ISCA Weekly Chair Post
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December 3, 2020

The Board's Engagement in Educational Quality

A survey of higher education boards found that many boards are failing to adequately monitor educational quality at their institutions and therefore failing to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities.
The 2018 report published by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) indicated that 59% of board members and academic leaders believe that the board does not spend enough time discussing educational quality.

 "If boards do not prioritize and regularize their stewardship of educational quality, they not only neglect a basic fiduciary responsibility but also expose their institutions to real threats, notably accreditation challenges and reputational risk."

"Many board members may feel they do not have adequate expertise to oversee educational quality—and that may in fact be true. Nonetheless, it is incumbent upon every board member to learn a basic framework and vocabulary for overseeing educational quality and for boards to develop a common understanding that can help them make informed decisions in this vital area."

While the AGB survey and report represent boards of higher education institutions, the topic of educational quality is one that independent school boards grapple with too and there is much overlap on this topic. The AGB survey assessed three key areas:
Board understanding of educational quality;
The ways boards learn about educational quality; and
The impediments to monitoring educational quality.

Some of the survey questions include...
What are the top three indicators you associate with educational quality for your institution?
What is your understanding of the board’s role regarding educational quality?
How does the board learn about its fiduciary responsibilities for educational quality?
Does the full board or a committee of the board receive information and data on educational quality?

The responses to these and other questions are enlightening and will likely resonate with you. I recommend scanning this report to gain some insight and ideas on how to better engage your own board in conversations around educational quality.

Upcoming ISCA Programs

December 10, 2020 1:00 - 2:00 pm EST
Webinar: Independent School Trends Every Board Chair Should Know

December 10, 2020 3:00 - 4:00 pm EST
New Chair Chat - for first year board chairs

January 21, 2021 1:00 - 2:00 pm EST
Webinar: The COVID-19 Disruption (Part 1) - What's Next for Independent Schools

March 4, 2021 1:00 - 2:00 pm EST
Webinar: The COVID-19 Disruption (Part 2) - What Should Our School Do?
Weekly Chair Post written and compiled by
Bethany Di Napoli, ISCA Executive Director

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