Presidents Governance Academy

The Presidents Governance Academy is generously supported by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Sunday, January 3, 8:00 a.m.–8:30 p.m.
Monday, January 4, 7:15 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
The CIC Presidents Governance Academy is a distinctive program for CIC member presidents to strengthen governance policies and practices and sustain effective president-board relations. This two-day intensive and highly participatory workshop provides the opportunity to learn about both time-tested and new approaches to strengthen board membership, organization, and effectiveness, including the board’s relationship with the president and with key constituencies. It is especially for experienced campus chief executives who wish to compare their own college’s governance with “state of the art” policies and practices. The Academy is unique in that it focuses exclusively on the perspective of independent college presidents and, while it respects the division of authority on which shared governance depends, the Academy starts with the premise that presidents must have both the tools and the mandate to exercise effective leadership. View additional program information.
The registration fee for the Presidents Governance Academy is $400 for presidents, thanks to the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation. Pre-registration is required for this program.
Facilitators: Richard T. (Tom) Ingram, Senior Advisor for President-Board Relations, CIC, and former President, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and Richard J. Cook, President Emeritus, Allegheny College, and Chair, Board of Directors, Second Nature (Presidents’ Climate Commitment)

7:45–11:30 a.m.
Presidents Governance Academy Program Registration
8:00–9:00 a.m.
9:00–9:45 a.m.
Welcome and Introductions
  • Review of participant survey
  • What are some of the most vexing challenges presidents may face in working with their boards of trustees?
9:45–10:30 a.m.
Discussion Topics
  • Review of key program themes, facilitator roles, ground rules, and agenda
  • What distinguishes a high-performing governing board?
10:30–10:45 a.m.
Refreshment Break
10:45–11:45 a.m.
Discussion Topics
  • What levers, strategies, and resources are available to presidents to strengthen the board?
  • What presidential relationships are particularly key—and sometimes problematic?
  • “Shared” governance and relationships with faculty
  • Table Talk
Noon–1:00 p.m.
1:15–2:45 p.m.
Discussion of Best Board Practices (Part 1)
  • Membership: size, composition, terms and term limits, committee on trustees
  • Organization: committees, especially executive, and reserved powers
  • Meetings
  • Trustee philanthropy
  • Table Talk

2:45–3:00 p.m.
Refreshment Break

3:00–4:30 p.m.
Discussion of Best Board Practices (Part 2)
  • Retreats
  • Orientation programs
  • In-service education
  • Handbook and trustee information systems
  • Table Talk
4:30–6:00 p.m.
Discussion Groups
  • Overview of critiques by facilitators of participants’ bylaws
  • Review of evening’s “homework” assignment
  • In sub-groups of presidents: How does affiliation with your respective sponsor, founder, congregation, tradition, or other major influence directly affect, positively or negatively, the way your governing board is constituted, organized, or functions?
6:45–8:00 p.m.
Reception and Dinner
8:00 p.m.
Optional After-Dinner Conversation and Refreshments


7:15–8:00 a.m.
8:00–8:45 a.m.
  • On yesterday’s conversations
  • On a few of the articles in the Book of Readings you find especially helpful or provocative
8:45–10:00 a.m.
Discussion Topics
  • What are best practices in performance assessment of the governing board, individual trustees, and the presidency?
  • Table Talk

10:00–10:15 a.m.
Refreshment Break

10:15–11:30 a.m.
One-on-One Bylaws Critique
(in teams of two)
11:30 a.m.–Noon
Recapitulation of Discussions
Noon–1:00 p.m.
1:00–2:30 p.m.
Pulling It All Together
  • What other governance topics and issues have we not discussed but should?
  • What are some effective approaches to in-service trustee education and board development initiatives that have worked for you? What approaches have not worked?
  • Table Talk: What is your plan to strengthen governance policies and practices (explicit goals, strategy, and timetable)?
  • Illustrations of a few plans
2:30–3:00 p.m.
Closing Comments by Facilitators and Program Assessment
3:00 p.m.