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Helping a university council adapt to volatility

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Helping a university council adapt to volatility

A significant, research-intensive university council needed to maintain its reputation for excellence.

The university’s council sought to better equip itself to face challenges

The university’s council had a good track record and was highly experienced. To maintain the university’s position given the competitiveness and volatility of the higher education sector, the council sought to review its performance and identify ways to improve governance.

Nous assessed the council’s performance using a proven framework

Nous gained input into our review by:

  • surveying the council
  • interviewing individual council members
  • holding workshops with the whole council.

We structured our analysis using our proven framework for board governance, which we have used to advise university councils and other governing bodies. The framework consists of six elements of high quality governance, including composition and capability, relationships, and accountability and risk.

Our recommendations contributed to the council’s continuous improvement

Nous made several recommendations for the council to improve its approach to governance, including conducting strategic horizon scanning, ensuring its composition reflects the makeup of the university community, and implementing more nuanced and dynamic ways to measure performance (such as a live dashboard). The recommendations will help the council achieve continuous improvement.

What you can learn from the university council

  • Turbulent times demand new ways of thinking about governance.
  • High-quality governance benefits from attention to relationships, accountability and composition.
  • Experienced leaders draw on strategies to improve their governance approach.
Tags: council, review

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