Board of Trustees play a vital role for colleges, yet all too often they are sources of frustration, dysfunction, or drama.

One of the challenges for boards of trustees is that they are volunteer roles. Trustees must fit their responsibilities around full-time work and other commitments. This can lead to neglect that allows responsibilities to languish and problems to fester. In an effort to combat this tendency, some boards meet so much it becomes onerous and creates burnout of qualified members.

The most successful boards hit the Goldilocks stride: they meet often enough to be productive and form congenial relationships within the board and with college leadership. Yet, they don’t meet so much that the time commitment scares away skilled candidates. To determine if you are finding the right frequency, solicit regular feedback from members, through informal conversations and short surveys.

Finally, don’t just expect things from your board, give to them. Make sure that you are giving your board tools to improve. Consult with qualified experts such as your trusted colleagues within the Hyatt-Fennell team for support in developing board roles, responsibilities and training.