In talking with colleagues across myriad schools, it’s obvious that a tremendous amount of thought and effort goes into the planning and execution of board meetings. After all, these are important, successful people who are volunteering their time and talents to help guide the institution in its present endeavors toward future achievements.
Typically there is a lot to accomplish in a finite amount of time. But the seriousness of the subject matter doesn’t necessitate that the meetings be devoid of spirit. We feel compelled to ask: when was the last time you helped your board members lighten up? We are not advocating anything frivolous but instead encourage each of you to explore what might bring to life the topics up for discussion. Is there a particular program under review that would benefit from student interaction and commentary? Are there spaces on campus more conducive to engaged conversation than a stuffy conference room? What about holding the meeting in a state-of-the-art classroom or perhaps in a beloved performance space that is scheduled for renovation? Truly engaging board members in a hands-on way can only help them see themselves in U.