Improving board capacity for strategic financial oversight
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Improving board capacity for strategic financial oversight . Jane V. Wellman AGB Consultant for Strategic Finance Indiana Trustees Academy August 30, 2010 . The changed context. Challenge to increase degree attainment Structural shift away from public funding

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Improving board capacity for strategic financial oversight

Jane V. Wellman

AGB Consultant for Strategic Finance

Indiana Trustees Academy

August 30, 2010

Association of Governing Boards


The changed context

  • Challenge to increase degree attainment

  • Structural shift away from public funding

  • Greater tuition dependency, risks low-income access and success

  • Rising public skepticism about college and university values – and value

  • “Fractured dialogue” between college presidents, the public, policy makers, and faculty

  • Unsustainable revenue/cost gap

Association of Governing Boards


US - Estimating the attainment “gap” Using a 60%/25-34 age group attainment goal

Association of Governing Boards


80% of national ‘gap’ occurs in these 20 states

Association of Governing Boards


Gaps in state financials could approach 7% of spending on AVERAGE - “The Lost Decade” of state funding

Source: Don Boyd (Rockefeller Institute of Government), 2009

Association of Governing Boards


Association of Governing Boards


Our Revenue Model is Not Sustainable

Association of Governing Boards


Outside inside: the fractured dialogue about college costs and the road ahead

Association of Governing Boards

Source: John Immewahr, Villanova University, based on research for Public Agenda.


The view from the outside: growing public critique about spending priorities

Association of Governing Boards


Changing the value proposition

Association of Governing Boards


The evolving Board role

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Board tools for improving a focus on value

  • Be explicit about attainment goals

  • Set the agenda for continuous attention to investments in value: spending, efficiency and effectiveness

  • Support establishment of institutional process for doing the deeper work

  • Adopt appropriate metrics for benchmarking spending and performance to measure changes over time

  • Communication! Internal as well as external

Association of Governing Boards


Setting the agenda

  • Process is key: Board needs to find ways to focus the work and bridge gaps between internal and external audiences

  • Work with the President to frame the agenda and set goals for aspects of the work

  • Frame the work in positive and not punitive ways

  • Look for evidence of progress in meeting goals

  • Continuous attention to documentation and communication

Association of Governing Boards


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