The Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning had plenty to discuss at today’s committee session. The first and most important was a follow up on the Board’s skill set inventory from Academic Trustee David Han in which communication was among the hot ticket items.
“The areas that were consistently rated as important areas of expertise for board members to possess were the areas of business operation, finance, and governance,” Han said. “But there were areas which were considered important that perhaps not as well represented. Those three areas are healthcare, higher education, and public relations and communications.” Han went on to add that the purpose of the Board’s skill set inventory was to identify areas it needs to focus on as it strives for “Board diversity.”
Han said that regular installments of a skill set inventory would be extremely beneficial to the board seeing as — in his words — the Fall 2016 inventory only provides a “one-time snapshot.” “With board turnover, the snapshot may look very different in 2017, 2018, or 2019,” Han said. The inventory is a progressive approach on the part of the board to remain cognizant of not only its strengths, but also its weaknesses as it strives to reach a point of optimal functionality.
Trustee Barbera Doran added that a yearly installment of the inventory is important even in years of low turnover. “There will always be new board members,” Doran said. “The big turnover is over, for now, but there’s a changing skill set mix.”
Trustee Alice Pope posed a question to the committee regarding clarity with alumni and the group’s findings. “I’m wondering if there is any interest or intent on the part of the committee to communicate with alumni about the priorities that are seen by the Governance committee in communication with the alumni base?” Pope asked. The committee acknowledged that there’s been discussion with Alumni Association CEO Paul Clifford regarding efforts to publicize or promote election information once candidates have been selected.
Han acknowledged the value in publicly disseminating information, but added that “purposeful dissemination of the information is clearly the next step.”