The board of governors undertook a thorough review of the College’s governance in 2010. Among the questions under consideration at the time were:
What key traits, experience and expertise should characterize the board, taken as a whole?
Current practice: The governance and nominating committee is one of the board’s seven standing committees. It has developed a skills set matrix as a reference for the discussion of all prospective nominees to the board of governors and its committees. The list of attributes that committee members believe are especially relevant to effective governance include: prior or current UCC affiliations; previous contributions to the College of various kinds; expertise in areas such as financial management, law and educational administration; and diversity in terms of age, gender and personal background.
What process should the board follow to ensure that qualified and committed people are considered for board membership?
Current practice: This is the most important responsibility of the governance and nominating committee, which takes a holistic approach to selecting potential candidates for the board and its committees. The goal is to ensure that each of these groups includes the range of characteristics and experience necessary for high quality governance. To this end, general invitations are periodically sent to the entire UCC community for expressions of interest in serving the College in one of these capacities.
How can the board best communicate with the UCC community in order to ensure a transparent governance process?
Current practice: The board regularly communicates with the College community through a variety of means, primarily the UCC website, Old Times and Connection. In addition to providing general information about College governance and news about current initiatives, the board also publishes major documents such as the strategic plan and the final report of the boarding task force.
How can the board best obtain input from the UCC community as part of the board’s decision-making process?
Current practice: The board holds an evening town hall meeting (in conjunction with the UCC Association’s annual general meeting) every autumn, to which all members of the community are invited. As major issues arise (the future of the boarding program, for example), additional meetings are scheduled to give all interested parties the opportunity to express their views and make recommendations.
What process should the board employ to ensure the development of strategic plans that are in the best long-term interests of the College?
Current practice: The long range planning committee is another of the board’s standing committees. It meets regularly to focus on UCC’s future and develop recommendations for governors with regard to strategic planning. The full board has day-long retreats in both spring and fall at which the entire focus is on deliberations about the College’s long-term welfare.
How can the board’s ultimate accountability for the effective discharge of its duty to act in UCC’s interest best be assessed?
Current practice: The board is very aware of its overall responsibility for ensuring the current and future well-being of UCC. Every year governors undergo a thorough self-evaluation of both the board’s performance during the previous 12 months and the quality of their own contributions. This process is handled by an outside agency and the results are a major topic for discussion at the spring retreat. The board also maintains a “dashboard” of metrics related to all aspects of UCC; this annually updated document points to areas that may require more specific attention. The board is immediately and effectively responsive to expressions of governance-related concerns by the College community.
The board formed a committee for this purpose with representation from community members.
Following consultation with the UCC community and its various stakeholders, the committee submitted its final report to the board of governors in November 2010.
Governance Review – An Overview