The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges has published a 12-page statement outlining the fiduciary duty of college and university trustees.
The statement, among other things, encourages boards not to act out of self interest, to create year-round recruitment programs to pool and vet governing board candidates, to create orientation programs for new members and to regularly assess how well board members are adhering to their fiduciary duties.
"Effective board members must be more than names on a masthead," reads the statement by AGB, which provides guidance to governing board members. "They must be fully engaged. They must attend meetings, read and evaluate the materials, ask questions and get answers, honor confidentiality, avoid conflicts of interest, demonstrate loyalty, understand and uphold mission, and ensure legal and ethical compliance. Those who cannot do so must step down and allow others to take their place."
The statement comes in the midst of a handful of states considering required training programs for university trustees.