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How Boards Lead Small Colleges

Alice Lee Williams Brown
with Elizabeth Richmond Hayford

Publication Date
Binding Type

A college is only as strong as its board of trustees.

While the media frequently report on threats facing colleges and universities, no sector of higher education is in more danger than private colleges with small endowments and low enrollments. Numerous small private liberal arts colleges could benefit from careful consideration of characteristics and practices of successful trusteeship.

In How Boards Lead Small Colleges, Alice Lee Williams Brown and Elizabeth Richmond Hayford focus on small colleges—the kind that seldom attract the attention of researchers. Integrating case studies with...

A college is only as strong as its board of trustees.

While the media frequently report on threats facing colleges and universities, no sector of higher education is in more danger than private colleges with small endowments and low enrollments. Numerous small private liberal arts colleges could benefit from careful consideration of characteristics and practices of successful trusteeship.

In How Boards Lead Small Colleges, Alice Lee Williams Brown and Elizabeth Richmond Hayford focus on small colleges—the kind that seldom attract the attention of researchers. Integrating case studies with theoretical analyses of college governance, they explain the basic responsibilities of boards while demonstrating how some develop practices that fulfill these responsibilities more effectively than others. The book emphasizes strategic planning and collaboration between the board and central administration—advice useful to those governing colleges and universities of all sizes and strengths.

For decades, the authors led consortia of small colleges and served on boards of multiple nonprofit organizations. Here, they interview trustees and presidents at dozens of small colleges across multiple states to identify the role governing boards play in building strong private colleges. Encouraging presidents to consider new approaches for working with their boards based on mutual dedication to strengthening institutions, Brown and Hayford also urge trustees to challenge new thinking from their presidents without interfering in internal operations. How Boards Lead Small Colleges is designed to appeal to anyone with a special interest in the future of small private colleges, which play a critical role in the world of higher education.

Reviews

Reviews

Brown and Hayford make the case that able, committed, knowledgeable boards of trustees are essential to the effective functioning of academic institutions. A very useful study that should be put in the hands of many of the people who will become either presidents or members of boards of small liberal arts colleges.

This reader-friendly, jargon-free, anecdote-rich account should prove especially useful to current and potential board members who wish to be well-prepared to serve the institutions they care about.

The role of trustees is often misunderstood not only by faculty, staff, and students but by presidents and board members as well. This landmark book makes a compelling case that trustees can, and must, play a critical role in making their colleges thrive. Replete with provocative examples, Brown and Hayford's book is a very practical guide to assuring that the value of the board's contribution to institutional leadership can be realized.

Brown and Hayford present an illuminating and accessible examination of an understudied topic: the responsibilities of trustees in small liberal arts colleges. Their wisely selected case examples provide critical insights about challenges facing college and university trustees across institutional types. This book should be widely consulted as a resource for trustee education, assessment, and recruitment.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5
x
8
Pages
216
ISBN
9781421428628
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Frequently Used Acronyms
Introduction
Chapter One. Characteristics of Boards
Chapter Two: Selecting Trustees
Chapter Three: Training and Supporting Trustees
Chapter Four: Basic

Acknowledgments
Frequently Used Acronyms
Introduction
Chapter One. Characteristics of Boards
Chapter Two: Selecting Trustees
Chapter Three: Training and Supporting Trustees
Chapter Four: Basic Responsibilities of Trustees
Chapter Five: Hiring and Supporting the President
Chapter Six: Evaluating and Possibly Terminating the President
Chapter Seven: Building Institutional Stability
Chapter Eight: Being Responsible to Those Outside the Boardroom
Chapter Nine: A Critical Element in Making a Small College Great
Conclusion: Steps to the Future
Notes
References
Index

Author Bios
Alice Lee Williams Brown
Featured Contributor

Alice Lee Williams Brown

Alice Lee Williams Brown, president emerita of the Appalachian College Association, is the author of Cautionary Tales: Strategy Lessons from Struggling Colleges.
Elizabeth Richmond Hayford
Featured Contributor

Elizabeth Richmond Hayford

Elizabeth Richmond Hayford, the former president of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, teaches in Northwestern University's Higher Education Administration and Policy Program.