to ensure this close-knit community will be able to come together for the first time in two years (see

This will be the 26th AGB Foundation Leadership Forum in which AGB successfully “provides cutting-edge insights and fosters community among leaders of institutionally related foundations,” said Andrew Lounder, AGB’s associate vice president of programs. Each successive Forum since 2018 has broken the previous registration record. Forum 2020 in San Diego, California, had 654 registrants and the virtual Forum 2021 further increased registration to 961 participants.

This Forum’s theme, “Foundations of the Future,” moves beyond the challenges created or heightened by COVID-19 and focuses on the ways foundations must strategize for a future that has changed. Now, the focus is on ensuring all the right elements for lasting sustainability are in place for institutionally related foundations. Lounder believes this theme is “a statement on the centrality of institutionally related foundations in enabling aspirational achievement by our nation’s public universities, and we are proud to offer a program built to support that high purpose.”

Member feedback and input from AGB’s Foundation Leadership Council have been key to bringing creative ways to enhance AGB’s Foundation Leadership Forum experience. Our new approach to programming includes thought-provoking session formats, a pre-forum webinar to introduce participants to the upcoming event, and dynamic workshops with seasoned experts. The Forum will also focus on AGB’s commitment to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion (JDE&I) throughout programming. Lastly, the event will provide attendees with ample opportunity for networking to ensure AGB members expand existing relationships and forge new ones.

Upcoming Events

Retreat for Board Chairs and Presidents of Public Universities and Systems
November 3, 2021        Virtual

Institute for Board Chairs and Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities
January 9–11, 2022      Naples, FL

2022 Foundation Leadership Forum
Jan. 30–Feb. 1, 2022      Orlando, FL

Board Professionals Conference
March 29–31, 2022       Virtual
Early Bird Deadline: December 20, 2021

National Conference on Trusteeship
April 12–14, 2022         Virtual
Early Bird Deadline: December 20, 2021

Institute for Foundation Board Chairs and Chief Executives
June 12–14, 2022         La Jolla, CA

Institute for Board Chairs and Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities
June 12–14, 2022         La Jolla, CA

Welcome New AGB Members

Bay State College
Benedict College
Collin County Community College District
Columbia Southern University
CUNY School of Law Foundation
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Emory & Henry College
Frankfurt International School
Kent State University Alumni Association
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Pima County Community College District
Riverside Community College District
Shaw University

*This list reflects new members who have joined AGB since August 12, 2021 through September 24, 2021.

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